Thunder Butte

October 27, 2007

Haunted Castle

Although Stanley Kubrick's film, The Shining, was filmed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, the setting could easily have been the historic Redstone Castle in Redstone, Colorado. Built around the turn of the last century by industrialist John Cleveland Osgood, the Castle—then known as the Cleveholm Manor—was an opulent 42-room Tudor-style mansion. With 16 bedrooms and 14 fireplaces, the Castle called to mind the regal country residences of old England. In its early days, the Castle played host to the famous and the powerful, reportedly including President Teddy Roosevelt and John D. Rockefeller. Osgood passed away in 1927. By the late 1940s, the rich and the famous were long gone, and the Castle and the small community nearby seemed destined to become a ghost town.

The Redstone Castle

In the late 1960s, Neal and Dorothy Crowley left Faith, South Dakota, for a couple of years for a stint as the live-in caretakers for the Castle. Neal, always interested in fodder for new tales was taken with the place. Dorothy was less so. Despite the Castle's reputation as a haunted place and one that Osgood never really left though he had passed away years before, Neal was the kind of person who did not need the supernatural in order to find material for a tall tale. Neal used to give occasional visitors, including groups of college students, tours of the Castle. Pointing to a zebra skin hanging on one wall, he would tell people with a straight face that his father had shot it on safari in Africa. Neal loved to tell tall stories. It was in complete earnestness, though, that Neal would relate stories of some of the strange events that used to happen at the castle. There were the strange voices and the smell of cigar smoke that would appear without warning in some of the rooms. There were chairs that would move by themselves. You would leave a room only to come back later and find that someone or something had dragged a chair from one corner of a room to another.

A Darkened Hallway, Peering Through the Windows

Neal and Dorothy often felt as though they were being watched. Dorothy did not like to acknowledge this or the other strange things associated with the Castle, but did say that this was so. Neal’s sister Cece and her husband Al drove out to Colorado to stay at the Castle for a few days. Cece recounted the feeling of always being watched with intensity—especially the fear that she felt walking down a dark hallway on a late night trip to the bathroom. One can only imagine how Neal and Dorothy used to feel on cold and lonely winter nights, cut off from the outside world, completely snowed in. It does bring to mind scenes from the movie, The Shining.

An Interior View

The stay at the Castle could not have done anything to improve Neal and Dorothy’s marriage. I never heard it cited as a reason for their troubles, but within a few years, they were divorced. Both returned to Faith, South Dakota, temporarily, and then moved on to lead separate lives.

A Hallway and Bannister

A Stairway

Another Interior View

--Mike Crowley

Editor's Note--All images are from and are hosted on that site. Click the images to be taken to
Mike Crowley Saturday, October 27, 2007


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