A Visit To Mystery Castle

A Visit To Mystery Castle

If you’re traveling to Phoenix and you want to see something that’s a little different I would highly recommend going to Mystery Castle.

 

After my friends and I spent a few hours at the Peach Blossom Celebration, we headed back to Phoenix and ended up on the outskirts of the city right in front of a castle. It doesn’t look like much when you first walk up to it, but just wait for it…

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

 

 

This place is crazy!! It’s literally made of almost anything you can imagine. Plus, if you think of the most random item, it’s probably in there.

 

So what exactly is Mystery Castle? Well, it’s a home made by Boyce Luther Gulley for his daughter Mary Lou. You see, Boyce was living in Seattle when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. And how did he deal with the news? He left his wife and daughter and moved to Phoenix. But while he was there, he started building a castle for his little girl; his princess. This was in the 1930s. He used all kinds of materials, from mortar and goats milk to railroad tracks and telephone poles. In total, the castle has 18 rooms, 13 fireplaces, a chapel, a bar area, and a dungeon.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

 

Unfortunately, Boyce passed away in 1945, before he had sent for his family. They didn’t even know about the house until an attorney notified them that they had inherited the property. Soon after, Mary Lou and her mother moved in. To earn a living, Mary Lou (an adult by this point) starting giving tours of her castle. The castle became pretty well known and was even featured in Life Magazine.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

 

Mary Lou continued to give tours until she passed away in 2010. The property is now taken care of by The Mystery Castle Foundation, which also provides tours. The tours are about an hour long and very informative. We had two tour guides, one for the 1st floor and one for the 2nd floor.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

A portrait of Mary Lou

 

As I walked around the home, I was just amazed at the stuff that had been collected over the years. No lie, it reminded me of the TV show Hoarders. As we walked from room to room, I told my friends that if I ever gathered even a fraction of what  was there, they had my permission to do an intervention.

 

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

When a jumpy caretaker shot a bullet through the window, they did this instead of replacing the glass.

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Much of the furniture in this room is made of cactus wood, including the chair at the top right.

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

The Jean Room: Where jeans hang from the walls and ceiling. And there’s a dog.

 

Like I said, Mystery Castle is definitely out of the norm, but that’s what makes it a must see if you want to do something different while you’re in Phoenix. And it’s a castle. Who doesn’t like castles??

 

Address: 800 E Mineral Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

Tour Hours: 11am to 4pm, Thursday through Sunday

Admission: $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12

*Only open from October through May. Trust me, you don’t want to be there during the summer months. There’s no AC!

**Unfortunately, Mystery Castle is not wheelchair accessible

 

 

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Hi! I'm Vicky, a South Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with my stuffed monkey Buddy. We show you how to make travel a priority while working a full time job. Click on the photo to learn more!

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