Want to see something that's a little different during your visit to Arizona? We recommend a trip to Mystery Castle in Phoenix.

A Visit To Mystery Castle

Want to see something that’s a little different during your visit to Arizona? We recommend a trip to Mystery Castle in Phoenix.


We had spent the early afternoon with our friends at the Peach Blossom Celebration down in Queen Creek, but when we headed back to Phoenix our friends told us about a place that sounded unique and a bit quirky. We 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…


Mystery Castle In Phoenix

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.


Mystery Castle in Phoenix Arizona
Mystery Castle


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.


Mystery Castle in Phoenix

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Mystery Castle

Mystery Castle

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.


Mystery Castle was featured in Life Magazine


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. During our visit we had two tour guides, one for the 1st floor and one for the 2nd floor.


A portrait of Mary Lou inside Mystery Castle
A portrait of Mary Lou


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


Inside Mystery Castle

Mystery Castle

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

Mystery Castle

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 we said earlier, this attraction is definitely out of the norm, but that’s what makes Mystery Castle in Phoenix a must see. And it’s a castle. Who doesn’t like castles??


Mystery Castle

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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Want to see something that's a little different during your visit to Arizona? We recommend a trip to Mystery Castle in Phoenix.


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  1. This is so cool! How have I never heard of this. This place is right up my alley.

  2. I’ve been to Phoenix a few times but had no idea this place existed. I’ll definitely try to visit if I get there at the right season again.

    1. Timing your visit will be important, don’t go in the middle of the summer!

  3. Crazy!! I lived in Phoenix for about a year and didn’t end up making it out to this place – have noted it on my list for when we head back for a return visit. Looks cool!

  4. That place is awesome! I love quirky and could see a bunch of things i’d like in my own house! Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Mary Lou must have been very old when she passed away. I wonder if she had made any notable changes to the castle over the years. Anyways one thing I don’t quite get is that why Boyce left his wife and daughter for 15 years because he obviously loves his daughter enough to have built the castle for her?

    1. I’m not really sure. Maybe he just didn’t want them to see him as his health deteriorated.

  6. I love quirky places like this, so interesting and hand crafted

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