Seely’s Castle in Asheville, North Carolina

By on March 19, 2012

Seelys Castle, also known as Overlook MansionThe history of Seely’s Castle, also known as the Overlook Mansion, in Asheville, North Carolina is steeped in rumors of dark and disturbing affairs befitting of a place long reputed to be a location for the satanic rituals and sacrifices of the “rich, elite and powerful” satanists that populate Asheville and the surrounding region.

Little is known about the castle, considering its age. Built in 1912-1914 for Fred Loring Seely on ten acres at the top of Sunset Mountain, it has seen five known owners.

The Seelys lived there until Mr. Seely’s death in 1942 at age 70. In 1949 his wife, Evelyn Grove Seely, whose father had given them the land, sold the castle to Asheville-Biltmore College, who occupied the property until they outgrew it in 1961. The third owner was Mr. Jerry Sternberg, who made several improvements with plans to open it as a museum, which he never achieved. He then turned the property over to Overlook Christian Ministries in the late 1970s. Overlook was a full gospel ministry that believed in speaking in tongues and other gifts of the Pentecost, which some claim may be the root of the rumors of satanism. The owners of Overlook wrote a book about their ministry called A Castle in the Kingdom.

The castle was acquired by the Wells family in 1984, who seem to be the last known owners, though another rumor claims executives of BonWorth purchased the castle from the Overlook ministry as a retreat.

Seely Overlook Castle in Asheville, North CarolinaAmong its many amazing features are the Jacobean ceilings, stained glass windows and a huge, two-story library with balcony in the north tower, which includes an entire wall made of glass with a panoramic view of Asheville. Besides its many secret passages, it is said there is a room hidden behind the library’s fire place, with soot-covered windows on the outside but no known access. The original wooden doors removed in the 1960s depicted the 12 Canterbury tales.

The lions on each side of the tunnel entrance were apparently at the courthouse in Atlanta when Sherman’s army marched through during the Civil War.

Located at 710 Town Mountain Rd. (map), a drive said to be adorned with the mansions of the area’s rich and powerful, Seely’s Castle can only be glimpsed through the woods from a distance, or at the entrance guarded by metal gates and surveillance cameras. It is said the castle is inhabited by a religious order, and no visitors are allowed through the gates.

Read about some of the alleged Satanic rituals and sacrifices at Seely’s Castle in Pam Schuffert’s 2001 article Satanism in America Today.

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Charlie Hintz

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6 Comments

  1. Martha Culler

    December 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I did live in the “Castle” in 1979/1980….My son was born in the upper room on the right in the front picture of the castle. The owners at that time did have a Christian church that met in part of the castle. We lived in a part and the owners lived in another part. The church people were good Christian people and never heard a story of “satanic ritual” until I met someone from Asheville that moved here to S.C. about 10 years ago. For the short time we were there we had a good life. My son was born in June of 1980. What child can say he was born in a castle???? It was beautiful on that part of the mountain and we would see red foxes come up to the house all the time. What a good memory!!

  2. Wanda Jones

    October 30, 2013 at 1:28 am

    This is absolutely absurd! Satanism at Seely’s Castle. Who ever wrote that should be ashamed. I went to school with a girl who was part of Overlook Christian Ministry. I did think her family was a bit overzealous about avoiding ‘sin’ but it wasn’t a cult, just a bit too Pentecostal for my Southern Baptist’s tastes. Why not write about a spot in Asheville that was really popular? How about the fellas who roamed the streets around Grove Park Arcade in the 1980s-1990′s? Used to be a genuine pick up spot for gay men – now it’s a posh place to eat and shop. Or, there was always a little place called ‘Sandy Bottoms’, and another little park near the bus garage and transfer station off Brevard Road. Remember My Brother’s Mustache, a popular gay bar, and O. Henry’s pub. And for the ladies, check out Malaprop’s book store. See, Asheville’s past is steeped in lore about the relationships between the leaders of the town and some important historical figures, such as Thomas Edison, Firestone, Ford. Fred Seely was rumored to have been a member of the Masonic Lodge. Perhaps it’s no accident that Asheville has always been accommodating and tolerant of people who are ‘different’. I’m not sayin…. but, you know, the photos are on the walls of the Grove Park Inn, drive by and see them sometime…

  3. peter moss

    October 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Wells bought the place and spent much time fixing the place up.
    Glad someone with means got it so
    it will not be pile of rocks like so
    many English castles are today.
    Shop BONWORTH and support Seely’s castle restoration.

  4. Greg Ness

    July 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Loren W. Wells (CEO of Bon Worth) to be more specific, and his choice of 12 foot high barbed wired fencing surrounding the property is very tasteful.

  5. Zelda Schmelda

    June 22, 2012 at 1:46 am

    That castle is supposed to be mine.

  6. JJF13

    May 23, 2012 at 2:17 am

    This is not owned by any type of religious order. It is privately owned by Mr. and Mrs. Wells. Mr. Wells is the owner or one of the higher ups of Bon Worth. It is his private estate.

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