Seely’s Castle in Asheville, North Carolina

By on March 19, 2012

Some people believe the imposing brick walls of Seely’s Castle in Asheville, NC hold terrible secrets from it’s evil past.
Seely's Castle in Asheville, NC
What horrors lurk inside Seely’s Castle?

The 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.

Seelys Castle, also known as Overlook MansionIt seems that little is known about the castle, considering its age. It was 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.

Concrete lions at the entrance of Seely's Castle

Seely's castle

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 human sacrifices at Seely’s Castle in Pam Schuffert’s 2001 article Satanism in America Today.

More Photos of Seely’s Castle

Seely Overlook castle as Biltmore college
Seely’s Castle as Biltmore College

Seely Overlook castle 1920
The castle in 1920

Seely Overlook castle

Have more photos or info on Seely’s Castle?
Email me at info@cultofweird.com

Charlie Hintz

About Charlie Hintz

Charlie is the creator and curator of the bizarre for Cult of Weird. When he's not writing or rotting away at his mind-numbing day job, he can be found working on graphic design projects for horror media and hunting down local legends around his home state of Wisconsin. Though he prefers more tangible oddities, he maintains a skeptical interest in the paranormal. Probably as an excuse to explore beyond the no trespassing signs.

18 Comments

  1. Tone Loc

    February 25, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Speaking in tongues is not necessarily satanic, although it can be. On the day of Pentecost, after Jesus arose from the dead and ascended to Heaven, the Scriptures tell us the Holy Ghost landed on the people in the “Upper Room” and they started speaking in tongues. Tongues is actually a real language the person does not know, yet is able to speak fluently. The book of Acts tells us this. I Corinthians 12 lists the gifts of the Holy Ghost. One of those is speaking in tongues. Paul told us “When my spirit prays, my understanding is unfruitful”. This means his spirit is speaking with God in a tongue unknown to him. So, if a Pentecostal Christian is speaking in tongues, it should not be viewed as a satanic practice.

    • Alexandra

      March 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Not so. What happened on the day of Pentecost was that the apostles spoke in their language, and everyone listening heard it in *their* language. Think “universal translator” in the “Star Trek” series. Kind of like that…if I’m speaking English and a Mexican person hears it in Spanish…it was like that.

  2. Becky Seeley Limbaugh

    October 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I’ve always known about the old “family castle”, but never suspected such a colorful history! #Related

    • Becky Seeley Limbaugh

      October 6, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Forgot to mention that family legend states the stones they built it from were brought over from Scotland. True or false, I don’t know.

      • Sandy

        July 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm

        Becky Seeley Limbaugh
        I heard the same thing about the stones from Scotland. Such a rich and wonderful history. I would love to interview you someday if you would allow me to do so. My cell # is 9707798009. If you’re interested, please send a text.

  3. 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!!

    • Elliot

      May 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      did they teach you English… needs work.. two spaces after periods.

      • Suz

        July 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

        Okay, Mr. Oxford Comma, way to be a total ass. Thank you, Ms. Culler for sharing your first hand experience. Such an interesting legacy for your son!

      • Nadia Acosta Hickerson

        July 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

        Chicago, AP and MLA formats all suggest using 1 space after a punctuation mark. So Martha Culler is correct.

    • Allen Patton

      August 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Who owns castle now?

  4. 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…

    • C. Randolph

      February 18, 2015 at 1:55 am

      missing the connection between possible Satan worship at Seely’s Castle and guys looking to get their rocks off downtown…

    • Suz

      July 18, 2015 at 10:11 am

      And this is “weird” how? Cult of Weird is about urban legend and stories of the odd and stories that often get started and passed down from family to family of the spooky and supernatural.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Zelda Schmelda

    June 22, 2012 at 1:46 am

    That castle is supposed to be mine.

    • Sandy

      July 14, 2015 at 8:43 pm

      We’re you supposed to inherit it?

  8. 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.

What do you think?