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

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33 Comments

  1. Rebekkah Snyder

    April 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    My husband and I are looking for a venue for our vow renewal and I would love to have it in the castle!

  2. Rhonda

    January 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I was a senior in high school & was intrigued by the romantic old castle. I talked my boyfriend into driving me through the gates so I could ask for a tour. Rude, I know, but hey – I was 17! The gentleman who approached us as on the front lawn was understandably upset & said we were lucky that the dogs were put up & that “just the week before they bit the hand off of another intruder”. When I told him that I was doing a class paper on the castle he warmed up & graciously gave us a quick tour. My hubby & I cannot remember it all, but we do recall a small room with an old, bare light bulb that he said was “an original Edison bulb that still worked”. I remember a beautiful stone or marble staircase in the foyer – maybe even a split staircase? Not sure. I remember a not-so-old suit of armor which the caretaker laughingly described it as “obligatory”. I remember him telling us about a hidden room (near a fireplace?) where Mrs. Seely would hide her furs, but I do not remember seeing it.
    I’m still intrigued by the old place & feel very blessed to have been given a glimpse inside.

  3. clarence center

    January 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I was born in Asheville in 1932 many stories and rumors about the castle, used to play on the grounds in the 1940’s sat on the lions there and played as if there were knights etc there. rode my bicycle up there form down town loved to ride down the mountain coming back. also during the second world way there were rumors that the atomic bomb was designed there and built in ten but never got any conformation on this. I knew Mr. Sternberg when he owned it and lots of rumors there but is a great conversation piece at any rate .

  4. Mèlonie

    November 30, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Does anybody know details of the inside ? How many bedrooms ? Is it only two stories ? Is there a large fireplace in each room ? Is there a basement ? How many secret rooms ? What about formal rooms such as a ball-room maybe for entertaining guests with dance’s and such in the early yrs ?? Etc etc etc.

  5. Bob L.

    November 29, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Pam Schuffert’s 2001 so-called article, “Satanism in America Today”, is a complete crock, concocted by a brainless and hopeless mentality that is entirely controlled by fear and ignorance. Christ has a few things to say about such fear and hopelessness, yet many self-described Christians seem to completely ignore many of these teachings. WWJD? Think about it, and LIVE accordingly.

  6. 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.

    • Elizabeth

      November 30, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Agree!

  7. 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.

    • Dan Warren

      March 15, 2016 at 12:50 am

      I remember being told that a castle in Scotland was torn down and rebuilt on the mountain. My mother told me that fact

  8. 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.

      • Bob L.

        November 29, 2015 at 7:36 pm

        Where did you learn your English, Mr. Elliot? How about using correct punctuation, yourself, if you feel that your idea of proper English needs to be rudely rammed down someone’s throat, and in a context that is entirely inappropriate? By the way, you MIGHT note that I’ve added a “question mark” at the end of my question! You might also better educate yourself regarding the usage of “… “, as well as “.. (sic), which is entirely incorrect within your (did I already state this?) rude response.

      • Scott

        December 9, 2015 at 8:13 am

        You’re a fucking dumbass. I have a graduate degree in English and using two spaces after a period is NEVER done.

        • Cyndi H.

          March 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm

          Really? Now I have to go look up the rules on how many spaces after periods. I was taught to put two. I’m 45. Maybe it has changed over the years?

    • Allen Patton

      August 6, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Who owns castle now?

    • Cecilia Rhymer

      November 28, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Martha Culler. I am sitting here amazed by what you just wrote! I was 16 in 1980 and was looking for a car. I can’t remember how we come to find the ad about a 1974 Nova. But it was at Seely’s Castle. I was excited about seeing the car but also about seeing the Castle! I remember we were looking at the car and someone stuck their head out of one of the top windows and yelled “it’s a Boy’!! That was around 35-36 yrs ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I am so glad that I read your comment!

      • Jessica

        December 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

        Cecilia Rhymer: I am sitting here AMAZED at life and synchronicity. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • David

      November 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      I was born fall of that yr there

    • Mèlonie

      November 30, 2015 at 6:52 am

      That’s a wonderful memory Martha. May I ask why you moved out ? It would have been an awesome place to stay and raise a boy. Ohh the life stories he could have told.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    • Michael

      November 29, 2015 at 7:29 am

      people this day and age don’t know boundaries unless you make it 12′ high with barbed wire.
      that’s all thanks to vandals and vagrants. especially these days when the general population doesn’t have morals or thoughts of anything other than self. sadly that’s whats happening to this world. technology has propelled peoples knowledge into the future by having anything they could want at the tips of their fingers, but never having to work to earn it makes it lose some of its hard earned value.
      I think that is why people build up walls and fences.

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

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