The fascinating history of Seely’s Castle, also known as the Overlook, is overshadowed by rumors of Satanic rituals and human sacrifices by “rich, elite and powerful” satanists of Asheville, North Carolina.
Seely’s Castle in Asheville, North Carolina
“I have personally done many years of hands-on research, often dangerous, in and around the city of Asheville, NC,” Pamela Schuffert wrote. “Asheville is known as the satanist/pagan mecca of the east coast. Nestled in the mysterious Blue Ridge mountains as they descend from Virginia, such remote mountains and valleys have long been the desired sites for bizarre and often violent cult rituals, many culminating in human sacrifice.”
This may read a bit like the introduction to a Lovecraft story, but Schuffert presents it as fact in her 2001 “report” Satanism in America Today, which seems to have been originally posted in installments to conspiracy-themed Yahoo groups and a website hosted on the free 50megs platform called American Holocaust. She details rumors of rampant satanic activity throughout Asheville society, from high school students sacrificing animals, to the city’s wealthiest and most influential residents sacrificing their own infants to earn their dark lord’s favor.
“Every year across America, up to one million innocent victims are abducted or bred for human sacrifice by Satanist cults,” Schuffert explains. “They die in agony, their screams unheard by mainstream America. Their remains will never be discovered: they were tortured, cannibalized, cremated and disposed of.”
Schuffert describes herself as a Christian woman with apparent ties to this group through her father. She relates harrowing encounters with them while spiritually protecting other Christians under attack by these shadowy individuals.
It’s a narrative that sounds exactly the same as numerous other Christian writings of the last several decades.
The infusion of the Christian perspective tends to get tedious, but I love a good story about the world’s most powerful people conjuring Satan for demonic blood orgies. I was raised on (read: traumatized by) heavy doses of Christian paranoia and satanic panic in the 1980s and 90s. As a child, I attended eerily cult-like small town churches who preached fire and brimstone End Times teachings about how the government was run by Satan. We would be forced to take the Mark of the Beast or face certain death. And – I swear this true – the song “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus, a staple of popular country radio at the time, was a demonic portal that would damn your soul to an eternity in Hell just by listening to it.
My mother once even took me to a highly attended conference where Christian fundamentalist Texe Marrs presented (often with photographs) all the horrible things he alleged Satanists were doing to innocent people to spite God. Christian gore porn. They love all the gruesome details.
After years of nightmares and the onset of a crippling lifelong anxiety, I eventually came to find a certain comfort in the absurdly dark caricature of evil presented in these claims. Some of it might be real, some less so. I mean, does the Illuminati really carry out human sacrifices in the catacombs of the Vatican? Do the Cremation of Care ceremonies at Bohemian Grove really mean demons have infiltrated the upper echelons of world government? Are lizard people actually pulling the strings to manipulate world affairs?
Probably not, though that would surely make things more interesting.
Do the Blue Ridge Mountains conceal the vile secrets of Asheville’s Satanic elite?
I stumbled upon Schuffert’s report in the early 2000s, a time when a video called Loose Change was convincingly spinning the narrative that 9/11 was an inside job, Alex Jones had smuggled a video camera into Bohemian Grove to expose our country’s leaders as giant stone owl-worshipping weirdos, and chemtrails were definitely controlling our weather. Or our minds. Or both.
This was long before QAnon, Flat Earth and the “COVID scam-demic,” even before thousands of guillotines were being stored at US military bases to eradicate Christians. You know, the good ol’ days when the world was just being controlled by Illuminati Satanists who assassinated JFK to cover up UFOs and bring about the Antichrist and the New World Order.
I found Schuffert’s work on a website called Educate Yourself, which somehow still exists, and touts the dangers of FEMA concentration camps, vaccines, wifi and cell towers, while promoting the health benefits of colloidal silver and bioelectrification.
Satanism in America Today is published on the site as a 7-part exposé of alleged Satanic activity in the Asheville area, where the mountains supposedly conceal great caverns of evil that Schuffert claims she even clashed with herself during her decade of research.
“I have narrowly escaped several abduction attempts in those mountains,” Schuffert wrote, “and I was told (by my father’s former high priest) that had they succeeded in their attempt, I would have been seized and hauled down in chains in a Ryder rental truck and then chained to the altar in their great Satanist caverns of the Smokies, which stretch far into Tennessee, and most brutally sacrificed for having dared to stand against them.”
Yes, apparently Satanists rent moving trucks to haul their sacrificial victims to their evil mountain lairs.
“Ryder and other rental trucks are frequently used to secretly haul human sacrifice victims to sacrifice locations nationwide,” Schuffert explained.
Next time you see a U-Haul in the neighbor’s driveway, ask yourself: Are they moving, or is it just another human sacrifice?
Satanists in Asheville
The grand Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
“The satanists in the mountains of North Carolina are never shy about announcing their presence,” Schuffert wrote. “In fact, they have often let it be known that they are quite proud of their exploits! But then, why not? The jewel of Asheville, NC, is the famed ‘Biltmore Estate,’ former home of the great Illuminati Satanist millionaire, George Vanderbilt! In his Illuminati mansion, one large room contains a coven’s table, with 13 seats on either side. On the door is a plaque with the words, ‘Assemblage of the Gods.’”
I’ve never been to Asheville, but it sounds great. Schuffert should have been put in charge of the tourism department.
Asheville, it seems, will be the epicenter of the Luciferian NWO. At some point, martial law will be declared and “our corrupt government” will round up Christians and “Patriot resistors” into boxcars fitted with shackles (which Schuffert claims already exist, were even brought out for Halloween one year) and transport them to death camps throughout North Carolina.
In one case, Schuffert says a young woman (a Christian and a virgin, of course) had been targeted for sacrifice by the Asheville Satanists, so Schuffert was asked to help.
“In 1992, as I was investigating Satanism in the mountains of North Carolina, I was tipped off by a Satanic crime investigator about a young woman whose life was living hell: she was marked for abduction and sacrifice by local Satanists, and they were systematically destroying her life. Her social life was cut off: most of her previous friends had been slowly frightened away. Even pastors had been frightened to stand with her, apparently. The investigator suggested I could provide spiritual comfort and support for her if I moved into her trailer with her.”
The attacks began months prior, when the girl’s mother received a phone call.
“We’re gonna get yer daughter for SACRIFICE,” a voice said, and hung up.
“Knowing that victims fall more easily into Satanist traps IF terrorized prior to abduction (fear creates confusion and tends to paralyze),” Schuffert wrote, “they started off their conquest of Cindi with these words.”
Schuffert writes that this was followed up by “roadside abduction traps,” poisoning, stalking, Satanists cutting off electricity and phone service at the girl’s home, and even tapping her phone so they could interrupt conversions by shouting “Kill!”
Of course, it only got worse once Pam got involved.
“The Satanists worked double time after I moved in,” she wrote. “Sensing that my friend was now receiving the needed Christian support and teachings in order to evade them, they became more violent and insane in their efforts. We endured many episodes of life on the wild side. I found myself spending countless hours on my knees in prayer for our protection, having both a Bible for support and carrying a loaded handgun in a beltbag 24 hours a day for emergencies.”
So the Satanists brought in the big guns, so to speak: A “curse pin.”
“In the months that following, she endured many attacks,” Schuffert wrote, “including suffering a ‘curse pin’ that was secretly planted in a car seat she sat in unsuspectingly one morning on the way to church. Satanists often use ‘curse pins,’ fine pins planted in locations wherein the unsuspecting victim may encounter them.
“They are coated with deadly poisons and assigned demons of destruction to the victim as well. After she sat in this car seat, the fine pin slowly worked itself into her leg which was in contact with the seat. The pain was tremendous. She screamed as the burning spread through her leg and her body. Her friend pulled the car over to the side to the side of the road, and then rushed her off to the firestation.”
Cyndi was taken to the Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, where Schuffert says she was initially refused treatment when the emergency room staff learned she was suffering from a Satanic attack.
“As a former high level Satanist in Asheville had warned me, who had worked in that hospital, this hospital was filled with both Satanists and witches as doctors, nurses and other employees,” Schuffert claimed. “In fact, the Satanists and the witches were in constant invisible battles with one another there, hurling ‘summoned demons’ and curses at one another, etc. They would not TOUCH my friend at first, therefore, when warned that it was Satanist-attack connected. Finally, she was stabilized and was able to come home.”
The harassment continued with threatening phone calls for weeks as Cyndi recovered at home. Frustrated, Schuffert grabbed the phone one day and “blasted” them:
“Listen…you Satanists are nothing but a bunch of wimps and cowards like your father Satan,” she told the Satanist on the phone. “Think I’m impressed when it takes ten of you ‘men’ or MORE to sacrifice just one little helpless baby? COWARDS! Get a life…instead of taking a life. Get Jesus Christ in your lives instead.”
Because they’re evil, this ridicule only made things worse.
“This infuriated the leader, code name of ‘King One,’ Schuffert wrote. “King One,” apparently one of the most powerful Satanists in America at the time, responded by calling back later.
“Tell Pam she has forty-hours to leave your trailer…OR ELSE!” King One told Cyndi.
Schuffert told Cyndi to tell King One, “Sorry…I DON’T take orders from Satanists…ONLY JESUS CHRIST!”
When Schuffert refused to leave, the Satanists descended and terrorized them throughout the night by hiding in the woods and making scraping sounds on the outside of Cyndi’s mobile home.
“I paced from one end of the trailer to the other, Bible held high, and standing on the Word of God for Divine protection,” Schuffert wrote.
They made it through the night, but the wasn’t the end.
“One night, the harassment went into the extreme, however. Cyndi had by this time moved her mattress onto the living room floor so that she would not be window level when she slept at night. Her head was ground level, right next to an air duct. One night she came to me and said, ‘I’ve been smelling something strange for the last 15 minutes…’ I had smelled nothing. A few minutes later she said, ‘what are those funny black spots doing around your head?’ She then collapsed and fell on her knees, her head and shoulders fallen on the sofa. I ran and lifted her entire body up on the sofa. She was totally unconscious by now.
“We later figured out, they had introduced some type of chemical weapon into her ventilation system, but not strong enough to affect everyone in the trailer…only her, since her face had been directly next to the vent. She and I had heard sounds coming from underneath her trailer that night, and we KNEW that they had spent some time under there…but we dared not go out to confront them at night.
“When she came out of this state many hours later, she admitted to having a most marvelous angelic visitation in which she believed God had visited her and promised her victory in this battle.”
Eventually, Cyndi’s family left Asheville to escape the harassment.
“She and her mother were forced to relocate far out of the area to avoid further attack,” Schuffert wrote. “But these murderers never succeeded in getting her after all. Nor did they succeed in getting me, although they made numerous attempts on my life after that through abduction attempts, poisoning, even sending into my life a Satanist posing as a Christian who needed counseling.”
Many of Schuffert’s details are vague, such as the locations of the caverns where Satan is summoned upon a golden throne to witness human sacrifices. But she does mention one location by name.
Sacrifice at the Overlook
Schuffert recounts the story she says a high school student related to her about human sacrifice, which supposedly took place in an imposing mansion outside Asheville known as Seely’s Castle.
“He admitted that the baby sacrifice took place in Ceilie’s [sic] Castle, long reputed to be a location for the satanic rituals of the ‘rich, elite and powerful’ satanists that populate Asheville and the surrounding region,” Schuffert wrote. “This grim, grey castle can only be glimpsed through the woods as one drives towards the city of Asheville from the interstate 40 exit. Or, if one has the courage, to drive up Town Mountain Road (where many of the Satanist elite have large mansions) and to park in front of it’s somber metal gates with surveillance cameras. As other former satanists have admitted, many a human sacrifice ritual has taken place within it’s grey stone walls.”
Seely’s Castle certainly does look like the ominous headquarters of a Lovecraftian cult. The tall, ivy-covered brick facade feels more like a dungeon than a home.
Fred Loring Seely, a chemist, newspaper editor and businessman, is credited, along with his father-in-law Edwin Wiley Grove, with transforming Asheville into the most popular resort city in the southeast in the early 20th century. Grove, a patent medicine tycoon whose company produced well-known products like Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic and Laxative Bromo Quinine tablets, gifted ten acres on the top of Sunset Mountain, a promontory called Overlook Park, to Fred and his daughter Evelyn Grove Seely to build their new home.
Fred designed it himself, and work began in 1914 using native granite rock from the surrounding mountain.
The 20,000-square-foot Overlook Castle, as Seely called it, was completed ten years later. Besides the Medieval style parapets, the Jacobean ceilings and the lattice windows, Seely included a number of subtle but fascinating features.
The door of the courtyard entrance was made of beams from the 14th century ancestral Seely home in Ireland. The curved oak door to Seely’s office, now gone, had 10 hand-carved panels depicting scenes from the Bible.
A Tudor mantel in the library came from an English manor once owned by Queen Victoria.
In the Great Room, with 32-foot-high ceilings and massive beams made from whole trees, a stone from the Tower of London and a piece of the Blarney stone were set into the fireplace.
In the bedrooms, the closet doors were wired by Thomas Edison with switches that automatically turned the lights on when the doors were opened.
The lions on each side of the tunnel entrance are said to have been from the courthouse in Atlanta that Sherman’s army burned down during the Civil War.
Seely’s creation was both impressive and foreboding.
Described in its 1980 nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, the castle is described as “one of Asheville’s most pretentious private residences.”
“Asheville tradition maintains that the building is a reproduction of Forde Abbey, Dorset, near London, a mid-twelfth century monastery with Abbot’s Lodging dating from the sixteenth century,” the nomination submission reads. “The central tower of the Abbot’s Lodging provides the best comparison, if any, to Overlook. Both structures are of stone construction in the English Gothic style, and are accented by parapets, lattice windows, and stone trim.”
Seely intended the top of the tower on the south side of the castle to be an observatory. Due to the “depressed economy,” however, he altered his plan and “roughed the tower walls off in keeping with the ‘ruin’ effect of ancient English manor houses.”
The Overlook served as a summer home for the Seely’s, who spent much of their time in the Far East buying quinine, the primary ingredient in Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic. The popular medicine claimed to cure colds and prevent malaria.
When they were staying at the castle, the Seely’s were said to have some impressive guests, including Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. Thomas Edison would camp on the castle grounds while visiting Asheville.
“Seely attended Princeton as a grown man, studying architecture. During this period, he became friendly with Woodrow Wilson, who was then the university’s president,” Asheville native Jerry Sternberg wrote. “Seely later became a significant fundraiser for Wilson’s presidential campaigns. During his second term in office, Wilson suffered a stroke, and legend has it that the government was secretly being run by his wife and “Colonel” Edward House, the president’s longtime adviser. Every day, to fool the public, they would pretend to wheel Wilson out onto a porch at the White House to enjoy the afternoon sun, but this was just a stand-in: Supposedly, Wilson was actually being kept out of sight in the castle’s master bedroom.”
“It’s also said that papers related to the Teapot Dome scandal, having to do with oil leases during the Harding administration, were locked in the enormous safe in the counting house in the castle’s west wing,” Sternberg noted. “It is not known what connection, if any, Seely had with all that.”
Fred and Evelyn lived in the Overlook until Fred’s death in 1942. Evelyn sold it to the Asheville-Biltmore College in 1949, and the school occupied the property until they eventually outgrew it in 1961.
Two owners of the Holiday Inn hotel chain bought the castle and 29 acres of land, but they had no use for the castle and put it back on the market.
“Sadly, it had deteriorated considerably due to lack of maintenance, water damage and vandalism,” Sternberg said. “Some former students had been holding some pretty interesting parties up there.”
The castle was in rough shape, and several offers had fallen through. Sternberg, who owned a junk business in Asheville, eventually bought Overlook for $40,000. If it came down to it, he figured he could at least make some money salvaging the leaded windows, chandeliers, antique doors and other architectural materials.
He moved his family in, got a former police dog to serve as security, and began making much-needed repairs. His family enjoyed their life in the castle, where the Great Room had more square footage than the entire house they left behind.
The kids’ bedrooms had large blackboards left over from the college, and the library became a playroom where they could make as much noise as they wanted, since, as Sternberg says, “the living quarters were one-tenth of a mile away.”
“My most vivid memory is getting up at 4 a.m. on July 20, 1969, sitting with my family in my castle and continually nodding off as we watched Neil Amstrong land on the moon,” Sternberg recalls.
The Great Room of Seely’s Castle
One of the most common questions Sternberg has been asked was if the Overlook was haunted.
“If you sat in the Great Room on a dark night, you would occasionally see an eerie, sylphlike figure wisp through the room, never pausing and never threatening,” he wrote. “The kids gleefully called it ‘Chippie’ and squealed with delight in its presence.
“Unfortunately there were no bizarre happenings that anyone knew of that might have spawned this supernatural being, and while I hate to dispel romance and adventure, I always figured it was a reflection of some kind of light from Tunnel Road — OR WAS IT?”
The fireplace in the library from a manor owned by Queen Victoria
Another odd aspect of the castle is what Sternberg called the “secret room” in the library.
“In the far corner sat an antique fireplace that had once belonged to Queen Victoria,” he writes. “Set at an angle, it guarded the famous ‘secret room.’ Visitors were mesmerized by the fact that although you could see two windows from the outside, that area was inaccessible from within. People would stand in front of that fireplace for hours, searching for a knob or button that would cause it to open like in the old ‘B’ movies, revealing a hidden treasure trove. I never shared their conviction, but it certainly contributed to the castle’s mystique.”
Lions guard the original courtyard entrance to the Overlook
Sternberg’s children grew up and moved out, and Sternberg lived there alone for several years before he decided to sell it. Finding a buyer this time proved to be as difficult as when he bought it years earlier.
“Unfortunately, in those days, there were not a lot of buyers for a mansion in the sky,” he wrote. “We had plenty of tire-kickers and hood-raisers who really just wanted a Cook’s tour, but no offers.”
He then sought out a nonprofit organization he could donate the Overlook to for use as a community center or a museum, and eventually a Bible school took up his offer.
“Everybody dreams of being king for a day, but I became a king for several years,” Sternberg wrote of his life in the castle. “Not really, though I did get to live in a real castle, which was certainly a very special life experience.”
Overlook Christian Ministries assumed stewardship of the castle in the late 1970s. They were a full gospel ministry that believed in speaking in tongues and the “gifts of the Pentecost,” which some claim may be the root of the rumors of satanism.
They 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 for use as a company retreat.
It is unclear exactly when Schuffert says Satanic rituals and human sacrifices were taking place in Seely’s Castle, but it sounds as though those claims date back to the 1990s. Online records don’t seem to provide any information on its ownership at that time, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly who may have been hosting these infernal gatherings.
The library of Seely’s Castle
Is Asheville and Overlook Castle concealing dark, Satanic secrets? Tell me what you think in the comments below.