(Orig. Published 10/5/2002)
In the late 1890’s, Standard Oil co-founder Feargus B. Squire constructed this carriage house, on what is now the North Chagrin Reservation on River Road. The carriage house was part of a larger estate he had planned to build for himself, his wife and daughter. He was never to complete the project.
It is rumored that Mr. Squire moved his wife into the carriage house after it was built. Not sharing his love of the country, Mrs. Squire soon grew restless. She would often roam the floors of the house at night, carrying a red lantern.
During one of her nightly wanderings, Mrs. Squire became startled and, in her fright, tripped on some stairs and broke her neck. Her ghost is believed to still wander the carriage house at night, where her red lantern can be seen glowing from the windows.
Though a classic tale, it is not altogether true. In actuality, Mrs. Squire never lived in the carriage house at all. In the early 1920’s, Mr. Squire sold the house and land to the Cleveland Metroparks.
A few years later, Mrs. Squire passed away, presumably under more peaceful circumstances.
Squire’s Castle is open to the public during normal park hours.
The park has since gutted the inside of the carriage house, removing the windows and interiors, and tearing out most of the upper floors.
There is some speculation as to whether the castle still has a basement (The Alamo in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” comes to mind), although most say that if the place did have a basement, it has since been filled in with concrete. Still others whisper that not all of the basement has been filled in, and that there is a secret entrance to the basement. From the picture below, it does appear that the house once had a cellar. We believe that the open gap visible in the cove area where these two walls meet can lead some to conclude that this is an opening into the basement. We’re no construction experts, but we venture to guess that some gutters could fix this erosion problem.
In one variation of the legend, Mrs. Squire broke her neck from a fall after being startled by one of Mr. Squire’s wildlife trophies hanging in the library.To the right is what used to be the castle’s library, where Mrs. Squire supposedly died.
Here is a view from the library, looking through the open walkway and toward the other end of the castle. At the opposite end are what used to be the kitchen, living areas, and upper bedroom floors.
The two photos below show what used to be one of the castle’s living areas.
For some interesting stories and comments on Squire’s Castle, check out Creepy Cleveland’s Squire’s Castle page.
4/6/04: A neighbor of the castle shares his thoughts and experiences:
I live about 10 to 15 minutes away from Squires Castle. My dad used to take my sister and I up there to play and hike up in the woods behind the castle. I have never heard of Squires Castle being haunted until I checked out this great website. The only thing eerie or strange around the Castle is the Castle itself. It is a little out of place and unfinished. It’s a nice attraction to see, and the park is beautiful. Even as a young kid, going there to play was great and I never felt anything strange in the castle or in the woods.
The biggest news around here that you hear about Squires Castle is that people go up there to get ‘high’ or drunk or just a place for the high schoolers to schedule a fight. I even had my homecoming pictures taken there in ninth grade.
However, there was one scary incident that happened in the woods behind the castle. My dad, sister, and I were hiking along the trails and we got lost. For some reason, we kept circling the same paths. It was getting dark and the park closes at sundown, so we were worried. We seemed to keep passing the same tree with some Indian markings on it. Obviously, we eventually made it out.