North Carolina Attractions July 22, 2016
This Hidden, Abandoned Castle In North Carolina Has A Mysterious Past
North of Durham, on the rolling slope of Red Mountain, exists a mysterious, otherworldly abandoned castle. Much rumor and legend has long surrounded the castle and its lack of completion. From afar, it seems that this castle is better suited for a German hillside or for Russian elite, but Castle Mont Rouge calls North Carolina home, and many have wondered for years the true story behind the castle and its creator.
Sculptor and artist Robert Mihaly set out to create a living structure filled with whimsical architecture and design. He was seeking a small yet secluded space for his studio and temporary residence - so Castle Mont Rouge was born. The Castle consists of a mix of different styles - with European-esque towers and Middle East-inspired minarets and cupolas.
Before Castle Mont Rouge existed, Mihaly served as a sculptor in residence at the Washington Cathedral, and even began to work on two commissions for Duke University. Creative differences arose and Mihaly's work was deemed 'too spooky.' He left to pursue his own creations and thus, pursue Castle Mont Rouge.
The castle was largely completed on the exterior, but the interior was never completed. Rumor has it that after the death of his wife, Mihaly was too depressed to go on with his creation and essentially left it as is. Other sources cite that the wife (now ex-wife) is very much alive, and the two divorced, with Mihaly still never completing his creation.
Joe Sledge, the author of
Did You See That?
has visited the castle a few times. In his new book he writes, "There is a strange and haunting magic hidden in old castles, with their tall turrets and parapets. Gargoyles guard and terrify, making the building upon which they perch even more foreboding. Even as the castles age, the ghosts still abide the rules. Who knows how long the magic of an old castle remains. Maybe we can find out at Castle Mont Rouge."
He goes on to describe what he witnessed when visiting the castle. " The building is not built in one specific style, with tall spires, onion domes of orthodox designs, and walls clad with marble. The cinder block construction was accented with wood floors."
Michelle Bowers, creator of the widely popular page
Abandoned Homes Of North Carolina
, has also visited for herself and unlike many others who have visited, has been able to experience the castle from the inside.
When asking about her experiences, she gave me a neat bit of little-known information.
"About two years ago after I posted my castle pictures he saw them and realized there was new interest in the castle. He started a Go Fund Me to finish the castle. He included this bizarre story and video about knights and princesses. If he got the money to at least repair the roof he was going to have a big party at the castle for donors.
I donated $200. A few on my page donated. He never raised enough so money was returned. "
Today, you can find it down a long, mountain road. Other homeowners near the property are suspicious of vandals and might call the police on you if you try to visit. Sadly, the gorgeous castle has been badly vandalized with graffiti and other destruction. Rain, snow, and other weather has severely damaged the castle. From sources who have visited, it's strongly advised to not go inside as it might be very dangerous.
It seems maybe the castle was doomed from the start. Joe Sledge described the castle perfectly, stating, "The cinder block construction was accented with wood floors. The castle rises through the trees, incongruous and sad, but still amazing. Most of the houses in and around Rougemont are common, regular. This one reaches up to the sky with tiny spires, a lost promise, a goal never met."
It doesn’t get much more interesting than an abandoned castle perched on the rolling hills of North Carolina. For more information on the Castle, follow
Abandoned Homes Of North Carolina and be sure to pick up a copy of Did You See That?
Have you visited the castle for yourself? If you love abandoned places, this
abandoned yet beautiful Colonial ghost town is perfect for a day trip!