According to the owners and the innkeeper, though the Redstone Castle is not haunted and is completely ghost-free, it’s still a historic castle; it has its mysteries, oddities and quirky stories that continue to fascinate visitors. Indulge your curiosity with a tour or an overnight stay at the Redstone Castle this month.
1. A bad review. Mr. Osgood’s first wife, Irene de Belote—a wild spirit with a flair for living the good life at her husband’s expense, published a semi-autobiographical novel titled “Shadow of Desire.” To her delight, it was panned by The New York Times: “The book is as unwholesome as we have had the bad fortune to read.” You can see an original copy on a castle tour in the present-day Armory Room display case.
2. A fake death. As Mr. Osgood was designing his mansion, his wife Irene ran off with a man named Captain Charles Pigott Harvey. The Osgoods divorced, scandalous at the time, and circulated the story that Irene had been killed in New York’s Central Park by a runaway horse. The story, obviously untrue, was published in the paper of record, but both parties stood by it until Irene’s death in 1922.
3. Mounted heads. Mr. Osgood’s second wife, Alma Regina Shelgrem, was known as a gentle and kind spirit. She is often referred to as Lady Bountiful because of her generosity to the children and families of Redstone, especially at Christmastime. It may come as a surprise, then, to learn that many of the taxidermy mounts decorating castle walls were shot and killed by this demure dame.
4. The watcher. Notice the small, curtain-covered window on the second floor that overlooks the Great Room. It is rumored that Alma used this “peering window” to spy on arriving guests. She would assess their attire before choosing her own garments and then make her grand entrance.
5. Deadly game. According to legend, the dresser mirror in Alma’s bedroom was cracked in transit to the castle. A handsome Italian artist was employed to paint over the crack. The young man and the lady of the house were seen to be spending too much time together in her private chambers, and Osgood suspected an affair. Shortly thereafter, during a poker game at the nearby Redstone Inn, the artist was conveniently and mysteriously shot dead by an unnamed assailant.
6. The smell of cigars. Mr. Osgood was known for his generous hospitality and business acumen. After dinner, gentlemen guests would retire to the Game Room. Here they would play card games, roulette and billiards (all high stakes no doubt), and smoke. The least changed of all the rooms in the castle, visitors can still detect the remnant odor of cigars all these years later.
7. Burn it all! It is said that Mr. Osgood instructed his third wife Lucille Reid to burn all his personal and business documents stored in the vault and in his study upon his death. On January 4, 1926, Mr. Osgood died at the Redstone Castle; Lucille complied with her husband’s wishes and incinerated his papers. One can only wonder why he gave this directive.
History is a detective story. Bring your curiosity, sleuthing skills and sense of adventure to the Redstone Castle in October. Learn more and plan to take a tour or spend the night at the Redstone Castle.