Is Wilson Castle Haunted?

Wilson Castle

Vermont’s one true ‘castle’ might also be one of the state’s most haunted houses

Paranormal Claims at
Wilson Castle

  • A woman’s figure is seen in an upstairs room
  • Mysterious music is heard through the house
  • Disembodied voices have been heard
  • The stench of cigar smoke is encountered in strange places around the house
  • Shadow figures have been seen throughout
  • Sounds of billiards being played have been reported
  • Unexplained eerie feelings have been reported around the servants quarters
  • Visitors have claimed to capture apparitions in images taken at the house

History of Vermont’s Only Castle

On the sleepy road between Rutland and Proctor, Vermont, tucked near the dense wood line, stands a truly one-of-a-kind mansion.

Though it may have never served as a real castle, with its red stone exterior and imposing turret, Wilson Castle is about as close as Vermont is going to get to a true medieval keep.

The enormous 32 room Wilson Castle was built in 1885 and is rumored to be haunted

Even though Wilson Castle never saw any battles, it has collected a few ghosts. At least, that’s what local legend says.

You can even explore the legend yourself with a tour. Just don’t be too surprised if you spot a ghost along your way.

Timeline of Wilson Castle's History

Swipe or use timeline points to see Wilson Castle through the years

Opulent stained glass windows decorate the haunted mansion, adding a spooky ambience


Wilson Castle’s construction began in 1885. Contrary to its modern name, it started as the family manor of John and Sarah Johnson. The Johnsons started the massive building project, with many suggesting the opulent manor was all John’s idea. While John Johnson was a successful local doctor, Sarah was an heiress to an extremely wealthy family.

With no expense spared during the castle’s construction, much of the funding came from Sarah’s fortune. Once construction finally ended, the home cost $1,300,000 to build.

The castle's original floors, where the disembodied footsteps of the Johnson family are often reported


After finally being finished in 1892, Wilson Castle soon became a ‘hot potato’ of a property. The Johnson’s held onto the mansion only briefly before selling it. After that, it went through over a dozen different owners. With 32 rooms, 84 stained glass windows, and 13 fireplaces, all on 115 acres, the property proved tough to maintain.

For a few owners, it ended in repossession or other types of financial ruin. It wasn’t until the late 1930s that a long term owner arrived at the mansion’s doorstep.

The decoration seems as ominous as the tales of ghostly apparitions in the old mansion


By the time Herbert Wilson bought the castle in 1939, he was a prominent radio engineer. And in fact, part of his plan for the Vermont castle was to build a radio station there. He found an ideal station site in the property’s barn, and used the mansion as a summer home for his family. Wilson continued to use the castle sparingly for holidays over the next few decades.

But after a long career in radio and a stint as a Colonel of the Army Signal Corps, Wilson retired to his northeast manor full-time.

Make sure to book a tour of Wilson Castle if you're in Vermont!


In 1962, Herbert Wilson opened his castle for tours for the first time. Herbert himself died in 1981, and passed his castle onto his daughter. For generations, Wilson Castle has remained in the family and remains open for tours still today. While some visit for the opulent details, others visit with another interest in mind: ghosts.

Ever since Herbert Wilson owned it, local rumors said the old castle was haunted. And today, Wilson Castle’s ghost stories are more popular than ever.

Is Wilson Castle Haunted?

One of Wilson Castle’s best known ghosts is Sarah Johnson. Though she never had a real chance to live in the mansion before the couple had to sell it, her specter is one of the most often seen around the house. And, she is known to have a favorite room in the castle.

Sarah’s ghost is most often reported around the bedroom that was meant to be hers. Also, at least one visitor to her room claimed to hear and feel the heat kick on while in the room, despite the home not having heat.

Ghost hunters who have visited Sarah’s room have also reported intelligent responses through specialized communication tools.

The haunted Vermont mansion has 84 stained glass windows and rumors say a few different ghosts

Echoing Sounds from
Castle Corridors

While Sarah’s room is considered a haunted hotspot, strange activity has been reported in just about all of Wilson Castle’s 32 rooms. Disembodied voices are heard echoing throughout the halls and rooms.

Along with that, sounds of music being played have been heard on several different floors of the mansion. On the second floor, visitors report hearing the sound of a game of pool being played and the smell of unexplained cigar smoke, but visit the billiard room to find it empty.

Shadowy figures are often reportedly, at Wilson Castle, alongside disembodied footsteps

Wilson Castle’s Shadowy Apparitions

Strange shadow figures are also said to be quite common around Wilson Castle. Along with the figure of Sarah, people have reportedly encountered a woman in a black dress lingering upstairs. Some suggest this mourning figure may also be Sarah reappearing in the home.

Other shadow figures have been seen darting across doorways and wandering up and down the stairs. One figure on the third floor is reportedly notorious for peeking around corners at people and then quickly disappearing when spotted. Some visitors have even claimed to capture a few of Wilson Castle’s lingering specters on photos during their tours.

Now named for Herbert Wilson, Wilson castle was originally owned by John and Sarah Johnson. Sarah's ghost is rumored to be the most active at the property

Do Former Servants Haunt Wilson Castle?

The servants quarters area of Wilson Castle is said to carry a different feeling than the rest of the building. This odd shift in energy is often said to be eerie and somewhat off-putting. Some people lend this experience to the different look of the servants quarters.

The area was left partially unfinished during the initial construction, and has a notably different appearance than the rest. But, some say the strange energy around the servants quarters is just another aspect of Wilson Castle’s hauntings.

Take Your Tour of Wilson Castle

Much like it has been since the 1960s, Wilson Castle remains open seasonally throughout the year. While it is not open during the colder months, the castle is a popular tourist stop through spring and summer each year. Both history buffs and ghost hunters alike frequent the historic property.

Sarah Johnson is believed to be the most prevalent ghost in the home, with some claiming to see her figure in two different outfits

The castle also offers historical tours as well as paranormal ones, depending on your taste. Visiting Wilson Castle is as simple as booking a tour option with them. The only question is, which one?

If you’re looking to experience the ghostly happenings for yourself and stay overnight at Wilson Castle, you can also book a private ghost hunt. Who knows, you might just find a ghost for each of the castle’s 32 rooms.