The Bizarre Story Behind Phoenix’s Mystery Castle

Emma Colosia Emma Colosia

The Bizarre Story Behind Phoenix’s Mystery Castle

The stone structure has a curious history…

Local or tourist, you’ve probably heard of Phoenix’s Mystery Castle. Located in the foothills of South Mountain Park, it’s been puzzling Phoenicians that walk past it since its construction in the 1930s. 

It was built by Boyce Luther Gulley as a present for his daughter, Mary Lou Gulley. Luther Gulley moved to Phoenix from Seattle after being diagnosed with tuberculosis, running away from his family and friends and finding peace in our city. He began building the house as one of his last projects from inexpensive, random materials. It is said to be held together by a combination of mortar, cement, calcium, and… GOAT MILK(?).

The castle has 18 rooms, including thirteen fireplaces, a chapel, and a dungeon.  

Gulley died in 1945, and Mary Lou inherited the property. She immediately decided to move in. Shockingly, the construction did not have electricity or plumbing installations until 1992. 

Mary Lou conducted tours of the castle until her death in 2010. Then, the peculiar property was passed on to a non-profit organization that still runs and keeps it until this day. 

The castle has been listed in the Arizona Historical Register and is a Pride of Phoenix Award winner. If you’re looking for a curious and atypical place to visit, this will be your cup of tea. 


Where: 📍 800 E Mineral Rd

Open for visits from October to May. 

Hours: ⏰  11:00am-3:30pm


Feature image by Shutterstock. 

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