Case File: Beaty Castle
Description: Beaty Castle is a Seventeenth century-style Norman castle on 150-acres of woodland off Green Mountain Road behind a row of private homes.
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey
CaseEditHistory: Don and Carol Burlingame moved into Beaty Castle in 1972 after it had stood empty for a while. From the start, Carol believed the place could be haunted, and eventually, they began to have evidence of a spirit. They heard hammering noises echoing through the hallways and footsteps going up and down the stairs. On one occasion, they planned to go out for a drive, but she recalled that it was supposed to rain and had left the upstairs casement windows open, but upon getting back home, all those windows were closed. "We came home, and all of the basement windows, which opened from the inside were all closed and latched. There wasn’t a drop of rain in the house.”, she recalls. She believed the ghost was that of Bill Beaty who built the structure. Friendly, he liked to play with the TV and change channels. When they delved into the history, they met Eugene Melville, who helped build the place. He knew it was supposed to be haunted because in 1934, shortly after Bill's death, he and Sarah Beaty saw his ghost looking at them from a balcony.
“It was a figure of a man standing there. It didn’t stay long for me to examine it very good. It was gone just like that. It was scary. It frightened the daylights out of me. I just never wanted to go on that balcony again. I passed by it, but to get me in there and to stand there...oh, forget it. I wouldn’t go in there.”, he remarks. In his routine of making himself known, Carol has observed and seen Bill moving things. In one story, she remarks, “I was alone in the kitchen. The bread was on the counter and there was no way that it could have fallen off by itself. And when it did fall off, or fly off, it went a considerable distance. So I know that someone had to have moved it. There was no one else there with me at all. No animals, Don wasn’t around, there was no way the bread could have fallen off the counter, because it was set square. And that led me to believe that Bill had to be there, saying, ‘Hi, I’m here.’ There was just no way that that bread could have fallen off the counter by itself.”
Background: In 1923, a wealthy executive named Bill Beaty built Beaty Castle in 1923 for his wife, Sarah. They moved into the residence in 1930 with their four children before construction was complete, but he would never see the completion of his dream. Just one year later, he died of the flu at age 45. His castle wasn’t finished for another five years. Sarah never remarried. She raised all four children in the castle, and lived there until 1941. After that, it served as a boy’s school for several decades until 1972, when Don and Carol bought it. They have since sold the house; the new owners now have a massive restoration of the structure.
Investigations: Dr. Michaeleen Maher, a noted parapsychologist, visited the castle and she and her assistant conducted a series of tests for paranormal activity. She comments, “Our physical instruments were not able to detect anything unusual, but in this particular case, the sheer volume of the reports adds to the credibility of the case. One of our witnesses in this case, a particularly credible witness, in fact, a professional person of some stature, reported seeing a person who dissipated right in front of his eyes on the driveway. I think the big news here is that humans can act as sensors and we find that we cannot dismiss this evidence as caused by coincidence."
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the February 19, 1992 episode.
- YouTube Video
- Beaty Castle/Phareloch Castle
- Renovation at Beaty Castle
- Beaty Castle at South Jersey Ghost Research
- Beaty Castle at HouseMouse.net