Having the title of the lady of the house takes on a whole new concept when it isn’t actually just a house, and the man of the house spends more time in the city at festive gatherings while conducting business rather then spending quiet evenings with his new wife. Yet through constant separation due to obligations they still remained somewhat happily married by name until the Mrs. met with an untimely death in the very house that she feared once daylight was met by the dark and the noises of the night began to set in.
This is when the nightmares began for Rebecca Squire as her inner-most fears were challenged nightly by what it brought to her relinquishing sanity. Her evident fear of the country was often mentioned at parties and among other socialites during gala events and gatherings. She would share with the women that her agitated feelings toward the beautiful castle along with the hours spent alone were playing with her mind and that she was lonely most of the time.
The home in mention is the spectacular Squire castle; the place is in the country located in the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. This 1890’s sprawling mansion by all accounts is what the lovely Mrs. Rebecca Squire dreamed of, a beautiful estate that she could share with her loving husband, co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, Feargus B. Squire. Unfortunately the thought of residing in the country for long hours by herself sent her into somewhat of an paralyzed state of mind.
Feargus Squire was as citified as a man could be for the times, but he desired clean country living that would give him the privacy that he desired in his down time. While tending to business matters he wore the finest tailor made suits, kept up to date with the latest techniques, and listened to what Americans were asking for. By all accounts he was a serious businessman who desired wealth, status, and a life that both he and his beloved wife Rebecca could be proud of.
The British born Mr. Squire had definite ideas of how he wanted his castle designed, and it was anything but American. The original gate house was built for the hired help that never made it to the estate due to a lack of planning and other obligations. The castle was never fully completed, but it took on the feel of something straight out of an English country estate. An incomplete ornate gate house, a mans-man hunting room completes with the newest kill, a trophy room and the main house left out no detail of the finest money could buy.
Tiffany glass, European furnishings, and ornate carved moldings found throughout the castle couldn’t hold her attention, and she had no desire of living in the woods with the animals, creepy crawlers and other dangers that the night would be certain to bring to a scaredy-cat like herself. Her dream was to build in the center of town where life was bustling at all hours and the noises of passer biers allowed her to sleep comfortably. The estate would dominate her life in more ways then one, but Feargus was just to busy to be bothered with tawdry details of silly fears.
The lack of empathy from Mr. Squire played heavily in the heart and mind of Rebecca and soon he discovered that his wife was becoming delirious with emotional outbreaks, crying fits, and tantrums. Headaches, dark circles under the eyes and other ailments soon began to be commonplace as well. Her fear of the country and the noises that came from the darkest corners of the nearby woods was taking her very sanity as a faster pace then he could deal with.
The 525 isolated acres of noises played such havoc on Rebecca’s thought process that sleep became something of the past. She soon became disheveled to the point that solitude was a necessity and she was being left home alone even more by Feargus who didn’t wish to share his personal problems with fellow executives and onlookers who would surely gawk and ask questions. Her fears of the country had taken over her life quite literally and all was not well in the castle.
Rebecca eventually refused to live in the castle any longer and for whatever reason Feargus finally decided to listen to his wives needs. They moved into a lovely home just a few miles from their estate and the Squire castle soon became a summer retreat for the couple and Rebecca started the path to recovery in the noisy city where she could finally once again feel safe.
The Squire Castle today is a favorite place for paranormal investigators, ghost hunters, and Ohio historians to visit. It was once rumored that Rebecca Squire met her death in the very castle that she feared by tripping in the trophy room and breaking her neck when she was suddenly startled by a noise. This of course is not possible as the castle was sold before her death in 1922, but until it sold the couple continued to use it as a summer retreat in an effort to revive their marriage.
Further investigating and documented proof shows that Rebecca Squire actually died peacefully in the small community of Wickliffe, Ohio in 1929 surrounded by noise and people. It is believed that the Squire castle is haunted today by none other then the lady who feared it, Rebecca Squire. She possibly walks in peace through the rooms and halls in a place that gave her anything but.
River Road is hauntingly creepy in itself to travel along, but plenty of sightings of Rebecca Squire holding a lantern while walking along one of the many paths adds an extra depth of freaky hair raising mortification to the scare factor. Screams coming from the castle have been heard late at night, and shadows are often seen around the darkest corners where the moon hits just right to heighten lurking figures wishing to not be caught on camera.
Orbs are just part of the deal when filming begins at the castle. Amateurs to Pro’s have been lucky enough to catch this phenomenon on film and share it with others. EMF monitors from paranormal investigators pick up faint whispers, chanting, and definite ghostly action.
The Squire Castle Today
Squire’s Castle is located to the east of Cleveland, Ohio and is open to the public for free. Take I-90 – exit at Rt. 91 ( SOM Center Rd.) – turn left on Rt. 91 – turn left (east) on Charden Rd. (Rt. 6) -turn right (south) on River Rd. (Rt. 174). The castle is on the right side of River Rd.
The second edition of The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History describes Squire’s Castle as “a picturesque castellated and turreted ruin”; it goes on to note that “it has been seriously vandalized and has quite literally deteriorated throughout the years.