The Mystery Behind Phoenix’s ‘Mystery Castle’


My dad used to say ‘big numbers are just small numbers added to together.’ Never has that been more evident than right here.

“it’s a weird place, you really just want to see it in person,” Juankarlo Gastelum, Mystery Castle Tour Guide. 

This castle at the base of South Mountain in Phoenix, Ariz. was built by Boyce Gully, an architecture school dropout.

“The guy was diagnosed with tuberculosis in the late 1920s,” said Gastelum. “He made his way out here hoping the climate would help with remission expected to live only a couple months.” 

But Gully lived for 15 years. In that time he pieced together what would later be called the Mystery Castle. 

“He used whatever he could get for free. Anything useful and free made its way into the building,” said Gastelum.  

Among the many rooms, the main house with an updated kitchen across from the original and the only part of the castle with power. A bedroom with original everything, and a chapel.  Planning wasn’t Gully’s specialty. None of the rooms are insulated, still, up until recently, the home was being used by a private resident. 

“His daughter Mary Lou lived in the castle for 65 years,” said Gastelum.  

There’s a lot to take in, and you should–they offer tours of the Mystery Castle. Just be mindful that the steps, and pretty much every part of the castle, are not like rest. 

Scripps TV Station Group © 2019 The E.W. Scripps Co

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