By Nicole Brown, Girls Who Hike Ohio Ambassador
Last weekend, I decided to venture out an hour away from where I live to a place called “Squire’s Castle” in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. The castle is in the boundaries of the Cleveland Metroparks District. I’ve seen pictures all of over Instagram about the castle, so I was excited to take my camera and get some good shots. I had no idea there was a ghost story with the history of the castle until after I had visited which I guess is a good thing HAHA. It was a beautiful place, especially with the snow. I plan to visit again in the summer when everything looks green.
This castle was designed to be a caretaker’s house for a mansion that was never built. Feargus B. Squire built this “castle”. He was a wealthy man and had a wonderful house in downtown Cleveland but wished to live in the country one day. Squire loved to hunt and so his animals usually ended up on the walls of his home. Late in the 1890's, Squire purchased 525 acres of land in the forest near Cleveland, planning to build a summer estate for himself, his wife and daughter. A few years after buying the property, Squire erected the caretaker's cottage. It had three floors plus a basement, in which Squire designed an elaborate trophy room for the skins and heads of the animals that he had hunted down in various exotic locations.
Apparently, Mrs. Squire hated the country and summer cottage. She became agitated and worrisome over time and ended up developing insomnia. She started walking around the house at night, carrying a small red lantern. It is said that Mrs. Squire walked into her husband’s trophy room of animals one night and that she became frightened. They say she tripped and fell, breaking her neck in the process. Squire was so upset about his wife, he ended up abandoning the cottage. In 1922, Squire sold the property. It has been said that people who pass by on Chagrin Road at night can sometimes hear the screams of Mrs. Squire, or catch a glimpse of her red lantern as the ghost walks past the windows of the house. If you plan to visit this Castle, I don’t recommend staying after dark!