German Castle

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A forbidden love created a stuck spirit who is still broken hearted.

Pining away for her love keeps her stuck here as she can’t let it go.



This three story, roomy, brick 1893-1894 Victorian castle, which inspired the castle described in the book, The Wizard of Oz, was designed after a feudal German castle, reflecting the homeland of Michael Schwartz, immigrant who was forced to flee his beloved Germany.

L. Frank Baum published “The Wizard Of Oz” in 1900, around six years after this castle was built. He vacationed in his cottage, just two miles from the castle. Many think that this beautiful castle inspired the castle scenes in his book.

Being a Victorian structure, there probably is a very large foyer where the grand staircase leads up to the second floor landing where the bedrooms are located. First floor common areas are behind the main foyer.

The outside brickwork is a work of art, with rounded windows that have a half circle of bricks on top.  The top of the walls and tower are very elegant but simple with horizontal brick lines, topped with the typical German, fancy brick and stone, dentil-like decorations that sit upright; separated from each other  by brickwork.

Somewhere along the way in the 20th century, a nice more modern addition was added on to the back of the castle. It is a roomy, one floor addition with a lot of doors and windows along the sides of the structure to  see the beautiful garden surrounding the back side of the castle.

On the left side, there is a small round porch with a railing just outside a double glass French doors. The very back of the addition also has a side double French doors leading out to a wooden walkway that probably goes down to the garden area.


In 1870, Michael Schwartz and his young family plus his mother-in-law fled their beloved German homeland to avoid the Franco-Prussian war, and the harsh life under Prussian militarism. They settled at first in Chicago, Il.

Michael Schwartz excelled as a realtor in the Chicago real estate market. He made a boatload of money in selling Chicago properties. While Michael and his wife enjoyed the freedom to earn of very comfortable living and eventually make a fortune, there were certain elements of American society he found to be corrupting and uncivilized, so his idea was to build a feudal estate, reminiscent of the old country in an isolated, beautiful area, where they as a couple could raise their six daughters and two sons.

After he had made enough to retire, they decided to move to Holland, Michigan where they bought some land in the countryside of the city of Holland. He arrived with his wife, his mother-in-law and their six beautiful daughters and two sons. To protect his family from the rowdy, locals, he built his dream home on his newly acquired land. A replica of a German Castle was built in 1893.

The castle was built to last, with Victorian style beauty and lots of room for the large family. The area was a lovely oasis from the city, close to the lake’s shore. It seemed like a great spot to raise a family. The problem was with the six daughters; some of whom had grown accustomed to living with all the perks of city life, and the social opportunities.

With so many unhappy kids in one household, the drama must have been high! Something dramatic must have happened to make Michael Schwartz abruptly change his mind. This grand experiment lasted just two years. In 1895, the Schwartz Family moved into the nearby town of Holland, never to return; abandoning their home, putting it up for sale.

By 1896, the castle was abandoned, but not for long! A Rev. Parr, who was a headmaster for a prep school in Chicago, noticed this fine piece of property and the handsome castle, while on a school outing to the beach. He bought it, turning it into a camp for children in the summer. Parents who came to visit the children at camp, fell in love with this lovely spot.

The area surrounding the castle soon became a family summer resort, known as Castle Park. Summer homes were built there for the first time. By 1897, the Rev. and his wife closed their Chicago school and turned the castle into an inn.

The next owners of the inn, Carter and Marion Brown, more than doubled the size of the inn, and built cottages which surrounded the castle, putting in fireplaces in the inn and the cottages.

In 1985, the eighty residents of the summer homes in Castle Park bought the castle, and the inn was closed. The original rooms were resorted to their original Victorian design, and the additions were removed except the back addition. This German castle is now used as a library and bingo hall for summer residents of Castle Park.



Suffering a loss of a beloved can continue into the spiritual realms. This kind of grief is hard to let go of.

Chapel of the Cross, MS (A young woman who lost her true love in a duel still grieves for him as a spirit, even though she married someone else and continued her life).

Edgewood Plantation, VA (A spirit of young woman still mourns the loss of her beloved who was killed in the Civil War).

German Castle, Michigan (One of the daughters of Michael Schwartz managed to escape her father’s mandated isolation and met a local boy from the Dutch community in Holland. Uh Oh! She fell head over heels in love over someone that her father wouldn’t approve of. She eloped with this boy one evening, but was caught on the road by her irate father and carried back to the castle. The heart-broken girl was locked in the castle’s tower, until she agreed not to run away again, after her love).

Forbidden marriages can cause a hurt that doesn’t heal, and/or resentment that causes restlessness.

Anchuca Mansion, MS (A spirit of young woman still pines away for the man she loved but her relationship was forbidden by her father. She is still resentful).

Westover Plantation, VA (A young seventeen year old Evelyn Byrd wanted to marry a British man but the marriage was forbidden by her father. She never married and carried the hurt through her lifetime and beyond. She focussed on being the kind and helpful mistress of the plantation).

German Castle, Michigan (This daughter  probably resented her father, and their relationship was damaged.  As she stood in the castle turret night after night in defiance and grief, the family decided to move to town after-all, to give her things to do to divert this behavior and perhaps meet an approved suitor. Her sisters and brothers probably heartily approved. No one liked the isolation).

Spirits of family members who loved their grieving one who stays in this world, have been known to come back to stay or visit their inconsolable loved one.

Whaley House, CA (The spirits of Mr. and Mrs Whaley stay to comfort their bereft daughter who killed herself over a huge disappointment caused by a man who used her to escape detection).

Old Allen House, AR (Spirits of the Allen family keep a distraught family member company).

German Castle, MI (If this is an intelligent spirit, it is possible that members of the family come and visit with her or even stay).



Still Grieving

People in the community who are walking by have seen the spirit of the girl, looking forlornly out the castle tower window, pining away for the boy whom she loved.

She has been clearly seen in the bright, full moon evenings.


Perhaps the living can still hear her sobbing.

Perhaps they can feel her presence and the sad aura where she stood in the tower.

Perhaps Her spirit has been seen or felt; wandering around the castle in a blue funk.

Perhaps she has verbalized her pain with a medium, or on an EVP recording.

Perhaps she enjoys perusing the books in the library there.

Perhaps Family Visits

Spirits of her family may visit her and keep her company; trying to comfort her.

While there is no personal experiences or hard evidence to prove this, in other stories on haunted, this has happened.


People have seen her apparition while walking by the German Castle. Not much is shared about what paranormal activity has happened inside the German Castle, but it is possible some of the activity listed in Box Two above may have happened.

It is possible that this seen haunting is residual energy, caused by a horribly sad time in a girl’s life.

No paranormal investigations have been allowed here, shutting the door on finding out what kind of haunting this could be:Residual or Intelligent.


Probably so!

Whether residual or intelligent, people still see her grieving up in the tower window.  Nothing have been shared about what happens inside the castle to shed light on what kind of haunting this is in reality.

The eighty residents of the summer homes in Castle Park are the owners and it is used mostly in the summer, becoming a library and bingo hall and other social events. In the cold winter, the spirit or spirits who may haunt this place have free reign and privacy; even during the summer months after the library closes and the Bingo game is done.



6700 Bryant Avenue
Castle Park, Holland, Michigan 49473

It is not open to the public, and they mean it.

The privately owned German Castle can be found in the unincorporated, woodsy area in the outskirts of Holland, the summer community of Castle Park, not far from the beach on Lake Michigan.





“Was the Wizard of Oz Partly inspired by this Michigan Castle?, by John Robinson, February 26th, 2020

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Visit the memorable… Milwaukee Haunted Hotel


On The Michigan Road throwback: Castle Park in 1981

History Goes Bump: Ep.176 – German Castle at Castle Park


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