Is Thornewood Castle haunted? Delving into the history of the real Bly Manor house

Jane Corscadden October 13, 2020

Is Thornewood Castle haunted? If you’ve been watching The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix, you may be wondering about the real-life inspiration for the series’ haunted manor and its dark history.

Let’s go down the rabbit hole.

The history of Thornewood Castle

Chester Thorne founded the National Bank of Tacoma, near Lakewood, Washington, and eventually became one of the richest men in the area. In 1908, he bought 100 acres of land along the American Lake in Washington state.

On this plot of land, Chester Thorne spent over a million dollars creating his dream manor: Thornewood Castle. Completed in 1911, Thornewood Castle is a 24,000 square foot Gothic Tudor mansion with an impressive history.

Together with Chester and his wife, Thorne’s daughter also lived in the castle with her own family. In a tragic turn of events, Thorne’s granddaughter drowned in a pond on the estate.

However, this did not make the Thorne family relocate. In fact, they continued living there until Chester Thorne eventually lost his battle with cancer in 1927.

Does this sound like the perfect haunted manor location yet?

Is Thornewood Castle haunted?

If you’ve seen The Haunting of Hill House or its sequel The Haunting of Bly Manor, you may already know the answer.

Although Thornewood Castle is just the filming location for these shows, it seems to share more in common with them than just the spooky location.

The newest owners of Thornewood, Wayne and Deanna Robinson, bought the estate in 2000. Speaking to Weird Washington, they recounted various supernatural encounters.

 

Deanna speaks of one occasion where she was in the castle’s Great Hall alone, reading a book. Suddenly, she heard people walking and dancing along the floor, as well as the clinking of glasses.

She said it was as if 100 invisible people had showed up for a cocktail party. Freaky, right?

Even freakier, the lightbulbs at Thornewood often become unscrewed. Most of the lighting in the castle comes from small, candle shaped lamps on the walls, which just adds to the atmosphere of mystery in the ancient building.

Upon noticing a lightbulb becoming mysteriously unscrewed, Deanna says she would screw it back in, only to find another lightbulb unscrewed a few minutes later.

It really does sound like living in Bly Manor.

What else was filmed at the Castle?

Due to its supposedly haunted nature, Thornewood has attracted the attention of other horror film crews along the years.

Famously, Stephen King’s 2002 mini-series Red Rose was filmed there, along with a short scene in 2007 Oscar-award winning film There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day Lewis.

Can you visit Thornewood Castle?

Even better than just visiting, you can stay at Thornewood Castle – if you dare.

You can also book Thornewood for your wedding. Who doesn’t want to get married in a haunted house?

Jane is a freelance journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland specialising in news, culture and politics. She studied Politics at Queen’s University Belfast before completing a Journalism MA at the University of Ulster. Always trawling social media and keeping up to date with the latest trends and crazes, her main interest lies in digital culture and internet trends.