This Island Castle in New York Is Home to a Murder Mystery
That interesting looking structure you’re looking at is none other than the Bannerman Castle, which sits on the New York island of the same name. The 6.5 acre island sits on the Hudson River, about 50 miles north of New York City.
This European-inspired castle comes straight out of a fairytale. The atmosphere has become even more “fairy tale” as nature has taken over the now-abandoned building. The castle also happens to have an amazing backstory to go along with its one-of-a-kind looks.
Before we get into that storied history behind this castle, check out this amazing video that features aerial footage of a drone flying over the castle. This brilliant video (filmed by David Erath) gives you a great look at the castle and will set the stage for the upcoming story.
Francis Bannerman began to collect scrap metal as a young boy. Initially it began as a hobby, but then turned into a business. Eventually, he had so much scrap metal that he was forced to move his collection and business out of New York City.
He decided to buy the island from the Taft family in 1900 to use as a place to store his metal. He soon decided to build a castle there modeled on the ones located back in his ancestral home of Scotland. Construction began in 1901, with the structure initially being built as a place to house his metal.
Despite Bannerman’s plans, the castle was never completed. Construction stopped in 1918 when Bannerman died, and two years later a massive explosion destroyed a portion of the castle. The bad luck continued as several years later, the ferry that serviced the island sunk.
As a result, the island was left abandoned by 1950. In 1967, it was purchased by the government of New York. The state began tours of the island, but two years later, it was once again vacated because of a massive fire that destroyed even more of the castle.
Since then, it has remained abandoned and technically off-limits to the public. However, people still venture there from time to time, often sharing images on social media. It was one of these illicit trips that vaulted the island back into the spotlight in 2015.
A couple had taken a romantic kayak trip out to the island, but only half of the duo returned. The woman claimed her husband-to-be had drowned. However, after holes in her story along with her bizarre behavior, police and the public began to question her story. Many believed that she had murdered her husband on the lonely island and blamed it on the boat capsizing. The case is still open, though whatever happened on that day is another dark chapter in the history of this legendary island and castle.