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The 10 Coolest Things About Living In A Castle

Rachel Burris5-Minute Read
August 03, 2020

As a child, you may have dreamed of being a prince or princess and wondered what it’d be like to live in a castle. Now, you can find out for yourself. There’s a castle currently on the market in Jackson, Michigan – and for just $529,000, you can call it your own.

In honor of this unique listing, we’ve decided to look at the 10 coolest things about living in a castle. Read on to find out if castle living is right for you.

1. Owning A Bit Of History

castle bedroom

While castles may have been a common type of dwelling for medieval nobility, you don’t come across many people who live in such stately structures these days. As such, living in a castle affords its charmed residents the rare opportunity to own a bit of history. Each stone and plank tell the story of its creation – a story in which you get to play a part.

The structure at 7300 Draper Road was built by C.J. Jorgensen from 1927 – 1929 at the request of Max Helmer, a quirky violinist with a penchant for medieval European architecture. Having come across a German castle from the fifth century, he dreamed of owning his very own, and soon Helmer’s wish became Jorgensen’s command.

2. Investigating Haunted Legends

lighting around castle in the evening

It’s no secret that historical homes can leave both residents and guests quaking in their boots. Century-old homes seem to bring out the eerie and unusual, but is there really something supernatural about them? Well, living in a castle gives you the unique ability to investigate the haunted legends that have been told, allowing you to decide whether ghosts really do exist.

This castle appears to be no different from other famed haunted houses for sale. Legend has it that the castle’s protected by demonic dogs and shrouded by a white, spectral mist that keeps unwanted visitors at bay.

Not to say the house isn’t haunted, but there are a couple of reasonable explanations for locals’ beliefs. The spooky tales perhaps began when rumors spread that Helmer had been murdered in the home – a myth that was later debunked by reports that the true cause of death was a heart attack.

Yet, the rumors seem to have gained steam with the second owner, Edna Barnes. To keep trespassers away, Barnes used to guard the castle with a gun and a German Shepard said to have a diabolical bark.

3. Climbing Your Own Tower

castle tower

A castle simply isn’t a castle without a tower that looms over the land. Being able to climb your own tower provides you with both a fun way to stay in shape and the ideal vantage point for keeping an eye on your property. Plus, your guests’ jaws will drop at the very sight of it.

The tower of this castle is 60 feet tall, and each floor was designed to house its own bedroom. To get to the top, you must climb 66 stairs. Once you reach the fifth floor, the rooftop can only be accessed via a staircase that clings to the exterior of the structure.

4. Hiding Behind Embattled Parapet Walls

castle parapets

Parapets are the portion of the wall that extends above the roof. The most iconic type featured on castles is the embattled parapet, in which the wall alternates between high and low portions. While this design was once used to enable guards to defend the castle with arrows, today, its purpose is merely decorative.

On Helmer’s castle, this style adds a beautiful, unique feature that enhances the feeling of antiquity. Residents can lounge and sunbathe on the tower’s rooftop without being bashful. With the embattled parapet walls, you can see guests coming, but they can’t necessarily see you. 

5. Having Secret Passageways

secret passageways castle

Whether you want to hide your precious belongings or sneak off without being noticed, there’s nothing more thrilling than having access to an obscure place of your own. Having secret passageways scattered around your home makes castle life even more enviable.

The wood-paneled wall of this home office makes it appear as though there’s nothing to see. Yet, nestled behind it is a spiral staircase that leads up to the bedrooms within the castle’s tower. While you may not consider the trick of the space to be a secret passageway, there’s no denying that the trap door on the first floor qualifies. It, in fact, leads down into the castle’s dungeon.

6. Being Surrounded By Natural Materials

bunk beds in castle home

Constructing a home with natural materials is exceptionally pricey. Yet, living in a castle is all about luxury, which is why you can expect your rooms to be clad in hardwood and stone.

Unquestionably, 7300 Draper Road is a marvel of stone and wood. The sheer size and quantity of the rocks used furnish the home give it a dramatic yet cozy atmosphere. The tower was built with over 500 tons of fieldstone, a type of naturally occurring rock that was taken from a nearby farm. The wood used vastly predates the home, having been extracted from an old barn that was torn down to make room for the castle.

7. Gazing At Awe-Inspiring Ceilings

dining room with high ceilings in castle

There’s something about soaring ceiling heights that always make residents feel like kings and queens. And, cathedral ceilings, with their steeply sloped, symmetrical sides, certainly add to the majesty.

Although this home is only 2,000 square feet, the 10-foot-high cathedral ceilings create the illusion of a much larger space. Decked out in skylights and exposed wooden beams, the ceiling bathes the room in sunlight and immediately draws the eye upward. 

8. Roaming Your Extensive Grounds

trails through the woods

Castles were never built on top of neighboring properties. They were constructed away from the hustle and bustle on acres upon acres of land. That’s why one of the coolest things about living in a castle is getting to roam your extensive grounds.

This property sits on a 20-acre plot of land. The castle comes with miles of nature trails that are perfect for hiking, sledding and exploring. Beyond the five-bed, three-bath home, the property also includes three outdoor patios, a three-car garage and a lighted basketball court.

9. Reveling In Your Privacy

roof of castle

With their acres of land, curtain walls and surrounding moats, castles weren’t just designed to defend their residents. They were also intended to shield them from prying eyes. The ability to revel in your privacy is another way you castle-dwellers can separate yourselves from the commoners.

Reclusive by nature, Helmer intended the home to be a private refuge. Situated on top of a 200-foot hill – one of the tallest elevations in Jackson, Michigan – far away from nosey neighbors, the castle is hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Furthermore, the driveway is a dark, half-mile-long dirt road, which is said to fork in the middle to disorient intruders.

10. Living In A Movie Set

fireplace in a stone castle

Location scouts are always seeking neat-looking homes to film their next TV episode or movie. If you live in a castle, the chances of those scouts knocking on your door are much higher.

Helmer’s castle was used as the set of a horror film called “The Demon Lover” in 1976. The low-budget production is about a gang of teenagers who enlist the help of an evil priest to raise a demon from hell. It wouldn’t be surprising if the film’s plot had added to the castle’s rumored spookiness.

Have the 10 coolest things about living in a castle piqued your interest? Let Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC help you find your castle.

Connect with one of our experienced agents today, because you deserve the royal treatment.

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Rachel Burris

Rachel Burris is a writer covering topics of interest to present and future homeowners, as well as industry insiders. Prior to joining Rocket Companies, she worked as an English teacher for the New York City Department of Education and a licensed real estate agent for Brown Harris Stevens. She holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Bucknell University, a postbaccalaureate certificate in psychology from Columbia University and a master's degree in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University.