PROCTOR-Proctor's historic Wilson Castle will reopen to the public on Friday May 27. The reopening marks the return of public tours at the state's only official castle. The structure is evocative of Manor Mulvay-a small 17th-century estate now in ruins-located along the Northumberland coast of England. While some areas in Proctor's famous castle remain closed, many of its 32 rooms are open.
To kick off the castle's new tourist season, a special open house will be held May 27, 5-7 p.m., and include free admission.
The reopening will be celebrated with lice music, food, and information about the castle after Dark series of fundraisers including Murder Mysteries Live, Haunted Castle Tours, and a new event, Ghost Hunts, where the general public can join a real high-tech paranormal investigation.
WilsonCastle is considered an architectural masterpiece with its unique blend of five European styles. The rambling structure was built in the mid 1800s and was the original estate for five generations of the Wilson family. A portion of the the 115-acre estate is managed by the non-profit Wilson Foundation, Inc.
According to Denise Davine of the WilsonFoundation, the castle's facade is set with English brick and marble, and is dominated by 19 proscenium arches and a turret, parapet, and balcony. The castle sports three floors and a whopping 32 rooms. Each room reflects a special style from European to Southeast Asian.
The castle's cattle barns, stables, carriage house and glass house can also be viewed on the ground.
To help drum up interest as well as financial support in preserving the castle for future generations, the Wilson Foundation will host several fun, family oriented events starting this spring and summer, according to Davine:
•The Dark Knights Paranormal Group-an association of New England ghost busters-will return to the castle this summer to record more strange happenings. The spectral evidence will be posted online at DKParanormal.com (you can also view ghost data from previous Dark Knight explorations). If you are among the true believers-and don't get spooked easily-you can help the Knights gather ghost evidence, July 15, at 7 p.m. Call 773-3284 for tickets or go online at WilsonCastle.com.
•Murder Mysteries Live is an interactive dramatic production that gets the audience involved in a murder mystery custom designed for WilsonCastle. For the price of $30, you get exclusive access to the castle grounds, be part of an intriguing mystery to solve, enjoy food, and have a good excuse to dress up in a costume of your choosing. The Foundation offers Private Mysteries events which can be booked for 14 individuals or more.
The castle is also a romantic setting for weddings, receptions, and private parties. The estate is available to the public for these activities June 1-Oct. 11.
Check It Out: The Wilson Castle Estate is located in Proctor on the West Proctor Road. If you're traveling west of Rutland, turn right .05 mile beyond Route 3, going East, turn left 2.5 miles from West Rutland. If you are using the Rutland Bypass, new Route 4, take Exit 6 and follow directions above for traveling east. Daily guided tours, seven days a week, are conducted 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The last tour begins at 5:30 p.m. Call about special functions, weddings, ceremonies and receptions at 802-773-3284.