Nestled in the woods of New Hampshire, just over the border of Brattleboro Vermont, there is a castle…
As this is New England and such a phenomena is far rarer an occurrence then it is for our counterparts in “old” England, the urge to seek out such remains was insatiable.
And so, this past weekend my wife and I made the 1.5 hour trek to the remains of Madame Sherri’s Castle…
Who is Madame Sherri you ask?
From Atlas Obscura:
“Madame Sherri, born Antoinette Bramare, married actor and dancer Andre Riela in 1911, and the couple moved to New York and changed their name to Sherri. Mystery surrounds the reason for this name change as well as other aspects of their life together. In New York, Madame Sherri made a name for herself designing elaborate costumes for Broadway productions, most notably the Ziegfeld Follies. After her husband’s death, she decided to build a unique structure in the woods of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, to hold parties for her theater friends.
Madame Sherri lived in a more modest house nearby and used the bigger property to entertain. The quirky “castle,” as it became known locally, had three stories and a massive staircase outside the house. A lot of this was made possible by the generous gifts Madame Sherri received from her former assistant Charles LeMaire, who later went on to become an Academy Award-winning costume designer. When this money ran out, the parties too came to an end, and the castle fell into disuse. Madame Sherri fell on hard times and died in poverty in 1965, as a ward of the state.”
Upon arriving at our destination we found a small parking lot with a bridge running over a marsh like area. Crossing the bridge, we walked a short path that brought us to the remains of the “castle” which in it’s heyday looked much more like a house.
My magical intentions for this trip started out with grand plans of opening with the LBRP followed by the headless rite (including the invocation of the four kings as per the chaos protocols) among some other theatrics.
On the morning of the trip I left my books, wand, powders and everything else but a tealight, a stick of nag champa and a plastic galleon behind.
Opting for a simple offering of candlelight and incense to the lady of the house upon first visit, I walked the grounds with my wife, imagining what lavish parties and wild nights these old stones had seen.
While inspecting the area, I chuckled to myself after hearing other visitors discover my tealight and incense with one woman expressing her concern to her husband that a seance could have been taking place before their arrival.
The castle sits at the base of a large hill of which one can hike via two separate trails which bring you to multiple vistas of scenic mountains as well as a beautiful pond surrounded with mountain laurel.
The trail gets a bit steep in areas and hiking boots would be recommended to those interested in exploring the area.
I expect to return to the ruins with my wife in the coming months to make additional offerings to the spirit of Madame Sherri and her memory.