Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The REAL Rose Red House-Thornewood Castle

Thornewood Castle is located in Lakewood, Washington, and was actually the site used in Stephen King's Rose Red movie. While Rose Red is a work of fiction based very loosely on the Winchester Mansion, the real Thornewood Castle is still considered to be haunted. The house itself is largely a private residence, but part of it is rented out as a B&B, with various special events hosted.

Thornewood Castle has a unique history.  Often referred to as the House Love Built, the home was constructed over a period of three years (1908-1911) by Chester Thorne for his bride, Anna.  Chester, who was a founder of the Port of Tacoma, was largely influenced by the old English Estates, and set out not only to make this Anna's dream home, but his own as well.

Chester purchased a 15th century English castle/manor home, and had it largely dismantled.  Three ships were commissioned to bring the dismantled materials to Washington State for use in the construction, which was being overseen by famed architect, Kirtland Kelsey Cutter.  The 54 room home features such antiques such as stained glass, woodwork, and an art collection, all of which came from the dismantled English castle, but also featured gorgeous red brick imported from Wales.  The home was built to last for centuries.

While there are many reports of ghost sightings, its important to note that this property is still largely a private residence, and investigations are granted on a very selective basis.  "Gawkers" are discouraged, but guests staying at the bed and breakfast are encouraged to tell their own tales, all of which are quite positive.

The most famous sightings include seeing Mr. Chester Thornton, who died in 1927.  he is seen throughout the home and the grounds, but not as often as his bride, Anna.  Anna is most often seen seated in her former bedroom, perched upon her window seat.  She is seen gazing out her window at her beautiful gardens, but more romantically, she is often spotted by brides to be.  Anna's Suite is a popular room for bridal parties to use as a dressing room before weddings.  Brides will many times report gazing into Anna's 100 year old mirror as they put on their gowns, only to a woman's reflection behind them, sitting on the window seat.

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43 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I am deleting "Anonymous"'s foul-mouthed comment, and posting the message, in its entirety, save for the curse words here. I will respond to this message in the post below. -Theresa

    please explain how rose red is fictional?? when you look up ellen rimbaure and her family it come up with there family tree, history and everything steven kigs dose not show in the movie and most and all of steven kigs movies are based on true stories not [edited] he has made up but people just don't believe any more because of people shoving [edited] in our heads over the generations please tell me how its all fake and this place is the real rose red??

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    1. The story of Ellen Rimbaur is a fictional work. Rose Red was a mini-series and the house used in the mini-series is this one in the post. The shots in the movie of Rose Red were actually filmed at Thornewood Castle, which is why I titled the post the REAL Rose Red. There is no actual Rose Red home, but the story is loosely based on Sarah Winchester's "Mystery House" in CA.

      Extra information on Ellen Rimbaur and her family comes from a direct to video "prequel," called the Diary of Ellen Rimbaur, which was also a book. Google and Wikipedia can fill in the details, and to start you off, here's one link:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diary_of_Ellen_Rimbauer:_My_Life_at_Rose_Red

      Further...so help us god if Stephen King's works are based on true events, lol. Please cite your references to this.

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    2. I love both movies,& I think all of Stephen King's books are fiction-based he comes up with some pretty wild stuff great huh!!!He is however the greatest horror writer ever in my opinion!And lastly did'nt he take his name off the rose red movie because there was something he did'nt like? Thanks Linda Augusta,Ga

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    3. i well love to go in the house and stay for a weekend i will love all type of up dates on this house

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    4. All of SK novels are real?? That statement made me laugh! I guess The Talisman actually happened as well as It and The Stand...get a grip already!!!

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    5. If all of Steven kings stuff is real then where was I when the stand happened? And I looked up the real story of rose red...... Its FAKE.

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    6. Is rose red real is the place still standing

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  3. Rose Red is one my favorite movies. But when I found out that it was a real place in washington state I was quite surprise, but in a good way. Tacoma,WA is my hometown, but for the years I lived I never knew the Thornewood Castle even exisited. But I'm very proud to have a Haunted historical land. I hope it contiues to survive the test of time for future generation to come and understand that not everything in life can be seen with your eyes and that sometimes you just have to believe. We can't see the air but we know it is there.

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  4. Rose Red is not real but the house is i would know i have been there Thornewood Castle is very haunted I work as a Paranormal investgator I have proof of Paranormal activity
    Including Live film shots EVPs photos and acttive responce too questions if you have heard anything else contact me at the Pittsburgh Center for Paranormal Investigation via our website@www.PCPI.com or contact me at my email Address on our site think you.

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  5. Please understand the PCPI is just starting so we might have a few bugs to work out the shots an EVPs were done two days before my wedding at Thornewood Castle after our honeymoon we did a little more Investigation so like I said
    bare with me if you can't get through try again right now it's just me and my wife so please bare with us.

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  6. I am grateful for this site and blogs! I thought the stories of Ellen, and her family were true. They make it sound real! Then i tried researching her genealogy, and when I could find nothing; the doubt started to rise. Thank you for giving us facts. I now look forward to booking the castle within a few years for my daughters wedding.

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  7. There may not have been an actual dog named Cujo, but there have been dogs with rabies. So there!! And Christine is for sure based on a true story. I used to have one of those old sleds. They really don't die. So there!! The list goes on and on.

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    1. Thank you for those insightful comments; they will be taken into consideration, lol.

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  8. Stephen King's Rose Red,it's one of my favorite movies.

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  9. I just wander if the story of the movie and the house was real,or fiction,is there any house like that anywere in the U.S.A. that looks like that house in the movie?. That abandoned house in the movie was looking so creepy,and so cool(I have to admit),I say that cuz I love to explore and investigate paranormal activity's in creepy abandoned places(buildings,houses,etc).That's the main reason why Ghost Adventures,is one of my favorite TV Shows,...I love what Nick,Aaron,and Zack,they do,they go in all bunch of creepy places,and they investigate Paranormal Activity's,with all type's of sophisticate devices,including a E.V.P. Reader Device.

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    1. If you read the blog post, the story is based loosely on the Winchester House. Rose Red is not a real house in and of itself, and the story of Ellen, etc. is fictitious. The outside shots of Rose Red are actually Thornewood, and according to Wiki, two bedrooms and the billiards room at Thornewood were ALSO used for interior shots.

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    2. I worked at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, and knew the movie was based more on the legend of that house than any other place in America. Luckily, there aren't any ghouls living off people there, except maybe management...LOL, but there certainly are spirits there. I was fortunate enough to be switchboard operator there for a while and my office was in the actual house. I was also privy to seeing all the photos that guests would send to us with spirits in the photos, including one of Sarah Winchester. I'm also a Navy Photographers Mate veteran and know for certain that the photos were legit. Digital cameras weren't out yet and the photos were convincing.

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    3. Thanks for your comments...that sounds like a really interesting job experience!

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  10. I'm amazed that rose red is acutally real... never knew that before. its a great movie i love it

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    1. Well, the outside of the house is, anyway...which is good enough for me! Thanks for visiting Theresa's Haunted History.

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  11. nice work on ur page havent seen any updates on it in ahwile

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    1. Thank you! I tend not to update individual blog posts unless I uncover new information, but I've been trying to update the blog itself pretty regularly. I've done okay...13 new posts in January 2013 alone! Thanks again, and thank you for visiting Theresa's Haunted History.

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  12. I'd love to visit the Thornewood castle. I think it would be amazing : )

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    1. They specialize in renting to weddings...I've already mentioned this to my boyfriend, lol. I'd love to cure my wedding jitters with some ghost hunting, lol.

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  13. Since October 5 we have gotten a lot more info on Thornewood Castle and to be sure our voice is being joined
    by others who have done their own investigation and have said it is a hotspot for Paranormal activity please understand that the PCPI is not able to do investigations at this time as we are having internal problems but we will be back soon we hope. :(

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  14. hi red rose
    I like move a lot you did good job make movie
    write back to me
    from Kathy ford


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    1. I have no idea what you are asking, but yes, Rose Red was quite good, in my opinion. I also enjoyed the prequel, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer. Unfortnately, I am neither the house itself, nor connected in the production of either the movie or the miniseries, but thank you just the same!

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  15. For one i am a stephen king fan , so i love his books and movies , but that is a different story . I am also very well respected historian , and know plenty about mr. King , for one all his books are based partly off true events in his life , one example , his book " the body " which was turnd into " stand by me " was based off of the true events he had as a boy , according to mr. King when i interviewed him he told me as he had told on talk shows and in lectures , that when he was a boy him , and his friends had found the body of a drifter by the railroad tracks that ran through his home town .

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    1. Thank you for your insights. There is a very large difference, though, in basing a story partly off true events/inspired by true events, and the level of "authenticity" that people are giving Rose Red. Life is often stranger than fiction...and I'm quite the fan of King myself, delving deeply into the thought process and inspiration behind some of his works.

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  16. Based on the movie rose red began or continued growing on its own. Has there been any records or documentation of the castle actually doing this as well or was the just part of the story.

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    1. No, Thornewood hasn't actually been expanding or changing its floor plan. That aspect of the plot was generously inspired in part by the Winchester Mansion...the mansion that Sarah Winchester kept building and adding unique features to in order to appease the spirits she was allegedly contacting through mediums.

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  17. I'm very inspired by thornwood castle, I love to hear things about the other side never had any experience's but would love to. I am getting married next year and would love to have it at the thornwood castle. Just out of the blue how much would a wedding cost to have it their?

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    1. Sorry, I don't have an answer to that! Perhaps you can contact the site directly for an estimate? I've included a link to the the Thornewood homepage above. You can find the contact information there, as well as a section on their wedding rental information. Congratulations and good luck!

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  18. I would love to stay a night in rose red

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    1. I'd be more than happy to spend a night in Thornewood. Rose Red...not so much. People, especially women, had a bad habit of disappearing!

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  19. I have stayed there on a couple of occasions for weddings. However my favorite stay of all was when me and a couple class mates stayed there. Sanctioned by unlv college for paranormal investigation. Upon our arrival it only took mere hours before we got energy spikes like I've never seen before. It was a five day stay and I only slept for 18 hours total.there was a lot more activity then we had planed for. To this day I have a burn mark on my shoulder. I was pushed down the front stairway. And I awoke the next day in my bed with gauze around my shoulder. I immediately left. When I arove home I found a hand print burned into my shoulder. It was in the paper two years ago.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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  20. I love the movie Rose Red, it's a beautiful place, i really want to visit..I really want to actually go see it for my own eyes..it's like a goal for me after school is over, I have stayed at many haunted houses and came up with a lot of feedback from those places, I love paranormal sightings..I was previousely with Paranormal Utah for a while until i moved out of state to Colorado, which being able to actually see ghosts sometimes as they were before they died is sometimes a fun experience, learning where and how they died is the hard part. Sharing my experiences would take a long time, so ill keep it short and sweet...cold air, scrath on the back, whispers from unseen ghosts...freezing spots, and seeing them like their real

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    1. Thank you for commenting and I hope you get to visit Rose Red soon!

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  21. The PCPI office is completely closed due to unforeseen events the website will stay online but we are closed at this time due to lack of funds/personal it's back down to me and my wife so please understand that it has been a bad year for us so feel free to come and look at the site but we are unable to do investigations at this time if you need help please contact us we will be happy to refer you to another investigator as I said the website will stay online for as long as we can but it may still be having problems due to the lose of our tech crew so please bare with us. :(

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