957 Mountain Brook Road, Rougemont

Deep in the rolling pastures of Rougemont, past the last gas station and miles up a rutted dirt road, a castle nestles in the trees. It has the requisite turrets, towers, spires, and cupolas. Stuccoed and tiled in lavender, rose, and verdigris, the improbable structure seems defiant of its surroundings, asserting the identity of the building: picturesque, fantastical, iconic, castle. But venture around the back, and you find a darker side of the fairy tale. The castle has been abandoned and fallen into disrepair, the irregularly shaped windows all broken. Light filters into what looks like a Gothic cathedral made of two-by-fours. The interior, never completed, is filled with trash, and the walls are scrawled with apocalyptic graffiti. A plank with the words “For And For” carved into it is nailed to the wall. The truncated dedication evokes the castle’s lore: an artist named Robert Mihaly created it in tribute to his wife, who died before it was finished.