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25-Year-Old Haunted Website Gets Ghostly Resurrection

One of the internet’s longest-running true ghost story websites hits the quarter-century mark in supernatural stride with a fresh look and a new podcast.



OGDEN, UTAH, UNITED STATES, October 5, 2022 -- Websites are like ghosts. Some appear and vanish so quickly that we’re left to wonder if they ever really existed. Others confound skeptics by demonstrating the ability to haunt a single location for decades without so much as going translucent. Such is the case with Castle of Spirits, a website first launched in 1997 that possesses one of the largest collections of true reader-submitted ghost stories in the world. This week, the website emerged from the shadows sporting a renovated interface and a brand-new companion podcast.


The new owners of Castle of Spirits are Vince and Jane Font of Ogden, Utah. Collectively, the couple is responsible for an independent book publishing service (Glass Spider Publishing), a widely successful YouTube channel (Painting with Jane), and two award-winning books ("Shadows on the Page" and "More Shadows on the Page"). With the addition of the Castle of Spirits website, the Fonts add “ghostkeepers” to their list of worldly duties.


Launched in 1997 by Rowena Gilbert of Melbourne, Australia, Castle of Spirits was one of the earliest online venues for the serious discussion of the paranormal. Operating in a largely male-dominated field, Gilbert’s passion for all things unexplained resulted in the creation of one of the largest and busiest paranormal websites on the internet. Today, Castle of Spirits boasts a library of more than 4,600 true ghost stories.


After Gilbert’s untimely passing in 2008, the website was taken over by friend Don Wilmshurst, who loyally kept the torches burning for the next 14 years. In 2022, Wilmshurst approached friend and colleague Vince Font to assume ownership of the now 25-year-old space.


Font, a longtime fan of the Castle, says Wilmshurst’s offer felt like an uncanny turn of fate. “Literally ten seconds before Don asked me if I wanted to take over the website, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if Don asked me if I wanted to take over the website?’ It was eerie. As if Rowena herself were directing the whole thing.”


Font’s wife, the artist and YouTuber Jane Font, tackled the redesign of the website and also serves as co-host of the newly launched Castle of Spirits Podcast. Airing weekly, each episode features the hosts reading a favorite story from the website’s vast archives—a device that serves as a springboard for serious but entertaining discussions on a broad range of paranormal subjects.


“We’re taking the responsibility with great reverence, but we’re also having fun with it,” says Jane Font. “Years ago, we used to stay up late and read each other stories from the website to freak ourselves out. This is pretty much the same thing, only now we have microphones.”


Eager to build on Rowena Gilbert’s legacy, the Fonts are taking steps to further the growth of the story archive. Along with the podcast and the website overhaul, they have also reopened the Castle of Spirits to new story submissions—something not offered on the site for several years.


“Castle of Spirits is much more than a repository for true scary stories,” Vince Font says. “It’s about discovering common ground with others. We’ve received a lot of messages of support, thanking us for keeping the website alive. Many of these people grew up with Castle of Spirits in their lives. That kind of connection is rare, and we want to keep it going for even more generations.”


The first five episodes of the podcast are available now from the Castle of Spirits website and can also be found on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Amazon Music, and more. To listen to the podcast, submit your own true paranormal account, or terrify yourself with the thousands of ghost stories on the website, visit www.castleofspirits.com.

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