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I visited the Phoenix Mystery Castle yesterday...
In the 1930's, Boyce Gully of Seattle, WA found out he had TB. That very day he disappeared from the lives of his wife and toddler daughter, Mary Lou, forever. Unbeknownst to them, Boyce wound up in Arizona where he staked a gold mining claim and began to build a castle for his daughter, as he had once promised her. Boyce thought he only had months to live - but he lived another 15 years and died of cancer, not TB. His wife and daughter had no idea where he was until they were notified of Mary Lou's inheritance upon his death: the castle.
Mary Lou and her mother moved to Arizona immediately and found this strange dwelling that Boyce had made completely out of found, repurposed or donated materials, including items from the governor and Frank Lloyd Wright. Mary Lou still lives here -- she must be at least 80 by now -- and says to this day she occasionally finds things in secret hiding spots her father left for her, like money and photos.
Mary Lou also has a penchant for cats. Her current feline companion is named Cleocatra. She keeps lots of inanimate cats around, too, like this stone kitty napping in the sunlight on one of the many patios around the castle.