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The Abandoned Gingerbread Castle
I was sitting at home looking over my next list of places to visit. I usually start with what’s within distance of my home. I had the abandoned Gingerbread Castle on my bucket list of abandoned places to explore. The castle is located at 50 Gingerbread Castle Rd, Hamburg, NJ. Since we moved recently, I was only 30 minutes away. I asked my daughter if she wanted to go exploring and after some convincing, she decided to join me.
I went online to see what photos other people had taken so I knew what I walking into. There were photos from the outside and there were a few taken from inside which captured some great photos. I even messaged someone and asked how they snuck in. But got no response. Understandable, I’m sure they don’t want to get in trouble for trespassing.
The castle is fenced in with cameras and signs. Also, signs saying “BEWARE OF DOG”
When we arrived, my daughter said the castle looked scary. Well, it does. You have this abandoned warehouse with busted windows and then there is this big abandoned castle that looks like it should be a part of the Grims Fairy Tales. Not to mention the big gloomy clouds that passed by when we were there.
I met this sweet woman while I was taking pictures. She pulled over and gave me her memory of the Gingerbread Castle. She told me when she was young, she would visit the castle and go across the street for Gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate. She also had a memory of the town smelling of Gingerbread.
She told me that they held Halloween and Christmas events here. She had a smile on her face and I could tell she felt good reminiscing about good times. We both talked for a few and both agreed this would be great if it was still open.
Gingerbread Castle History
The Gingerbread Castle was a fairytale-themed amusement park. The castle was designed in 1928 by the Austrian architect and set designer Joseph Urban. It was commissioned by F.H. Bennett, who was the owner of F.H. Bennett Biscuit Company in New York City. Bennett bought the New Jersey property in 1921 to expand his operations and open the Wheatsworth Mills.
Bennett was inspired to create his version of a fairy-tale castle on the property. He designed the castle in the image of Hansel and Gretel. The castle opened in 1930 and became a popular tourist destination. In the 1980s, the castle began its decline. During the years they held haunted houses and other events.
There have been several different owners through the years with promises of restoring the castle. This was a cool gem to see. I hope it gets the restoration that it desperately needs. This will be a great attraction to visit and I’m sure the town would love the smell of sweet gingerbread again.
Check out this cool video from The Unknown Cameraman!
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I used to live nearby. For a while in the early 2000s it was a nightclub called Castle After Dark. Not my scene, I never went. I don’t think they did much to make the building safe though.
I also read that too. I hope they do restore and we’re able to visit.