A Brigantine Castle Story By Paul Spatola

Too young to remember what it was like to go through Brigantine Castle? Maybe you never had the opportunity to visit the castle before it closed and burned into the ocean.

Here’s a first hand account of a trip through this legendary Brigantine destination.

Story written by Paul Spatola, an actor at the castle for six years…

Brigantine Castle
Paul Spatola

The main entry hall was enormous, a maze of wrought iron lead to a caged window. After winding my way through the maze, a very pallid looking woman sat behind the iron bars. She pointed to a sign wired to the top of the bars. The sign read “$3.75”. I pulled a five from my wallet and pushed it under the bars. In a flash, she grabbed the bill, crumpled it up and tossed it to the floor behind her.

To see the Castle from a distance was one thing, to see it from standing in front of the front gate was another, awesome!

Organ music blared from an unknown location. I think it was Bach!

Then she proceeded to rummage beneath my line of sight, brought up her hand and threw something at me. It hit me in the chest and dropped to the floor. I bent to retrieve the object and found it to be my change all crumpled up. I thanked her and she just snorted at me. I passed through a rusty old turnstile and was plunged into a dimly lit hall.

The only light came from a big picture window to my left. Curiosity drove me to look through the window. It was a spacious dining hall with a large antique table and chairs and a grand china cabinet in the back. I couldn’t believe my eyes, at the table sat some of the most notorious dealers in death the world had ever known. At the head of the table was Count Dracula toasting his guests with a glass of blood. Among the others were Adolph Hitler, Napoleon, Vito Corleone, Ghengis Khan, General Ursis, and atop the china cabinet was Satan himself. Apparently, these villains were planning to take over the world. I hurried passed the window, praying not to be seen by anyone.

I climbed a short flight of stairs to a landing. To my right was a cave full of jagged crags, bats flew throughout the cave and a creature, which appeared to be a cross between a man and a bat, appeared from behind a rock.

I picked up my pace a bit and came to three steps down. At the bottom, I heard a scuffling to my left; I looked over to see a dark shape rushing towards me from a dark crevice in the wall. I couldn’t see it to well, but I believe it was crawling on all fours and drooling. I rushed up a staircase in front of me to elude this raving thing. At the next landing, I slowed down realizing I wasn’t being pursued. I turned to the left and there were more stairs.I decided to turn to the left and climb another short flight of stairs, at the top, the hall turned again to the left, another picture window on the left. It was the same dining hall only looking down over the table.

At the top, the hall turned right, and I followed. To my right, I noticed a barred window. Through this window I could see a mass of intertwined vines and shrubbery, within all this greenery, was something else green and moving. I knew it wasn’t just the foliage blowing in the wind because it had a large eye in the center of it and a load of tentacle-like appendages. It appeared to be made completely of slime.

A trophy head of a moose or elk was mounted high on the wall to my left.

As I walked on, I felt something stop me, a rope barrier of some sort. In the dim light of the hall, I noticed an eye hook which held the rope to the wall. I reached for it, when a rush of air whizzed passed my head, and a clang of metal against metal sounded by my hand. I looked down to see a battle axe blade resting on the eye hook. My eyes followed down the handle of the axe to the hands and finally to the wielder of the weapon. A craggy old woman dressed in a tattered uniform of a head servant. “Don’t touch the rope! My Master is not in presently, you must wait here for his arrival. Please enjoy the view!” Her voice trailed to an echo, ” the view… the view… the view!” This view she meant was to my right, a large picture window, through the window was a woman flailing about, a tentacle wrapped around her throat. Obviously the tentacle belonged to the slime creature from the previous window. “And beware of the moose, it spits!” she said, retreating into the shadows. From another direction, out of the dark I heard a different voice say, “It’s an elk!” and still another voice that countered, “No, it’s a caribou!” I couldn’t make out where these other voices were coming from.

A moment later, the old woman returned, “The Master still has not returned, but you may wait for him in his Private Chambers!”

She dropped the rope at my feet and led me into a room to my left, through a pair of doors that opened into the room.

“Move all the way up to the front of the room and warm yourself by the fire, the Master should return shortly.” and she backed out of the room. The room was decorated with beautiful portraits of people, I assumed, were long since dead. The pictures were set in very intricate antique frames. Three on each side wall and one over-sized portrait hung above the fireplace. The large one was of a very gaunt distinguished-looking man, wearing a black tuxedo with a cape draped over his shoulders. A very intense, realistic painting, if I say so, myself. A few moments passed, and I do believe my eyes were playing tricks on me, the smaller portraits on the side walls seemed to change from handsome characters to hideous monsters, once I blinked, they seemed normal again. I scanned back to the main portrait atop the mantle. There was definitely something hypnotic about the eyes, I couldn’t look away! Before my mind could register what was happening, the man exploded from the frame.

“Welcome to my humble home, I trust my servants have seen to all your needs.” The man spoke in a rather thick European accent, “Allow me to introduce myself, I am Prince Vlad. I hope your stay with us will be a pleasant one, before you continue I would like to go over a few rules that I trust you will follow during your stay. First, Touch nothing, for what you touch just may touch you back! Second, Keep your hands and feet to yourself or they my no longer be Your hands or Your feet. And Last, Please do not disturb my minions for they are already quite disturbed. Go now, roam freely, and perhaps we may meet later for a drink, when the moon is full and your blood runs thick!” He extended his arm to his right to show me the direction, billowing his cape. I quietly exited to the left.

On my right, two 10 foot suits of armor stood at attention. Between the knights was a painting depicting Hell. On my left, the hall opened up to a large throne room. In the Queen’s throne was a skeleton dressed in what was once a very beautiful gown, the only way to tell was the intricate beadwork still intact. The King, for the most part, was still there only partial decay was showing, from behind the thrones came a court jester, her face only half remained. How she was still alive was beyond me. Her skull was visible with her eyeball still in the open socket. She was giggling and telling me bad jokes, although I wouldn’t be capable of remembering the jokes, due to her horribly grotesque appearance. I hurried toward the exit ahead.

Entering the next room, it appeared to be a study with books everywhere. To my left was a half wall a behind that was a woman tied to a chair. She pleaded with me to hurry over and untie her. I cautiously stepped forward wondering if I should get involved, after all I was told not to touch anything.

“Please come quick before he comes back!” she cried.

“Before who comes back?” I asked. Before she could answer me, a large man came in from a side entrance pulling a large knife from his belt.

“You can’t help her, no one can!” he bellowed. He grabbed a handful of her hair with his free hand and brought the knife up to her throat. She screamed, but the scream was cut off to a gurgling sound as he drew the blade across her neck. Lifting her head off her body, he grinned at me and tossed the decapitated head to one side and lunged at the wall towards me. I started to back away towards the exit, when I saw a sign that in my hurried pace was hard to read but I thought it said. “Caution, stay on path. Shocking! Thing in swamp!”

brigantine now castle

It led outside to a crummy path with trees all around. I could here the chirping of crickets and the howl of wolves along with an incessant bubbling of a swampy bog. I followed the path as it turned to the left, all the while, I could feel the eyes of unknown creatures watching me. Ahead a body floating face up in shallow swamp water blocked the path. I had to jump over it; it was the only way to go. As soon as I jumped, the path turned to the right and down a small hill. At the bottom it opened up into a small cemetery. A deep resonant growl came from the cemetery and before I could make it through the doorway, a hairy snarling beast leapt to the top of the graveyard fence. I thought it was a large dog until I noticed that it stood on two legs and wore the tattered remnants of clothing. Drool oozed from it’s fangs and fire blazed in it’s eyes. I ducked the swipe of it’s paw and flew through the doorway.

To my right was an alleyway, an enormous white stallion galloped towards me. It’s rider, a black-cloaked skeleton, swung a scythe. I evaded the deadly blade with a sidestep and trundled up the stairs passed the alley to the right. At the landing the stairwell turned sharply to the right and up another flight.

As I approached the top of the stairs, I caught a glimpse of a sign, it read, ” Plasma Plaza, Condemned!

This area opened up to the left, a large theatre marquee hung over the entrance to the theatre. I couldn’t read the marquee, as letters were missing and hanging askew. Dusty old movie posters hung flanking the entrance, the only thing barely legible was, “Now Showing…” The rest was obscured by decades of filth. I cautiously stepped towards the black entrance to the theatre. A large barrel rolled out of the darkness, which made me back off. Three shrieking maniacs, dressed in wild attire, poured out of the darkened theatre. They backed me into a corner and instead of attacking me they all stopped and stared at me. The one to my left began digging deep into her nose with her index finger. She extruded a large glob and handed it to the “crazy” next to her, he began rolling the nose goo between thumb and index finger, he in turn passed it to the next freak and she pointed it towards me. I dodged the “snot-globber” and pushed passed the booger pickers to the exit on the right.

I fumbled into a dark hall and in an instant light blared from my left; I looked to see a man in a lab coat. He called me over; he seemed fairly normal, so I proceeded with caution. “Greetings, my good man, you are just in time to witness a great discovery in modern science. Did you ever wonder if a body could survive without a head?” the man said.

“No I never really gave it much thought.” I replied. “Well, I have, and I worked many pains-taking hours on this question and you are about to be the first man alive to behold this medical wonder.” He began flipping switches on a control board.

Sparks flew up to the ceiling and lights flashed everywhere bouncing all over the room, illuminating all the lab equipment throughout the room. A woman’s body sat across from me legs crossed in a chair, the body appeared normal up to the neck, it was headless. Where her head should have been was nothing but a mass of tubes and wires. The body remained lifeless until a red fluid filled the clear tubes and reached the body. It began to twitch and jerk. Then it started to move more naturally.

“Think of the possibilities!” The man said. “Like what, she can’t think!” I said. “That’s just it, a man can have all the pleasures of a wife without the hassle of one that thinks for herself!” with that the man walked over to his discovery and touched her knee. She immediately slapped his hand. “Maybe I have a few bugs to work out!” he said, snapping off the switches. The body slumped in the chair as the fluid backed out of the tubes.

With a frustrated look on the mans face he said, “Please leave now, I have lots of work to do.” I moved forward through the hall and it took a turn to the right. I heard a screeching sound from above and to the right. One of the maniacs from the theatre was slithering down the wall towards me.

I moved through the hall and it turned right again and opened out into a storefront. Blood-smudged window clouded the view. Clearly scribed on the window was, “Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe.” The door exploded and a man in a blood-covered apron came charging out with an abnormally large meat cleaver in one hand and a human arm dripping blood in the other. He grinned wildly with a nasty blood-oozing gash across his face.

“We’re running a special today; Lady fingers, 5 for a dollar, would you be interested? Say, you got any spare ribs?”

“No, thank you!” I replied.

I hurried passed him and up a flight of stairs to the left. When I reached the landing, something told me to turn around. Good thing I did, I was in time to see the Butcher at the bottom of the stairs, throw his cleaver, I barely dodged it, it was thrown with such force, it was buried to the hilt into the brick wall. He screamed with rage and ambled up the stairs to retrieve his weapon. I fled faster up the next set of stairs to my right. From behind me, I could hear the grunts of the man trying to free his blade from the wall.

Brigantine Castle Cast
Castle Cast Member

At the top, a doorway opened to the right, there was little light coming from the room I was now about to enter, save a fiery glow. As I entered, my eyes began to adjust, and I could make out an open grill with burning embers under it. Perched atop a rock was what appeared to be a small child dressed in black, only it wasn’t a child of innocence it was a dark brooding child of pure evil. It’s eyes glowed red and it had a gruesome smile full of jagged teeth, it just kept staring at me and it clasped a long thin blade in it’s hand, almost as long as the child itself, it incessantly kept stabbing the tip of the blade into it’s perch. This creature didn’t seem to make a move towards me, it just kept staring and stabbing. I knew we couldn’t be alone in the room, because all the while, I could hear a chanting going on, it seem to come from all around me. It was repeating, “We are seven, Disturbers of Heaven…” or something of that nature. The shadows throughout the room began shifting and moving closer, the room was hot and dank, but I definitely got a cold chill up my spine. I turned to the right and headed quickly up the next flight of stairs, by the time I reached the landing; I could smell the ocean breeze and see hints of daylight. All I kept wondering was, am I finally free of this Hellhole?

As I lit the last step, I saw another man and knew that I wasn’t out of here yet. He didn’t seem as dark and horrible as the rest; in fact, He seemed sort of kooky.

“Step rat up here, sir. Allow me to introduce myself, My name is Professor Willard, Doctor of Ratiology. The study of rodents, not just any rodents, no sir, one particular rodent, The largest species of rat, The Brigantine Rat or Rattus Brigantinus, as we in the field prefer to call it. As you can see from this diagram, The Brigantine Rat has a greater stature than that of a common rat, also it’s thick wiry hair keeps it warmer throughout the coldest of winters, it’s long cruel incisors able to chew through solid steel.” The long-winded professor stated.

I stared up at his diagram of this rat and was sickened although very interested by this creature.

I then looked to the right, to my disgust, was a man strapped to a chair with a make-shift cage lashed to his face and within the cage was a giant rat gnawing the man’s face to the bone. I clasped my hand over my mouth to keep myself from vomiting and redirected my eyes.

“Nasty little buggers, aren’t they? That one there is just an infant, the big ones don’t jump up to bite you, they bend over!” Stated the man. As we stepped through the door, the fresh sea air hit me. I tilted my head up to let the warm sun play across my face. It was good to be outside the dank, musty air within the castle. The man tugged on my sleeve to get my attention and I snapped back to reality.

“Come rat this way, young man. You are going to experience these creatures first hand.” He dragged me to another door about 15 feet from where we came out. It was a massive steel door. He held it for me, as I passed through, I heard the man say “Dinnertime My Pets!” And he slammed the door behind me. I was plunged into darkness with nothing but the horrifying sound of squealing, scratching and scurrying all about me. Immediately I did an about face and laid all my weight against the door, but it would not budge.

My only alternative was to press on through the pitch black and hope I came out alive. The hall was very narrow and it was easy to feel my way along. So again I faced into the hall and started on. I inched forward about 10 feet and the hall turned to the left 180 degrees about 2 feet into the hall I felt something brush up against my thigh then another. I screamed, but could barely hear my own scream over the screeching of the rats. Blindly I began to run, and slammed face first into a wall, I felt along this wall until it also turned 180 degrees to the right this time. Still it was black as night and still I could feel the creatures brushing by my legs. Ahead, I saw a dim light coming from a window.

As I got closer I saw a man behind the glass fighting off several of the beasts, he had one of them on the end of his dagger, squirming about while others chewed
through the wall to get at him. I turned the bend, not being able to watch this poor man defend himself against this onslaught. I came to a landing atop a flight of stairs. I began to descend the stairs with the sound of rats diminishing behind me. This staircase was well lit and easy to manage.

When I reached the bottom of the stairs, to the right was a doorway, from within I could here the sound of a woman’s plea for help, then a childish giggle. I felt no danger, so I entered, suddenly I began falling to my right, unable to keep my balance. Being distracted by the drastic slant of the floor I hit the wall with great force, ending up on my rear. Across from me in the opposite corner of the room was a small dark figure and a small voice to go with it.

“Did you come to pway wiff da baby? I’m awful wonewee and I want to pway wiff you!” the tiny voice said.

“What’s your name little one?” I asked, wondering what a child so young was doing in this hellhole.

“Loogie wants to pway wiff hammer, wants to pway bang bang big man on da head!”

The dark figure, which appeared to be small, stood up to the height of a full-grown woman and held an oversized mallet in her hand. She then quickly skipped towards me, easily ambling across the slanted floor and swung the hammer with such force, that it created a breeze that ruffled my hair. She missed my head by an inch. It hit the wall with a thunderous BOOM that shook the entire room. I scrambled across the floor passed her towards the exit.

“Hey, come back, I want to see your bwains!” I heard her shuffling up behind me and then another BOOM. I quickly crawled out the door on my hands and knees and was atop another landing, I got to my feet and sped down the stairs, missing a few along the way. A small landing and five more steps to the right, at the bottom, a turn to the left.

Organ music lilted through the air, and stained glass windows were about the room. An open casket stood upright atop a platform to the left. Within the casket was an elderly woman with a very pallid complexion, whomever embalmed her did a lousy job. At that point her eyes snapped open (I should have figured, by now!) and she greeted me.

Brigantine Castle
Brigantine Castle Flyer

“Oh my dear, do come in. It’s so nice to have you. Would you be interested in our new line of coffins? Of course, we do offer LAY AWAY!” She said, with a sly grin. “No Thanks!” I said. “Then by all means, please go before I insist that you stay for a while.” She exclaimed with a graceful motioning of her arm towards the door, I turned to depart. Across the room from her was another open casket with a skeleton lying in it, as I began to exit I noticed the skeleton begin to rise from it’s coffin.

I blasted out the door, through a breezeway and into another door. To my left was a railing and to my right a wall with a spiral staircase descending down into darkness. On a platform above the stairs was a large hunch-backed man pulling on a rope attached to a large church-style bell. He ignored me as I began to go down the stairs. Five stairs then a landing, five stairs then a landing, it continued. In the center of the bell tower, it was not open, which was relieving in a way. At that second landing I looked to the center where a head lay in a cage with snakes crawling all over it. Down I went, three more landings and in the center was a large barred cell with a wildman inside reaching to get at me, all the while I descended pinning myself along the wall. Was this staircase ever going to end? Three more landings and the end was in sight. Two more landings to go and a hall with a light at the end.

I began to get anxious to get the hell out of here, so I rushed down the stairs only to find an open area at the bottom. The area was filled with torture devices, a dead woman hung from chains to the left of the exit, but nothing else lurked in this area. I moved towards the open doorway and from the right, hiding in an alcove, was an enormous ogre with a battle-axe. It swung wide and high burying the axe deep into the wall. It bellowed, “Argus!”

I easily ducked under the forelimbs of the beast and rushed down the hall. I could hear the creature wrenching the axe from the wall and it stomped down the hall, hot on my trail. I exploded out a doorway into sunlight and tumbled over a wrought iron railing and sprawled across the main lobby floor. Exalted to be free of the Castle and its Denizens, I sat there, my chest heaving. I lay back on the cold stone floor, and a huge shadow fell over me. The ogre from the last room stood over me grinning with a long string of drool oozing from its maw. He raised his axe over his head. I knew that there was no escaping this one, so I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for the impact to split my skull wide open. The beast gave one final roar and nothing happened. I opened my eyes to see why but it was gone. He must have retreated back into the bowels of the Castle. Why?

READ MORE : History of Brigantine Castle. 

The End

1 thought on “A Brigantine Castle Story By Paul Spatola”

  1. We went there several times with family and friends.who came to visit us at the shore – on one visit they were filming a commercial and we all got to be in the commercial. I don’t remember all of the details that you remember, but I do remember the room with the rats. I had to give my mother advance warning about that room because of her fear of rats.

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