A French aristocrat and entrepreneur, Marquis de Mores built the Chateau de Mores in 1883 to serve as a hunting lodge and Summer house for him and his family. Settling in what is now known as Medora, North Dakota, the small city was named after the Marquis’ wife, Medora. The two story wood frame home was built over one hundred and twenty acres.
Marquis settled in Medora, home to only about one hundred people, to test out a new cattle operation which involved slaughtering the cows and shipping meat all over the country via refrigerated cars. The Marquis de Mores started by building the slaughterhouse and later added structures for his employees, including the St. Mary Catholic Church.
Unfortunately, in 1886, the operation failed. First, a drought collapsed the operation, leaving it defunct with no chance of success. The drought also came at a time when competition was fierce and the Marquis de Mores’ experience in this area was lacking. After just three years, the chateau was abandoned. The family left caretakers in charge of the home, hoping to someday return to their luxurious palace.
In 1921, the Chateau de Mores was turned into a boarding house. Many people passed through the home’s doors, and were taken aback by the two story, twenty six room palace. While it was nothing compared to other aristocrats from the Marquis’ home land, it was quite a sight compared to the sod and log constructions of the Dakota settler’s homes. Unfortunately, even that endeavor failed after the home was victim to theft and maintenance issues.
The chateau one again laid abandoned until 1936 when the home and land were given to the state of North Dakota. In exchange, the family simply requested it be kept open to the public and well maintained. As part of that promise, the house underwent restoration from 1937 to 1941 and again in 1995. Much of the original furnishings and decor remain in the home from its original days as the de Mores family home.
Since the time of operation, the Chateau de Mores was added to the United States Register of Historic Places in April of 1975. Called the Chateau de Mores Historic Site, the expanse of acres also features the Chimney Park and de Mores Memorial Park. Many travelers come to catch a glimpse at what early life was like for the rich de Mores family as it is open as a museum, complete with guided tours.
On those tours, guests see more than just some original furnishings. Numerous paranormal events have been reported on tours of the home. Commonly, a female apparition is visible throughout the home. Others claim to have seen apparitions of caretakers, obviously refusing to give up their work, even after their lives were ended.
Many others have seen strange lights, and even more terrifying, have reported shadow figures throughout the estate. It is not uncommon to hear laughter, without being able to locate its source. Cold spots have been recorded throughout the Chateau de Mores, along with an unexplainable feeling of unease or distress. The Chateau de Mores often gives visitors more than they bargained for.