I lived in Hamburg for many years while I was married. My mom lived with us for about 6 of those years. One day she told me she used to visit a place called Gingerbread Castle when she was a child and asked me if I knew anything about it. Mom said she thought it was in Hamburg and wanted to know if it was still here. I didn't know anything about Gingerbread Castle even though I lived less than a half mile away. That was the early 90's.
By the time I moved here Gingerbread Castle had been closed and just sitting for over 20 years. It was next to a closed factory and everything looked awful. I didn't even realize there was a Gingerbread Castle until I noticed Gingerbread Castle Road was right across the street from where we lived.
In the late 90's my oldest son worked at Gingerbread Castle when it was re-opened as a haunted castle for Halloween. Plenty of people came out. I remember lying in bed hearing the doors creaking, evil laughs and people screaming. My son had a great time working there. The people who owned Gingerbread Castle opened a family restaurant in the building across the street but it failed. I remember hosting a WSUS Valentine's Day Party at the restaurant there in 1998. The food just wasn't that good.
The new owner of Gingerbread Castle has been working to restore the historic attraction little by little. Don Oriolo told NJ.Com good progress was being made and that he was "Up for the Challenge." He has been carefully cleaning the castle and the remaining fairy tale characters. It would be wonderful if he can accomplish his goal.
If he does manage to restore the historic site where would he go from there? During it's hey day kids would listen to fairy tales read by actors and actresses in costume as they went from room to room in the castle. This might be something to try. The haunted castle idea seemed to work well the one or two years they tried it. A restaurant might work if the food is good. Don Oriolo probably has even more ideas.
It would be wonderful if he is successful!
You can read the NJ.COM article here
Photo by Sara the Web Girl