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This article focuses on the Wish Realm version of the Dark Castle.

Rumple's castle. The Wish Realm edition. Looks a lot darker than the original.

Roni to Henry src

The Dark Castle is a Wish Realm location on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the eleventh episode of the sixth season. It is the Wish Realm version of the Dark Castle.


After Third Curse

In the realm created by the wish of the Evil Queen the Dark Castle is owned by Rumplestiltskin before he is imprisoned. When Regina Mills frees him he takes back the castle but gets angry at her once he realizes that Belle has died. He kidnaps her and Robin of Locksley after freeing them from the Sherrif of Nottingham and locks them in the Dark Castle. Robin is able to pick the lock and free them after they learn about each others past.("Tougher Than the Rest")

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Production Notes


  • The Cross of Saint Peter (an inverted Latin cross) is pictured in a book sitting on the bench where the snow globe is sitting.[6] The Cross of Saint Peter was traditionally used as a Christian symbol, but in recent times, it has also been used as an anti-Christian symbol. ("Homecoming")
  • When Henry is doing research in Wish Rumplestiltskin's castle, an open book on the table[7] contains verse 19 – 21 from Job 36 in the Bible. Note that some of the words are obscured on-screen; the following is the excerpt in its entirety:[8] ("Homecoming")

19 Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.
20 Desire not the night, when people are cut off in their place.
21 Take heed, regard not iniquity: for this hast thou chosen rather than affliction.

  • A book that he opens as he continues doing research[9] contains verse 1 – 3 from Isaiah 47 (there is additional text underneath, presumably additional verses, but they are too blurred to read). Some of the words are illegible due to a fold in the page; the following is the excerpt in its entirety:[10] ("Homecoming")

1Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
2Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.
3Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

  • Next to verse 1 – 3, verse 12 – 14 can be seen.[9] Some of the text is obscured by Henry; the following is the excerpt in its entirety:[10] ("Homecoming")

12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.
13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

Props Notes

  • The table which Rumplestiltskin places the snow globe (where Jacinda and Lucy are trapped) onto is a modified version of the rack,[11] a well-known medieval instrument of torture. This rack has spiked rollers designed to slice into the skin and muscles of the victim's back, an "improvement" made by the French.[12] ("Homecoming")
    • The same torture device was sitting in the Underbrooke Sheriff's Department in "The Brothers Jones".[13] The black cage in the great hall,[14] where Cruella is trapped, is another re-used prop from the episode, where it was sitting in the corner of the sheriff's station.[15]
    • The cage and the rack could also be seen in Dream World version of the original dark castle in "The Savior".[16]
    • Two hanging cages can be seen in Wish Rumplestiltskin's basement.[17] The hanging cage was a medieval torture device in which the victim was either displayed and later freed from, or locked inside and left to die.[18] ("Homecoming")
      • The same props were sitting on the floor in the Black Fairy's chambers in "Mother's Little Helper".[19]
      • One of the cages also appeared in the Underbrooke Sheriff's Department in "The Brothers Jones"[13] and the Dream World version of the dark castle in the Season Six premiere "The Savior".[20]

Set Dressing

  • When Wish Cruella is guarding the castle, two dalmatian-spotted cushions are sitting on a piece of furniture in the great hall.[21] ("Homecoming")

Garland of flowers around a cartouche with Jesus and St. John the Baptist as children

Filming Locations

  • The scenes in Wish Rumplestiltskin's great hall in "Homecoming" were filmed on a television set at The Bridge Studios,[28] as were the scenes in Wish Rumplestiltskin's basement.[29] The basement set was a redressed version of Gothel's tower from previous episodes.[30]
    • The basement set[17] previously doubled as the Royal Castle's wine cellar in "A Bitter Draught".[31] This can easily be seen from the identical chandelier, the shape of the walls and the door.
    • A redressed version of the basement also doubles as Dr. Jekyll's laboratory in Mr. Hyde's hospital in "Only You".[32]
    • Moreover, the hospital scenes with the cage in "Only You" were shot on the same set as the scenes in Dr. Jekyll's laboratory. The cage was removable, and the set was redressed as the laboratory. Some of the walls were removed, and windows put in.[33]


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  1. File:722WishCastle.png
  2. File:601OtherWayAround.png
  3. File:609DarkCastle.png
  4. File:722TellMeYou.png
  5. File:219RumplesCastle.png
  6. File:721CreatedThisPrison.png
  7. File:721HenryResearching.png (not the one he's reading, but the one directly underneath it)
  8. Job 36. Retrieved on September 16, 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 File:721HenryResearching2.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 Isaiah 47. Retrieved on September 16, 2018.
  11. File:721BeUndone.png
  12. The Rack. Torture Museum. Retrieved on May 12, 2018.
  13. 13.0 13.1 File:515EvilTwin.png
  14. File:721ReallyHad.png
  15. File:515MummyNeedsToUnwind.png
  16. File:601CastleTransforms.png
  17. 17.0 17.1 File:721SearchingForFamily.png
  18. The Wrong View of History, Jack Paraskovich, Xlibris, 2016, pp. 118 - 119. Facsimile by Google Books.
  19. File:616ReachingForOrb.png
  20. File:601CarryingTray2.png
  21. File:721AnimalLover.png
  22. File:721LeashRoundHere.png
  23. File:601CastleTransforms.png
  24. File:721ReadyToWrite.png
  25. File:202Rumplestiltskin.png
  26. File:721OnceUponATimeBookOpened.png
  27. The decisions of the Court of Session: from its first institution to the present time: digested under proper heads, in the form of a dictionary, Volume 5, William Maxwell Morison, Edinburgh, Bell & Bradfute, January 1, 1802, pp. 3652 – 3653. Facsimile by Google Books.
  28. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). May 15, 2018. (May 18, 2018) "So glad to have had the pleasure of working with Vic again to cap off the show. Her endless positive fun energy will be missed 😘 Thanks for the laughs !!!" (archive copy)
  29. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). May 17, 2018. "From one of my last days shooting with this legend!" (archive copy)
  30. Steve Pearlman and David H. Goodman on the Season Seven Blu-ray-exclusive Audio Commentary for "Homecoming"
  31. File:602WhatWasThat.png
  32. File:522WalkingIntoLab.png
  33. David H. Goodman and Andrew Chambliss on the Season Five Blu-ray/DVD Audio Commentary for "Only You"
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