The Keep (square tower on the left)Roy has been a Steward/Head Steward at the Castle for 16 years. He recently emailed me this story:
"About eight or nine years ago I was summoned by radio one day to a woman who was feeling unwell by the ‘Nursery’. On reaching her the Steward on duty said the woman had suddenly become extremely cold when looking in the Nursery doorway. After ensuring that she was comfortable in herself I felt her hands and they were literally frozen far in excess of just normally cold. She stated that it had felt like all the heat had drained down her arms and out of her hands as she stood looking in the room.
After a suitable interval, and when her hands were feeling a little warmer I asked if this had happened before and she stated “No”. After a suitable interval when we were assured that no further attention or help was needed she went on her way. I reported the matter to Gwyn who was then ‘House Manager’.
About three or four years later, I really am not sure, I was called yet again to the same location and a similar event but the lady concerned had only felt extremely cold all over and stated that as she had had similar occurrences before in various places she was not unduly alarmed and had really only wanted the steward to know that this had happened. I again reported this to Joan.
This re-occurrence raised my interest somewhat as we do know something of the history of this room with relation to the Hon. Alice Douglas Pennant so I discussed the matter with my daughter who has a friend who is known to be psychic and has proved this in various ways.
We arranged that my daughter would invite her to the Castle and that I would be present when they went round. NOTHING was mentioned to her about the two events and I just kept a watching brief as they neared the room to see if anything happened.
When they reached the Nursery and looked in through the door my daughter’s friend said immediately, and without any prompting, “This is a very unhappy room”. Later in the Tearoom when we were discussing how she had enjoyed the tour and her statement was mentioned she could not elaborate further except that it had alarmed her slightly at the strong feeling of unhappiness that she had felt at the time."
Several stewards have mentioned to me that visitors have commented that there is a feeling of unhappiness or coldness in the room.
Martin (Visitor Services Manager) said that the servants’ stairs have a very creepy feeling about them and that the nursery feels very cold. He has not seen anything, but has had some uncomfortable feelings in these areas of the castle. John (conservator) told us that he comes in to open the shutters in the mornings and feels very uncomfortable in the room. He comes in and opens them very quickly, then leaves. Anthony (conservator) also mentioned the creepy feeling in the Nursery when he goes in to open the shutters/blinds in the mornings, which he also does very quickly, then leaves the room.
Richard Douglas Pennant told me about the time his mother Lady Janet stayed in the castle with her grandmother and was put into a bedroom in the keep that absolutely terrified her. She refused to sleep there and was moved without question to another bedroom, where she slept without fear for the rest of her stay. He thought it could have been the Nursery bedroom.
We went into the Slate bedroom. Roy (Steward) said that women stewards do not like going in there. John (conservator) said that the Hoover switched itself off once when he was working in the Slate bedroom. He checked the wire and the plug but they were fine. He switched it back on and it worked perfectly. Someone would have had to push on the switch to stop it. He felt uncomfortable, as though someone was there in the room with him. John said that there was always a creepy feeling there, even during the day: a dark, resentful feeling.
Tony (conservator) told me that he had been in the Slate Bedroom in February 2010 and that he caught a glimpse of someone in dark clothing, like a dark silhouette. He was opening the blinds near the Slate Dressing Room and the dark shape moved from the fireplace over to the window where he was standing. He said that it moved very fast and he had to jump backwards out of the way to avoid being hit by it. It disappeared through the window. It was a sunny day.