Friday, 17 December 2010

Some interesting new stories

On the 17th December 2010 I attended a Christmas dinner at Tre-Ysgawen Hall near Llangefni, Anglesey with other volunteers and staff from Penrhyn Castle. During the meal I was able to talk to several people and heard some new ghost stories. Elaine (Education Officer) told me that a couple of days ago she was in the women's' changing room on the Education corridor after a schools Christmas hands-on session had finished. She was alone as everyone else had packed up and left. She was getting changed ready to leave with her back towards the door to the ladies toilets, when out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of a foot wearing a black Victorian style ankle boot and the hem of a black skirt stepping through the door, which was shut! She said that she did not see anyone coming into the room and there was nobody in the toilets. She thought about it later that night as she was lying in bed and decided that it was very strange. She did not look up to see the rest of the person, and only saw the foot and bottom of the skirt. I wonder if this could be the ghost who sighed in her ear when she put the lights off in the same room a few weeks ago.

I also chatted to a room steward called Jackie who told me of an experience she had about a year ago in the same ladies toilets. She said that she has always felt uncomfortable in there, and senses that she is not alone. She was in a cubicle one day and felt very strongly that there was someone in the room. She heard the rustling of a dress, as though somebody was walking around the room. She came out and looked around but there was nobody there. She was not aware of Elaine's experiences, so I introduced them and let them compare notes!  She also told me about the visitors who came into the Drawing room and as they passed her near the Medieval Tower doorway the man suddenly shouted and fell back against the wall. She asked if he needed to sit down but his wife told her that he was a Medium, and that he had felt something there. This was the place where Cheralynn saw a man in medieval clothing standing and looking very stern. I wonder if it was the same man who startled the visitor.

The new Property Manager had a strange and startling experience in the Education Corridor a few days ago too. He told me that he was going to make a cup of tea but he realised that he had forgotten his mug which he had left on his desk. He turned back to get it when he heard a loud noise from further up the corridor. He was working there alone and knew that nobody was in the department. He went to investigate and found that the door to the men's changing room had been slammed shut. He checked to see whether there was a window open which could have created a draught, but the windows were closed. He said that it was a very loud slamming of the door, as though someone had been behind it and given it a hard push, not just the click of the door swinging shut. It really startled him and when he was in his office early on the day of our dinner, on his own, he made sure that all the lights were on and that they stayed on!

Later I was talking to Mike the Head Gardener who told me that when his children lived with him in the rooms which are now the Education Department, his young son who was 3 or 4 had an imaginary friend who he called "Gunner". He would say that he was going to talk to Gunner in his bedroom, which was the room we now use as the Toys and Games room. Mike said that he used to think that his son had a good imagination but Gunner seemed so real to him that he wondered if there really was someone there.

When I came back to Caernarfon I went shopping for some Christmas gifts and called into a shop in the High Street called H & H where they sell perfumes and hand made soaps. I mentioned to the lady who runs the shop that I had been to a Christmas dinner at Tre-Ysgawen Hall with the volunteers and staff from Penrhyn and she told me that she loves visiting Penrhyn and often calls in for tea and a scone in the Tea room. I explained that I was writing a book about the ghosts of Penrhyn Castle and she said that something strange had happened to her there. She told me that her friend Jenny grew up at Penrhyn because her parents worked in the castle. They had an apartment in one of the towers. One day when she had been visiting Jenny they came down the stairs to go outside. Jenny came down ahead of her, leaving her to walk down by herself. As she came down to the bottom of the stairs she said that she had an overpowering feeling of dread which seemed to suffocate her. She was terrified and ran out of the area to catch up with Jenny. I asked her which stairs she had used and whether it was the Grand Staircase. She said that it was a back staircase. I asked if it was the one which comes out near the tea room and she said that it was. I explained that it was on those stairs that a maid apparently fell down and that she had died at the bottom of the stairs. She said that it would explain the awful feeling she had there. I will go back to see her again and get some more details from her, including her name! I will also talk to her friend Jenny who runs a shop in Palace Street, Caernarfon. I will be very interested to hear of any ghostly experiences she or her family may have had whilst living at the castle. Quite an eventful day! I never know when I will hear a new story. Watch this space......

1 comment:

Justin said...

Wow what a day! It always amazes me that you keep hearing more and more stories, and that they're all from Penrhyn. I wonder if castles like Caernarfon have many ghost stories or if it's mainly in the well preserved castles?