Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ghostly Garden Guides

A friend called Shan visited Penrhyn Castle for the first time on a school trip in the Summer of 1984, when she was about 7 years old. She told me this evening that she wandered away from the rest of the group, as she often did as a child, and got hopelessly lost in the Walled Garden. She was very scared and sat down under a huge bog plant crying "inconsolably". She did not know what to do or how to get back to her group. She suddenly heard two voices trying to calm her down, telling her which way to go to get out of the garden and onto the right path back to the entrance. She described them as having "posh English voices". Shan is Welsh speaking. She said that they sounded like a man and a woman, "very old fashioned, like Edwardian people." She caught a glimpse of the man out of the corner of her eye and saw that he was wearing a striped jacket and straw boater hat. She did not see the woman.

Shan felt very safe with them as they guided her through the bog garden, out of the Walled Garden, and back onto the path which led her to the castle entrance. The voices stayed with her all the way back. She could hear them talking to each other, as well as giving her directions and reassuring her that she would be all right.  She was not at all scared by them and said that they were a "comforting presence". She said that they were very "motherly and fatherly" towards her and made her feel looked after, "as though they were walking on either side of me, holding my hands". When they reached the entrance gate and she was reunited with her school group, who were just about to board the coach, the man and woman left her. Her teachers asked her where she had been, and how she had found her way back to them. She told the teachers about the ghostly guides, but they did not believe her. She also told her mother about them when she got home, but she did not believe her either. Shan said that there is no way that she could have found her own way back to the coach, because she did not know her way around the grounds at all.

Shan also told me that her sister saw a woman in grey in one of the bedrooms when she visited Penrhyn Castle. She is going to ask her sister to phone me with more details, so watch this space...!

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