Tuesday, 20 September 2011

New sighting in the Stable Block and strange happenings in the shop!

I received a text message on Sunday from a friend who works at the castle, telling me that her nine year old son had just had a ghostly experience in the stable block. I was travelling back from Barry in South Wales at the time, so I was not able to call her to find out the details until later in the evening. She explained to me that her son Rory was standing at the entrance of the stable block looking towards the Industrial Railway Museum, when he saw a man walking towards him, looking straight at him. Rory said that the man seemed to be moving very slowly and that he was wearing old fashioned clothes. It was a cold, damp day so most people were well wrapped up for the weather. The man was wearing a shirt and waistcoat, trousers and a pair of boots. He had a moustache. As Rory was watching him moving slowly and looking intently at him, a woman walked past the glass doors from the stables on the left towards the shop door on the right. Rory did not take his eyes off the man, but as he looked around the visitor, the man had disappeared. Rory thought it was strange and he went into the stable entrance through the glass doors and looked around for him, but there was no sign of him. He went to find his mother to tell her what had happened. She asked him why he thought it was strange and he explained about the old fashioned clothing and the fact that the man had disappeared so suddenly into thin air.

I wonder if it was John Pickard, the Head Groom of the stables at Penrhyn Castle for 52 years. Part of the stable entrance was converted into a gallery  for temporary exhibitions and it was named the Pickard room in honour of John Pickard. There used to be a picture of him in the stables so I will try to track it down and show Rory to see if it could have been him.

Yesterday I was at the castle and I spoke to the manager of the National Trust shop to see whether he had ever had any strange experiences. He said that he has not seen anything but that every morning when he unlocks the shop door there are things on the floor. He explained that it is as though someone has been in the shop during the night, taking items off the shelves and placing them on the floor. Books, bottles, toys and other items are regularly found lying on the floor in the mornings. Sheila the previous shop manager told me a similar story last week about things being found on the floor, including tea towels neatly laid out flat in the middle of the shop! If they had fallen off a display during the night they would have been in a crumpled heap, not neatly placed. She said it was usually on a Tuesday, when the shop was normally closed. It would be great to set up some recording equipment in the shop overnight to see what is going on. I don't think I will volunteer to spend the night there on my own, as was suggested yesterday. I am not that brave!

I have been asked to give a spooky tour of the castle at night during Halloween week. It will be taking place on 26th October at 6.00pm. I will be doing a tour in the dark and telling ghostly tales as I go. People can book a place on the tour for £10 each by telephoning the castle. I think there will be a maximum of 15 places. Should be interesting!


viridian said...

I found this blog while Googling Penrhyn Castle to look for reports of paranormal activity. Friends stayed overnight there not too long ago as guests, and on arrival their teenaged son saw a figure staring down at them from the battlements at the entrance. When they asked later on who it was up on the roof, their host said that there was nobody else at the castle.

Caroline said...

Sounds fascinating! Thanks for sharing your story. I hoped when I set up this blog that people who were interested in ghosts at Penrhyn would send me their stories and you are the first person who has done it. Pleas let me know if your friends are willing to give me more details of their experience so that I can write it up on here. Who did they stay with at the castle? Was it the Head gardener by any chance?