Me in the Victorian kitchen with Christine
I spoke to Lindy, the new Winter Engagement assistant, in the Victorian Kitchen at Penrhyn Castle again yesterday. I needed to use her keys for the storeroom to put some costumes away because our Christmas schools programme has now finished. She was very excited to tell me about something extraordinary which happened to her the previous day. She was sitting at the large wooden kitchen table facing the windows, making Christmas decorations. Another assistant was standing on the opposite side of the table and there was a lady visitor with two children standing next to her. Lindy said that she suddenly saw a black shape moving quickly across the scullery doorway from the area near the vegetable pantry to the bacon loft side of the room. She asked the other assistant if she had seen anything, but she had not been looking towards the scullery and did not see it. Lindy also asked the visitor, but she had not seen it either. She said that it was a definite shape which looked very solid, but there was nobody there.
When she was locking up the kitchen later that afternoon she heard hail on the window of the roof light near the kitchen door. As she was listening to the hail hitting the glass she became aware of sounds coming from the kitchen. She knew that there was nobody else in the area but she called out, "Hello!" She said that she was very spooked and wanted to run out of the door but she remembered that she had not switched off the electric switch for the spit in front of the range. Lindy said she could hear it turning round. which struck her as rather peculiar, as it is usually silent. As the hail died away she could hear sounds of mixing and chopping coming from the kitchens and several voices, as though there were people in there busily preparing food. She gingerly walked along the corridor to the kitchen door and peeped into the room. She said that as soon as she got to the door everything stopped and it was completely quiet! She switched off the spit, locked the doors and went home.
Lindy told me that when she arrived this morning she was too scared to go and unlock the kitchens on her own. She asked the conservators if somebody could come with her after what had happened yesterday, but they just laughed at her. (One of them is her husband!) Eventually she persuaded John to go to the kitchens with her to check that they were ghost free before she started work.
I have asked her to let me know if anything else happens. I am delighted to get a story about the Victorian kitchen as I haven't had many from there yet. I am sure that there will be more to follow!