Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Ghostly goings-on on the ghost tours!

On October 30th and 31st (last Wednesday and Thursday evening) I did a guided ghost tour of Penrhyn Castle. Fifteen people bought tickets for each evening tour and they all turned up. It was very dark in the castle. I had made sure that we had some light in areas such as stairs for safety reasons, but the rooms we visited were as dark as possible with only a few battery-powered candles to light the way and occasionally a small table lamp. People were asked to bring a torch with them. Some rooms were too beautiful to leave completely dark, such as the dining room, so we put on the lights on the table to create a really dramatic scene.

                                             The dining room at night

I met the group at the main door of the castle in my black housekeeper's costume, with my face painted white for a ghostly effect! People said I looked very spooky looking out of the small window near the front door as they walked towards it. I carried an electric candle in a brass lantern and had a bunch of old keys on an iron ring hanging from my waist.

The group seemed very interested in the stories. Several people had not been to Penrhyn before. One lady called Sharon, who is very psychic, said she sensed that a man with a withered arm was following us. His name was John. He met the group outside the front door and came around on the tour in the downstairs rooms apparently. The only ghost called John that I am aware of is John the Bottler who lurks in the cellars under the Drawing room, part of the original Medieval house. I asked my friend Cheralyn who had told me about him the next day, if there was anything unusual about his arm. She told me that he had a withered arm!
                                                   Grand Hall Gallery

When I was telling the story about the pebble being dropped in the Grand Hall Gallery during the first ghost tour I did two years ago, Sharon and her daughter both saw a shadowy shape which went past me and through the door of the room I was standing outside. They didn't see whether it was a man or a woman, just a dark shadow. They said that they both suddenly felt sick. I told the group about several people telling me that they had a horrible feeling outside the door of that room. I have no idea what happened in the room, but there must have been something to give people a bad feeling there.

Steps up to the Keep Bedrooms

Two of our Visitor Services Assistants who were helping me on the tour saw a shadowy shape moving across the large mirror at the top of the stairs by the Keep bedrooms. They said, "What was that?" and made us all jump! It had moved towards the bedrooms just before we went to see them. Very creepy!

When we went to see the Nursery bedroom, which was Alice Douglas Pennant's room, Sharon suddenly became very hot. She started taking off her coat and handed her bag to her daughter. She said that she could sense something very disturbing about the room. She sensed three dead babies there. She could hear children giggling in the room and felt strongly that they had died there. She also sensed a woman being forced to do things against her will, and the man who had done it to her then drank heavily to cope with his shame. She was very disturbed by the experience.

We went downstairs to the Dining Room. Sharon could smell wine very strongly at one end of the room.

In the kitchen she was drawn to the Pastry Pantry but was not sure what was in the room. She would like to come back to see the castle in the daylight. She will try to sense more things and let me know what she experiences there. Unfortunately the castle is closed until the week before Easter, so I will have to wait until then to add any new experiences which she has there.

On Thursday evening one of the Visitor Services Assistants went to the kitchen on the corridor above the stable block to get a jar of coffee, as she had run out. She had to unlock the door to the corridor as everyone in the offices had left. While she was in the kitchen she heard keys rattling and someone moving around. She presumed it was me and that I was getting changed in the ladies toilets near the kitchen. As she walked past the toilets she called my name and when there was no answer she went to check if I was in there. I was still sitting downstairs in the Stewards Room in the main house eating my lunch, as I had been face painting all day for the Penrhyn Goes Batty Fun Day and had not had time to eat it until 5.30 pm! When she came back to the Stewards Room she was as  white as a sheet! She asked me if I had been upstairs and was shocked when I said that I had not left the room. She said that she definitely heard keys rattling and someone walking around up there. I told her that lots of people have heard things when they have been alone in the area. A good start to a ghost tour evening!

                         Footsteps and rattling keys were heard in this corridor

The Thursday tour also went well. Everyone on this tour had been to Penrhyn before. Some people said that they had come just to see the castle at night! One man said that he was a sceptic. He had just come to keep his wife company. At the end of the tour when I was selling copies of my ghost tour booklet he told me that he had felt someone behind him turn him around and push him towards the door of the kitchen! He looked behind him but there was nobody there. He said that it was not a rough sensation, just firm. He bought six copies of the booklet and asked me to sign them all! I felt like a real celebrity for five minutes.

I explained to the people on the tour that the money from the booklets goes to a charity called Sarva, which helps children with leprosy backgrounds in India to go on to further and higher education. The charity was set up by my brother and no money is spent on administration. As a former school teacher and college tutor I feel that it is a very worthy cause. I am glad to be able to help support children who would otherwise be forced out onto the streets to beg. With financial support they can train and get qualifications which will enable them to support their families and communities. Please click on the link below to read more about the fantastic work this charity is doing.

I have had a lot of positive feedback about the ghost tours. The Property Manager said that there will definitely be some more tours next year. If you missed out on this year's tours make sure that you book up early for next year! They sold out very quickly this year. If you came on the tours and have any interesting photos or experiences you would be willing to share, please let me know. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Caroline was a fantastic tour guide and full of knowledge of the Castle. My mum Sharon is looking forward to visiting the castle again in day light. I also took some photos and in 1 door way you can clearly see a silhouette of a lady and there were other photos just taken at random and you can see orbs in them. Thank you again Caroline for a fantastic night. Look forward to seeing the castle again xxx

Jasons Mum said...

Thanks for your kind comments. I hope to be able to add more of your experiences when you next visit the castle with your Mum. Please email me your ghost/orb photos so that I can add them on here. Thanks.