The Little Girl In The White Dress
As the patrons were indulging in a glass of wine, I' d decided to tell them about the Little Girl In The White Dress. I tend to use the closing moments of the tour in the Servant's Hall to drop in a few tales that there haven't been time for on the tour proper.
The LGITWD crops up a fair bit. We've been very lucky on the tours to be accompanied by people with psychic talents, and whenever we get into the Bell's Passage and the Family Dining Room she generally "makes an appearance".
Penny, a lady who came on tours on several occasions, was the first person to report her presence. She reported seeing a little girl, in a white mop-cap and a white dress; she'd seen her many times, and frequently when she'd visited the house, she'd feel the child tugging at her dress. Now, whenever anybody with a hint of psychic ability moves through that part of the house, up she pops! I've got rather blase about saying "What, a little girl in a white dress? Yes, lot's of people have seen her!"
I'd just quaffed a glass of orange juice in preparation to speaking, and sat down on the bench beside three young ladies, when the blond lady turned to the lady beside me, and said "Tell him!"
"No!", said her friend,
"Tell me what?", I asked. I know that whenever this conversation occurs, something's happened to someone!
"I'll tell him then!", said the exasperated blond lady, "When we were in the Bell's Passage, she felt a little girl holding her hand!"
Not only did she feel this, but finally told me that her hand went icy cold and the little girl's grip was so strong that it it bent her wedding ring so that she couldn't turn it on her finger.
I've been thinking about this recently, and the appearance of the LGITWD always occurs after we've passed the doors that lead into the Nursery Wing. (See pic.)
Samantha, one of our guides, has been followed by child-like footsteps several times after she has been into the Nursery Wing, which is now used for storage. On one occasion the footsteps followed her down the long staircase from the Linen Closet, along the service passage, up the steps into the Bells Passage, and as far as the door into the Smoking Room. Then, with a final tug at her dress, the "little person" left.
Jen, our Housekeeper, had a peculiar sighting involving the Nursery Doors area. Whilst working in the Cedar Closet, she saw a child peer around the doorframe, glance back as if waiting for permission to cross, and once that permission was granted, move across the doorway in the direction of the window that overlooks the cobbled courtyard of the Home Farm.
"Was it a boy or a girl?", I asked.
"I'm not sure," Jen replied, "It was just an outline.".