Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Little Girl In The White Dress

Last night we completed the penultimate tour of this years first ghost season. It was splendidly gloomy, with a heavy and persistent rain - if only a few peals of thunder had rumbled across the roof tiles the atmosphere would have been complete.

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,

"Go on!"


"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.".

Monday, May 01, 2006

So far, we've survived!

With the second tour now tucked firmly beneath our belts, the first ghost tour season is now well under way.

Our first tour was less "lively" than anticipated - partly due to a small group of participants who were under the impression that they were on the Ghost Train at Barry Island, and kept up a background cacophony of "OooooHooo!"s and hysterical laughter throughout, so that atmosphere was somewhat lacking! Anything subtler that a full blown Poltergeist-style furniture whirlwind would probably have gone unremarked.

Our dowsing experiment continues in the attics unabated, however. (See pic above). For four years we've been setting the public loose in the attic with dowsing rods, and recording what they find on a chart in the Architect's Office (see pic with Orbs). I give them a brief demonstration of how to use them in the pursuit of "spirit traces", or "place memories", or "psychic recordings", or "ghosts" however they choose to think of it, and the results are very intriguing. There are about 12 key points in the attic that are found every time, and are connected with spirits that have been identified by people with mediumistic abilities that have attended the tour.

The cast list of the "differently alive" that can be found in the attic include:

  • A young man, slightly the worse for drink.
  • A middle-aged lady with breathing trouble.
  • Two male presences in the Architect's Office (possibly the footmen's sitting room - see Load of Orbs 2).
  • A depressed female presence in the bathroom (with accompanying cold spot)
  • A middle-aged Victorian gentleman, (with a curly moustache) who resents us being there.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a load of bunkum if it weren't for the fact that people, many of whom have never dowsed in their lives before, keep finding them! True to form, they were all present last Friday (though the previous Friday, the "spot" in the bathroom was tracked leaving the room, and heading down the corridor!).

We let people keep the dowsing rods with them when we carry on through the house, but we've not recorded the results (so far), and there are many occasions when you spot the rods crossing out of the corner of the eye.

New Sam (a new guide also called Samantha) reported a seeing a young girl in the Master's bedroom, holding the rods out in front of her with some alarm as they lashed around like a Dalek's arms!

"Quick! Take them! Take them!" she cried to her mother.

"I'm not having them!", her mother replied, taking a hasty step backwards.

Needless to say, she was standing directly beneath the portrait of John Morgan - well done, that man!