Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Scooby Doo, Where are you!

I had a seriously bad idea. I spent last night in a Northumberland castle which claims it is Britain's most haunted castle. I thought: "If I am going to spend a night in 'Britain's most haunted castle', I should do it on my own otherwise it would be cheating." Northumberland water must have addled my brain. Chablis never makes me think that way. Cheating? Cheating who exactly? The ghosts?

Usually, "on my own" translates to "surrounded by small children". This time I mean utterly, completely, not another living soul in sight "on my own." A night away from the children. I could have spent it at a luxury hotel with a complementary spa treatment. I could have zipped down to London and spent it with a credit card. I could have found a lover in a chat room, made some excuse about the car running out of petrol and spent it in cyberspace with my hand on my mouse. No. I spent it on my own where other fools have gone before and written comments in the visitors' book like this from George: "1am. Lying in bed, eyes open, wife asleep. A round ball of light flashes and is gone. Again a round ball of light." Or this one from a Whitby couple: "Caught lots of orbs. How exciting. Just to warn others, one was in the lounge area of the apartment." I am reading this book in the lounge area of the apartment in a chair that smells like it is trying to pass on a message. A message like: "Don't sit here. Someone is sitting here already." I read one from a week ago: "The bumps and bangs and sounds of furniture being dragged across the floor are still going strong! Spooky." I thought to myself: "I should stop reading this book and go to bed." I am slightly worried if I stop reading, I will look up and a hooded figure say: "Boo."

The "ghost walker" who gave us a tour of the castle and its grounds has not helped my state of paranoia. He described horrid, bloody tortures in the sort of professional detail I did not think entirely necessary. He shut us up in the darkness of the dungeon, described the freezing touch of a 12-year-old girl dead from pneumonia and the heavy rose scent of a deserted and unhappy wife. He claimed, as he sat in one room, a rocking chair started to rock violently while on another night, a flag dropped from the chapel wall to wrap itself round a visitor.

He also told me the little bedroom in my tippy toppy tower apartment had a "very oppressive" atmosphere. He predicted: "I bet you won't sleep in that one tonight." "Not now, I won't," I told him. He said visitors often abandoned the apartment in the middle of the night after doors opened and banged shut and lights went on and off. I said: "Feel free not to share." Not one to take a hint, he claimed two staff would no longer work in it after they went into one of the bedrooms and the door "jammed." There are three bedrooms in the apartment; the little one, a twin bedded room and one with a double bed. I am not into the supernatural. I am hoping the supernatural will not be into me. I am no sooner going to sleep in the oppressive little bedroom than fly. I am standing in the hallway thinking that neither am I going into any bedroom where the door "jams" and the walls start to bleed. (He did not say the walls would bleed but it pays to think ahead.)

The little room is up a stone staircase and has a curtain across the entrance; the other two bedrooms both have doors. I chose the one with the double bed on the grounds that four girls from Durham: "had a fantastic night, seen loads of orbs, sat in all rooms with video but the best had to be the twin beds." At least, in my room, George only saw two rather than "loads". Apparently, orbs are considered by those who like that sort of thing, to be the souls of the dead. There were two couples on the tour along with me. A nice man from Blackpool took a digital photo with a round shiny "orb" in the courtyard. I remained sceptical. I am sceptical even when there is what sounds suspiciously like a knock on my door. I think: "Bugger politeness, I am not answering the door to anyone who might be dead."

26 comments:

mutleythedog said...

Very wise not answer - Ghosts are unforgiving creatures and the "differently dead" as we should call them in these politically correct times often announce their presence by knocking on doors, clanking chains - And ominous moaning - watch out for ominous moaning....

mutleythedog said...

...and shrieks - shrieks are definitely a bad sign... down here we have a lot of trouble with mythical beings and imaginary creatures such as giants,trolls mermaids and will-o-the-whisps...

aims said...

What a fantastically different way to spend your 'alone' time - but then again - are you really 'alone'?
I can hardly wait to find out what happens.....

rilly super said...

clanking chains and strange moaning in the night? sounds like my former neighbours in London wifey.

but seriously, others may mock but those white cows were brown before they spent their first night at chillingham you know...

Jeff said...

Two posts from mutley and not one reference to the "lover in a chat room" comment? He must be slipping...

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Sounds right up my street. Excellent night out.

Hilary said...

It took me three tries to open your blog this evening-strange messages about lost servers-now I know why!

Lizzie said...

Dear WITN, Mmm.. Is it possible that I could perhaps ask a v. stupid question:- (just asking, 'cos I'd really like to know).

Is it a policy decision from you, or from your agent, not to reply to your comments people? (Except when you might be a bit fed up with one or two of them?)

Also, am I wrong in surmisimg that you do not graze the blogosphere to leave comments where you will in other domains?

Over to you, if you so choose..

Lizzie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

Greetings from New York City where you are welcome to come when you do feel like running away. We can go get manicures and pedicures, eat hot dogs from street vendors, have dim sum brunch in Chinatown and I'll take your picture on top of the Empire State Building and on the Staten Island ferry with the Statue of Liberty in the background.

You'll be missing the kids soon enough and we'll buy them New York souvenirs such as "I {heart} New York" t-shirts and little toy yellow New York City cabs.

Today's post reminds me of my favorite TV show -- my Friday night ritual -- Most Haunted. You Brits have far better ghosts than we do. I have a crush on Yvette's husband, Karl. I wonder if Most Haunted has been to this castle.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Pat, Most Huanted has indeed been there.

Minx said...

Mutley, stupido, the pc name for the dead is ' life challenged persons'.

Lizzie, Wifey herself is a mythical being, a ghost in the machine. She moves amongst us quietly, sometimes she moans, sometimes she shrieks, but I don't think I've ever heard her clank!

sunshine said...

Minx -- I did her clank, but only once...and that was only because she locked her WD40 in her car trunk and misplaced her keys-----

Cath said...

What a spooky way to spend an evening! Bet you went home to catch up on sleep!

Lizzie - I don't think it's 'policy' for anyone to reply to posts I guess. Some bloggers do, some don't. I'm not a blogger so maybe some one else could enlighten you. I'm just glad WITN posts. Her blog is so open and honest but mostly her style of writing - poetic. The way she describes Northumberland landscape and beauty is spot on. Anyone who opens their heart up on the web like this is either very brave or very stupid. And I don't think WITN is lacking in the intelligence zone..... ;0)

Kaycie said...

Hello, Wifey.

I have to say that I completely envy you this experience. Ghosts and such have always fascinated me. I'd sit up all night so I wouldn't miss a bump, knock or moan.

Mopsa said...

Shivers are hurtling up and down my spine. I am a wimp. I don't believe in ghosts - but you can never be too sure. I tell myself the noises in the night are bats in the roof and mice under the floorboards. Then I fall asleep to the sound of large dog banging its tail on the bedroom floor. My very own Cerberus will sort out any unwelcome visitors, no matter how ethereal.

Self employed mum x said...

Rather you then me, I'd have gone for the nice Hotel and Spa. Very brave. Can't wait to find out what next!

Motheratlarge said...

Ghosts don't always choose to "graze the blogosphere" under their nom de plume.

Elsie Button said...

bloody hell, you are nuts! i wouldn't even spend the night on my own in my own house!

Stay at home dad said...

I have evidence of WITN's spectral presence over on my patch...

lady macleod said...

Yes I think that is wise - not opening the door to the dead.

james higham said...

I met a ghost once but he didn't like it and scarpered.

mutleythedog said...

Jeff said...

Two posts from mutley and not one reference to the "lover in a chat room" comment? He must be slipping...


I always reply to posts even if they are in other people comments! I decided to studiously ignore that as dear Wifey is normally so indiscreet but not you have drawn attention to it... what can I say? You will not be thanked..

mutleythedog said...

Minx said...

Mutley, stupido, the pc name for the dead is ' life challenged persons'.


.. and it is not very PC to call some one like me "stupido" I prefer "intelligence challenged" or even "common sense impaired" ..

EmmaK said...

I take it you did not actually see any ghosts or orbs, in which case, can you get your money back?

I think you might have had more fun with the cyber lover, double clicking the mouse!

Beaman said...

What fun. I would love to experience a supernatural happening, especially in a very old building. I think I might one day take a visit to that place. :)