I know we had quite a trek getting here, but I think you’ll agree it was worth it. We couldn’t have picked a better night as the forces of nature are with us. The moon makes it bright as day and I know it’s very warm, but it will be colder inside. I’ll tell you the history of the house as we explore, but first, before we go in, I want you to look at that giant oak tree to you left. Legend has it that the first owner of the house, a Lord something or other, I couldn’t fine any record of his name. It is said he hung a young stable boy from that tree, because he blamed the boy when one of his stallions went lame. The caretaker swears that he’s seen a dark shape hanging from one of the branches and on windless nights such as this, if you listen closely, you can hear the rope moving backward and forwards. Let’s just stand for a moment and listen.
No, I can’t hear anything either. You must admit the house looks very imposing with the moon and trees providing a perfect backdrop. It was built in the 1600s, but it’s been added to over the centuries and that accounts for its miss mash of styles. The turret on the far end, has a story all its own, but we’ll some to that later. Let’s go.
I expected it to be cooler inside, but it’s like walking into a fridge. After the lush ripeness of the overgrown gardens, the smell of damp is overpowering. The rooms are completely empty, so there’s no need to worry about bumping into any furniture. I suspect what little there was has been burned by the tramps who took shelter here. Shine your flashlights around so you get the feel of the place. Dismal, isn’t it. No, I don’t think the sounds overhead are footsteps. It’s probably the house settling after the heat of the day. Old house do that, have you noticed? They sigh and settle. The first story concerns one of the maids and her room is on the third floor. The stairs curve slightly so stay behind one another as I lead the way. We can explore the first floor later, if you want, but I’m more interested in the places I’ve heard tales about.
See how the roof slants as we climb? I imagine the accommodation for the servants was very small. There are three doors on this floor. God, I hate the way the old rusty hinges creak, as though the door is protesting against our presence. The old iron bedsteads are still here and a little washstand, but have you noticed there’s no fireplace. It must have been freezing up here in the winter.
The story goes that a young maid got pregnant by the master of the house and when she told him about her condition, he ordered her to leave. Her family would refuse to have her home, if they knew of her condition, so with no one to turn to, she took poison. If she expected her death to be a quick one, she was sadly mistaken and it is said her screams echoed through the house for over an hour, before she finally succumbed to death. This is one of the haunting. Poor girl, she must have been desperate. Was that a sigh, did one of you sigh? No, God that sounded close. Let’s go down to the first floor. I have goose bumps on my arms and it’s not from the cold. Can anyone else feel that? It’s only since we reached the landing that I’ve started to feel uncomfortable. It’s like being staked by a predator. What’s wrong? The flashlights are going out. It’s OK, I have more batteries. This sometimes happens. The spirits drain the energy. Here pass these around. Everyone all right?
Now we’ll make our way to the turret room. This is accessed by a little winding staircase and has to most pitiful story of all. Oh, my God, that made me jump. A door banged somewhere in front of us. It feels like whoever is haunting here doesn’t want us to go up into the turret. Did you see that? A flash of white. Do you want to move on? Yes, lets, there’s no point in turning back now. No one panic once we reach the turret. There’s only room to move in single file and if a stampede starts someone is going to get hurt. Hang on a second, listen; is that shuffling from inside the door? A trapped bird, perhaps? My hand is trembling as I push against the rotten wood. This house had unnerved me and I don’t understand why. OK, everyone it and there’s nothing to see. The story here is one of the owners had a son who was born deformed. He was so ashamed of the boy, he locked him away in this room from the day he was born. It was only the kindness of the servants that kept the boy alive, bring him scraps of food. His own mother was told he had died and he stayed a prisoner. They say he was chained to the wall, in case he tried to wander. See that cruel-looking hook in the wall? This is here the chain was tied. He died at the age of seven and it’s said that on moonlit nights, his little face, lined with pain, can be seen peeping out of the window. Imagine his terror, the poor little mite. Locked away up here, all alone. What, what’s the matter? If felt like a small cold hand pressing into your? Shine the flashlight over into this corner. It sounded like a chain rattling.
“Little boy, are you here?”
Was that a sob? It sounded like one. Is it creeping you out? OK, we’ll go down and leave him in peace, for want of a better word.
“Goodbye, little boy.”
You heard that, right? It was clear as day, he said goodbye. Keep moving. I don’t know what’s come over me, I feel like crying. We’ll go down to the first floor now. Has it got darker or is my imagination? I have the same sensation of being stalked down here and the …The screams, have you every heard anything like them? Don’t cover your ears, move. Their coming from the attic. Listen, there’s someone moving about up there. The footsteps are moving across the ceiling, they’re coming closer, moving down the stairs and wouldn’t you know it, I once again alone. I’m not waiting here to see what coming towards me. The beam from the flashlight is fading and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing. I won’t be looking up at the turret window as we leave. I’m afraid of what I might see.