Blogue d'un québécois expatrié en Angleterre. Comme toute forme d'autobiographie est constituée d'une large part de fiction, j'ai décidé de nommer le blogue Vraie Fiction.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
The most haunted castle in England
For today's countdown to Halloween post, I have decided that I would write a true haunting post. Sort of. I have to tell you right now that I am very skeptic regarding any claims of the supernatural and don't believe ghosts exist. I don't watch real haunting programs or care much about psychics or mediums. That said, I love local legends, old folklore and all sort of ghost stories. For me, "true haunting" are the stuff to inspire fiction, the fictitious haunting that are so more fun.
When my wife and went on holidays in Devon, we discovered that ghosts were part of the tourist industry there. Every town and almost every place had its own local ghost, every tourist shop had plenty of books and booklets about ghosts of Devon or "true tales" of the supernatural (like this one). Strange term, by the way, true tale. A tale is never true, even if it is based on a true story. The moment it becomes a tale, it ceases to be. So this is how we learned about Berry Pomeroy Castle, which is allegedly the most haunted castle in England. As the castle is near Totnes where we were staying, we decided to go there by taxi.
Berry Pomeroy Castle is situated in the middle of a wood and is absolutely a delight to see and visit. The surrounding woods themselves are worth a visit. Its construction dates back from the Middle Ages, but more was built during the Elizabethan era. Legends said that it is haunted by a number of ghosts: the White Lady, the Blue Lady (who apparently lures visitors to their death by making them fall off a tower) and the ghost of Margaret Pomeroy (imprisoned by her jealous sister Eleonor, who may also be haunting the place). The stories often blend together, so we don't know how many ghosts there really are. In one of the many booklets I had bought at that time, it was said the castle has an overwhelming aura of malevolence when you visit it. That is absolutely ridiculous. I knew about its ghostly history when I went there and I thought it was a charming place. The taxi driver on the way back told us that some filming crew who came to shoot a documentary at the castle from dusk till dawn called for taxis in the middle of the night: they could not stand the place anymore, finding it far too spooky for their taste. It must be very eerie when night falls, I am sure, but I think the filming crew was victim of confirmation bias. In any case, we did not see any ghost, just a beautiful castle. And if you are visiting Devon, you would be doing yourself a great disservice not to visit it out of fear of ghosts. Haunted or not, Berry Pomeroy Castle is a beauty to behold.