Wednesday, 5 October 2011

LORD BATH OPENS LONGLEAT HOUSE FOR PARANORMAL VISITS

It’s one of the West’s oldest and most historic buildings, with everyone from Queen Elizabeth I to 1960s rock stars enjoying its hospitality.

But now Lord Bath’s Longleat House is opening up the eerie basements and deserted corridors for the very first time as part of a series of new Ghost Tours.

The tour begins in the Wiltshire stately home’s pet cemetery, with small groups being taken to some of the famous house’s hidden dark corners.

Like most old houses, Longleat has its own ‘Grey Lady’, the ghost of Lady Louisa Carteret, the wife of the second Viscount Weymouth.

Legend has it she haunts the house searching for her footman who was said to have been murdered on the orders of her husband in a jealous rage.

“We have eyewitness accounts from staff of several different apparitions which have been spotted at various locations in the house and we will be visiting some of them as part of the tour,” said Ruth Charles, Longleat’s visitor manager. The rooms and corridors we have chosen to open up are the ones we rarely go into unless we have to, and then only reluctantly,” she said.
“The tours are a unique opportunity to venture into the ‘lost’ rooms and corridors of this great house and who knows what our investigations might uncover?”

The tours are part of Longleat’s ‘Spookfest’ celebrations for Halloween and will be running from October 22 to Hallowe’en on October 31. News Source: This Is Bath

Ghostly History: Source: Real British Ghosts

As is so often the case with phantoms, the Longleat House ghost is an innocent victim of someone else's actions.

In 1733 Lady Louisa Carteret, a lovely and gentle lady, married the 2nd Viscount Weymouth of Longleat House. With her to the house, she took her servants, one of whom was a footman. He was devoted to her. He was a true, 'good and faithful servant', and Lady Louisa recognised his fine qualities. However, the other servants were jealous of his privileged position in the eyes of Lady Louisa. So one of them told Viscount Weymouth the totally untrue story that the footman was having an affair with his wife. The Viscount, a man known for his hot temper, flew into a rage.

Murder!
Some accounts say that the Viscount had the footman ambushed and thrown down the spiral staircase outside the library. Others say that the Viscount confronted the man himself and personally threw him down the stairs. Whatever, the footman finished up dead, at the bottom of the stairs, with his neck broken. The Viscount quickly had the body buried in the cellar and told his wife that the footman had left without saying a word to her.
Of course, Lady Louisa didn't believe the story. Thinking that he might be imprisoned somewhere in the vast house, she spent night after night in a frantic attempt to find the missing man. Sick with worry, she caught a chill which soon developed into pneumonia. Thus it was that, in her weakened state, she died giving birth at the age of 22.

The Green Lady
It is the phantom of Lady Louisa who is the Longleat House ghost. Apparently, she is condemned to forever wander the house in a vain search for her murdered friend. She is affectionately known as the 'Green Lady', on account of the green dress in which she appears. The corridor outside the library where the footman met his death is appropriately known as the "Green Lady's Walk".
There is evidence to back up the Longleat House ghost story. According to a Marquess of Bath, when central heating was being installed in the early 20th century, what was left of a body was discovered buried in the cellar. It was wearing the uniform of a footman from the time of Queen Anne. In order to avoid further scandal, the bones were collected together in a shoe box and quietly buried in the local churchyard.
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