My First Ghost Story

This story is close to home because it was myself that experienced it first hand.

It happened back in 2007 when my wife and I went on holiday to Southern Ireland.  We booked a stay at Ross Castle in County Meath for 5 nights on the top floor of the keep.  The castle itself consists of the old square keep with an annexe to the side connected by a glass, stone and wood foyer.

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon to a deserted castle and parked the car just outside of the keep as you can see from the photo below.

ross castle keep

In this photo of the Keep you can see the foyer entrance just behind the car with the red facia board where the sighting occured.

ross keep foyer

This photo shows the interior of the foyer and you can see how light and airy it is during the daylight hours.

I telephoned the host to announce our arrival at the castle and she told us to go in and wait in the sitting-room until she got there.

We proceeded to take some of our bags from our car and headed for the foyer to enter the castle.  As we entered my wife headed for the sitting room seen in the above photo as I walked through the doors and then the incident happened as soon as I got into the foyer.
ross castle foyer2
This photo shows me standing in the doorway to the Keep.

 I stopped immediately because to my left a ghostly figure came out of the wall of the keep just to the right of me in the above photo.  It moved to the centre of the foyer and then turned 90 degrees and stopped right before me.

The figure was of a young lady, very petite standing about five feet in her beautiful silk slippers.  Dressed in what appeared to be a plain silk gown slightly flared at the waist dropping to just above the floor with a silver filigree belt around her waist dropping to a v-shape at the front, her sleeves opened up mid-forearm but the back of the sleeves tapered down another 12 inches or so to a point. Her hair was long, right down to the small of her back and very dark if not black. Her complextion was clear and lightly tanned and she struck me as French in appearance, aged about 25 years or so.

She did not appear to walk but sort of glided across the floor with little movement to her clothing. Everything seemed to be in place and very tidy and every inch a lady.

As she halted in front of me she cupped her right elbow in her left palm and proceeded to wag her finger in the air. Although she did not speak physically, her words came to me very clearly as she continued to wag her finger, 'they keep spelling my name wrong', she said, 'it is spelt this way, ELANOR'. 

Without waiting for me to say anything, she flounced around and went back the same way she had appeared.  Once she dissapeared through the keep wall I felt I could move once more and turned to face my wife.  Did you just see that? I asked of her.  'See what' she replied.  I then proceeded to tell her exactly what I have typed here.  'I saw nothing' she said. 'besides you standing in the doorway of the foyer'.

Slightly bemused we carried our belongings up the stairs to the upper floors and deposited them in our bedroom. Over the next 5 days we looked at the history of the castle but could find no mention of the spectre I had seen in the foyer.

After the initial visit we spoke little of the event whilst we were in Ross Castle, that is, until the last morning at breakfast!

As we were leaving that morning, our host came over to the table after breakfast had finished and sat down with her coffee and asked if we had a pleasant stay at the castle.  She also enquired if we had any experiences whilst staying there of the more paranormal kind.  We proceeded to tell her of the noises we heard during our stay ( we had the castle to ourselves for three days), of doors opening by themselves, that happens a lot she said, even she experienced it a couple of times whilst waiting for guests.  We told her the Tuesday afternoon I was in the tower bedroom seeing to our cameras and charging batteries for the next day, my wife was in the sitting room reading  and I heard my wife walking up the stairs on the wooden flooring.  I carried on with the cameras but when she did not appear, I went to look down the stairs to see where she was but could see no one there.  Going back to my work I spent another 20 minutes or so before going down to the sitting room.

I said to my wife, you changed your mind then?  What, she enquired, do you mean?  I heard you coming up the stairs and then nothing, did you change your mind?  I have been in the sitting room all along and have not moved, I thought you were coming down a while back but went back up.  We both smiled and put it down to experience.

Oh, I exclaimed, there was an incident when we first arrived, and proceeded to tell her of my encounter in the foyer and the spirit called Elanor.  At the mention of the name Elanor, our hosts mouth dropped open.  Did I say something of note, I enquired having observed her facial expression.  She smiled and told us that over the years, many mediums and other folk who had stayed at the castle had mentioned the name Elanor, but they had spelled it many different ways.  Well, I exclaimed, she wants you to know it is spelled this way, E-L-A-N-O-R. 

I also told our host what this lady looked like, her clothing, her hair and her appearance.  She told us that Elanor was a Lady-in-waiting to the Lady of the castle back in the 1600s, but no one knew what happened to her.  Although they did not know what she dressed like she did originate from Normandy, Northern France which fitted in with the description I gave to my wife at the time, who at this point was a little bemused, as I was myself.

So there you have it.  An encounter on our first day that we very nearly forgot about and if our host had not sat with us that last morning, perhaps we would never have known the whole story.

So when I say to people, spirit does exist, I really mean it - they do!

ross castle plaque

A plaque in the foyer on the keep wall