You’ve all introduced me to some amazing haunted houses these past few months. You’ve shared some of your own tales of terror.
Now I want to tell you mine.
It happened about 15 years ago, on the sort of family outing that, as a teenager, you’d’ve done anything to avoid. I don’t think it was a hot day – this is England – but there was something like early summer warmth.
We were driving in an area that looks, on the map, like it should be in Wales, but is in fact a little sliver of England on the west side of the River Severn, part of Gloucestershire.
I don’t think this place was somewhere we’d set out to visit, more that we were driving past, and stopped in because… it looked interesting? We were somehow drawn to it? I have no idea.
It felt like we’d driven up to someone’s home. They were out, but the door was wide open.
There was someone there, though. I remember a man, other family members say a woman. Whoever it was, they were pretty keen to get us to stay and look around.
So we did. The rooms were quite empty. If this were a museum, you’d be disappointed at the lack of exhibits, and the lack of information.
Any warmth we might have been feeling went. It was properly cold. I don’t remember seeing anything like an apparition. But I do know the further we went, the more uncomfortable I felt. And that was mirrored by my family.
My mother knew she wanted to get out of there – and fast. My aunt remembers now feeling the same. Both extremely rational women, but both knew something wasn’t right. My sister, by the way, doesn’t remember a thing. I wish my uncle were still alive, then I could ask him. I know he’d know everything.
We went outside the house to the garden, hoping to warm up. But we just found ruins.
We didn’t feel better. Or warmer. We got in the car and we drove away. And to be honest, I’d put it out of my mind until you all started talking about haunted houses.
So I’ve been doing a little research. The picture of the house above is one thing I’ve uncovered. I’m not 100% sure it’s the house we went to, but it does have Roman ruins in the garden, so how many other houses that fit the bill can there possibly be? It must be this one.
It’s called Littledean Hall, and it’s no longer open to the public, though it does have a website: http://www.littledeanhall.co.uk
Apparently it’s home to a whole colony of ghosts, including a headless horseman, a lady in yellow, a white monk, two brothers who killed each other in a duel, and a diligent gardener sweeping up leaves.
Unsurprisingly, we were not the only ones left feeling highly uncomfortable.
From the Fortean Times message boards:
“Littledean Hall is really – shall we say – atmospheric… There is an upstairs room where I gazed out onto the garden and felt an overwhelming and inexplicable sadness.”
That pretty much mirrors my own experience. Spooky doesn’t cover it.
So. This is my truth – tell me yours…