I was seven years old when I had my encounter with the Grey Lady. Did I imagine her? Maybe! Was I scared to death? YES! I am going to change the names of people I was with at the time because I am no longer in touch with them and unable to get their permission to use their names.
Brief History – Walworth’s paranormal residents are many. From ghostly footsteps being heard in one of the turrets on stairs that are no longer there, to the often sighting of a Grey Lady floating down a hallway on the first floor. Residents have woken from their sleep to the feeling that someone is in the room with them.
My friend Sonia’s mother was a housekeeper at Walworth Castle and the family lived in what looked like a miniature castle on the grounds. I loved their house, which was more appealing than the castle, which looked downright scary to me.
One day, after school, when I went to Sonia’s house for tea and she asked me if I would like to go inside the castle. Not wanting to show how scared I was, I said yes. Sonia walked me through the grand rooms with their dramatic high ceilings. I had never been in a castle like this before and soon forgot my fear. I was smitten by its beauty. “Oh I would LOVE to live in a castle like this,” I said, as I stood and stared at the blue and white ceiling. It looked like the top of a wedding cake turned upside down. It was gorgeous.
“Sonia?” Where had she gone? I didn’t hear her leave the room. “Are you hiding?” I said, looking forward to a game of hide and seek.
I walked towards the door, thinking she was hiding in the next room. IT SLAMMED SHUT!
“Not funny,” I said as I turned to the other door, which I knew led to a hallway and the front door. IT SLAMMED SHUT TOO!
Before I had time to scream or even think, the room grew cold and took on a foggy hue. My surroundings became blurry. Running to the door, I tripped over a rug, banging my head hard on the wooden floor. For a moment I felt disoriented and dizzy, but managed to sit up. Rubbing my head I looked around the room. There were shadows in the corners, they seemed to be moving, growing. For some reason I was unable to stand, so I crawled slowly to the door. It took all of my strength. I felt like I was making my way through quicksand.
I used the door knob to pull myself up and rattled the door frantically. “Sonia, this isn’t funny, let me out.”
In the distance I heard someone calling my name, I saw a grey lady beckoning me. She had long bony fingers. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and screamed as loudly as I could.
Someone touched my shoulder and I froze. I knew it was the grey lady. She had come for me.
“Sheila, hey, whats wrong, why did you lock the doors?”
It was Sonia. I looked around the room. No more fog, no more grey lady. Everything was as it should be.
Shakily I stood up, took a deep breath and then ran like my life depended on it. I ran out of the front door, down the gravel drive, and sat on the grass by the main road. No amount of coaxing would get me to move. I couldn’t even bring myself to look at that castle. Sonia and her mother I sat with me by the roadside until my brother came to pick me up.
“Whats wrong with you?” he asked as we drove away, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
I burst into tears and cried all the way home.
Walworth Castle is now a Best Western Hotel. I think it will make an interesting stay.
My first novel ‘Dead of July’, is now available to purchase from Amazon. If you enjoyed hearing about Sheila and her child hood adventures, you will certainly enjoy the trouble she got into when she reached adulthood. Her adventures became much more complicated and extremely dangerous. Give it a try! amzn.to/1aXh4Md
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