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My English Ghost

April 2003

This is one of my ghost encounters. There have been several over the years. The first one I can recall happened when I was five. They became more frequent as I got older and also more frightening. I have seen ghosts in several countries, not just in the U.S.A. In my travels to Australia, Norway, and U.K., I felt, heard, or saw ghosts.

The story below is absolutely true. I have never forgotten what happened. Many people I told the story too don't believe me, but I know what I saw and heard and it still bothers me up to this day. I always planned to go back and stay at the same place and see if my ghost shows up again.

In my twenties, I visited the U.K. I joined a tour group that went all over England, Scotland, and Wales. On the day before the tour ended, we stayed in the town of Warwickshire, England. (Spelling?) The place we stayed at was a manor house on an estate that had been converted into a hotel. (Out of respect for the current owners, I will not name the hotel.) The place was just beautiful. There were gardens all over, a stream ran through the property and it even had it's own church and graveyard for the original family plots.

The house itself was exactly the way I expected an English manor house to look. There were high ceilings with intricate carving, and heavy, wood, double doors opening to large rooms. Huge fireplaces were in several of the rooms and one that may have been made of marble. Chandeliers lined the grand staircase and oriental carpets covered floors. The dining room looked big enough to be a ballroom. I'm sure they used it as such when weddings were held there.

The place had been converted at one time to a hospital during the first world war and maybe the second. It had only been a hotel for about ten years when I stayed there. Our tour group stayed there one night only, unfortunately, but one night was all it took to convince me the place was haunted. After dinner, two of my new friends from the tour group and I explored a little of the outside. We didn't stay long since it was already dark and hard to see. We joined our tour director (TD) who was in the sitting room, located next to the bar. He was with another TD who was also staying for just one night with his group. One of my friends and our TD went to the bar to get some drinks. The other friend and I started talking to the TD about his tour. Somehow the conversation steered its way to ghosts.

Either she or I said there must be a ghost here since England is know to be a ghost magnet. This TD said there was a ghost at this hotel. My friend and I looked at each other than at him and asked if it that was true. He said yes, but we both saw a small grin forming and knew he was just trying to scare us. Just then, we saw one of the hotel employees propping open the door that separated the sitting room and bar. While he was trying to get the door to stay open, we asked him if the hotel was haunted.

The young man looked at us and said yes, of course it was, but he wasn't smiling at all. He himself had never seen the ghosts, but there were so many stories from other hotel employees and guests that he believed there were some, sight unseen. He told us the following story.

About three weeks earlier, there was a business convention held at the hotel. One man who attended, showed up a day late. A day and a half after he arrived, he went to the hotel manager with a complaint. He asked the manager to tell the female employee, who wears the old fashion clothing, to stop following him. I guess he was thinking "Fatal Attraction" behavior. He said she was always nearby. When he checked in, she was in the registration area, looking at him. During meals, he saw her by his table. Whenever he left his room, she would be just down the hall from his room, watching. Even during the meetings, he would see her in the hall looking at him. He wasn't flattered by her attention.

The manager calmly told the man they didn't employ anyone, man or woman, to wear old fashion clothes. The man looked at him and said, "You mean she is a ghost?" The manager didn't say yes or no, but one hour later, the man checked out.

My friend and I found the story to be interesting, but since we hadn't seen anyone dressed in old fashion clothes when we arrived, we didn't think she would appear to us. We stayed up talking until 2:30 am and then I excused myself to return to my room. As tired as I was, I decided to take a shower. Both the TD's were smoking cigars and my clothes and hair reeked of the smell. I just couldn't sleep smelling that way.

Now my room was located in the new section that was added on to the original house. The dining rooms and meeting rooms and registration were all in the house, as were the large room suites, but our tour group was placed in the additions. So you have to pass two, long hallways, go down a flight of stairs, go down another hallway and pass through some double doors, going up some more stairs before reaching the rooms. It was very easy to get lost.

Also, there was some construction outside as they were building a new wing and tennis courts. The windows in all our rooms were locked. They kept it that way so none of the debris from the outside could get in. When I was in the shower, I noticed that the shower curtain kept flapping around as though blown by a breeze. That couldn't be since the windows and door were closed. After getting out of the shower, I placed my shampoo bottle and conditioner bottle on top of the toilet tank. The shampoo was on the left and conditioner on the right both against the wall. I turned to face the sink and mirror and was drying my hair. The toilet was at my right and the shower behind me.

With the towel covering my face I heard a loud crash on my right. I turned to find the conditioner bottle on the floor directly to the right of the toilet.. I was so startled by the noise, but I picked up the bottle and placed it back on the toilet tank. I looked at it a second thinking it was a little weird, but turned back again to finish drying my hair. Not more than five seconds later, boom, another crash. I turned back to the toilet to find the shampoo bottle on the floor directly to the left of the toilet.

Now this was weird. I picked up the bottle and looked at it a long while and at the conditioner bottle still on the tank. I had not heard either of then slide off the tank. The two bottles were placed at the center of the tank and leaning against the wall. I should have heard them slide off if that's what happened. It sounded more like some hitting the bottles off the tank or lifting them up and dropping them. I looked at both bottles again. They were about two thirds full and weighed close to a half a pound each. The toilet tank top was pretty level and I was beginning to doubt now that any bottle would slide off unless they were placed right at the edge, which these weren't. I placed the shampoo bottle back again on the tank and stared at them for over a minute. I guess I was waiting for one or both bottles to fall again, but neither did.

When I turned back to the mirror and sink, I placed the towel I had used to dry my hair on the counter. With the exception of a small section at one end, approximately 3 to 4 inches long that hung over the counter, the average, sized, bath towel was about 95% on top of the counter. I started to brush my teeth when I saw the towel slide off the counter to the floor. This time I just froze, scared to move.

There was no way that towel could have fallen. Unless there was a five-pound weight or more attached to the one end, almost all of it was on the counter. And it was a full size, wet bath towel, not a small hand or face towel. I was really nervous now. I remembered my aunt saying you could actually talk to ghosts, so scared silly as I was, I gave it a try. I told whomever or what ever did these things to please stop. It was almost 3:30 am and I was really tired. Please, stop because you have scared me enough.

I still couldn't sleep that night. I got maybe thirty minutes sleep total. The next morning, I went back into the bathroom and saw that I had left the two bottles on the toilet tank. Neither fell off again after I tried talking to the ghost. I left the room a short while later with my camera. It was still early and breakfast wouldn't be ready for 30 to 40 minutes so I decided to take some pictures of the main house. I snapped up shots of the registration area, the sitting room, the hallways and the grand staircase.

When I got home, I looked over my shots and saw on the picture of the staircase what looks to be part of a shadowy figure halfway up the stairs. When I say part, I mean only the lower part was visible. It looked to be the lower section of a dress or gown. Anything above the knee or thigh area was missing. Again I have showed this picture to several people, some say it is nothing but shadows, but some have said it does resemble the bottom of a long skirt.

I really hope I can visit this hotel again some day and see my ghost once more. Maybe next time I won't be so scared, but I cannot guarantee it. Just thinking about what happened and I am scared all over again.

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