Monday, March 03, 2008
Craig-y-nos ghost on camera - ward 2
Those of us who spent years of our childhood in Craig-y-nos castle remember its legendary ghost stories.
So it was with interest that I opened an e-mail from Paranormal Downunder, a web-site specialising in ghostly activities, claiming to have captured a Craig-y-nos ghost on camera.
Ex-patients from Ward 2 will recognize the scene -the view down the corridor from the ward towards Sisters Office , the lift and the short staircase leading to the kitchen and down towards Dr Hupperts flat.
This was taken off one of the many cctv camera that now adorn the castle walls.
Yes, of course, as children we talked about the White Lady , she was a malevolent presence that we quickly became acquainted with on arrival at Craig-y-nos, a figure that inspired almost as much fear as that of Dr Huppert.
Since beginning this project I have received numerous accounts of “sightings” experienced by children and young adults during their time there. Compared to these stories my own hardly register on the Richter scale of ghost stories, nevertheless I will recount them, if only because of what happened those nights back in Craig-y-nos still cause me to sleep, if alone, with a sheet tightly wrapped about my head.
I woke one early summer morning on the balcony and was admiring the sunrise on the mountain opposite , the way the light dappled across the hills when I became aware of a presence, of being watched. At the other end of the balcony was a tall black figure with piercing eyes. This “creature” was neither man nor machine but some alien being and our eyes met for a second.
Petrified I dived under the bedclothes.
Months passed and summer drifted into autumn. I had pushed the incident aside except each night I took the precaution of sleeping with the sheet around my head.
Until one evening night sister, being more officious than usual, discovers me wrapped like some Egyptian mummy in a white sheet and pulls it off. I am ordered never, ever to cover my head again.
The next night I struggle to sleep without the comfort of the concealing sheet.
Suddenly, to my horror my locker door swings open.
A girl's voice says:
“It’s in the tin” and another replies:“ Yes it’s in the tin.”
Upon which I scurry under the bedclothes .
There was, of course, nobody there.
So, what was in the tin? only my collection of hair ribbons.
Did we confide our fears to an adult? no, we did not.
To the outside world the Adelina Patti hospital was a beautiful castle set in magnificent grounds providing secure employment for the locals. But for many children inside it was a different story.
Yet, here is the dichotomy, for months, even years afterwards, many former child patients say they longed to go back to the security of that institution.
It was as if some magic spell had been cast which we could not shake off.