At Home with the Ghost

guernseyI’ve always had an interest in things mysterious from when I was young. The unsolved murder, the abandoned house, a passing ghost. Now I’ve grown up (?) I’m using my interest in things historical, spooky or surreal in my writing. There’s plenty of scope. Haunted houses are a special interest. The jury’s out on whether they’re real, but they certainly make an excellent story. This is one.

Reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain, Sausmarez  Manor’s website says: ‘The Ghosts have been around almost as long as the house’s nearly 800 years, most are friendly, some are inexplicable, and the most recent one only died in the last 30 years.’

Sausmarez Manor’s Haunted Barn

A few years back I lived in Sark, a tiny place in the Channel Islands, which has recently been in the public (and TV) eye. We used to make regular trips to Guernsey on a choppy sea, for food and fun. Sausmarez Manor is in the south west, not that far from St Peter Port. I’ve never been there, but it’s had its share of ghostly noises. Behind the manor is a quaint old barn.  When the owner first moved into the manor, it wasn’t unusual to see a blue-tinted light shining at night from the gable of the barn, close to the roof. The building was unoccupied. The gable was solid and covered by a rose, but when the rose was cut down, a blocked up window was discovered behind it. Had the light somehow ‘come from inside’?

A little while later, the ground floor was converted to a tearoom, and the top floor became a doll’s house museum. Various people running the tearoom began to ask if the barn was haunted, having heard footsteps coming from upstairs when they opened the barn for business in the morning. They’d checked upstairs, but the place was empty.

‘I can only assume,’ the owner, reported, ‘that whatever was larking about with the blue light is still larking about upstairs in the barn.’ (Peter de Sausmarez)

What do you think?

Source
Stately Ghosts: haunting tales from Britain’s historic houses, London: VisitBritain Publishing, 2007.

Further Information
Sausmarez Manor website

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One thought on “At Home with the Ghost

  1. Spooky. No, that’s not as glib as it sounds. This post was indeed spooky for me. As I read it I realised I know these people, at one stage removed.

    I recognised the surname de Sausmarez. Someone I come across frequently has that same surname: their family comes from Guernsey and I once met their cousin – who is the Peter you mention here.

    So thank you for a most enlightening post!

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