Things That Go Bump. The End!

I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

And left the light on all night.

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It’s extraordinary how many things sound like clanking chains when you’re listening out for them. The central heating pipes cooling down. Floor boards creaking as people move about in other rooms. Then there’s the wind that howls around the building. I did hear moaning. And felt an ice cold hand grip my heart.. until I remembered that the newly weds were in the room directly below.

The furniture, which gave such character by day, takes on a wholly different persona at night. Heavy oak wardrobes cast deep shadows, plenty of places for things to lurk. Draughts of air lift curtains and the drapes on the bed. Dark portraits of medieval lords adorn the walls, with those eyes that seem to follow you around the room. Dawn seemed a very long way off.

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I’d booked in for two nights. A fact that I pondered long and hard over breakfast. The castle’s jovial manager came over to refill my coffee. “Aye, we’re upgrading you tonight, the Bothwell Room”. I could hardly admit that I’d bottled it.

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I joined the ghost tour again. Mostly to avoid sitting in the Great Hall alone. But it held an interesting twist. As there were fewer of us, a grand total of five, the tour ended not in the dungeons but up on the roof. Captives of olde no longer deemed useful were provided the opportunity of the ‘prisoners leap’. A jump between the two towers of the castle. If they made it, they were set free. Doesn’t look much of a gap? It’s about 12 feet. So to make things more sporting, their ankles and wrists were shackled. It saved on the paperwork no doubt. Not many release passes were needed.

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And so, to rest again in the Bothwell Bedchamber. A state room fit for the husband of Mary Queen of Scots. The furniture was bigger and cast deeper shadows. The bed was a four poster with thicker and heavier drapes. The eyes in the portrait of Bothwell seemed even more sinister than the last.

But I was spared the clanking chains. So that was good? Well no. The entrance to the Bothwell Room is directly off the Drawing Room, the place where Mary likes to stroll. But even that wasn’t the worst bit, oooh no. Because this room has a secret inner door. Bothwell’s escape route. Nobody was saying where the private staircase led, or what might prowl down there as darkness fell.

I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

And left the light on all night.

 
 
 

Things That Go Bump

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