Friday, October 28, 2011

Ghost Story

It's Halloween again, and time for one of the spooky stories passed down in my mother's family, where many on the Moore side had "the sight." Today we will recount the tale of the Haunting of Fritwell.

My grandmother was one of four sisters. When World War I broke out, the three eldest found themselves married to officers in the Canadian army, all of whom were sent to France to fight the Hun. The officers got leave from time to time to go to England, and the sisters eventually hit upon a plan to go there and rent a large country house so that they and their husbands might be together. Fritwell Manor became available. The lord of the Manor was Sir John Simon, a widower and a highly-placed English politician.
Fritwell Manor

Ethel, Billie and Hylda settled in. Irene, my grandmother, was the last to arrive, bringing my six-year-old mother with her. Ethel put my grandmother (who had "the sight") all by herself in the tower room. She snuggled down and went to sleep.

She hadn't been asleep but an hour or two when the sound of footsteps issued from the hall outside. Approaching. Slowly. Then, the sound in the pitch-dark room of the door creaking open. More footsteps, closer and closer to the bed, until at last...

The sensation of a cold hand laid upon her forehead.

When my grandmother appeared at the breakfast table the following morning, pale and trembling, her sisters seemed very merry. "Well, Irene, how did you like the tower room?" said Ethel. Everyone knew it was haunted. They had put her there as a (rather mean, I think) prank.

Kate Gallison

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