I am 26 years old now and this incident happened on the night of my 20th birthday, in Castle Leslie, Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland. At the time this happened, Castle Leslie was a small hotel featuring, I believe, eight bedrooms. Each room had a theme and was decorated accordingly. Our room for the night was the "Nursery" which was located on the third (top) floor and had a bay window that overlooked the small lake. The room and view were beautiful, and our bathroom was actually a large dollhouse.
What made Castle Leslie different from most other hotels or bed and breakfasts is that the guest was entitled to have free reign throughout the castle and grounds. One only saw or spoke to the staff when they were called upon. There were telephones located around the castle for this purpose.
As I said before, it was the night of my 20th birthday. My mom and I had a fabulous dinner and she had retired early to our room. I was still so excited about being there that I could not sleep and I wanted to explore the castle. I had bought a nice cuban cigar earlier at dinner (this is a big deal because I am American, and the United States has trade embargos against Cuba) and wanted to smoke it in the drawing room, which was the only room in the castle where one was allowed to smoke.
Well, the staff, who had their own living quarters in a separate part of the house, had gone around and turned off all of the lights, leaving the castle pitch black. I had to stumble around the confusing layout by memory turning on lights as I went down from the third floor to the first floor. I stopped halfway on the stairs to call the staff and ask them to turn off the motion alarm so that I could go smoke. I was informed that they had not set the alarm, and to go on.
I slowly made my way through the hallway, into the huge dining room, turning on lights as I went. Downstairs, the staff had closed the huge floor-to-ceiling shutters from the inside and the doors separating the rooms were all closed. It was pitch black as I entered into the drawing room. This room was as long as the dining room and furnished with, among other things, a black grand piano, several couched with tables for reading and various "museum" pieces like photographs and antiques.
As I said, I opened the door and felt along the wall until I found the light switches. I turned one set on, illuminating the room enough to see clearly. I crossed the room and sat in a pleasant chair with my back to the side wall. From this vantage I could see the fireplace in front of me and slightly too my right. I lit up my cigar and casually glanced at the fireplace, and I saw a light flickering in the glass, like a reflection. I got up from my chair and looked around to where I thought the light was coming from and found to my complete amazement, a white candle in a brass holder with a handle, flickering on top of the piano.
When I got to the candle, I noticed that it had just been lit, there was no wax drippings. Also, besides it being pitch black when I had entered the room, the staff would have been positively fired had they left an unattended candle burning amongst all the old woodwork and curtains. I blew the candle out and sat back down in the chair to finish my cigar.
The experience was not at all frightening. Rather it made me feel comforted and smile. Castle Leslie is noted as being a haunted location in Ireland. One of the young men who had lived there was Shane Leslie, and he died in a war far away and can still be seen standing on the shore of the lake.
I do not know if it was Shane that lit the candle for me, but I feel that it was lit for me because it was so dark, and the ghost wanted me to find my way.