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Biblio At Warwick Castle

 

To begin with, I must confess that I have been openly skeptical about orbs and orb photography on this forum. When I see a photograph containing an unidentified glow, my typical reaction is to run through a list of likely explanations: "Dust particle? Bug? Raindrop? Cobweb? Chipped lens? Refraction? Shutter aperture artifact? Reflected camera flash?"

Once in a while, I run an image through the battery of questions and alternative explanations but they do not account for what I can plainly see is in the picture. Back in September of 2016, when Chelscp11 posted her narrative "My Step Dad Passing And Picture" (https://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=23744) I had to conclude that her photograph, if genuine, was indeed an orb. I was not the only skeptic who had trouble making sense of the image, as Rook also couldn't get all of the details to conform to the expected appearance of a natural phenomenon.

Last Thursday, as I entered the school's south stairwell, the afternoon sun reflected off the frame of my glasses. My first thought was, "that's just a reflection, not like the thing I saw in Warwick." I stopped in my tracks; I am surprised when my memory throws curveballs at me.

One of the best-preserved medieval castles in Britain is Warwick Castle. Part of the reason for this is that the castle was still a residence until about the 1960s. Take a moment to search google Images, if you'd like, as it is a remarkable structure.

Allegedly, at some point in history, a servant killed his master in the bedroom of what is now called "The Ghost Tower." Subtle, I know. If I recall correctly, the servant was in the middle of robbing his master when said employer awoke and the straightforward robbery diverged from the original plan, becoming somewhat more stab-oriented than anticipated. For years afterward, people who slept in that guest room would claim to hear violent pushing and desperate struggling noises during the night, hence the renaming of the Guest Tower to Ghost Tower.

Last time I saw Warwick, back around 1998 or so, the whole ghost tower bedroom had been made-over in the style of a Disney Attraction, with a serious-sounding narrator on speakers, lightning crashes, etc. However, back around 1984 or 1985, none of the modern efforts to make the room "exciting" were in place. It was a decent-sized bedroom with access to the tower's main stairs, and there were a couple of oddly-shaped nooks and niches so daylight could enter the room through windows.

I was on a school trip and I had lingered behind in the room as my group had moved on. There were four or five other visitors in the room. As I stood near the bottom right corner of the bed, I saw a floating sparkle drift slowly across the bed. I did not wear glasses at that point in time, so I know it wasn't a reflection; it looked like an electric dandelion seed, floating lazily about the room about five feet above the floor. I followed it as it made its way over the bed before it drifted around a corner into what I *expected* to be a short hallway; it was nothing of the kind! There was an angled niche about eight feet deep, terminating in a high-backed wooden chair sitting underneath a window that was well above floor-level. The shiny object that I had been following paused above the chair seat for a moment or two, then shot off through the closed window. None of the complete strangers in the room had followed me, as they had been reading the informative signs, perhaps looking at a tapestry or something, so I have no reason to suspect them of an elaborate prank. My friends were in the chamber below the one I was in; I could hear some of the noise they were making echoing up the stairs. At that time, I had not heard of orb phenomena, so I didn't even know what it was. The really peculiar part, from my perspective, was that the ghost manifestations were supposed to be audible and nocturnal, not visible in normal daylight.

While I still have reservations about orbs in general, this was something I saw that fits the criteria. I chalked it up to being an odd encounter and I don't believe I've mentioned it to anyone since 1993 or 1994.

As always, I welcome comments from fellow YGSers, and I'll answer whatever questions I can. What I can't do is make this somewhat dry description into an exciting narrative, because it wasn't exactly a pulse-pounding adrenaline rush. I witnessed a peculiar event, and followed the object in an effort to find out what it was; instead, I was baffled by the object's strange departure.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Bibliothecarius, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
 
1 week ago (2019-03-12)
Cuddlebear:

The renaming of Salem Village has become an opportunity for Salem Town to cash in on the name's creepy/sinister associations. My wife bought me an excellent brocade coat with pewter buttons when we were there. (Hey, Tweed: does that count as "Goth"? Probably not. 😉) The irony being that we passed the Visitor Information Center when a flat-bed trailer had been set up as a stage, with (well-intentioned) Christians decrying the celebration of "evil" over the speakers; I asked my wife, "Don't they realize that their opinions are what caused the fuss in the first place?" She called me a "menace" and dragged me about a 1/4 mile by my elbow so I wouldn't rile up the crowd.

The village, later town, of Danvers continued to have a powerful effect on American culture. Danvers State Hospital (a hulking Kirkbride structure) scared the hell out of Bob Kane, who paired the building with the name of H.P. Lovecraft's imagined Cape Cod town to create one of my favorite fictional locations: Arkham Asylum. When the old Danvers State Hospital was shut down to be renovated into apartments, an independent thriller/horror movie called "Session 9" was filmed there.

While I usually don't care for David Caruso as an actor, he really is great as the crew chief performing asbestos removal. The creepiest part is that the audio recordings played in the film were actual patient interviews found on-site. If you & Mrs. CB are in the mood for a movie night, I do recommend giving it a viewing.

Best,
Biblio.
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (127 posts)
+3
2 weeks ago (2019-03-12)
Love to visit Salem! Frankly I found that "secret" passage (in The House of Seven Gables), confining shall we say?

We stayed three or four nights at a "haunted" B & B. Other than creaking pipes and a rather large and less than stealthy cat I heard nothing in the night. However most of the guests shared their haunted experiences in the morning over coffee and muffins. For the most part I wrote off their tales as the cat moving around - like I said less than stealthy. I saw, and see, no reason to bust their ghosts.

I have to say that I was far more impressed by the Maritime History than the witch history (which actually happened in what is now Danvers). The Derby House and the Bowditch House were really impressive to me, however I was a qualified navigator in the CG so Bowditch was really big in my life.
Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
+1
2 weeks ago (2019-03-09)
Hi, Cuddlebear!

Don't apologize for being late to the party; it's still an open discussion, and I regularly check up on my last 20 posts or so.

The funny thing about this experience is that I saw this sparkly object drifting in my peripheral vision, looked up at it (yes, "up" because five feet *was* upwards for me until middle school). It wasn't slow, but not particularly brisk, either. (It moved across the room about the speed I'd use if I don't want to do a job but I've mustered up the determination to get it done.)

At that point, I had absolutely no idea that this could be a ghost manifestation, nor an orb phenomenon. It was something drifting across the room and I wondered where it was going. It wasn't until it reacted to my following it by shooting off upward & backward through the closed glass window that I realized that there was anything odd about it. I'd wanted to see what it was, but my pursuit of it essentially ended any possibility of finding out.

The windows, as I recall them, didn't shine directly into the middle of the room, rather they were all slightly off to the sides of the room in angled niches because of the thickness of the tower walls. I don't think it was a natural object reflecting direct sunlight because of the electric/metallic look of the thing.

Like you, I have gone to a couple of famed haunted sites to seek out any supernatural creepiness. My wife accompanied me on a late-afternoon tour of The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA, on Halloween, and the scariest thing that happened was a rather stout man got a bit stuck going up the "secret" staircase from the parlor. Four or five years later, we did the "Ghost Tour" at the Mark Twain house in Hartford; that house is stunning! However, despite the dimmed lighting for "atmosphere," nothing triggered my senses/shields. Hell, I'd have loved to interact with the ghost of one of his cats, but nothing happened.

The oddest things seem to happen when I'm least expecting them. If you've not read "My Parents' Second House," I spent a week sleeping next to haunted woodland in a boy scout camp, with no creepy events, then got terrified by poltergeist-type phenomenon after I got back home. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it; weird stuff just happens.

Best,
Biblio.
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (127 posts)
+2
2 weeks ago (2019-03-08)
Biblio ~ This story kind of makes me jealous.

I've been to a number of "famously haunted" sites in the states and NEVER experienced something I could not explain. I also wish I had access to older structures than we normally have here in the States.

I was curious - could your "electric dandelion seed" have been a bit of feather from either a feather mattress or pillow that was illuminated by sunlight through a window?

Great story, sorry to be a bit behind...
Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
+2
3 weeks ago (2019-03-01)
Thanks, Val!

In your writing, you may appropriate the term as you see fit!

Your description of fairy lights (in England "Fairy Lights" is a common term for Christmas Tree lights) generated another idea in my mind... In act three of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Oberon greets Puck with the amiable nickname "mad spirit" (III.ii.4), but when Puck describes spirits fearing daylight, Oberon rebukes him "We are spirits of another sort" (III.ii.410), as fairies are *not* limited to the dark in the same manner as evil demons or restless ghosts.

Despite being corrected by Oberon, Puck employs the word "sprite" as he is closing the play. Now, he's using "sprite" to describe the nocturnal ghosts arising from their graves "Now it is the time of night/ That the graves, all gaping wide,/ Every one let's forth his sprite/ In the church-way paths to glide" (V.i.396-399).

Checking my quick references, use of "Sprite" in English started circa A.D.1300, making it about 150 years older than the common usage of "Spirit." Though they have overlapping denotations, "Sprite" retained a more nature/ elemental/ wild connotation than "Spirit," which suggests willpower. (A brief detour for one of my favorite etymologies: "Inspiration" is the Gods or Muses breathing creativity into the minds of men!)

As for my noticing details or phenomena (of this world and others) I'm delighted to state that I've *always* done it. As a child, I always wanted to know "why?" My parents usually put in a fair amount of effort to find the answer for me, as they realized that they didn't know. I simply never grew out of that phase of my intellectual development, as it is a great way to learn new details, facts, theories, and beliefs.

As for the other visitors to the castle, I can't help but think of the late Douglas Adams. In book 3 of his 6-book "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, describes "cloaking fields" for spaceships as being an unwieldy, problematic power-drain: "The Somebody Else's Problem field is much simpler and more effective... (it) relies on people's natural disposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren't expecting, or can't explain." I've seen countless "S.E.P. Field" issues arise and deter the general masses of humanity, so they ignore the problem rather than confront it. While I have plenty of my own blindspots, I've never ignored opportunities to explore something new; it's how I learn.

Best (if somewhat rambling) as always,
Biblio.
valkricry (43 stories) (3004 posts) mod
+4
3 weeks ago (2019-03-01)
Biblio,
"Electric dandelion seed", I quite like that description, it puts me in mind of the fairy lights I use to see in my younger days - rather magical and enchanting, not frightening at all. If I ever decide to write about it, I just might borrow that description, if you don't mind, as it conjures (for me at any rate) what I saw best. Until I read your experience I never, ever thought that perhaps they were orbs... Just wee bits of a magical realm I was allowed to see.
As to what you saw? Well, I know insects seldom fly in straight lines, out closed windows, or even sparkle for that matter. It sounds as though you followed it for some distance too. I wonder why no one else noticed? Too absorbed in their gawkings, I suppose, or auto-dismissing it as 'nothing'. I for one, am glad you decided to share this.
Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
+1
3 weeks ago (2019-03-01)
Greetings, Nectarvore.

Thank you for the lovely compliments!

I remember feeling curious about what it was as I watched it cross the room; however, curiosity is pretty much my default state. Diction with a more magical connotation may be clearer: "entranced" is more accurate than "enchanted." The peculiar part, as far as I remember, is that I felt neither fear nor panic; I wanted to know more about what I could see, but it did not occur to me that this phenomenon might have been dangerous or scary.

I don't recall having been to Berry Pomeroy at all, but that scenario is all too familiar! Everyone else feels unsettled because of what they've read on a plaque or in the guidebook about a room's history, but they have trouble grasping why we react to something ephemeral that no-one else can identify.

I'd have loved an opportunity to have seen your photo... Que sera, sera...

Take care,
Biblio.
Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
+2
3 weeks ago (2019-03-01)
Hey, Tweed!

The machine's not letting me upvote you at the moment; I think I've agreed with you too much over the last week or two.

I like your question, "Did you think at the time it was aware you were sussing it?" I don't think it was aware of me until I followed it around the corner to the chair. Before that point, it was drifting in a straight line at a modest pace; the (approx.) five foot height from the floor was consistent, as though the bed's presence was of no consequence. When I saw it floating above the chair, it reacted to me and flew off through the closed window. As it appeared to be drifting and rotating somewhat, it's hard to recall if it revolved in a different manner, but it certainly bolted from stationary to an upward trajectory at great speed, as though I'd startled it.

I've been to Warwick Castle at least a dozen times, as it was a good day trip from Leicester. Only once do I recall enough direct sunlight to make the sundial in the courtyard useful. I took an American friend along with me once, and used the sundial as evidence that Britain does have optimists...

Best,
Biblio
Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
+1
3 weeks ago (2019-03-01)
Hi, lady-glow!

You're bang on target with your assessment. There are well-decorated rooms in the castle containing depictions of historical events with waxworks by Madame Tussauds. However, I have no idea what the castle's trustees were thinking when they installed "special effects" that detract from the calm atmosphere of a quite lovely room.

Thanks for reading.
Biblio.
Bibliothecarius (7 stories) (858 posts)
+3
3 weeks ago (2019-03-01)
DarkStar:

Thank you for your kind description; it's good to know that my tone is both clear & appreciated.

I concur with your assessment of the melodrama on G.A., but there are plenty of groups and individuals who have observed orb phenomena; some have managed to capture inexplicable responses to orbs by physical objects.

As skeptics, we avoid being gullible. Maintaining a dual mindset of doubt and of wonderment tempers the critical thinking so we question and explore without becoming victims of cynicism.

Best to you,
Biblio.
Nectarvore (1 stories) (220 posts)
+3
3 weeks ago (2019-02-28)
Hey Biblio

I like your story, your style of writing is really concise and intelligent. I've followed your comments on this for a long time, everything you say is very considered. Well thought out.

I'm an Aussie, but when I spent time in the South West of England, I ghost hunted through a few castles.

The one that I felt had the most activity was Berry Pomeroy Castle.

There is a tower called the Green Lady tower, that was supposed to be the place where a lot of manifestations took place (dogs barking at thin air, refusing to enter, sightings of a spectral woman, reports of being pushed on the stairs)

Funny thing was, in that tower, I felt nothing.

I continued my search and when I got to the two dungeons, I had a feeling so overwhelming, so absolutely unpleasant, foreboding, I could not make myself venture down. Into either, there were two.

I took a picture not far from there, and in the stone, in the light, you could see an emaciated woman.
It was subtle, I showed a lot of people, some could see her, some could not. It's like she was part of the stone.

A case of pareidolia?

I'm not sure. All I know is that I felt her presence, regardless of whether the photo was a trick of the light. I lost the photo when my iPad was wiped (my little guy put in the wrong pin six times, which shut it down) ... I was gutted to lose that photo.
After years of hunting hauntings, I finally had something substantial and I lost it.

What did you feel when you saw this will o the wisp thing?

The other odd thing after leaving Berry Pomeroy Castle is I got sick. I slept for almost two days. My partner looked after my son, and had to keep waking me to make me drink water. Possible just long haul flights or a bug I picked up at the airport, but I have no memory of those two days.

Really odd.

The strange thing about the emaciated woman in my photo, was that a woman was kept by her sister, in the castle, hundreds of years ago, and was starved to death. When I did more research, I read she was kept in the dungeons, not in the green lady tower.

I wanted to share this with you, in the vein of castles and photos and things that go bump in the night:)

Bright Blessings.
Tweed (27 stories) (2202 posts)
+2
4 weeks ago (2019-02-26)
Hey Biblio,

Lucky this happened years before the naff display went up or you'd probably thought it part of the gimick.
Did you think at the time it was aware you were sussing it?

Cool school excursion, a castle and an encounter with whatever that was. We always went to the beach and got sunburned.
lady-glow (11 stories) (2306 posts)
+2
4 weeks ago (2019-02-26)
Biblio - definitely one of those events that make scratch one's head.

I have never been to that place but, in my opinion, it sounds like it was better without the overdone 'special effects'.

Thanks for sharing.
DarkStar (1 stories) (17 posts)
+7
4 weeks ago (2019-02-26)
Hello, Biblio...

Your description of the servant's original plan "becoming somewhat more stab-oriented than anticipated" left me laughing delightedly at your deft, dry wit. I always enjoy the seemingly effortless way you write such wonderful stories.

Ahem...as to orbs, or whatever they may be, I have personally seen none, but my wife saw something very similar to your electric dandelion seed about four years ago. She was doing a 3 month database contract gig at a local supplement manufacturer that had recently been acquired by a larger company, and almost everyone who had worked there had been decruited, unhired or to use the more brutal word, fired. There was only a skeleton crew of people there helping shut things down, after which they were gone, too.

As she was sitting at her computer station, she suddenly saw a bright, spinning object move across her desk at eye level. She watched as it moved across her desk and disappeared. She said that it looked like a tiny piece of gold mylar Christmas tinsel, but it moved horizontally and spun like a propeller on an invisible little airplane. The spin was not fast; about two or three revolutions a second.

There were no windows open, as it was November in Utah. There were no drafts; my wife has a sensitivity to drafts that rivals that of a candle flame. And there were no Christmas ornaments up, as the decruiting pretty much took care of any holiday spirit.

I'm not endorsing the program Ghost Adventures, as I don't believe everything they've experienced is completely valid for a number of reasons that I won't bore you with here. However, on a number of occasions, they have recorded small objects moving through the camera's field of view, and some of these objects do not have an easy or obvious explanation like bugs, dust, or falling debris. Several of these objects have exhibited a twisting or spinning motion that strongly reminds my wife of her experience, and they sometimes look like shiny bits of tinsel, for lack of a better description.

So, my feeling is that the term 'orb' is not perfectly descriptive of what some of these objects look and behave like, but it's the best we have for now, I guess. Until my wife's experience, the term 'orb' in a story title would make me tend to dismiss it out of hand, since most of what are offered as orbs are pretty obviously ordinary stuff. But, the experiences that you, my wife, and others on YGS have had have shown me that not all 'orbs' are, well, just orbs.

The question is, what could they be?

DarkStar

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