Letter: from [?]to [?] But is a copy of parts of two letters, one from Mr Simmons and one from Beaumont J Featherstone

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 7EFA/122
  • Dates of Creation
      7 Jan 1882
  • Physical Description

Scope and Content

[although we don't know who this letter is to or from, one page had 'Great Hampstead Park Wokingham' printed on it in blue ink]

My dear Sir, - It would be about 1869 or 70, when I was staying at Meggernie Castle Perthshire - I had not heard a word about any ghosts, for our host, a Mr Herbert Wood, was anxious that none of his guests should hear of the report that the Castle was haunted! The first night I arrived my friend said 'You & Beau are going to have the two large bedrooms in the Tower you don't mind?' I said 'Oh, no it will be jolly, I am glad Beau will be next door' He said 'I am sorry to put you up there, but the Castle is quite full'. When I saw my room I was delighted with it - it had one window to the North & another to the South with lovely views over the Park and the Mountains. I was glad to tumble into bed, for I was very tired, but before doing so, I fastened my door & also tried another door, which looked as if it went into Beau's Featherstone's room but it appeared screwed up & had no key hole. I asked Beau through the wall, if it opened into his room - he said he had tried a similar door, in his room but it was fastened up. I went next door & found it was screwed up as tightly as mine was. I then shouted good night & was soon asleep. I was awakened in the night by what appeared to me a burning kiss, it appeared to scorch the flesh through the cheek bone. I jumped up in bed & distinctly saw the upper half body, of a Lady pass from the side of my bed, go along the room & through the door that was screwed up, as if going into Beau's room. I jumped out of bed & went at once to the door & tried it. It was as firm as a lock & both my window curtains were [undrawn?] & the moon was shining into my room as bright as day. I then struck a light & lighted my lamp & went to the glass expecting to see my cheek blistered -but there was no mark, though it ached as if burnt. Then I went down the stairs & tried if my shape outside, could in any way produce such a spectre but it did not - I then turned into bed again feeling very cold & uncomfortable. In the morning directly I heard Beau moving, I went to him & said ' Oh I have had a most horrible thing appear' he said ' Hush don't say another word, I have also - you tell someone & I will tell Herbert' we did so & found precisely the same thing occurred to him as to me & she disappeared in the closet through the screwed up door in this room. It was a beautiful face, but there was a hard, gloomy look of misery Beau's term so as 'a look of despair'. I was nearly letting it out at breakfast, when a look from Mrs Herbert Wood stopped me, for she was afraid it would alarm her guests. A lady who had stayed there alarmed the whole house once by calling up every body & saying that some Lady had been laying with her head on the pillow by her side & when she tried to touch her, there was nothing to touch but she could see her distinctly - this was before I went there & it had been hushed up. I was sitting up writing letters late one night, a week or 10 days after, all had gone to bed, when the door of the room, I was in, suddenly opened wide. It was a heavy oak door stuck with Iron nails & very heavy to open - It seemed as if an Iceberg had come into the room, but I could see nothing yet felt the same uncomfortable feeling passed over me -I put away my papers & marched off to bed, going down the corridor, I saw the same face looking through a window. I turned my light fully upon it & had time to notice it distinctly - I did not see it again - though I should have liked to do so & yet there was such a strange feeling, came over me both times. Scotch Servants could not be persuaded to sleep in the castle & none of them would go near the old grave yard/ at night/ in the Park, for there are many -they told me that the lower part of a female figure had been seen many times, waking there & sitting on the grave stones. The people seemed to dislike talking on the subject extensively & looked angered when questioned about it. From what I could gather one of the old lairds was jealous of his young wife/ I think that it was a menzie / & after giving out that they were going away from the castle for some time, he murdered his wife in the Tower, cut her body in half & put it in a chest, in the closet between the two bedrooms in the wall -he disappeared for sometime & then came back intending to bury the body - making up a story that she had been drowned - he had taken half the body to the grave yard and buried it one night intending to bury the other half another time - but he was found dead at the entrance of the Tower, supposed to have been killed. I had heard one version but there were some others too but they all seemed to agree fairly as to the murder having been committed & the body divided - but all this hearsay & I cannot vouch for the truth but I can most faithfully vouch for that which occurred to me. I am not in the least superstitious, had I been so - the old place & the gloomy staircase of the Tower, might have made me fanciful - but I was charmed with my room & the novelty of the whole place. I had not a thought of a ghost in my brain. I hope you will be able to make this out, my hand is not up to much writing. 'Beaumond Featherstone is a well known man in the world & should any of your friends meet him at any time, he would tell them the same. It made him nervous though & I didn't think he cared for his apartment after, he used to keep me awake & shout to me for he sometimes could not sleep - Sincerely yours EJ Simmons.

Copy of part of a letter from Mr Beaumond Featherstone, when written to on the subject Jan 1883

Yes I did see a apparition which I never could account for & what is so strange - E Simmons saw the same thing exactly & at the same time. I don't care about talking about it to anyone & I hate writing about it & never have before, as I don't like being laughed at for the reason ' it is not tosh' - anyhow I should like to have an explanation from anyone. Meggernie Castle Glenlyon Perthshire 2-30 AM awoke by a pink light in the room & saw a female standing at the foot of my bed - at first I took her for the housekeeper, walking in her sleep - she came along the side of the bed & leaned over me - I raised myself & she retreated & went into a small room, made out of the thickness of the wall opposite the bed - I struck a light & followed, still thinking it was a sleep walker & wondering how to awake her without a scene -but behold nothing in the room but my bath & towel horse - no room for furniture, no fireplace, no window excepting two loop holes to squeeze through, which would have inconvenienced the domestic cat! Then I felt what old ladies call 'quite a tom' with a dart a satisfaction to my bed candle I looked under the bed & there was nowhere else to look - so I went to bed sat up wondering a long time then put out my candle & went to sleep. Whilst dressing next morning I went to Simmons room & saw him looking about 5 degrees whiter than this paper - his last candle burnt to the socket & altogether looking most unfortunate. Not having moved his position since he had seen what he described as exactly similar to my own experience, with the exception that she had touched or kissed him on the cheek, which he declared seemed to have burned a hole there - to both of us she seemed minus legs -which I am glad to say I did not realise at the first glimpse -or should have been in a greater ___ than I was.

She seemed to Simmons to vanish through the wall towards my room - no door being there & the walls as thick as one's head. Our rooms were changed next day & I never slept in the old part of the castle again though I went there for some grouse shooting - I don't think Simmons ever visited Meggernie again, but am not sure. I see the place is to be sold, in spite of one anxious night there, if I had the [money?] ____ which I never shall have/ it is the first place in England or Scotland I should purchase. The only drawback, a ghost which apparently does no harm - 'not even to a wicked bald headed old gent. Rather curious, only two months ago, I was staying in a house, with a lady, who had been at Meggernie & who told me she had seen a ghost there describing it as just what I saw even to the expression of the lady's face & the way her hair was dressed - I think she saw it the year after I did BJ Featherstone.

Copy of a letter from Rvd Simmons

One of the three pieces of paper has, 'Eathampstead Park, Wokingham' printed on it in blue ink.