My friend Jade Walker recently got married. For their honeymoon, she and her husband spent a month touring Europe. (That was their dream. They’d been saving for it ever since I first met her, back when I was writing for Families.com.)
When she got back she mentioned they’d had an unexpected Haunt Jaunt during their stay in France. This piqued my interest big time because I’d had a heck of a time finding French Haunt Jaunts. (Eventually I did uncover some. See “Ghost Tour de France.” But it was not easy!)
Anyway, I asked if she’d be willing to talk about her experience. She obliged and this interview is the result.
What was the name of the inn/hotel in France that you stayed at? What part of France were you in?
It was actually a villa in the small village of Argeliers in southern France. We found it on the Web (http://www.theholidaylet.com/property/1572) and rented it for a week from a couple who live in Qatar.
Did you know ahead of time it was haunted?
No, it was a total surprise.
What room were you in?
We had the whole villa to ourselves. It had three bedrooms, but only the master bedroom was haunted.
Oh wow! Way cool. Did you talk to anyone there about it? (Any of the staff, management, other guests, etc.)
No, though we found it fascinating.
Describe the experiences you had.
On the first night, I woke up from a nightmare and felt like someone was watching me. I ignored that feeling and went back to sleep. An hour or so later, I woke with a start and leaped out of bed because I thought there were bugs crawling on my skin. I turned on the light, and pulled back the sheets, but there were no insects. Something else was clearly going on.
The following day, we decided to sleep in another bedroom. M went back to the master bedroom in the middle of the night to get something out of our suitcase and out of the corner of his eye he saw a figure wearing white. He turned, thinking it was me, and the figure vanished.
On our last evening at the villa, as we were packing, M felt this wave of sorrow wash over him. He’s a very empathetic person, but it was clearly emanating from something outside of us. I also felt a strong sense of sadness, as if the ghost didn’t want us to leave. It stayed with M and I until we left the villa and got into the car, then it faded away.
Strong feelings and an apparition. I classify that as one groovy Haunt Jaunt! But since we’re on the topic, did you visit anywhere else with a haunted history that you knew of while you were across the pond?
In Scotland, we visited Dunrobin Castle.
It’s a beautiful estate, containing many items from earlier periods. While talking to the cashier in the gift shop, we learned that the castle was in fact haunted. The cashier lives in the castle with her family, and had encountered ghosts on several occasions. There was one hallway that she refused to visit at night because the presence of ghosts was so prominent. She also said that items would change locations and lights would frequently flicker, even when there wasn’t a storm or electrical problem.
We had planned to visit the Catacombs in Paris, because they’re known to be haunted by victims of the plague, but the tour has been closed indefinitely. In September, vandals broke into the Catacombs and trashed the place, spreading bones everywhere.
Dunrobin sounds (and looks –I had fun looking at all your other Flickr photos!) amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this Haunt Jaunt! And the Catacombs…I would have loved to live vicariously through your experience. Oh well. Maybe by the time I get there it’ll be reopened!
Thanks so much again for sharing this with me and agreeing to let me share it here!