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Monday, March 4, 2013

Guest Post/Giveaway: The Second Wife by Catherine Cavendish

The Second Wife
Catherine Cavendish

Emily Marchant died on Valentine’s Day. If only she’d stayed dead…

When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn’t want her. But it’s her new husband’s home, so now it’s her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe’s first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.

A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There’s something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it’s not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie’s marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife…

** Guest Post ** 

The Ghosts of Bodelwyddan Castle 

With its crenulated rooftops and imposing fa├žade, Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales may look like something out of the Middle Ages (or even earlier) but essentially it wasn’t built until the 19th century.

It stands in 260 acres of parkland and incorporates some of an earlier manor house dating back to the 1400s (or possibly earlier). Maybe these ancient connections can provide some of the answers, because, for somewhere so relatively young, Bodelwyddan is a seriously haunted building.

In 1829, as construction began on the new castle, its owner, Sir John Hay Williams, reported in his diary that human bones had been found in a wall near a fireplace. Concerned not to disturb the dead, Sir John ordered that they be put back where they had been found. They remain there to this day. As does the mystery of whose bones they were and when and why they were put there in the first place.

Over the years, ownership of the castle has changed hands a number of times. During World War I, it was given over for use as a recuperation hospital. Not all the wounded soldiers recovered and it is said that at least one remained there. In spirit at least. He is still there. Wandering the corridors. Trapped in the netherworld between the living and the dead…

In the 1920s, the castle was sold to Lowther College and became a private boarding school for girls until the 1980s. A number of the girls reported disturbed nights when the sounds of something heavy being dragged along the corridors would keep them awake. 

Following the closure of the school, ownership transferred to the local council and it was opened up to the public as an art gallery and museum. Today it is home to the National Portrait Gallery’s Victorian Collection If you decide to view this stunning collection, don’t be surprised if you see a lady, dressed in white, disappear through one of the walls in the Watts Hall. Who she is, and where she is going, remains a mystery.

Part of the castle is owned by Warners Leisure Hotels so you can actually stay there! Alternatively, you might just fancy spending a night on one of the castle’s Ghost Hunts

In any event, should you wander into the sculpture gallery, you may glimpse the wispy wraith of a lady drifting past you. Need to recover with a refreshing cup of tea or coffee? Pop along to the Tea Room and you may be joined by the Blue Lady. And don’t forget to say “hello” to the World War I soldier on the way.

Need something stronger? Well, if you’re staying at the castle, you could pop along to the bar and order a stiff drink. Hang onto the glass though. They have been known to fly off the tables for no apparent reason. Oh, and by the way, if you feel someone pulling your hair, don’t be alarmed. Just don’t expect to be able to see who did it! The barking dog? Lots of visitors hear him. It’s just the ghostly Irish wolfhound… 

With all these sightings, strange light anomalies, sounds, and all manner of ghostly phenomena, Bodelwyddan Castle proved an irresistible draw for Living TV’s ghosthunting show, Most Haunted. On ‘YouTube’, you can find extracts from their ‘live’ investigation. This link takes you to the first of these: For those of you unfamiliar with the British version of this show, presenter Yvette Fielding is renowned for the intensity of her screams!

Bodelwyddan Castle has earned its place as one of the most haunted places in Wales. On my visits there, I have been struck by the atmosphere, the sudden temperature changes that no one can fully explain and the strange, sad feeling that seems to overlay some of the rooms.

After dark, it is another place entirely…

The Second Wife is available now from:

Catherine Cavendish lives with her husband in an 18th century apartment in North Wales, haunted by a friendly ghost. She writes paranormal fiction and has had a lifelong fascination with the paranormal which intensified when she saw an apparition which no-one has ever been able to rationally explain. She is currently working on a number of new projects, including a novel featuring the Lancashire Witches.

You can find Cat here:
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Ooooh, now that is spooky!!  Thank you so much, Catherine, for the spectacular guest post!  Everyone else, Catherine has offered one lucky reader a copy of The Second Wife!  Just be sure to enter into the Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway is International and ends on Sunday!

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