Dating in the dark britain
Today visitors to the house can admire its period furnishings and the renowned oak staircase, whilst enjoying the eerie sensation of having their every footstep watched by long dead members of the family whose portraits gaze down from the walls.Without doubt Springhill’s spookiest section is the blue-room.Grace Neill ran the inn for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries.She was a characterful lady who kept a commodious establishment and liked to keep a watchful eye on proceedings whilst enjoying an indulgent puff on her clay pipe.It opened into a powder closet, on the floor of which lay an ancient pair of gloves and small pouch containing bullets.In the early years of the 20th century the last generation of Lenox-Conyngham children to live at the house were sleeping one night when their nursemaid suddenly awoke to find Olivia’s phantom standing over her charges gazing intently at them, as though checking the well-being of each one of them in turn. Indeed she was moved by the concern that the apparition appeared to show towards the children.Years later another guest of the house – a Miss Hamilton – had gone to bed one night in the blue room when, just as she was starting to fall asleep, the room appeared to fill with agitated servants who were "pushing and wrangling in whispers." As she lay there terrified she heard a clicking noise from the wall behind her bed and turning, saw a door open and a light shine from it.She later recalled how "someone seemed to come out through this light and stilled the commotion, so that all fear left me, and after a while I fell asleep." On waking the next morning she was startled to find that no door existed anywhere behind her bed.
This is a wonderfully atmospheric old pub and and its front bar in particular makes a visit here well worthwhile.
Quite what Keats would have made of her custom of greeting strangers to her inn with a welcoming kiss is anybody's guess!
Although Grace died in 1916, her guiding spirit has remained behind to ensure that the hostelry that now bears her name continues to operate with the smooth efficiency her clients had come to expect.
Leaving the room to return it, she was startled by the sudden appearance of a tall woman at the top of the stairs.
The apparition moved to the door of a bedroom, proceeded to raise her arms, apparently in despair, and then slowly faded away.