During the second half of August my sister and I made a trip to Ireland. We stayed in Dublin, but also took the opportunity of making some trips to see more of the countryside.
One of these trips brought us to Malahide, a lovely seaside town with a beautiful castle. Malahide Castle dates back to the Middle Ages, when Sir Richard Talbot was rewarded for helping King Henry The Second of England in his Irish campaign. The castle was built upon. the remains of an old tower keep.
It has remained in the hands of the Talbot family for over 800 years. In 1973 Lord Milo died childless and his sister Mary sold the castle in 1975 because she could not pay the death duties otherwise. It now is owned by the Irish government.
Well, we took a guided tour in the castle and the guide told us about the ghosts which haunt the grounds. There are five of them, apparently. Mind you, right at that time I did not believe in ghosts (unlike my sister, who talks to our deceased mother and can predict when someone in the family is going to die). I always thought myself to be a very realistic kind of person, who can only believe what she sees with her own eyes or feels with her own senses.
In the Great Hall, the ghost of Puck, a former court jester from the 15th century, is told to be spotted sometimes. Now, as we were having a look at some of the portraits of former Talbots, I could feel someone breathing behind me. I looked around, but saw nobody but my sister. She too felt a cold breath.
Ok, that could have been a draught. These old castles were not built to keep out the cold. But when we got home, I walked into the kitchen one evening to fetch something to drink, and I saw a dwarf-like figure standing before the window. When I looked again, he (or it) was gone!
And then a few days later, when I was running my errands in the supermarket, I actually saw a dwarf pushing past me, hurrying to the cashier's desk. But then he just disappeared into thin air. I don't lie, I've SEEN this.
And lately all sorts of pranks are taking place in our home. My sister's underwear changed place without anytone touching it, something or somebody switched the items in the freezer, ....
So I must conclude that ghost do exist after all.
As the guide in Malahide told us Puck seemed very attached to the Talbot family, I wonder if we perhaps have some bloodline in common? After all, we descend (if only illegitimately) from the very old noble family of De Dampierre in France. In those times, nobles of high rank married only their equals. I know for sure the Dampierres are related to the Bourbon kings of France, and one of our ancestors was king of Jerusalem. So perhaps one of the daugthers married a Talbot, who knows?