Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Scotland/London ~ Day 3 ~ The Haunting of Jennifer McMurrain

The waves crashed against the cliff's side as the wind pounded on the door like a stranger begging to get in. The young princess looked out her window of Dunnottar Castle and prayed the ship made it into the harbor. She could just make out the vessel, it bobbed like a tiny cork among the giant waves of the storm. Her stomach dropped with every lurch of the ship, even though she stood on solid ground. That ship carried her love, there would be no peace until she was in his arms again.
Ok, the writer in me had to do that. Today, I visited my very first castle... first castle EVER... like in my entire life. And like most people (especially we women who have very romantic notions of castles) I was in awe. It didn't hurt that this particular castle, Dunnottar Castle, has been on my Bucket List for as long as I can remember. I have seen stunning picture after stunning picture of this splendid feature and it still doesn't do the "live" version justice.

Dunnottar Castle
Picture copywrited by Jennifer McMurrain
Now common senses tells me my romantic notion of castle living is flawed. Life in the 16th century was hard regardless of where you lived, it was even harder if you were a prisoner. No harder, doesn't do it justice... there's a reason jails are referred to as dungeons and torture chambers. The pain and suffering that took place is not one I could or want to imagine, but when I walked into the dungeons I felt it.

Ok, Jennifer's gonna sound strange alert: I see dead people.

No, that's not true, I don't see dead people. In fact, I don't want to see dead people. Pretty sure if I saw a ghost now (I saw one as a child) I'd pee my pants and run screaming so loud the locals would believe a banshee was present.

I don't see them, but I feel them. I know when one is present. This is happened to me on a number of occasions, but nothing has felt as strong as when I walked into the dungeon of Dunnottar Castle.

The Dungeon
Picture copywrited by Jennifer McMurrain

Just walking in there I was absolutely terrified and to be completely honest I didn't know it was the dungeon until I left. The sign said "Warden's Office" for some reason I was thinking more along the lines of some type of official, like a school warden, not a prison warden.

The feeling that comes over me is hard to explain, but this time I also had physical symptoms... my stomach dropped and I felt a bit queasy, my legs turned to jelly as I felt extreme pressure in my head. A huge part of me wanted to look around the room, not for ghosts, but just in general, but I couldn't. I literally took a few pics and left. There is something in that room and it is evil. Not bad, not tortured, not Casper the friendly ghost... EVIL.

It took a good 10 to 15 minutes saying prayers in the sun before I felt better. And yes I prayed, the last thing I wanted was something following me home. And yes I believe that happens, too. I told you, weird Jennifer alert.

The tour of the rest of the castle was pretty uneventful, until I walked into the brewery. Again I felt I was not alone. But this was not an evil presence as the one in the dungeon.

The Brewery
Picture copywrited by Jennifer McMurrain

I've look through all my pictures and didn't see anything paranormal. But there is no doubt that Dunnottar Castle is full of history, both pleasant and evil and history has a way of lingering...

Wigg's Vault
Picture copywrited by Mike McMurrain