Friday, July 1, 2011
Un château hanté
Yesterday's haunted château escapade turned out to be bigger and better than I could have hoped for or imagined!! And that's saying a lot!
As this will be in my upcoming Haunted Guide to France, I can't tell you where it is or what name it goes by (otherwise, I'll have to kill you, mwah-ha!), but I can share some photos and some of the experience.
Think château built during the Belle Époque period in France. Built by a wealthy man for his wife and family, this château was socially in the spirit of the Belle Époque era with its opulent architecture, its luxurious trapping and its famed social gathers and dinner parties.
The château eventually passed from one hand to another up to today's current owner who lives in another country and refuses to sell and also refuses to preserve the château which was deemed an official Monument Historique in 1986. Sadly, the building has been utterly stripped of all its finery: original wood floors, chimneys, mirror, wood framing, etc. It has been squatted in, there are traces of sorcery and devil worship and it looks to be party central.
Voici quelque photos.
Living room stripped of everything, note the lack of wood flooring.
Same for the salon.
The only intact piece of finery.
Madame's once opulent bedroom, complete with a small boudoir.
Madame's bath ...
... where we found traces of some sort of sorcery: burning of feathers and meat.
A rapper ode to love and Aids
Staircase to attic
Then my colleague (Ghost hunting is more fun à deux, so I have a big burly guy friend colleague who shall remain un mystère for the time being.) drags me down these dark, creepy stairs into the basement!!
At the bottom of which we find this amazing kitchen à la The Shining.
Then we go even further into the bowels of the mountain upon which the castle sits. Now, imagine the château was built upon massive (and I mean massive) vaulted arches as support. Cave-like rooms were dug back into the mountain from these arches to form rudimentary rooms.
Here is one of the arches.
One of the cave-like rooms in which--now get this--the owner in the 80's turned into a night club/pizzeria! What??? Hold the phone!
How can I explain to you the surrealistic sentiment one gets when visiting a glorious Belle Époque masterpiece that has been raped and pillaged beyond reason, then one takes winding stairs, down, down, down and one finds this gaudy freakish 80's nightclub?
Some clever soul dubbed it "The Whore's Bar 24/24".
I'll have to admit, I was digging the glass walls (well, broken glass walls) looking out over the valley.
Where people have drunkenly launched bits and pieces of Belle Époque and 80's furniture and trimmings.
The pizzeria in arch number two.
The lounge. Love the one tiny remnant of tiger rug upon which sits the one remaining table upon which to pose your beverage. There was a psalm book open on the floor.
We spent several hours in the place simply digesting it all and feeling it. Then we went outside to the pool. I loved this arched gate that most likely led to the gardens, only I had absolutely NO desire to pass through it! It felt creepy and bad as did the pool. I felt as if it led to another dimension. (There were definitely creepy pockets of energy in the place, but overall it felt good)
Now ... just as we walked back towards the château, to head out, I clearly saw a ghost / spirit / presence. It was a flash, as though I had seen through a veil into another dimension. The ghost wasn't looking at us, he was simply walking as if heading downtown to do some errands. I sketched what I saw.
I think that because we spent so much time there and opened ourselves up to the place, I was able to see this spirit. I felt no harm. It was crystal clear and was just amazing to me.
Bon, back to my life as it is in Lyon!! Do stay tuned for next weekend as we are visiting a place that is documented to be haunted.
Gros bisous des châteaux magnifique ainsi que surréaliste et a bientôt!