Dreams can come true.
That's me geeking out at the Glasgow Necropolis! Yayayayayayayay!
Gimme a break, I'm working on three hours of usable sleep and six time zones worth of jet lag. But I was there. With over 50,000 (mostly) Victorian dead people. It was like the Creepy Corner Mothership called me home, and I revelled in her cold embrace.
I am freshly back from a spooky honeymoon jaunt across Scotland and a wee bit of London. And despite the fact that I hardly know my own name and staring vacantly off into space is the most blissful, soul-soothing activity I can engage in right now, I want nothing more than to be here at my computer, telling you, Creepy Corneristas, about my creepy adventures.
I do not guarantee that this will be my greatest post ever, or even my most coherent. But there will be thrills, and "ooh's", and orbs and dust (same thing, am I right? *GEEK HIGH FIVE*) and dark tales told. And lots of pictures of me and my husband, dorking around the UK.
Y'all were never far from my brain on this trip, so sit back, relax and enjoy:
LOUISE'S UK VACATION WHERE SHE DIDN'T SEE ANY GHOSTS, BUT SHE COULD'VE, BECAUSE OF ALL THE HAUNTED PLACES AND IT WAS SO COOL!!!
LOUISE'S BIG SPOOKY UK VACATION!
Did I mention the Glasgow Necropolis? It's been on my short list for years now.
Over 50,000 people have been buried in the Necropolis since 1832. The Necropolis is truly a "city of the dead." Rising above Glasgow and the medieval Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis, originally built for wealthy Victorian merchants, sprawls over 37 acres. It was like a peacefully macabre postcard -- every tomb, every grave, every monument, intricate and unique.
You know how the Victorians liked "artful clutter"? Well, that was the Necropolis. Weeping angels, soaring obelisks, solemn statues, modest headstones, mourning Madonnas, stone canopies, cavernous and elaborate mausoleums, every cross imaginable -- it would be chilling if it wasn't so goddamn gorgeous.
This was my favorite mausoleum. The one on the right:
The statue of the woman on the outside whose face had been ravaged by time was so sad, lovely, and haunting all at once. Here's a closer look at her:
Here's the inside of the mausoleum:
Are you guys sick of cemetery pictures yet? Yes?
Here's one more:
I wish I could have gotten married at the Glasgow Necropolis.
CREEPY CORNER BINGO. (Can we make this a thing?)
Are you new to The Corner? Allow me to quote myself for a moment:
Supposedly in the 15th century, the 4th Earl of Crawford, "Earl Beardie" as he was called (awesome), wanted to play cards one New Year's Eve…this particular New Year's Eve was on a Sunday, and card games were forbidden on the Sabbath.
Earl Beardie, a notorious drunk, proceeded to throw a tantrum crying out, "I'd play with the Devil himself if he were here!"
Then there was a knocking, knocking at his chamber door. Uh oh. That's never good.
Calling in the devil, Earl Beardie and a tall, dark, cloaked man proceeded to play cards.Ghastly sounds emitted from the room, and when a servant dared to peep through the keyhole, flames burned his eye. Some accounts say, Earl Beardie flung open the door, furious at the servant for spying. But as he turned back the room to finish his card game, his guest was gone. As was his soul.
Sounds of stomping feet and terrible swearing continued to come from the room even after the card game ended. After years of this, the room was sealed permanently.
And here I present to you THE WINDOW AT GLAMIS CASTLE next to THE BRICKED UP WINDOW of the BOARDED UP ROOM. (Did you follow me there? I swear it's really exciting!)
The great hall on the other side of the wall is appropriately spooky. It's part of the original castle from the 14th century -- all stone, beams, and great doors. The tour guide did actually mention that Glamis employees have experienced "the ghost" in this area, though he did not elaborate on the goings-on.
But I saw with my own eyes the walled up room and the bricked up window. Whether the stories are true or not, the fact that someone actually took the trouble to brick all that up is pretty unsettling.
Oh! And I learned about a new ghost! In the Glamis Castle Chapel, built in 1679, there is a Grey Lady. I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but as the tour guide was describing her -- Lady Janet Douglas, burned at the stake as a witch in 1537 -- he mentioned that the seat in the far right corner, in the last row of the chapel, is always saved for her. That's where she is seen sitting.
THE SEAT RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Dork swoon.
I know Loch Ness doesn't rank high on the very official "Creepy Corner: Things That Keep Me Awake at Night" scale, but there was something surprisingly eerie about Loch Ness and the little town we visited while there. Like in a "Children of the Corn" or "Brigadoon" way.
Don't get me wrong, the town was lovely, I mean look at it, it's perfect:
When we got to Loch Ness late in the afternoon, it was nearly silent. We stopped in a hotel for a bathroom break, and there was no one there but the monosyllabic desk clerk.
"Is the restaurant open?"
"Is the boat still going out?"
"Are you going to kill us?"
We walked over to the shores of Loch Ness to do some monster hunting, and while there were many boats, and an information hut, there were no other humans. Oh wait, no, there were two other people silently looking over the wreckage of a SPEED BOAT SURROUNDED BY POLICE TAPE ON THE SHORES OF LOCH NESS.
We looked at them, they looked at us, they wordlessly departed.
It was starting to get dark so we decided to get some food before heading back to Edinburgh. Passing a desolate "Nessie Museum," we inquired about food at what appeared to be the only restaurant in town with other living humans, but there was literally no room at the inn. We moved on, and that's when we found what I'll call "The Lodge."
You know how sometimes things just feel wrong?
Like when everyone's smiling with only their mouths and your server looks you in the eye for just TOO LONG? Like when you spy said server berating a young hostess, and when he catches you, he only-mouth-smiles while making too-long eye contact with you, all Nicolas Cage-like? Like when he enthusiastically tells you the story of some dead Scottish explorers EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BUT DOESN'T, GODAMNIT WHY?! TELL ME!
You know? You know how that is?
Upon leaving, my husband remarked that if the tires on our car were slashed, we should just RUN and not go back into The Lodge for help because THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT.
Oh, and there was this William Wallace/Mel Gibson homage outside The Lodge.
So yeah, Loch Ness was awesome!
MISCELLANEOUS LONDON FRIGHTS
We were only in London for a hot minute, so I only had time to document a couple creepy encounters. One of which was the hotel we stayed in, The Rookery.
Alright fine, I didn't "encounter" anything at The Rookery -- a antique laden 18th century boutique hotel -- but this was the view from my bed. I dare you to catch her eye in the dark:
That's Mary Lane. Our room was named after her, a 19th century maid who married her way up in the world.
Her eyes followed you everywhere in the room. I hesitated taking her picture until the last day, in case it pissed her off and she decided to stand at the foot of my bed and stare at me while I slept (which I'm pretty sure she did anyway, because "orbs"). Loved my room, but feared Mary Lane.
I'm a grown-up on a honeymoon!
And of course our trip would not be complete without venturing out to what claims to be "The UK's Most Haunted Pub," The Grenadier. c.1720.
Again, didn't see anything, but the staff said that they'd seen chairs and glasses move on their own, and some said furniture has been rearranged in the morning when they come in. Supposedly the figure of a soldier has often been seen walking through the pub. (I fully understand that they might have been feeding the tourist spooky porridge -- my made up English slang for "ghost BS.")
The pub was cozy and atmospheric and if any place was going to be haunted, I'd definitely give The Grenadier the benefit of the doubt.
Unfortunately, no ghosts decided to pay ol' Lou a visit.
And that, in a teeny tiny teacupful, is my attempt at living the Creepy Corner on vacation. Nothing too terrifying to report, but the UK's spooky powers are indeed mighty. I'm sure the land still rings with my cry of, "WAIT! I need a picture for Creepy Corner!"
More spooky travels on the horizon, gang. Stay tuned for more ghostly globe trotting!
Until then, I'll leave you with this odd painting outside our room at The Rookery, of a boy in a dress with blood on it, playing some sort of Georgian limbo game: