This is my house in England where I lived for 15 years. It was the carriage house for a mansion house, and if you look to the left you can see the indentations where the imperial carriages were once rolled in.
This is Camden House, where we were once a part of the estate.
Built in the 1600's by the scholar William Camden, the house had many luminary owners. Later, in the 1800's the house was prepared for a family moving in but it was of utmost secrecy. It puzzled all the townsfolk, especially when Imperial Eagles were embedded into the architecture.
This was the couples only son, Prince Louis. Can you think who they could be?
Hard to believe in this picture, he was only 22 years old.
The noble family moving in were the exiled French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte III and his beloved wife Empress Eugenie. They had one son, Louis, and this was the end of the line for the Bonaparte dynasty. The French hated Napoleon III because they claimed, unlike his legendary grandfather, his sexual escapades were absolutely disgraceful. Though he was the crowned emperor of France, he slept with every woman he could get his royal scepter into- in carriages, in kitchens, barns and anywhere else he could find five minutes to toss his crooked crown. Woman in the Royal Courts wore sleeping with him like a badge of honor, so there was no end to his conquests- until he spied Eugenie through a castle window and instantly fell in love with her and asked her to be his royal wife.
She refused to have sex with him and Napoleon could barely contain himself, assuming she wanted to stay a virgin until their illustrious wedding night. He could hardly wait. She, however, was heard on their wedding night shrieking "Sex? WHAT FILTH!"
Desperately sexually frustrated, Bonaparte cheated on her six months later, and when she found out all hell broke loose. Finally, she gave in and little Louis was born, who would one day rule France being the last Bonaparte in the aristocratic blood line to save the dynastic family from extinction- and hopefully produce more little heirs to wear the Imperial Crown.
After the Franco-Prussian War around 1871, the royal family moved to Camden House. This was where Prince Louis became dearly loved by all the townsfolk who adored his kind, gentle and sweet disposition.
Time went on and he enrolled in military school in London.
We often think of military leaders as dying on the battlefield, but Napoleon III actually died in 1878 inside Camden House, in his brass bed, surrounded by his family and dear friends, his bed covered in rose petals his wife grew in the garden. It was in this room, before dying, he decreed his son the next Emperor of France.
In royal households, the husband and wife sleep in different quarters- the fact these two shared a room with two beds was almost scandalous- but Empress Eugenie wanted to keep a close eye on him.
The newly crowned Prince Louis knew 'Heavy was the head who wears the crown' (funnily enough you could walk to one of Shakespeare's house from here), and wanted to prove himself to all and sundry. He begged his mother and godmother Queen Victoria to let him go to war and finally they relented, entrusting a couple of generals to keep him under their wings to make sure he was safe.
Louis, however, was so eager to prove himself that he rushed into a fight in the Great South African Zulu War and died from 18 spear wounds, the fatal blow going through his eye into his brain.His horse abnormally ran off, so he was left to fight the mighty Zulu warriors in the first skirmish of his life.
Oddly enough when the Zulus found out whom they had killed they were quite upset, and said had they known who he was they would have just 'scared him'.
So when I moved into my carriage house I knew none of this- even though directly across from me were the servants quarters, and across the road were the stables converted into offices.
When I first moved in to the carriage house, I was awoken around 7am by an ornery old man, covered in dust with potato sacks draped over his shoulders. He screamed "GET OUTTA MY HOUSE!" and I thought he was a real person- until he vanished into thin air. Some ghosts are like gossamer with wings but this was one composed of skin and bones and he was livid.
I called my boyfriend and told him what had happened and expecting him to say "You just had a bad dream!" but instead he made me feel worse by saying "Oh no. Not that idiot again." He told me how his conservative Wall Street brother had run out of the house screaming, wearing only his boxers, in the middle of the night, who called Scotland Yard about arresting said ghost. My boyfriend also told me he was "Sick of everyone getting scared by the ghost and, besides, how come I never saw him?"
I sensed the ghost considered me a 'harlot' because I wasn't married and I should be burning in the bowels of hell- not sleeping in his old bedroom. I got married a short time later and things simmered down. Soon after a plumber had to go into the attic. He yelled down "You have a bunch of old potato sacks up here- do you want me to bring them down?" I started screaming "DON'T TOUCH THEM! LEAVE THEM BE!" I was crippled in fear the old guy would punish me and do you know- in 15 years- in never once went up to that attic.
Initially after the ghostly encounter, I started researching historical data about the house in the local library and a few days later the librarians approached me and, like the KGB, asked "Do you have a ghost in your home? Is that why you're always here?" I nodded yes and they marched me back to this back office room.
In this small room was a long shelf covered in spiral notebooks, they asked me to please document the events and not to tell any one. They didn't want people coming in to abuse the authentic chronicles. There were tons of notebooks and I asked if I could read them and they told me to go ahead. The stories were so harrowing it made my blood run cold. My town Chislehurst was so ancient it was even listed in the Book of Druids- and later on, if anyone's even interested, I'll document those strange events.
The ghost was a gardener named Edward Yeoll and he lived there with his wife and 2 kids. What was odd was that since Edward had lived there no one had lived in my house for more than 2-4 years. In England people stay put for generations, so it hit me Edward had scared the living daylights out of every one who lived in 'his' carriage home for over 200 years. Everyone, that is, but my husband who could not understand "What all the fuss was all about!"
In the end I made peace with Edward and he would roar in my head whenever he didn't like the looks of someone at the door- even before they got to the door. I had a pretty sophisticated alarm system but Edward would start yelling before anyone even entered the gate- he stopped several robberies- and even woke my husband up by yelling in his ear, while grabbing my toe in the middle of the night- to a man who entered the grounds with a big beard and a giant crow bar.
One night I went out of body (not unusual for me) but for some reason I went back in the 1800's, surrounded by hundreds of people weeping loudly, and I could hear wooden wagon wheels upon gravel. It was a terrible scene, young girls were hysterical being consoled by their mothers, everyone was dressed in black and it was confusing to me- I had no idea what was going on. There seemed to be a casket on the wagon and a procession of people. I saw a woman behind the cart keep collapsing and passing out, being consoled by a rather large, formal rotund woman with a big bum covered in a meticulously ironed dark grey skirt with hundreds of pleats. The pleats seemed to make her bum even bigger and I remember thinking how kind she was to this lady. I guessed maybe the lady's husband died- until I heard an old man say "Our poor Prince" and I thought this makes no sense- why would a British Prince have gathered such a crowd in Chislehurst? I had never seen a funeral procession- I had never even known there was such a thing- and at this time I knew nothing about the French family and their beloved handsome prince who had died in the Zulu War.
It was upon my research on the ghost I learned all about this history and that there was a local French Prince whom the townsfolk adored. On his 18th birthday, the whole town came to Camden House and cheered him on like he was a celebrity. Prince Louise, not expecting any attention, became choked up by so much love. He was a lonely child, with no siblings or cousins, and lived a rather solitary life. In her memoirs, Queen Victoria, who was constantly at Camden House visiting her best friend Empress Eugenie, wrote upon one of her visits on 30th November in 1870:
When we moved out of the carriage house, we took one last look out the taxi cabs rear window to see the house for the very last time. I said, "Edward is gonna be on a rampage when he figures out we're gone." My husband replied, "I cant believe you all thought there was a ghost- there's no such thing as ghosts!"
Needless to say, after living in a highly haunted energy field for 15 years, upon moving to the states, I only would live in a new built house. Haunted houses seem calm at first, but its only a matter of time before things change and your life gets interwoven with other things- and it can be really depleting. A few months after arriving in Basalt there was a distraught message on our answering machine from my husbands father. The couple, two high-flying financial wizzards who had bought our house were threatening to sue over non-disclosure there was a ghost. Apparently they had a bunch of different workers in the house and Edward went on such a rampage all the men ran out and refused to ever go back in. They didn't even want their tools back. There were three crews of people with a few men in each.
My husband started freaking out, while I secretly mentally high-fived Edward for his latest antics. "Could you just stop scaring everyone til a year has passed?" I asked him- and we never heard from them again.
A few months ago I dreamed I had bought a haunted, broken-down Victorian mansion. Upon going in there were cobwebs, dust the typical haunted house stuff. Suddenly a bunch of wicked spirits started trying to smash into me, yelling and trying to scare the life out of me. In the dream, I held on to the mahogany banister and bent over laughing. I stood back up and said "Ok. Everybody stop. You can do better than this- just put a bit more effort into this and really scare me!" In the dream the ghosts got insulted and took off. Sunlight streamed through the stain glass window on the staircase as well, everything was calm and I wanted the ghosts to come back. "I'm sorry!" I pleaded, "Please come back! I know you can scare me!" But they were gone and I was bummed my haunted house had become so, well, boring.