Last week I wrote the sad story about the miner’s wife who wandered around in her nightgown after her death, either trying to find her husband and son who had died in a mining accident or seeking revenge against those who did not help her. Imagine my surprise when I received an email early this week about another tragic lady roaming around in white. I suppose white is easier to see at night. Black, navy blue and brown would kind of disappear into the shadows. I had never considered that before. We generally think of ghosts as white or light, filmy specters dancing around castle, mines, or old hotels. But maybe they come in other colors too, and we just can’t see them as well. How hard would it be to see the Lady in Black in the dark ramparts of a castle? Think about that the next time you’re walking through a dark area. You might just have camouflaged company.
Sorry, I digressed.
This White Lady is not wearing a nightgown. No, tragically enough, she is wearing her wedding gown. She’s been seen over the years at Charlesfort or Charles Fort in Cork, Ireland. Here’s the story from the website Irelands Eye.
The girl’s father was Commander of the Fort, and the privileged life of his daughter in the pleasant town on the Bandon was uneventful, until the day she met a handsome young officer who had come on a visit to Kinsale. It was romance from the start. They fell in love and were married.
On their wedding night, the happy couple walked, arm in arm, on the ramparts of Charles Fort, aglow with love and having the promise of a long life ahead of them.
As they reached the land-side wall of the fort, the young bride suddenly stopped in ecstasy, pointing over the rampart to where a solitary white rose grew on a bush below the high walls. A sentry, on duty close beside them, overheard the girl expressing a wish for the rose and immediately volunteered to climb down and get it for her, if her husband would stand in as sentry for him while he was doing so.
The bridegroom agreed to this and took the man’s musket. The sentry clambered over the wall and disappeared. Standing at the sentry-post, with his bride beside him, the young husband awaited the man’s return, while his bride looked forward eagerly to soon having the coveted rose placed in her hands.
Time passed, but the sentry did not return. Presently, assuming the man had met with some unforeseen delay in securing the rose, the bridegroom sent the bride indoors to their quarters, deciding to wait a while longer himself at the sentry-post.
Leaning on the sentry’s musket, the young husband, after a while, dozed off, and a short time later when the girl’s father, as Commander of the Fort, came on his tour of inspection, he found him asleep. Without realizing that the nodding man was not the sentry, but his own son-in-law, and in dutiful execution of the severe military code of the day he shot the sleeping man. A moment too late the commander saw that it was not the sentry he had killed, but the young officer whom his daughter had married only that very day. Demented by his discovery, the commander threw himself off the ramparts.
Sometime later, the bride, who had emerged from her quarters in search of her husband, found his body on the ramparts and, a little while later, that of her father on the rocks beneath the walls. Idyllic happiness had turned to stark tragedy. The grief-stricken bride, too, jumped to her death.
And on the gray ramparts of Kinsale’s historic Charles Fort, her graceful wraith still walks, they say, a pathetic ghost in a grim place of tragedy. (originally from Irish Ghosts by John J. Dunne)
This poor bride has been seen, even in modern times, not only walking the ruins of the fort, but also walking down the streets of the town of Kinsale. It has been said that in the first half of the 12th century, several captains recounted stories of being pushed down a flight of stairs by an unseen force. (She’s probably a little miffed at soldiers.)
Decades later, two sergeants were packing up some equipment when one man’s daughter asked who the White Lady smiling at her was. Both men saw nothing, but the child was adamant that a woman in a white dress had been looking at her. Another story tells of a nurse seeing the White Lady standing over the bed of a sleeping child.
Old stone forts and ancient ghosts, seems like a match made in heaven.