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Observations placeholder

Lady Stickland's experience



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 2


A description of the experience

Marchioness Townshend & Maude Ffoulkes
True Ghost Stories

The Late Lady Strickland’s experience “Plas-yu-Rhiw”

....., my own ghost story is ...connected with footsteps!

In the summer of 1892 I was staying with my friend the late Lady Strickland, at an old manor house called “Plas-yu-Rhiw”, near Pwllheli. I was the only visitor, and one night lady Strickland and I sat up so late playing cards that it was long past midnight when we prepared to go to bed In view of what happened, I should mention that the servants at “Plas-yu-Rhiw” ( who had all gone to bad long before) slept in another wing, and as they used the back staircase to go to their rooms, no one but ourselves could possibly be using the front staircase at that hour.

The old house was in absolute stillness, and the moonlight lay in pools of silver on the oak staircase. My bedroom, on the first floor, faced the landing, and Lady Strickland, who slept on the floor above me, was just in the act of lighting her candle from mine, when we heard heavy footsteps coming upstairs from the hall. The steps were slow and hesitating, apparently those of an old man, and they were accompanied by the sound of labored breathing, punctuated by various degrees of coughing. We exclaimed simultanteously:

“Who’s that coming upstairs?”

There was no reply. We looked over the balusters, but although the coughing and wheezing came nearer and nearer, we saw no one. By this time we were too scared to move, our candlesticks fell to the ground, and we clung to each other in fear of the unknown.

The steps paused for a moment beside us, as if the unseen owner of the feet had stopped to take breath . He then continued his upward progress, until the coughing gradually died away and we heard no more.

I implored my hostess not to go up to  her bedroom, but to share mine, or any other on the first floor, but she refused, saying:

“I have some Holy Water in my room,  and with spiritual protection I fear nothing.”

Next morning when we compared notes we found that neither of us had heard any more footsteps, and had not been disturber in any way.

So ended my ghost story, but some weeks later after my return to England, I received a letter from Lady Strickland:

“After you left ‘Plas-yu-Rhiw’,” she wrote, “I made cautious inquiries in the neighbourhood, and imagine what I’ve discovered! It appears that at the end of the last century, the manor house was occupied by an old reprobate squire who drank himself to death, and whose death-bed ‘horrors’ seem to have been something unthinkable. It is said that his earth-bound spirit occasionally revisits his home, vainly trying to obtain some gratification for his ceaseless thirst, so we were evidently favoured with one of his periodical returns.”

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Townshend, G. & FFoulkes, M., (1936) True Ghost Stories, London:Senate