Longleat House Ghost
As is so often the case with phantoms, the Longleat House ghost is an innocent victim of someone else's actions.Murder!
In 1733 Lady Louisa Carteret, a lovely and gentle lady, married the 2nd Viscount Weymouth of Longleat House. With her to the house, she took her servants, one of whom was a footman. He was devoted to her. He was a true, 'good and faithful servant', and Lady Louisa recognised his fine qualities. However, the other servants were jealous of his privileged position in the eyes of Lady Louisa. So one of them told Viscount Weymouth the totally untrue story that the footman was having an affair with his wife. The Viscount, a man known for his hot temper, flew into a rage.
Some accounts say that the Viscount had the footman ambushed and thrown down the spiral staircase outside the library. Others say that the Viscount confronted the man himself and personally threw him down the stairs. Whatever, the footman finished up dead, at the bottom of the stairs, with his neck broken. The Viscount quickly had the body buried in the cellar and told his wife that the footman had left without saying a word to her.
Of course, Lady Louisa didn't believe the story. Thinking that he might be imprisoned somewhere in the vast house, she spent night after night in a frantic attempt to find the missing man. Sick with worry, she caught a chill which soon developed into pneumonia. Thus it was that, in her weakened state, she died giving birth at the age of 22.
The Green Lady
It is the phantom of Lady Louisa who is the Longleat House ghost. Apparently, she is condemned to forever wander the house in a vain search for her murdered friend. She is affectionately known as the 'Green Lady', on account of the green dress in which she appears. The corridor outside the library where the footman met his death is appropriately known as the "Green Lady's Walk".
There is evidence to back up the Longleat House ghost story. According to a Marquess of Bath, when central heating was being installed in the early 20th century, what was left of a body was discovered buried in the cellar. It was wearing the uniform of a footman from the time of Queen Anne. In order to avoid further scandal, the bones were collected together in a shoe box and quietly buried in the local churchyard.
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