Friday, 2 November 2012

Longleat Halloween Day

Well I was going to go to Thrope Park for one of their Fright Nights but since I had already been to Thrope the same month and my partner is abit sick of the place so we decided a nice easy going day at Longleat Safari park which we both enjoy.
Now the Halloween 'scares' are very aimed at kids but I guess having a review that's for family fun for once isn't a bad thing is it?
They had a pumpkin trail around the grounds of the park where you had to write down the animal names you found on the huge pumpkins dotted around for the chance to win a chocolate bar. (I won one and it tasted like victory)
These weren't hard to miss if you went to everything in the park.
But it was fun anyway trying to spot them all and it might have been harder if you were a kid. Also I bet they don't change them every year so would be easy to remember for next year, oh and the guy who checked my sheet didn't actually check it so I could have made them up.. but that would ruin the fun right?
Next was the 'Ghost Train' which is their normal train with some fake spider web dotted around it and later on some guys dressed up jump at you from either side and if your not expecting it, does make you jump a little. Also the train slows down and you get to see a Witch and her dressed up men prance around and after you are rewarded a lollipop.
Which is pretty neat and amusing if your an adult. Also the music on the train are songs like 'This Is Halloween' 'Ghostbusters' and 'Addams Family' with kids singing the lyrics not the original songs.. Though 'Monster Mash' was it's original format.
I can't tell if the staff love their job or they all draw straws on who has to dress like what this year..
They had something called Hocus Pocus Hall which was a large room in the Longleat House which was overly decorated and had some witches hanging about in it, once again a chance for your child to get even more candy and sugar into their system.
The batcave which is my most favourite place on earth is now renamed 'Draculars Batcave' where a guy dressed up jumps at you in a corner making you and your kids jump before going into a cave full of flying bats which might have been enough to freak someone out already.
Bats are so effing cute.
If you are ever in Longleat please buy a bat pin for a charity to help our bats out. Or go here to also help out UK bats.
All day you can get your face painted or carve a pumpkin. I carved a pumpkin as it's my yearly thing and I'd forgotten/left it too late to buy one and carve at home so I bought one and did it right there at Longleat for £3 which is about the price TESCOS had them for so I didn't mind.
Place also had a smart talking dragon who was a pain but the kids seemed to love him.
Now for the thing we had to pay extra for £7.50 a ticket for the Ghost Tour of Longleat house. Now at first it will feel like you got ripped off bad as they tell you some history about the house but take you around the bottom of the house and show you a very fake head that even the kids in our group were like 'are you kidding me?' the first ten minutes were slow and abit boring but soon you leave the storage rooms with the flashing ghost pictures and poundland plastic head in a box and go to parts of the house that you don';t get to see normally.
Also beware of staff in sheets..
The guy who takes us on our ghost tour is dressed like a butler and he's fairly good, he throws himself into the role well enough to make it entertaining. The kids get sucked into the story even if it is very history heavy as he pretends he see's things, fake noises go off as you walk through the dark and walk up old stairs.
The house itself is so beautiful.
To me there is no doubt that this place is haunted. We learn the story of the main ghost that haunts Longleat house and get taken around where it was based which is closed off to the public and I think only opened up to the Ghost Tour people.
So many old paintings of kings, queens, earls, dukes and god knows what of the past. If your not into the supernatural or goofy ghost tours then the history alone is worth going for cus as I said might be the only time you get to see certain parts of the house.
The house is creepy enough on it's own without anyone trying to make you jump along the way. Most the scares are cheesy and very awkwardly bad but amusing for us adults but enough to get the kids scared. The kids in our group seemed to enjoy it and be a fair bit scared at the same time.
The 'Monk' aka the man in the sheet leaped out in front of us in this hall way and I'll admit I yelped loudly which didn't just scare the hell out of the kids but also the man showing us around, I was dying of embarrassment the whole way after that.
The ghost walk I would rate 1/5 for a horror fan but as a normal person or someone who loves history [Which I also do] then a good 4/5 and your kids will love it.
It took us about an hour to go around and we got to meet Henry the 8th and a wife or two.
If you want the story of the Ghost of Longleat house here it is.. (Told differently at the Ghost Walk) In the Ghost walk it is told that the Lady Louisa was lovers with her footman and it wasn't a rumor started and they also found the body of said footman and had it carbon dated, a true story)
As is so often the case with phantoms, the Longleat House ghost is an innocent victim of someone else's actions.
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.
Thank you!

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