Daily Archives: October 28, 2011

The Girl At The Gate

Are you tiring of Bacon’s Castle stories yet? I sure hope not, because I have another one to share today.

I may have mentioned previously that I worked for one season, in 2000, as a historic interpreter at the Castle. Marshall also began his ten-year employment there that year.  One afternoon, he and I were the only staff members working, and at one point, we had no visitors in the house or on the property.

The gift shop/admission office was located at the rear of the house, but there was a hallway leading to a front window. And through the window, you could see the gate at the end of the drive. I was sitting at the desk, and Marshall was standing in the center of the room, looking down the hall toward the window.

Suddenly, he began staring intently in that direction, leaning forward as if to get a better look.  He didn’t say anything at first, but glanced at me and pointed toward the front gate.

I thought: that must really be an unusual car coming down the drive.

Finally, he said something like: “there’s a girl standing at the gate”.  I stood up from the desk, walked around it and went over to where he was. By that time, she had walked behind one of the brick posts.

We immediately began walking through every room at the front of the house, looking toward the highway, but never saw anyone.  A few minutes later, a family drove through the gate, came in and signed up for a tour. We asked if they’d seen anyone walking along the highway: they hadn’t.  (Bacon’s Castle is on a quiet little country road, and a person wouldn’t have had time to walk to any of the nearby houses.)

I’ll always remember what Marshall asked me shortly after this happened. He said: “Mom, you do believe me, don’t you?”.  Well, yes, I do believe him. First of all, because he’s my son, and also because I witnessed first-hand his reaction to what he saw at the gate.

He said the girl wasn’t dressed as women dress today, but rather was wearing a long, white dress, and was standing directly in the center of the drive, looking toward the house.

A few years later, a visitor had taken a tour guided by one of the other interpreters. When the tour was over, the visitor asked Marshall who that girl would have been that she saw in the garden. She described her just as Marshall described the girl at the gate to me.

Marshall and I will tell you that this was something we couldn’t explain. And perhaps some things just aren’t meant to be explained.