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After a while the people stopped visiting the house. It didn’t matter how grand the estate was, or what the purple prose of the advertising said.
‘Come see a place as close to Pemberley as you’d ever imagine’ they said to the literary minded. “Come see a place even the Kardashians would envy’ they said to those addicted to social media. ‘Come see a place where the elite would party’ they’d say to the socially ambitious.
And it all worked for a time. But only for a time.
Because they all started to see her. The White Lady.
And she wasn’t Lizzie Bennett, that’s for sure. Nor a selfie-obsessed starlet, nor an incipient mistress of the universe either. She was something else entirely.
Something that made you look away the moment you saw her to save your very eyes from burning in their sockets. Something that wailed and shrieked like a true banshee, making you stop up your ears and run. Something so clinging, so needy, you could almost feel her sepulchral touch from metres away, and you’d turn and run from such a ghostly embrace because you feared – no, you knew – your very life depended upon it.
They tried to just shut off the room she first appeared in, but she could travel through walls. They tried ghost hunters, but they ran away. They tried an exorcist, but he died of a heart attack in the middle of a failed ceremony.
They tried everything, but she just stayed, an imprint indelible on the house, unable to be removed.
Eventually the once hopeful owners tried to sell the house, but word had travelled too fast. They had their very own white elephant, in the guise of a manor house haunted by the White Lady.
I heard it bankrupted them, and that might have been enough. But no, she stayed.
They kept the house because they had to, right up to the day they both died. They died together – maybe naturally, maybe not. Either way, talk about a deceased estate!
I wonder if they’ve joined her now. It was their house too, after all. And if in the afterlife they can stand her company.
But I’m never going to go check! I mean really, would you?
© Helen M Valentina 2018