Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Did a Ghost follow a haunted staircase ??

db_Stair_Case_Blake_Hall1.jpgIn the 1950s, many old mansions in England were being dismantled and sold off; crippling taxation meant their owners could no longer keep them. Such a fate befell Blake Hall, in Mirfield, Yorkshire, which was dismantled in 1954. Its fine old Queen Anne staircase was purchased by a London antiques dealer.

On this side of the pond that year, Allen and Gladys Topping built a new home they called Sanderling on Beach Lane in Quogue. In 1958 they attended the Kensington Antiques Fair looking for items to put in their house; they bought the Blake Hall staircase and installed it at Quogue. Blake Hall was notable in that Anne Bronte worked as a governess there in 1839, and it's claimed that she based characters in her book Agnes Grey on its inhabitants.

In 1966, a syndicated newspaper columnist wrote that Mrs. Topping told him, "On the 3rd of September 1962, about sunset, I was sitting in my second-floor bedroom in an hour of meditation. […] Suddenly I heard light footsteps which seemed to be on the stairs. […]

To my astonishment, I saw the figure of a young woman ascending the stairs. She was dressed in a long, full skirt which she lifted above her ankles. A tri-cornered shawl was about her shoulders, and her hair was held in a bun on the back of her neck. In her right hand she carried a chamber stick. Her expression was pensive, as though she were locked deep in her own pleasant thoughts.

Read Full Story: Hamptons Curbed

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