Wednesday, May 8, 2019

A Tragic Wedding

The ghost story holds a special place in Ireland. For hundreds of years, it provided home storytellers exciting material to share —especially in the rural areas.

One favorite, classic story often told in the evenings involved a newly married couple.

Sea view of Charles Fort.
This couple married at Charles Fort, or Dun Chathail near Kinsale, County Cork. This fort was built in 1677 and remained in use until the early 1920s. It was initially used to defend attacks from the sea.

The bride in this story was the daughter of Colonel Warrender, an early commander at the garrison.

This pretty young lady, named Wilful, fell in love with a visiting officer, named Trevor.

Permission was given and the pair married, as was the custom, the celebration lasted throughout the day.

In the early evening, the couple slipped away for a quiet stroll around the fort.

Charles Fort
A sentry standing guard on the one battlement, saluted as they passed. This soldier observed Wilful, as she stopped to admire the scene that lay before her.

She clapped with delight when she spotted a sweet briar of flowers that bloomed below. The sentry immediately offered to climb down and pick a flower for her.

Wilful charmed, by this daring offer, accepted. Irked, Trevor pointed out to the sentry that he was not allowed to leave his post.

The sentry then suggested, that if Trevor was willing, they could switch places. Trevor could put on his uniform and stand guard while he climbed down.

The groom balked at this idea, after all, he was a knighted officer, and it would be undignified to put on a private’s uniform.

But catching the pleading look in Wilful’s eyes, he agreed.

The sentry then went to retrieve a flower while Trevor stood guard. It was not long though before he became drowsy. He had drunk a lot of wine during the celebrations.

He fell asleep and slipped to the ground just as Colonel Warrender came looking for the happy couple.

The commander spotting who he thought was a sentry asleep, a severe dereliction of duty, drew his pistol and shot.

As he approached the body, he realized he had just killed his son-in-law.

When Wilful returned with her flower, she began to scream in agony as she spotted Trevor’s body. Before her father could stop her, she threw herself over the battlement.

Her body struck a buttress, and she died.

Battlement at Charles Fort
The colonel overcome at the sight of his daughter’s body, her bridal gown soaked in blood, moved to the seaward side and jumped.

His body hit the rocks below. A wave carried his body away.

This tragic event has been recounted many times over the centuries.

Soldiers at Charles Fort, both Officers and enlisted men began to describe strange activity.

Throughout the early 20th Century soldiers reported being shoved down stairs, many said an irrational feeling overtook them as they walked the battlements. They reported a force seemed to compel them toward the edge.

Many witnesses have seen Wiful’s spirit, she became known as The White Lady. She is spotted along the battlements wearing a bloodstained wedding gown.

White Lady Ghost
She is described as pale, always staring straight ahead, never moving. The one exception to this is when flowers are blooming.

Her ghost is seen walking toward this sight.

Even after the fort had been abandoned for many years, and lay in ruins, witnesses, still report seeing this female ghost.

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