After a night's dreaming of the delightful Welsh landscapes, we decided to have a down-to-earth day taking a drive through Abergavenny towards the Skirrid Inn. My friend Jane had disclosed to Cathy and me that we would definitely love the dwelling, so we were really looking forward to it. We drove through breathtaking landscapes over the softly rounded hills until we were dizzy and desperate with desire to arrive!
My excitement dissipated at first sight of the Inn because it led me to deem it derelict, decrepit, dark, and dreadful. So I was not that anxious to enter its depths as I thought it might be dangerous. It looked as though it might disintegrate with the entire roof falling down upon us. I drifted across the street and had a nice dialogue with two horses who had some doubts about the strangers in town. Finally, I approached the front door and dared to step inside.
A life-sized dummy of Judge Jeffreys greeted us in the foyer before we directed ourselves into the pub. There we discovered a homey dining room with designs and displays on the walls about the history of the inn. As we drifted around reading the signs in the dim and dingy room, my worries began to dissipate. The inn was not in disrepair nor was it disagreeable. The atmosphere was one of wholesome fun and we could hear the drinkers laughing and chatting as they devoured their dishes of fish 'n chips or meat pies. Dropping my purse on the bar, I began to dally a bit with the innkeeper Geoff Fiddler who delights in his Inn's ghostly reputation. I told him my maiden name was "Jones" (how Welsh can you get?) and that I'd come all the way from western Canada. When he heard that, he asked if we'd like to see the lodgings that were available for holiday rent. As he dived for the keys, a lady who lived in the district leapt up to say she wanted to come, too. She told us that the last time she'd climbed the stairs she'd sensed a ghost, so she desired to try again with others to drive on her courage. Oh, oh!
Pushing the swinging door, we entered a dark and dull hallway with stairs rising upwards. I disguised myself as a daring day tripper and began the ascent. Partway up the first section, I discontinued my climb as I detected the noose hanging from the rafters. I shivered in disgust but decided to push on. Just as I placed my foot on the middle landing beside the door to the "prisoners' cell," we all heard the most demonic and devilish howl! I jumped and screamed with horror but was drowned out by the screams of everyone else who was on the stairwell. Then came deafening roars of laughter as the owner of the pub dismissed our silly fears. Apparently, he does it to all the gullible tourists!
Determined to continue on, we peered into all three of the rooms. We were surprised to see that the owners had developed some very nice rooms done up with ensuites. Each room was different with two of them having four-poster beds. I decided right then that I would later return with Lorne to this domicile so he could have the same experience.
And we did. Unfortunately, the owner wasn't on the premises that day, but as soon as we entered the first room we danced our way into the four-poster and Jane took our photo. Lorne was dazed when he saw the ensuite and for a moment we deliberated about taking a holiday there another time. We resumed our tour in the second room, but as soon as we stepped inside, all three of us felt a cold, creepy sensation! Out we went, and descended the stairway, exiting via the closest door and ran for the hills!
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