Ghosts, premonitions and superstition all feature as part of the haunted heritage of Longleat. One of the most prominent superstitions is said that if swans fly from Longleat the Thynnes family line is doomed to die out. A skull uncovered in the grounds of Longleat was followed by a series of minor accidents. It was suggested that the site of a monks burial ground had been disturbed.
The ghost of the Green Lady is said to “wander, grief stricken” along the corridor that bears her name – Lady Louisa Carteret – who was the second Viscount Weymouth. She died at the age of 22 in 1736, following complications from childbirth. Lady Louisa married the second Viscount Weymouth, but he later discovered that she had a lover, subsequently killing him in a duel. The man was then buried beneath the floor in the cellar, and it is stated that remains were found many years later during some internal works. There are also reports of a Grey Lady at Longleat. Could she be confused with the ghost of Lady Louisa?
The Red Library is said to have two ghosts, “an old gentleman” which is that of Sir John Thynne (the first occupant of Longleat), and a “tall, dark haired” young man reading a book. This was later recognised as being John, the elder brother of Lord Bath. John was killed in action 1916, during the first World War. Audible phenomenon of knocking on doors has also been reported.
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For more information, please read Haunted Britain by Antony D. Hippisley Coxe and Britain's Haunted Heritage by JA Brooks.