For some reason the last couple episodes of GHI has featured the ghosts of some twisted clerics of one sort or another. Moosham Castle, aka “Witches Castle” was more of the same. Built in the 12th century it was the site of some awful and predictably fatal trials of women accused of witchcraft.
Originally built as the residence of a 12th century Archbishop it also was constructed with the idea of being both a spiritual and temporal prison and execution site. Granted there wasn’t much difference between religious and state authority in 12th century Europe. Austria has an intensely Catholic history.
I am certain the Archbishop the place was built for is still there in ghost form. He was a piece of work. Consistent with Catholic teaching of the times women were seen at best as servants and baby machines and at worst as property frequently less valuable than livestock.
I asked my guides why this particular Archbishop (who was never named in the episode) was into the torture and killing of women as witches. I got three answers:
1) The man liked to watch the women in pain. It made him feel powerful.
2) He used women and when bored would have them accused of witchcraft and killed under the blessing of the Church. I was told this happened with two or three women he personally took as mistresses (another common practice of the era) and at least in one case when the mistress got pregnant had her branded a witch and killed. It would have been a major scandal for the Archbishop who was technically supposed to be sworn to a life of celibacy to have an illegitimate child running around the castle. Many clerics of the era did in fact have offspring and unofficial “wives” or mistresses, but an Archbishop would be considered a “Prince of the Church” and expected to behave according to a higher standard, at least by outer appearances.
3) The man was mentally ill.
When Barry and Dustin were trying to provoke the Archbishops ghost they called his actions into question. The ghost of the Archbishop got fairly angry at that claim. To this day he still doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions. He also didn’t like his actions questioned. I don’t think many people did question his behavior during his lifetime.
This was the first time in the episode I picked up on the Archbishop’s curate or assistant priest. The man who was the Archbishop’s right hand man knew what was going on. However he had his own ambitions, namely to replace the Archbishop. The assistant priest knew the Archbishop was nutty as a fruit cake and figured eventually the man would act so badly that the higher authorities would have to remove him. Not sure if that actually happened, but the assistant shared the view of the times that the women who were accused of, charged with and then tortured and killed as witches had as little value as the local cattle. It might be somewhat wasteful to kill them, but not wrong or a sin as he saw it.
The servants in the castle and the Archbishop’s household also knew what was going on. It is likely due to them that the rumors have persisted over the centuries. However being on the staff of the Archbishop meant food and shelter and as several of the servants ghosts pointed out to me, it was terribly cold and hungry outside the castle walls much of the year. Plus a good chunk of the kitchen staff was female and had good reasons to be afraid of the Archbishop. They sure didn’t want to join the wretched women branded as witches.
When the door off the Hunting Room at first resisted and then opened by itself as Dustin went to investigate a noise, I think it was the ghost of a condemned woman. At one point she was imprisoned in that room. She was afraid. That felt like an imprint haunting, a moment frozen in time.
Warden Toni’s room was interesting. GHI didn’t get any solid evidence there, but I think Toni remains. GHI asked him, “Why are you here?” The answer I got was, “For my sins”. When I asked him what sins he said he didn’t believe the women he was in charge of keeping imprisoned were evil. He told me most of them were “just children”, which suggests many of his charges were young women.
The Clock Tower antechamber was interesting. I saw ranks upon ranks of clergy crowded in that room. I think it may have been used to robe and disrobe. There were formal processions to the bell in the tower that resulted in elaborate ceremonies. I think holy days, festival days etc… were marked this way.
The torture chamber was awful. Joe was touched on his back by a ghost. I saw a woman reaching for Joe’s shoulder asking, “Can you help me?” In her world Ashely would not have been of any possible help, but Joe as a male might have been. When Ashley positioned her wrists in the stocks I heard a woman ghost tell her urgently to “Run!”. Then something ran fingers up the back of Ashley’s knee. That was creepy. I think the poor women who were tortured before death were also molested. Joe asked the woman who touched him to come forward. I heard a voice ask, “Which one?” One of the female ghosts there told Joe that they were “not witches” Over six centuries later and they were still pleading their innocence. Wow. Sadly that chamber had held a lot of miserable and doomed women over time. I noticed that several of the women among the throng were pregnant. I think a few local men may have used the Archbishop’s method to get rid of mistresses and children they didn’t want or shouldn’t have had.
I think the worst of the torture chamber were the pleas of the women to the Virgin Mary. Being the most significant woman in Catholic history the imprisoned women called out to her to help them, to relieve their pain, to set them free. I heard crying and praying to the Virgin Mother both individually and sometimes as a group. These pleas seemed to happen between torture sessions. These poor women knew none of the men in their world would help, so they cried out to the single female who held divine or at least saint status that they knew of.
In the waiting room when Robb told the ghosts of the women there that he knew they were not really witches I heard sobs of relief. I think they were happy someone finally believed them! When asked why were they still there I was told these female ghosts (there were a lot of them) believed that they were damned, as in hellfire and brimstone. I asked my primary guide Archangel Michael to bring them into the presence of God along with the knowledge that they were never damned, but beloved children of God no matter what they were told in their lifetimes. That was done. (It was pretty darn cool to watch…)
The clearest EVP of the castle was taken in the waiting room when a male voice said the name “Horst”. I think Horst might have been the name of the Archbishop’s ambitious assistant.
Spittal an der Dau/Schloss Porcia was built in the 16th Century by a Spanish Count.
Katerina, the female ghost, the last of her line from the founding Count was definitely around. She not happy with GHI being in her home. Looking at her official portrait in the castle I can see why she may have been the last of her line. For starters, she wasn’t any great beauty. Secondly, to me she looked paranoid.
Robb & Dustin were trying to provoke Katerina in the Count’s room, which was gorgeously equipped as the bedroom of the lord of the castle. Robb & Dustin were claiming they would find and take her treasure. I heard her insist “mine!”. A creature of habit, she didn’t like being reminded about her murder of the carpenter who helped her hide her family jewels. I saw another shoe being aimed at the back of Robb’s head. Fortunately he seemed unaware of it and suffered no ill effects.
I asked my guides what happened to the fabled hidden treasure. I was told it consisted of jewels and gold. It was found decades ago and quietly removed. Interestingly Katerina’s ghost remains unaware of this fact. She thinks she is still guarding her home and her famiy valuables.
The attic with Barry & Ashley and then later Ashely and Joe was interesting. The figure Barry felt standing over his right shoulder was the majordomo or butler for the household. He asked Barry, “What are you doing here?” That wasn’t picked up on any of GHI’s EVP’s. The rustling Barry and Ashley heard shortly thereafter was the swish of a female servants skirt. The “scratching” sounds GHI picked up in a couple places in the castle were apparently servants signals. My guides informed me that servants were supposed to be as invisible and unobtrusive as possible. So subtle, soft signals were devised to prompt say serving the table of the nobility and their guests. The table and chairs in the attic were probably there for the servant’s use and I think perhaps these “scratching signals” were practiced in the attic to avoid any mistakes in the formal dining room.
The majordomo was NOT happy with GHI being there and that being quizzed was beneath his dignity. He got angry. With the huge banging sound GHI heard I got a visual of the majordomo ranting about the intrusion into his space and tipping over an old armoire that once stood in the next room. I don’t know if it is still there today, but I saw him push it over in a fit of rage.
I agree with GHI that the prior photos that allegedly showed the countess in a window of the Count’s bedroom and the two children in the cinema room chairs were tricks of light, shadow and reflection. None of the times those pictures were shown on the episode could I get an energy signature from them, nor could I honestly see what others thought they saw in the pictures.
Maybe GHI could visit a Celtic site soon? How about a haunted temple? A little variety would be nice. At least they have left the British Isles and looked farther afield.
Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at: email@example.com
(C) 2010 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.