Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ghosts of Haworth

The Telegraph and Argus goes on a ghost tour of Bradford and district and Haworth is one of the stops.

Across the moors in Haworth, the rich history of the literary Bronte sisters is also entwined with that of the supernatural. The Brontes themselves were not averse to bringing the paranormal into their writing – witness Cathy’s unquiet spirit at the start of Wuthering Heights, and the mention of the large, goat-dog hybrid of Yorkshire myth, the ghostly guytrash, in Jane Eyre.
But do the ghosts of the Brontes themselves walk the cool, shadowed corridors of the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth?
There have been claims that shadowy outlines have been seen in the Parsonage windows, and that the sisters still haunt their old home. What we’re to make of the claim that Charlotte Bronte’s spirit materialised in a London cab is anyone’s guess, though.
More definite sightings – if such a thing can exist – have been made at the Black Bull pub in Haworth, where the spirits do not appear to confine themselves to the optics behind the bar. Dark figures have been sighted from the corner of the eye, and a mysterious man in a beige suit has apparently been spotted drinking at the bar… the ghost of our man in Havana, perhaps. Glasses and ashtrays have been flung to the floor in empty rooms, and one recurring vision is of a man in a top hat and smoking a cigar – some guests have even reported smelling the cigar smoke. Could this be Branwell Bronte, wayward male scion of the Bronte clan? (David Barnett)
If you are interested in the topic, you might like to take a look at books such as Philip Lister's Ghosts and Gravestones of Haworth or Marie Campbells' Strange World of the Brontës.

The South Wales Echo has an article about cinema in the year of Phoney War (that included part of the so-called best year in the history of cinema, 1939) which has the following reference to that year's Wuthering Heights.
This was that fabled Phoney War period when no-one really believed that a packed cinema could become a death trap if the bombers came.
So they took a chance and, let’s face it, who’d want to miss Laurence Olivier smouldering as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights – “My hate is burning. I will have vengeance.” – making the girls from Woolies and Marks shudder with delight, doubtless casting disappointed sidelong glances at their Brylcreemed boy friends who so lacked Larry’s fire. (Dan O'Neill)
And The Sydney Morning Herald finds a retreat in the Blue Mountains called The Greens of Leura which has...
five rooms, each named after a famous writer or poet – including Shakespeare, Bronte and Austen – and a communal dining and lounge room, which features a full-size billiard table and free internet access for those unable to extricate themselves from the office for even one night. (Picture source)
An alert from Bowling Green, Ohio. Today, at the Gish Theater:
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7:30 pm
I Walked with a Zombie
(1943) U.S., 69 minutes
Director: Jacques Tourneur


This eerie film tells the story of Betsy (Frances Dee), a young nurse sent to a Caribbean island to care for the comatose wife of plantation owner Paul Holland (Tom Conway). As Betsy settles into her assignment, she begins to uncover the bizarre world of secrecy and voodoo that permeates the island’s lush tropical environment. Is her charge really suffering from a naturally occurring illness, or is she the victim of something significantly more malevolent? Produced by legendary horror guru Val Lewton, this adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a classic tale of mystery and suspense.
A few blogs for today: Linda Loves Books has compiled a few illustrations of Jane Eyre by different artists, the novel itself is reviewed in German by Rezensorium. Tani's Rambling Words has watched Jane Eyre 2006 again. Audrey Allure posts about MTV's Wuthering Heights. And Life Unfurnished discusses Agnes Grey as 'the other one'.

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leura bed and breakfast said...
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Interesting article. I have personally stayed at The Greens of Leura; a lovely place, but it got a little creepy at night...

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