|Green Lady mural in Caerphilly|
Of course, knowing that there might be a ghost lurking in the dark recesses of the castle added a frisson of excitement to our play. It also added another dimension to the scout camps we had in the centre of the castle. Cubs and scouts would camp together and it was a rite of passage that the tale of the Green Lady would be told, with much gory embellishment, around the campfire at night. It was also a rite of passage that, at some stage in the proceedings, someone would gasp and point at the ramparts where a ghostly figure could be seen. It's amazing what a green blanket and a torch, combined with the right atmosphere, can do. Oh, how we older scouts laughed when the novice cubs screamed - but it was nothing that had not been done to us when we were at that stage. I wonder if the tradition continues?
And did I ever see the Green Lady? I think the honest answer to this is "I don't know". One night, after all the cubs had calmed down and gone to sleep, four of us were sitting out and talking about nothing in particular. I distinctly remember that, as one, we turned towards the rampart that extended into the moat and saw something. It was translucent green and hovered above the stones for a few minutes before it gradually faded away to nothing. I've no idea what it was (no lights of any kind on a dark starless night, no beer, no wacky baccy) and neither did my friends. All I know is that I saw something that I can't explain. Oooo, spooky!