Going Ape

Saturday’s ghost hunting expedition was a bit different. For a start, we were looking for the ghost of a murderous ape. Yes, you read that right. Before you ask, no it wasn’t a day trip to  a spectral wildlife park where mischievous monkey ghosts would steal our windscreen wipers and vandalise our car. We visited Carew Castle, which is reputedly haunted by Sir Roland Rees and his pet ape, Satan. We had another guest with us, the lovely Lizzie Rose, who was on top Lara Croft mode, scaling the castle walls and barriers like a pro to sit on top of the castle’s sickeningly high walls. Unfortunately, our deep rooted fear of heights stopped us climbing up after her 😦

In true Calamityville Horror, we got lost. Several times. The first few times was when we went to pick Lizzie up from Swansea uni. We’d never been there before and ended up taking the wrong road and heading in the opposite direction. Ryan’s Sat Nav on his phone saved us, much to our annoyance. We’ll never hear the end of this now. But every time he mentions his phone’s superiority, we’ll remind him his Sat Nav crashes when there’s no phone service. That’ll stop his gums flapping. Then on route to Carew, we took the wrong road at a roundabout, heading left instead of straight ahead. But we’re glad we did, because we ended up going through Laughne, Pendine and Amroth, where we stopped to harass a pirate statue. Turns out, Lizzie is an expert navigator and not only saw us through Swansea safely, but through West Wales too. She’s definitely coming again.

Carew Castle has many ghosts. A Celtic Warrior, Princess Nest and the aforementioned man and ape. Nest was kidnapped twice in her life and had 21 children by 6 fathers, so it’s probable she single handedly populated West Wales. We stood at the bottom on the toilet shaft where her husband and children escaped into the sewers while she was kidnapped by her cousin, Owain. It took her husband, Gerald, 6 years to get her back and another few years to kill Owain. He obviously wasn’t much of an action hero. Bruce Willis never takes that long.

Back to the ape. Some people reported seeing the ghost ape running along the top of the castle walls, like a hairy free runner. We hoped to be able to buy a monkey mask in the gift shop, wait for Ryan to go off doing his artistic shots then leap out, making crazed monkey noises and tackle him while he falls screaming into the dirt. Sadly the gift shop didn’t sell monkey masks. 😦 Sir Roland Rees travelled often and one time returned with a Barbury Ape, Satan. He wasn’t a nice man. In fact, he was a total jerk and would host dinner parties just so he could ridicule and laugh at his guests. Bit like the 1600’s version of Big Brother. The ape would mimic him and also laugh at the guests. Roland’s son was having a relationship with a Flemish tradesman’s daughter and Roland wasn’t happy about this. The tradesman called at the castle to confront Roland and Roland, who was drunk, unchained Satan and set him on the man. The man escaped but put a curse on Sir Roland, saying the ape would kill him. A servant found the injured man and took him back to the servants’ quarters to look after him until the storm passed. Later that night, the staff heard screams. They went to investigate and found Sir Roland dead, with his throat torn out and Satan dead beside him, with not a mark on him. Portraits lay in the middle of the floor, burning. Some reports say the ape was actually the one on fire. According to a nice caretaker we spoke to, there are written records of Sir Roland and his ape. So when there’s a storm, some people claim to have heard the ape’s maniacal laughter echoing through the castle ruins.