Friday, February 21, 2014

Chateau Larcher

This week I found out my new book, The Monster Hunter's Manual, is going to be released in June.  The book is a middle grade novel set in a haunted castle in the Loire Valley in France.   In order to celebrate my new release date, I'm reposting the blog I wrote about Chateau Larcher.  This castle will always be one of my favorite places and a source of inspiration for me.  

I love to travel and I love to rent houses when I travel.  I avoid hotels when possible and look for rare and interesting places to stay.  When I went to France, I found an old medieval castle that had been broken up into 4 town houses. I was able to rent one portion of this castle.   The castle, Chateau Larcher, was a bit of a mystery and still is.   I travelled during the off season and the small village's tourist information center had been closed, so I was never able to learn much about the history of the castle.  I read the plaque by the Cathedral which dated the Cathedral built into the church at around 980 and the castle itself wasn't finished until 1070.   Outside of this,  I found nothing to denote the castle's origins.  It was located in the Poiters region of France just South of the Loire valley and would have been in Aquitane during it's highest uses.  The location of the castle must have been a sacred place at one time because the area is also known for it's dolmen.  Dolmen are large, neolithic stones arrangements that are usually placed over tombs.  The dolmen in Chateau Larcher are placed over a vast necropolis of more than 100 graves.  They are usually places in a sacred or important location.

Staying in the castle was wonderful.  I loved it and I snuck away every evening to walk in the dark.   One time I enlisted help to break into a roped off section of the castle and sneak around.   The castle was mostly ruins and in the night as I wandered alone,  I found myself chilled.  There is nothing tangible I can use to prove that this castle was haunted.  There was only a profound feeling that I was not alone.  As I have little else to offer,  I have posted pictures of the castle.

7 comments:

Autumnforest said...

I can't wait to stay in a castle in Scotland some day. I would love to just feel the walls and read the history. I would think it'd feel like I'm in two time periods at once. It would be even more eerie if I felt deja vu. You definitely have a ghost hunter's heart and senses. (Beautiful pictures!)

Anonymous said...

I stayed in Chateau Larcher last week and did not find it haunted at all - but then I tried not to think about it! I could imagine ghosts in such an old place. We didn't climb over any ropes, or poke around after dark. However there were some strange tunnels and caves under the church section - I'm sure they'd have a story to tell! Highly recommend chateau larcher for a holiday, it is very beautiful and relaxing.

L. Shepherd said...

Which publisher are you working with for this book? I've almost finished a YA novel, and I don't have any experience with YA publishers.

Paul Robinson said...

Ex pat Brit/Irish living in north of France in the 59 bang up against Belgian border (though down in south Bretagne visiting la belle soeur at mo). No respectable French Chateau is without it's "Dame Blanche" - White Lady. These days most of the stories for tourists, but there is long oral, & some documented history for many of the hauntings. Fortunately i read French damn sight better than i speak it - i'm relearning after not talking hardly a word for over 30 years since school, & it's now mixed with local northern Ch'ti dialect. Despite the tourist stories, there are quite a few current ghost tales about many places. A few serious groups investigating too, especially in the north. Love the blog - keep it coming Madamoselle.

Jessica Penot said...

L. Shepherd... I am working with Our Street Books. I don't know if that helps but they are new so they are more flexible than some.

Paul... Thanks and I would love to hear any of your French ghost stories. ;)

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

L. Shepherd said...

Thanks! They do look pretty interesting. I've never seen a submission process like that.