Last year, the terrific Catherine Cavendish visited my blog with a very fascinating read. She returns here with her latest book, and more wonderful reading. Thanks, Catherine!
The White Lady of Porcia Castle
My latest book – Waking the Ancients – centres largely on sinister and ghostly activities within a magnificent haunted house in Vienna, Austria’s elegant and fascinating capital.
Vienna is the sort of city where ghosts walk by your side at night through quaint, winding streets in the old part of the city. Music forms the breath of the city and you can almost hear the haunting strains of The Blue Danubeas you wonder at the grandeur of its many palaces.
But Vienna isn’t Austria and all over this picturesque country, you can find echoes of its imperial past when the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled over so much of the European continent.
Today, I want to take you to a haunted castle. Situated in the centre of the town of Spittal an der Drau in the Austrian state of Carinthia, stands the magnificent Renaissance edifice of Schloss Porcia.
Built at the instigation of Count Gabriel von Salamanca-Ortenburg, in 1533, the castle’s splendour was designed to reflect the achievements of its owner who was treasurer and confidant to Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria. Sad to say, the Count never lived here as construction continued on until 1598 – some 59 years after his death.
Ghost stories abound today, as they have for most of the castle’s life. In a forgotten banana box in the town’s archive, employees found the bones of fifteen members of the Salamanca family dating from the 17thand 18thcenturies. In 2010, these bones were ceremonially reburied and everyone hoped that would put an end to the ghostly sightings. It didn’t. Both the bead of the castle’s museum and the town’s mayor engaged in ghost hunts, inviting several teams of ghosthunters to mount investigations and get to the bottom or precisely who was haunting the castle.
Almost certainly, one major contender is Katharina von Salamanca. She was the last descendant of the Count and was infamous for her miserliness. She walled all her treasures up in the castle and so that no one would ever discover their hiding place, she had the bricklayer murdered. Not only that, an unfortunate maid felt the full force of her wrath when Katharina discovered her discussing the whereabouts of the fortune. Her mistress killed her with a clog.
Many visitors claim to have heard strange noises in a number of rooms. She appears and disappears apparently at will in one courtyard and floats through the arcaded courtyard.On occasions, her shape has been seen manifesting in the window glass. She has also appeared in photographs as a ghostly figure. She is known as the White Lady and no prizes for guessing why.
The reason she haunts is disputed but she may have been cursed to eternally wander the castle in penance for her remorseless behaviour toward her employees.
Since 1951, the castle has been owned by the municipality of Spittal an der Drau and is open to the public. Maybe, if you visit, the White Lady will accompany you on your tour…
Waking the Ancients
Legacy In Death
University student Lizzie Charters accompanies her mentor, Dr. Emeryk Quintillus, on the archeological dig to uncover Cleopatra’s tomb. Her presence is required for a ceremony conducted by the renowned professor to resurrect Cleopatra’s spirit—inside Lizzie’s body. Quintillus’s success is short-lived, as the Queen of the Nile dies soon after inhabiting her host, leaving Lizzie’s soul adrift . . .
Paula Bancroft’s husband just leased Villa Dürnstein, an estate once owned by Dr. Quintillus. Within the mansion are several paintings and numerous volumes dedicated to Cleopatra. But the archeologist’s interest in the Egyptian empress deviated from scholarly into supernatural, infusing the very foundations of his home with his dark fanaticism. And as inexplicable manifestations rattle Paula’s senses, threatening her very sanity, she uncovers the link between the villa, Quintillus, and a woman named Lizzie Charters.
And a ritual of dark magic that will consume her soul . . .
You can find Waking the Ancients here:
About the Author:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy– Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plusThe Devil’s Serenade,The Pendle Curseand Saving Grace Devine. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.
You can connect with Cat here: