Who is the "White Lady"?


(c) Haunted Auckland.

"A White Lady is a type of female ghost reportedly seen in rural areas and associated with some local legend of tragedy."


Overview:

I first heard about the type of ghost known as the White Lady, sometime in the early 2000s. Interestingly, it was actually from a children's cartoon called Pippi Longstocking, which ran from 1997-1998 and was based on the original live action films from the 1960s.


In this particular episode, characters have reported sightings of a "white lady" roaming a castle that had been abandoned for a few hundred years.


Ultimately, towards the end of the episode, the viewer learns this was the ghost of a woman who died from a broken heart. Nevertheless, the issue of death from a broken heart is one of the story motifs associated with this type of ghost.


(c) Pippi Longstocking (1997-98)


Origins:

Although White Lady stories were popularized in Germany during the 1800s, that's not where these stories started. Interestingly, legends surrounding a female ghost dressed in white date back at least 600 years.


Also, keep in mind the term "white lady" refers to several different ghosts. More specifically, the issue of female ghosts dressed in white indicates the violent or sudden death of that person. Sometimes, a "white lady" will appear in photographs of a dead person, as a means of welcoming the recently deceased person into the unknown.



(c) WCPO 9/ YouTube


"White Lady legends are found around the world. Common to many of them is the theme of losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They are often associated with an individual family line or said to be a harbinger of death similar to a banshee." (Haunted Auckland)


According to the paranormal website Haunted Auckland, one of the primary themes of "White Lady" legends is the issue of loss and deception. However, female ghosts sometimes appear as harbingers of death (think about the banshee from Ireland and Scotland). Today, we are going to address a few things.


So, why were these stories originally told?


Dating back to the middle ages, stories of women that died from a broken heart or were outcast from society became popularized. For instance, there were stories of women having romantic affairs with married men- which led to their banishment from their community. Often times these "treacherous" women would be killed, or even take their own lives while in prison.


With respect to legends associated with the White Lady, here's one from the 17th century:



Castle Huntly, Scotland, is said to be haunted by a young woman dressed in flowing white robes. There are various stories concerning her history, one of which is that she was a daughter of the Lyon family who occupied the castle in the 17th century. When her affair with a manservant was discovered she was banished to a tower on the battlements. Unable to endure her suffering, she threw herself to her death from the tower. The ghost of the White Lady has been seen a number of times over the years, often on the grounds surrounding the castle. She has also been seen in the room in which she was imprisoned. (Haunted Auckland)


In terms of narrative motifs, the women in these stories are often killed or take their own lives because they can't be with the man they want. So, why would someone tell these stories?


More specifically, it would have been less socially acceptable to commit adultery in your marriage or relationship during the middle-ages, or even the early modern period.


Not surprisingly, people would have told these stories as a means of warning individuals against such "criminal" actions. In turn, this would prevent a similar fate to the women in the stories.



Looking at the image above, this is what remains of Huntly Castle in Scotland. Does a white lady ghost still roam its grounds? Perhaps when the pandemic is over, I will find out with a team of investigators.


La Dame blanche de la chute Montmorency:

I'm not a native French speaker, although I can speak the language to some extent. Of course, that's probably not surprising as a native of Canada.


In terms of the white lady ghost, Canada has its own version of the story. So, it's not just Europe or Central America telling the world about a "woman in white".


On a side note, check out the trailer for my upcoming YouTube series:


(c) TheModernistSon/ YouTube


A Canadian legend from the 1700s refers to the sudden death of a young canadienne woman. Of course, “canadienne” refers to settlers which came from France and started a life in what is now Montreal. Yes, that is the reason for the popular team of the National Hockey League (NHL).


The story goes something like this:


In this story, a young woman is awaiting her wedding day with the love of her life. Soon, she and her love were to meet at Montmorency Falls just outside Quebec City. However, the young man never arrives. The young canadienne woman soon learns her husband-to-be was killed in battle, against the British at the battle of Beauport (1759). As a result, the young woman commits suicide by throwing herself over the falls- in the place the next chapter of her life was supposed to begin. According to legend, anyone who goes near the falls whether it's day or night, they might cross paths with the "White Lady".



Here's a photograph of Montmorency Falls: a place said to be haunted by Quebec's "White Lady" since the 1700s.


So, what's the big take away from these stories? What are your thoughts?


Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe to the blog. I'll see you next time.



Thank you and stay safe,


Brandon


Acknowledgements:

https://hauntedauckland.com/site/white-lady/


https://www.lapresse.ca/voyage/destinations/quebec/201403/10/01-4746265-la-dame-blanche-de-la-chute-montmorency.php








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