Sunday, January 17, 2010

Waxworks’ Resident Ghost Won’t Be Homeless

When Brading’s famous wax museum shut its doors for the final time — one spooky exhibit was still promised a permanent home. The skeletal remains of Frenchman Louis de Rochefort, who was murdered by Puritans at the former Crown Inn site, are set to remain in-situ, in his glass-topped coffin, whoever occupies the building. And they had better not be scared of the dark, as people say Louis’s ghost is regularly seen in one of the upstairs bedrooms. There are also rumours Louis’s dying screams and the sound of a coach rattling along the street outside can still be heard at night. Last week, local news reported how the attraction, renamed Brading the Experience, had closed, with its collection set to be broken up and sold off. Val Monger, of Daniel Street, Ryde, contacted the paper, anxious to find out what would happen to Louis’s remains, which was her favourite exhibit when she was a child.The skeleton was unearthed by workmen in the 1960s, when they were putting in a water main. They were found to be the remains of Loius de Rochefort, who was assassinated while trying to get a message to Charles I, when he was imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle. Efforts to track down Louis’s relatives failed, with nobody claiming the bones and he is set to remain interred on the IW. Robert Ball, director of Brading Trading, the operating company for Brading the Experience, said he remained sceptical the skeleton was actually that of Louis. He said: "There is a skull there but I would not suggest the skull is original. There is a little bit of artistic licence going on there."