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.