A Walk Through A Troubled Past

Lady reading

On the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, is a smaller manor house named Petit Trianon. This chateau was built during the reign of Louis XV, and was later given to 19 year old Queen Marie Antoinette in 1774 by her husband, Louis the XVI. 


On August 10, 1901, two British ladies touring Versailles on holiday, believe they traveled through time, and there, encountered people from a distant past. Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain had become bored with a group tour around the Palace of Versailles, and opted to go on their own for a walk through the gardens around the castle, and visit Petit Trianon. When they reached the Grand Trianon Park, wherein the chateau was located, they found the park entrance closed.


The ladies decided to locate the Petit Trianon using their guide book; however, they missed the main street, called Allée des Deux Trianons, and soon were lost. What they had done, instead, was enter a small alley which caused them to miss the manor house.


As they walked through the alley, the women observed a change in everything. They described it as all having taken on an unnatural look; unpleasant, flat and lifeless. There did not seem to be any effects of light and shade, and no wind stirred the trees.
Both Moberly and Jourdain stated they suddenly felt oppression and dreariness. They approached two men walking toward them, and asked the men for directions. The ladies were instructed to go straight, which they did.


Further down the alley, Jourdain reported seeing an old cottage where a woman and girl was standing in the doorway, both of whom she said looked most unnatural, as though they were made of wax. Moberly said she did not see the cottage, but felt something different in the air.


A little ways further down the alley, another character appeared, who was sitting near a garden kiosk. He was wearing a cloak and large shady hat. 

This man was seen by both Moberly and Jourdain. Moberly described him as being most repulsive, his expression odious. She described his complexion as dark and rough. Jourdain agreed the man looked terrible. She said when he turned his face, it was marked by smallpox, and his complexion was very dark, and he had an evil unseeing expression.                                

When the women finally  reached Petit Trianon, the final person appeared; a lady was sitting on the grass in front of the chateau, sketching. Moberly described the young woman as wearing a light summer dress, white hat, and had long hair. While Jourdain claimed she did not see the lady on the lawn, Moberly was convinced she had seen Marie Antoinette.                

After Moberly’s and Jourdain’s holiday was over, the women discussed their experience, and both concluded the Petit Trianon was haunted; agreeing what they saw there had to have been of a paranormal nature.

They each later wrote separate accounts of the events that took place that day, and in their research of Petit Trianon’s history, they learned on the very same day, August 10, but in 1792, the Tuileries Palace in Paris had been surrounded, and the king’s guard killed. The final outcome of such a cataclysmic day in French history? Six weeks later, the monarchy no longer existed. Was this enough to open a portal into the past for Moberly and Jourdain? Both women believe so, and know they walked through French history that day at Petit Trianon. 

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