The Mystery of Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

Two of our grandsons came to visit and began asking questions about the paranormal. Grandpa wanted to tell them our story of our visit to Cathar Country in South of France.

Two of our grandsons came to visit and began asking questions about the paranormal. Grandpa wanted to tell them our story of our visit to Cathar Country in South of France.

“It was suggested we stay in Quillan but we didn’t like the energy there so we drove along the road away from there and for some reason in the middle of Couisa I turned left and then I turned right – I remember that quite clearly.

There was this huge road full of massive plane trees, a great big avenue of them and at the end of it was a wall and gateway. It was in fact the entrance to a medieval 13th century Chateau behind there – that at first I couldn’t see.

Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

an avenue full of plane trees

We drove up this magnificent avenue and there on the wall was all the signia of it being a 6 star hotel … blah blah blah … and its name the Château des Ducs de Joyeuse. I thought this is a bit weird what am I doing here?

However, I said to Val I shall see if we can get a room for the night – she laughed and said, “I think that’s going to be way over our budget.”

I gave it a go anyway, leaving Val in the car, and walked over the drawbridge which was over a dried out moat – I walked through the door to see everything was nicely refurbished and I turned left , without even thinking about it, and found myself at the reception desk in another room.

There was a very statuesque, very tall French lady and she looked the ‘aristocrat’ to her fingertips. She just stood there and asked, “Bonjour Monsieur, qu’est ce que vous voulez?” (Good day sir, how can I help you?). “Do you have a room for the night?” I asked.

Oui Monsieur.”

Combien?” (How much?)

Cent cinquante Euros, Monsieur, sans petit dejeuner!” (150 Euros without breakfast)

I thought, hell, that’s way over our budget. So I turned around and said, in French “Oh Madam, we are Australian and we haven’t got any money … … we are poor people.”

For a few moments of silence “Madam” looked at me with a haughty, disparaging look on her face, then I do not know what got into me, but I looked her straight in the eye and said, “Madame vous etes tres gentile et , alors, si jolie.” (Madam you are so nice – so pretty)

Without another word, her face lit up and she said, “Soixante douze, Monsieur, avec petit dejeuner!”

That was 150 Euros with no breakfast down to 72 Euros with breakfast!

Val wanted to know how I went – I said Well it went from 150 no breakfast down to 72 with breakfast. Purely because I said she was a nice person and that she was lovely.

Then we climbed up those stairs, we will never forget those stairs – they were circular stone stairs with holes in the side going through the wall – you could see down to the river. The steps were well worn with people treading up and down them for hundreds of years.

Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

the circular stone stairs

As we both walked up the stairs we knew then – we had been here before.

On the 2nd floor we entered our lovely room – a big 4 poster bed, good bathroom and a window overlooking the Aude river. It is the fastest flowing river in France and day and night it didn’t disturb us – rather it sent us to sleep. You could hear it alright, almost like a roar but it wasn’t – it was beautiful.

Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

our room overlooked the Aude River

We then went downstairs to the dining room which was pretty nice and then the next morning I said to Val, “Hey, I think I had better go and check that we have this price right for the room.” I told the lady we would stay for 4 nights. I thought we would use this place as a base to travel to and from this interesting part of Cathar country in South of France.

When I went to reception there was a young girl there – not that aristocratic lady anymore – and I said, “May I have a look at my account” and there it was 72 Euros, including Breakfast and we never saw that aristocratic lady again. Never. In the 4 days and nights we were there we never saw her again – La Duchesse de Joyeuse, peut etre!

I reckon she was a ghost – I am sure of it – or she was planted there for my benefit.

Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

the aristocratic lady was no longer there at the reception

Most extraordinary – If you are open to it – it happens. I wasn’t open to it but living with Nanna (Valérie) you have to be open to every damn thing.

Is it true grandpa that if you do bad things – like swearing etc you just go straight to hell or is it?”

Nanna (Val) interrupted, “I believe there is no such thing as hell – it is just that the way you live your life on earth you can make it happy and easy going – or you can make life very difficult for yourself.”

Grandpa: “Hell is on earth!” They say “Hell on Earth.” Nanna agreed … “If you believe there is Hell – there is – so don’t believe it.”

Nanna: “Darlings, from our understanding God is the energy of LOVE – it is the Universal Love. So. … … We are not meant to suffer. We are not meant to be unhappy. But we are here to experience different things – which is pretty hard at times – but it helps develop character – it gives us understanding – and it helps us to become loving people and compassionate people.

John and Valérie Barrow at Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

John and Valérie Barrow at Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

Valérie Barrow at Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

Valérie sits beside the bubbling Aude River

Château des Ducs de Joyeuse

The Château des Ducs de Joyeuse where we stayed

John Barrow at the Aude River

John looking over the Aude River