My friend Jane, who lived in a Tudor manor house, had a commendably empirical approach to her ghost - a Grey Lady. (We have a lot of those in these isles). She used to billet guests in the bedroom where the distraught and murdered young 17thC wife was said to wail, walk etc., without telling them of the legend. And then inquire at breakfast if they'd had a good night. I spent a peaceful night in it, sleeping well, though I did wonder how old the mattress in the 4-poster was. So far, her researches had never revealed anyone whose rest had been disturbed. However - and I am ashamed to say I fell into this category - once guests were told of the experiment, none of them ever wanted to spend another night in there. I knew I'd lie awake listening to every creak and groan and, believe me, in Tudor houses at night you'd be amazed how noisy they are. This poor Grey Lady had allegedly been strangled by her much-older and jealous husband and, the day she disappeared, he ordered a small ornamental lake to be constructed. It's said he buried her there before it filled with water. I gazed sadly at the lake. There was no natural or artificial water inlet. I said to Jane, "Well, he might have thrown her weighted body in, but he could never have buried her beneath it." "No," agreed Jane. "We have to dredge it every few years to help the spring. It's natural. He just walled it in." Others, however, had foreseen this objection and stated that she'd been bricked up alive behind the library wall. Efforts to knock holes into this to check were thwarted by Jane's father on the reasonable grounds that it was load-bearing, quite apart from the issue of vandalising the panelling. It's sad how often the prosaic thwarts these romantic notions.