A story that has been told countless times, even as an old Christmas favourite named the Mistletoe Bough .
The story of the bride in the oak chest became so famous that it was even once mentioned in the famous horror series ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark‘, and it has been connected with many stately homes across the world, including one that belongs on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Our bride has a name; Frances Lovell, more often than not that bride is nameless whic
h begs to argue that maybe the bride in the oak chest story originates from this terrible accident.
Frances Lovell was wedded to the love her life on that fateful day, and as drinks and laughs were flowing one guest suggested a game, hide and seek. Given that Lovell was that lady of the hour her guests and bridegroom suggested she was the first to hide, and as she listened to everyone counting to 100 she found the perfect hiding spot; an old oak chest in one of the disused rooms.
When the guests began hunting they shouted for Frances, laughing because she had got one over on them “You win” they called, but with no answer. Frances could hear them, but was trapped inside the oak chest that had latched itself once the lid slammed shut. Her screams proved effortless as she couldn’t be heard over the music and laughter of the party goers.
Her disappearance was a mystery, her bridegroom devastated assuming she had ran away with another man and her family afraid that she had been kidnapped. Over the years her name was a sad reminder of a mystery until one day when the party venue was being refurnished, the old oak chest was opened to find a skeleton inside, still wrapped in her wedding dress.
As I said earlier, the venue differs from stately home to mansion in England, and America, but this certain story of Frances Lovell is said to have taken place in Skelton Castle, which sits just outside of Skelton in Cleveland.