A PHOTOGRAPH appearing to show the ghost of Llanelly House was taken into the library by a passer-by last week.
It is said that the ghost of 22-year-old Mira Turner, a servant in the 19th Century, haunts the house.
The picture clearly shows the ghostly image of a young woman – taken on the same date Mira was buried – August 9.
Staffs at Llanelli Library were given the photograph by a man who they said was “visibly excited”.
However, the “ghost” bears an uncanny resemblance to one which is downloadable via the internet.
Library Regional Manager Mark Jewell said: “The elderly gentleman came in and showed us the photograph which had been taken by his friend outside Llanelly House. He was in a state of excitement. He seemed very interested in the restoration work going on at Llanelly House and in the library.
“He thought we would be interested in the photograph. He showed it to quite a few of the staff and we gave him a short tour of the work going on at the library. Unfortunately, none of us thought to ask him his name or contact details.
“Staff have now carried out some research and found what appears to be the same image on the internet. It seems the gentleman may have been the victim of a hoax, as he appeared to be very genuine and excited about this.”
Legend has it that Mira Turner has haunted Llanelly House since killing herself from taking poison. She took a quantity of laudanum after stories began circulating linking her and the married butler, Charles Howell. Sadly, Mira protested her innocence to the end.
Differing stories have circulated about the exact circumstances of her death – some historians say she fell down the stairs whilst suffering the effects of the poison, others say she jumped out of the window.
The Cambrian newspaper (August 1851), reporting on a “Melancholy Case of
Suicide,” gave a very detailed account of the evidence revealed at Mira’s inquest, describing her as a young person engaged as an upper housemaid in the employment of Mr. Chambers Esq., of Llanelly House.
The coroner was William Bonville of Bryn Towy, near Carmarthen and the Registrar was David Arthur Davies of Llanelli. The jury’s verdict was “that the deceased, Mira Turner, died from the effects of poison, while in a state of temporary insanity.”
Burial records for the parish show that Mira Turner was listed as being buried on August 9,1851 aged 22 years. Llanelli Registry Office provided a death certificate for her which revealed that she had committed suicide by taking Laudanum whilst temporarily insane.
Mira lies in an unmarked grave in the Parish Church, the records read: Parish of Llanelly: No.270 Mira Turner – Great House – buried August 9 – 22 yrs – Ebenezer Morris. Vicar.
Mr Jewell added: “Even though it appears the image in this photograph is not genuine, it has renewed interest in the story of the Llanelly House ghost and brought attention to the restoration work going on both there and at the library.”