The Nanny

When Drusilla Marsters was born, her mother LilyAnne was in an unbalanced mental state, so her care fell to a series of nannies.

Even though she was a docile, quiet baby, her father Alexander had trouble keeping a nanny for her. Something about the child just seemed to make people uncomfortable. Some of the nannies Alexander hired did stay for awhile, but never for very long. Some experienced nightmares and overwhelming feelings of dread inside the house. Some simply did not like the Marsters family. Of course, the stories and legends about the place often spooked much of the staff. It wasn't unusual for the Marsters household to awaken to find another member of their staff had presumably fled in the night, leaving nothing behind. This was also the case with many of Drusilla's nannies.

After LilyAnne's mysterious, violent death in 1882, it became even more difficult to find a nanny for the girl. Local gossips whispered that Drusilla was the spawn of a demon, conceived during LilyAnne's nocturnal sleepwalks into the catacombs, and that the child had murdered her own mother. Indeed, the unbalanced LilyAnne had been deathly afraid of her daughter, and had been heard to claim that she was not human. Many people were simply unnerved by the silent little girl with the intensely piercing eyes. Alexander went through nanny after nanny for the child, yet none stayed longer than a few months at most.

In 1884, a young girl named Sarah Maclay arrived at the Marsters House to apply for the nanny position. Given the limited options for the family, she was hired on the spot. At first, things seemed to be working out with the new nanny. She moved into the servant's quarters at the rear of the house, and appeared to get along well with Drusilla, as evidenced in these entries from her diary at the time:

"The house, though dark, is quite lovely; very different from what I was lead to expect from the stories I had heard... not that I believed any of that superstitious nonsense anyway. I have been put up in a very pleasant room, and given a good wage. Little Drusilla is a beautiful child, and seems to be extremely well-behaved, if a bit shy. I think I shall be very happy here..."

Sarah Maclay stayed longer than any of Drusilla's other nannies. She even made a concentrated effort to befriend the girl. All her efforts were met with the usual silence, but being a practical and hardworking girl, she continued to do her job diligently.  However, after a few months at the Marsters House, things seemed to grow darker for Sarah, and though she apparently tried to shake these feelings off, she was beginning to feel a sense of dread:

"I am perplexed. All of my efforts toward befriending Drusilla seem to be for naught. She spends most of her time in the play room with her dolls. She treats them as if they were real, alive. It's the strangest thing. No matter what I say, the child only stands there and stares at me... coldly... silently. At times, it raises the hair on the back of my neck. I must not let myself be taken over by these flights of fancy. She is just a shy little girl, and I have a duty to care for her. I must wipe these feelings from my mind... I cannot, will not let these foolish fears control me..."

Gradually, as time went on, a pale tinge crept into Sarah's skin, and her clothes began to hang loosely on her frame. She would visibly tense up whenever little Drusilla entered the room, and she was not sleeping well. Her diary entries at this point became more scattered and erratic. Finally, 8 months after she had arrived at the Marsters House, Sarah made her last diary entry:

"I fear that I am going mad... just like LilyAnne Marsters did. I cannot sleep... there are strange, frightening sounds in the night, and when I do sleep... the horrible dreams. My mind is scattered... cannot think. Something is very wrong in this place. I fear... I know... somehow... I know... the child comes into my room at night. I do not see her, but sometimes I awaken to smell the scent of her... that sickly sweet smell, like a baby, but something's wrong, there's a scent of death in the air. What does she want from me? Oh, I must be going mad. I fear I will never see my family again. I saw the girl... in the play room, those horrible dolls... the things she whispers to them... I am in horror of what I have seen and heard in this house... her eyes... But it cannot be... I must be going mad... she's just a little girl... only... she's... not..."

This last entry was dated October 6, 1884. On the morning of October 7th, a scream was heard from the back hall, near the staircase. Alexander Marsters and some of the house staff ran to the location only to find one of the maids crumpled on the floor in a dead faint. The source of her terror was clearly, horribly apparent- there, on the twisting iron staircase, hung the broken body of Sarah Maclay. She was upside down, her ankle caught in between the iron railing... her neck, and most of her other bones, broken. Her eyes were wide and staring, and her mouth was stretched into what appeared to be a grimace of pure terror.

No one knows what happened that night. Sarah's room was in the servant's quarters in the rear- what was she doing on the staircase, which lead up to the play room, in the dead of night... especially when she was obviously so in fear of that room? Why would she go up the pitch-dark staircase without carrying as much as a candle to light her way? And how could such a fall do so much damage to a young woman's body, all without another soul hearing a single sound?

There were no witnesses, and no answers. It was concluded that the nanny had been descending the stairs and lost her footing, resulting in the tragic accident.

Of course, there are those who say that little Drusilla took yet another life that night. They also say that the spirit of the nanny lingers at the foot of the staircase to this very day, trying to warn visitors away from the treacherous stairs, and the malevolent ghost of Drusilla that waits in the play room above.

 

+More history of the Marsters House and it's many ghosts+