When we first came upon Briarcliffe, it had been vacant for five years. It had fallen into such disrepair you couldn't live in it...it was no wonder the owner hadn't been able to sell it. However, from the moment we walked into it, we felt something stir in us. We felt a connection to the place.
After we bought the house, started work on it and began shooting a documentary for HGTV about our adventure we found one of the reasons the house hadn't sold. A real estate agent we know told us he was in the house one hot summer day wth a prospective buyer when they felt a chill come through the living room. The agent told us it was completely unnerving. Both he and his client were convinced there was a spirit in the house.
Months later, when Bill was speaking to Mary Alice Mulligan, the woman we bought the house from, he asked if she had ever experienced anything similar. She said no but told of a comment made to her by a carpenter she hired to do some work on the house. He told her he was psychic and that the spirit of a woman was in the house and had given him a message for Mary Alice. He said, "You are only the caretaker of the house awaiting the true owners."
Since then we have had several people with psychic powers visit Briarcliffe and each has told us the spirt of Federica is present....and that she is very pleased with what we have done with the house. We have always felt a lot of positive energy in the house and we're convinced it's because Fed is watching.
The photo on the right was given to us by a relative of "Aunt Fed." That's her wearing the hat with Edwin standing behind her.
A couple of psychic friends of ours who stayed with us for a few days, told us they had seen Fed and spoken with her confirming her happiness with the restoration of Briarcliffe. They both said she was wearing a mauve dress. When we learned that fellow B&B owner, George Smallman was a nephew of Edwin and Fed's, we mentioned the comments of our friends. George chuckled and said he was quite sure he had a photo somewhere of his aunt wearing that mauve dress....and sure enough, he did.
We've never seen Fed...although Mary has caught an occasional whiff of lavender which apparently was her favourite fragrance.
We love the idea that Fed has remained at Briarcliffe. It gives us comfort knowing she is keeping an eye on things.