The owner of the stately home where Downton Abbey is filmed has claimed that it is haunted by the ghost of a footman who killed himself after conducting a secret affair.
Appearing during a special episode of This Morning, broadcast live from Highclere Castle in Hampshire, Lady Fiona Carnarvon said she had been chased by a supernatural being one afternoon in November.
Lady Fiona, who lives in Highclere with her husband George Herbert, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon, claimed the ghost had followed her and her young son down a corridor.
However, it had been forced to stop after they “crashed” through a door into another room.
She told co-hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that she later discovered a footman had killed himself after conducting an affair with one of the nursery maids in the house.
After the then-Countess’ child suffered cot death while the nursery maid was absent, the footman blamed himself and slit his own throat.
Lady Fiona has since written about her supernatural experiences in a Christmas book.
She told Schofield and Willoughby: “I don’t think it is haunted. It’s just there are a few other people sometimes living with me.
“One ghost followed me along a corridor in the afternoon in November. He kept on walking behind me and I was pushing my son in front.
“We got to a door and we crashed through and luckily he stopped there. But I didn’t feel he was entirely happy so I asked someone to come and bless the house and wish him on his way.”
Willoughby asked: “And that was the end of that?”
She replied: “I’m not sure. He’s kind of happier.
“It turned out that it was a footman who had been having an affair with a nursery maid and the Countess of Carnavan’s baby had probably died of cot death.
“But the nursery maid wasn’t at her post. And this footman went and he committed suicide very near to where I saw him. He lay down over a drain and cut his throat.
“That was the story I heard. There I was, a new young Countess with a small child. I sort I felt he was coming back. It wasn’t his fault.”
Whilst she has not seen the ghost since, Lady Fiona admitted to still being wary of the corridor.
The upcoming Downton Abbey film, which sees all the principal characters reprise their roles, follows on from the events of the last episode of the TV series, which concluded with a Christmas special in 2015.
Schofield and Willoughby interviewed some of the star-studded cast, as well as an expert in etiquette and manners,from a studio constructed in the ground of Highclere.
In a string of Instagram posts an excitable Willoughby gushed over the stately home.
“Living our best life!” she said.
In another post, she told her 5.8 million followers: “One of those special days… @thismorning from Downton Abbey.”
Downton Abbey is released in UK cinemas on September 13.