Mairie de Blangy-le-Château - Normandie - Pays d'Auge
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The legend of Claire

In the early 14th century the Count of Hoyes, or Good Robert as he was know in the region, lived in the Castle with his young wife Bertrade and their 2 year old son Gaston. The pride and joy of his family, especially of his old Father, he was the sole heir to the family and he displayed intelligence and a vivid imagination from a very early age.


Bertrade, who feared a stormy youth would come and disturb the happy nature of his pure and innocent soul, entrusted the education  of Gaston to a priest of the area. Affected by the Black Death, which décimâted half of the European population, the squire and his wife passed away in 1348.
Distraught, Gaston left Blangy to go to complete his studies in Paris, but returned to the castle after his majority. Alas! The people soon realized that Gaston had changed, and they spoke of orgies that took place in a house of the castle.
Near here, there was a girl named Claire of rare beauty and exemplary conduct. Gaston, after many efforts, had failed to seduce the lovely Claire. But knowing the taste of Claire for luxury and worldly adornments, he offered her a beautifully crafted gold bracelet that belonged to his mother. Upon seeing this jewel, Claire could not resist and she accepted the gift, thus she also became a regular at the castle.
One day, as usual, she went to the castle to see Gaston. It was excessively hot and heavy copper colored clouds appeared
The previous night, the villagers heard the barking of dogs and the mournful cry of the owl. They were under British occupation and the public misery was so great that the roads and the paths were infested with robbers.
One hour after sunset, one could hear cries for help from several houses. The thunder rolled and the sky was on fire when suddenly a light burst into the night and covered the castle. A thunderoous noise responded to bursts of lightning, and a raging fire lit the village. In seconds the castle was almost completely consumed and the owner, Gaston, had disappeared.
And Claire? No one heard anymore about her.
Only in the evening, when a woman in the village was forced to go in the path that ran along the remains of the castle, a young girl would appear dressed in black and carrying the remains of a bracelet. She would appear at the corner of the turret and accompany the traveler until the end of the wall endlessly repeating, “Woman that my sufferings will serve you as a lesson.”
It is said that the apparition lasted 10 years until the wars of religion, when the Protestants completely burned down what remained of the castle. But long after, people still talked about the legend of Claire “the girl with the gold bracelet.”

Maybe you’ll have the chance to meet the ghost of the beautiful girl when walking in the venelle!

*The Black Death was a pandemic bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and it affected the European population between 1347 and 135