[Places & Travel ★★★]
(P1) The home of the Swedish royal family is apparently spook central. But Queen Silvia says not to worry, the “small friends … ghosts” that haunt the 17th-century halls of Drottningholm Palace mean no harm and don’t scare her, reports the AFP. “They’re all very friendly but you sometimes feel that you’re not completely alone,” the 73-year-old queen says in a new documentary by the country’s public TV network SVT. Located on Lovön Island off Stockholm, Drottningholm is the principal home of Queen Silvia, Sweden’s longest-serving queen, and King Carl XVI Gustaf, her husband of 40 years. Its UNESCO World Heritage listing describes it as “the finest example of an 18th-century north European royal residence inspired by the Palace of Versailles.”
(P2) While the queen doesn’t get into specifics about individual spirits, Time cites a 2010 Swedish article that references a “gray man” and a “white lady” said to roam there. As for backup, the king’s sister, Princess Christina, agrees the castle is indeed a phantom favorite. “There is much energy in this house. It would be strange if it didn’t take the form of guises,” she tells the filmmakers. The Local reports that those who want to seek out the paranormal guests can indeed do so: Only the southern wing is off-limits to the public.
VOCABULARY: spook, halls, spirits, phantom, guises, seek out, paranormal
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you believe that ghosts actually exist? Why or why not?
- Would you like to stay for a weekend in this palace? Why or why not?
- Are you frightened of anything? If so, what and why?
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- What roams the corridors of the palace?
- Where is the royal palace situated in Switzerland?
- The architecture of Drottningholm Palace was in influenced by _______________.
- According to a writing in 2010, supposedly a ____________ and a ___________ wander in the palace.
- Which part of the royal palace is closed to visitors?
EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:
What do the following expressions or phrases mean?
- is apparently spook central (P1)
- Located on Lovön Island off Stockholm, Drottningholm (P1)
- said to roam there (P2)
- off-limits (P2)