Friday, October 9, 2009

Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the planet’s most haunted locations – not surprisingly, given the number of people who have been executed there. The headless ghost of Anne Boleyn (buried in St. Peter ad Vincula chapel near the site of her execution) has been seen floating around the grounds of the Tower, sometimes carrying her head. In 1864, a sentry challenged what he thought was a woman approaching him; when she made no response, he thrust at her with his bayonet.

The bayonet passed right through the figure.

The sentry was charged with sleeping on duty, after he was found unconscious following the encounter with the ghost. He was only saved from a court martial when others reported that they had had same experience.

Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for only nine days, was executed at – and haunts – the Tower. Her spirit has been seen on the battlements.

The Bloody Tower was haunted by the ghosts of two little boys, thought to have been the two princes who were smothered (possibly on the orders of Richard III) in their room in 1483. The two figures, wearing nightshirts, were seen standing hand-in-hand before vanishing.

Another victim of Henry VIII met a gruesome death on Tower Green. The 70-year-old Countess of Salisbury was dragged to the block, but refused to lay her head on it. She attempted to run from the executioner, who followed her, hacking her with his axe until she was dead. A ghostly reenactment of this scene has been witnessed by visitors to the Tower, while the shadow of an axe falls over the green.

Sir Walter Raleigh has been seen strolling the grounds; unlike most prisoners, he had the freedom to move around the Tower.

The tortured screams of Guy Fawkes sometimes ring through the area.

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