Sunday, October 27, 2013

Headless ghosts

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, has not rested easily in her grave in the grounds of the Tower of London. Executed on charges of treason, as well as infidelity (with various men, including her own brother!), Anne has made her presence highly visible at times.

A sentry at the Tower was court-martialed for sleeping on duty in the 19th century, a very serious charge. In his defense, he said he was not sleeping, but unconscious. He stated that the form of a woman approached him, and when challenged, only came closer. He stabbed the form with his bayonet, and it vanished. He then lost consciousness. Fortunately for the sentry, others testified that they had seen the same figure when on night duty. He was acquitted.

Anne's ghost returns to her childhood home, Blickling Hall, on the anniversary of her execution. She arrives in a coach drawn by headless horses and driven by a headless coachman. She holds her severed head in her lap. Her brother, executed the same day as Anne, is also seen on this anniversary. Headless, he is dragged over the grounds of the Hall by headless horses.

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