The Bloody (And Haunted) Tower Of London!

During her long and illustrious 900 years, The Tower of London has developed a reputation as being one of the most haunted places in Britain.

She has been home to beheadings, murders, torture and hangings, as well as being a prison to Nobles.

Thomas A. Becket is “the first reported sighting of a ghost at the Tower of London.”

During the construction on the Inner Curtain Wall, Thomas appeared apparently unhappy about the construction, and it is said he reduced the wall to rubble with a strike of his cross. Henry III’s grandfather was responsible for the death of Thomas Becket, so Henry III wasted no time building a chapel in the Tower of London, naming it for the archbishop. This must have pleased Thomas’ ghost because there were no further interruptions during the construction of the wall.

The Bloody Tower was the scene of the infamous disappearance of the two princes; Edward V and Richard Duke of York, who are thought to have been murdered in 1483 on the probable command of the Duke of Gloucestershire, who was to be crowned Richard the III.

According to one story, guards in the late 15th century, who were passing the Bloody Tower, spotted the shadows of two small figures gliding down the stairs still wearing the white night shirts they had on the night they disappeared. They stood silently, hand in hand, before fading back into the stones of the Bloody Tower. These figures were identified as the ghosts of the two princes. In 1674 workmen found a chest that contained the skeletons of two young children, they were thought to be the remains of the princess, and were given a royal burial not long afterwards.

The story of the little princes is still to this day a heartbreaking story. They are “among the most poignant ghosts” in the Tower of London.

The most persistent ghost in The Tower of London is the ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn.

The King, Henry VIII, after learning the baby she carried for nine months was a boy and still born, accused by her of infidelity. She was taken to TOWER GREEN and was beheaded on May 19, 1536.

Queen Anne appears near the Queen’s House, close to the site where her execution was carried out. She can be seen leading a ghostly procession of Lords and Ladies down the aisle of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula. She floats down the aisle to her final resting place. Queen Anne is buried under the Chapel’s altar. Her headless body has also been seen walking the corridors of the Tower.

Sir Walter Raleigh lived quite comfortable compared to others who were imprisoned within the walls of the Bloody Tower. His “rooms” are still furnished as they were in the 16th century, and can be seen when visiting the Tower today. He was executed by James I, and has been seen looking exactly as he does in his portrait hanging in the Bloody Tower.

The most grisly execution and thus haunting is that of the 70 year old Countess of Salisbury, the last of the Plantagenets. King Henry VIII had her executed for political reasons. The feisty Countess refused to put her head on the block like a common traitor. When her executioner came after her she ran, but was pursued by him, with his axe in hand hacking at her until he had hewn the Countess to death. Her ghost has been seen reliving this truly gruesome act. Also the shadow of a great axe has been seen falling across the scene of her murder.

At one time the Tower of London was home to the Royal Menagerie. Lions, leopards, bears, birds, monkeys and an elephant, that was a gift from the King of France, were kept on exhibit. On the stroke of midnight in January of 1815 a sentry saw a bear from this menagerie emerge from a doorway. He lunged at it with his bayonet, it passed right through the apparition. The Sentry was later found unconscious, it is said he died of fright within two months of this encounter.

Something unseen and very frightening is in the Salt Tower. This is one of the most haunted areas of the Tower of London complex. This is a very old section, dogs will not enter this ancient building, and ever since one of the Yeoman Warders was nearly throttled by a force unseen, they will not go in the area after nightfall.

In 1864, a soldier whose post was to guard the Queen’s House at the Tower of London, saw a apparition so real, that after ignoring the soldiers three challenges, he charged with all his might at the intruder with his bayonet, only to go straight through the figure.

He was found unconscious at his post and was court-martialled for neglecting his duty. Luckily there were two witnesses who corroborated his story. The soldier was eventually acquitted.

Lady Jane Grey is another tragic story of a young life cut short at the Tower, due to the actions of others the most despicable of who was her own father.

She was the granddaughter of Mary (Henry VIII younger sister) and Louis XII of France. The Duke of Northumberland would lose everything if Henry VIII’s son was to die and Mary, who was Catholic, would become queen. He and her father arranged her marriage to his son and persuaded her cousin Edward VI to name her his successor in case of his death instead of his two half-sisters. When Edward VI died she was crowned Queen of England, but the supporters of Mary overthrew her. Her own father got scared and in hopes to save his own skin, left the Tower of London and went to Tower Hill to proclaim Mary I, as the Queen of England, Lady Jane never left the tower; she and her husband were immediately imprisoned and sentenced to death.

Queen Mary carried out the execution of Lady Jane’s father-in-law but set both Jane and her husband free. Her father was involved in a rebellion against Mary I, Lady Jane and her husband were again placed in the tower. Lady Jane watched as her husband was taken to Tower Hill where he was beheaded. She saw his body being carried back to the chapel, after which she was taken to Tower Green where she was beheaded. She was only 17 years old.

Lady Jane Grey’s ghost was last seen by two Guardsmen on February 12, 1957, the 403rd anniversary of her execution. She was described as a “white shape forming itself on the battlements”. Her husband, Guildford Dudley, has been seen in Beauchamp Tower weeping.

Catherine Howard escaped from her room in the Tower of London. “She ran down the hallway screaming for help and mercy. She was caught and returned to her room.” The next day she was beheaded. Her ghost has been seen sill running down the hallway screaming for help.

Other strange sightings at the Tower of London have been “Phantom funeral carriages” and “A lovely veiled lady that, upon closer look proves to have a black void where her face should be.”

Source: http://www.guide-to-castles-of-europe.com/tower-of-london-ghosts.html

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About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).