Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The tower of London

The tower of London is perhaps so synonymous with ghosts that people tend to forget its historical prominence. The tower has a long and bloody history of its own and understandably is a famous tourist destination in England.

The most interesting thing to note about the supposed ghosts of the tower of London is that there are many ghosts in fact numerous ghosts that are supposed to have made this tower their abode. This is an interesting case in the paranormal since usually most haunted places have one ghost or one horrifying event in its past. Executions, tortures,murders and numerous other depravities have taken place here.The tower of London has been a silent witness to many acts of horror and seems to be adding ghosts to add to its already large collection of specters.

So let us examine a few of these supposed ghosts....lost souls who seem to have consigned themselves to a fate of roaming these walls and showing themselves once a while to the unsuspecting visitor.

The tower which is actually a castle was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. Since then the tower has played an important role in the history of England. Famous historical figures like Richard the lion heart, Charles II, Henry III and the infamous Henry the VIIIth have lived here or have performed official duties here. The tower was also used for other purposes such as armory,prison etc...

The Ghosts:

1. Anne Boleyn: She is by far the most famous ghost of the tower. She was the second wife of Henry the VIII. It is said that he was unhappy about the fact that she could not give him a male heir. So he leveled charges of treason (punishable by death) against her and she was beheaded inside the tower on 1536.

Since then her ghost has been reported seen by many witnesses throughout the centuries. She mostly appears to guards or sentries. The most gruesome detail is that she is mostly seen headless holding her head and mourning. It is said that she was put to death wrongly and her spirit wants justice. Her ghost sightings continue to the present day.

2. The countess of Salisbury: Margaret Pole the countess of Salisbury was another victim of Henry VIII. She was charged with being a traitor and sentenced to death in 1541. She did not get the luxury of having a swordman to execute her like Anne Boleyn. Instead she was to be executed by the common axe wielding executioner. She maintained her innocence till the very end and her death was very sad and tragic. At the age of 67, weak and ill she was dragged to the killing block. Because of her condition, the executioner could not aim correctly and hit her shoulder on the first attempt. It is said that it took 11 blows from the axe to sever her head. It is needless to say how horrific it would have been and the great amount of pain and suffering she went through.

It is said that her ghost also roams the tower and sometimes is seen with other ghosts who wail understandably at the fact that she was innocent. Many others claim to have seen her execution being re staged. Her story is one of the most tragic stories of the tower.

3. The young princes: These two children were the sons of Edward IV. They were Edward V aged 12 years and his brother Richard aged 10 years. Their uncle the Duke of Gloucester however had made plans to ascend the throne after his brother. In the pretext of providing security to the young princes, he had them locked up in the tower.

For many days the brother were seen by many people until their sightings started becoming rarer. Until one fine day, they disappeared. It is said that their uncle asked one of his loyal henchmen to eliminate the princes. They were smothered to death with pillows in their sleep somewhere around 1483.

It is said that they were buried in the tower itself but were later removed and interred elsewhere because the king was getting nightmares. In 1674, their skeltons were found buried under a stair case in the tower. The then queen Elizabeth II ordered that they be reburied with respect in Westminster Abbey. In 1933, modern(for the time) tests were carried out and the results were inconclusive.

Their ghosts have been sighted on many occasions and usually appear to be in fright clinging to each other. Their tragic tale and violent death coupled with being buried in anonymity adds further sadness to their story.

It is said that after they got a respectful burial, their ghosts were rarely sighted thereafter.

4. Other royal ghosts sighted:
  • The Ghost of Catherine Howard
  • The Ghost of Jane Rochford
  • The Ghost of Lady Jane Grey
  • The Ghost of Guy Fawkes
  • The Ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh
  • The Ghost of Thomas Becket
  • The Ghost of King Henry VI

Other ghostly things seen are anonymous ghosts of ladies wearing gray or black, a group of ghostly soldiers, a ghostly funeral carriage etc.

A final mention could be made of the Salt Tower. This is one of the most haunted areas of the Tower of London complex where even dogs will not enter this ancient scary building, and some of the guards have reported that this unseen spirit has tried to throttle them.

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.

The salt tower is the sight of some of the scariest ghost sightings in the world.

With all the countless acts of bloody violence committed inside its wall, the tower remains to be a vault where the souls of those unfortunate victims still reside because it seems they still have some unfinished business in the world of the living.

All text © 2011 Calvin N


  1. Same here Santhosh. I would like to visit all the famous haunted castles and buildings in the United Kingdom.