Tower of London - the hauntings
Is the tower of London haunted? read on to find out.
One of London’s most visited attractions, and one of London's most haunted places - maybe this is why there are countless ghost sightings and endless reports of creepy goings-on.
As with any good ghost story, there is a history so before we get to delve into the towers hauntings and creepy ghost stories we need to look at how and why this huge tourist attraction has claimed the title as one of, not only London’s but some even say England's most haunted place.
A brief history.
The first fortification known as the white tower, of this infamous and hugely popular castle, the tower of London was constructed in 1078 by none other than William the Conqueror aka William the bastard.
Forward on 250 years after the end of William the conqueror’s reign and the castle had expanded vastly by other monarchs adding their personal pieces to the castle and now the tower of London sits on over 12 acres of land with many building and fortifications with the white tower being the most famous.
Over the years.
1078 was a very long time ago and over the years the castle has been used for many things from a place of residence for the medieval monarchy, a hiding place from enemies and a place for the Royals to display there jewelled encrusted crown and there other precious pieces jewels for all to envy.
This fortress also has a darker side though.
Prisoners and death
The tower of London wasn’t intended to be a place of imprisonment and it certainly wasn’t meant to made famous for its torture and death that it's known for today, but that’s exactly what this castle hosted.
The list of prisoners is huge which ranges from Kings and Queens and their consorts right through to bishops and thieves.
The first recorded prisoner was William, count of Mortain who was held in 1106 as a prisoner of war, he was stripped of Mortain and was held for many years, he was one of the fortunate and although he was held here for many years, he found his new calling as a monk in 1140 after his release.
Lady Jane Grey the uncrowned queen of England was held a prisoner from 1553 until she was murdered by beheading on Feb 12th the following year along with her husband Guildford Dudley.
In 1605 Guy Fawkes was arrested and was held and was integrated ruthlessly, it is thought he was also put through a series of tortures until he pleaded guilty to his part in the gunpowder plot. He was found guilty of treason and sentenced to a very painful and tortures death.
He was to be hung drawn and quartered, however, Guy Fawkes managed to escape his impending doom by climbing out of the tower onto some scaffolding, he still came to his death at the tower of London though, as he fell off the scaffold and broke his neck.
Over the centuries the Tower of London hosted its fair share of blood shed from cutting off heads, limbs and even cutting out tongues, torturing was also a favourite past time here, many people were tied to the rack by the wrists and ankles and then stretches until their limbs dislocated from the body and then finally their bodies were ripped into quarters others were put into iron manacles and left in to hang for days in great pain and others mentally tortured and confined in dark and tiny places with rats.
The deaths came to end on August 15th, 1941 when the very last execution was carried on Josef Jakob's a German spy.
And then finally in 1952, the tower held the last of its prisoners and they were the notorious the Kray twins. Ronnie and Reggie Kray were held for a few days when they both failed to report to their national service duties.
It’s safe to say then that over the years these old walls have seen many bloodied bodies and disfigured limbs along with the vision of that last look of someone face as their heads are being savagely cut off with an axe and sounds of the cries and harrowing screams from souls being tortured and the anguish of despair, helpless to do what’s about to happen to them.
The Tower of London today
Now this once dark and shaded fortress is now a treasured piece of English history.
Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth still has an onsite residency within the castle grounds and she can inhabit The Queens House whenever she wants to, however, the Queen rarely resides here unlike the Yeoman Warders who live on site.
But the Queen's guardsman isn't the only ones who reside here, there are reports that this castle is also house to a few flittering ghosts.
Ghosts of the Tower of London.
The tower of London opens its gates every year to thousands of tourists from all over the world, many come to see the spectacular crown jewels and others to take a guided tour of the impressive castle and others to just grace over the grounds and take it it’s beauty but some come not to see the resident ravens or the impressive line of kings or even the beefeaters that soldier around protecting the building.
Many come to see if they can witness for themselves the ghosts of the tortured souls of the gruesome past.
One of the most reported creepy ghosts here is the beheaded wife of Henry VIII.
Anne Boleyn, the beloved mother of Elizabeth I was executed by having her head cut off by order of her husband.
There are many reports from not only tourists but from the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) of seeing the ghost of Anne Boleyn.
The ghost of Anne Boleyn is report to be seen here, know as Anne Boleyn ghost tower.
One of the first ghostly reports was way back in 1864 when a General was patrolling the courtyard grounds.
He claimed that he looked up and rushing towards him was a figure so clear that he thought it was a real person, it wasn’t until that he saw that her feet weren’t touching the ground and she was hovering in this air. He was that scared he fainted on the spot.
The Captain of the guardsmen also claimed to have seen the ghost of Anne Boleyn.
Again, he was on patrol at night and he thought he saw lights flickering from the chapel royal.
He climbed up the ladder to see who was lurking inside only to nearly fall off his ladder when he witnessed a group of ghostly ladies and knights leading behind a shadowy figure of Anne.
Throughout the years there have been more and more reports of visitors seeing the ghost of the dead queen but not just her full-bodied apparition.
There are claims that a headless Anne Boleyn is seen.
Her headless body is often seen to be wandering aimlessly near the tower where she was executed and also walking down the aisle of the church hovering towards her grave which sits under the altar.
Another more frequent ghost sighting or sightings as they come in a pair is that of two young princes who just one day mysteriously disappeared as they were playing.
It is rumoured that there uncle Richard III first locked the young princes Edward V and his younger brother Richard in the garden tower, which is now better known as the bloody tower before killing them and then hiding there remains.
Inside the bloody tower.
Still, to this day no one knows for sure what happened to the brother princes but what is for sure is that there young lost souls still remain here.
On numerous occasions, there have been reports of two young ghosts both to be seen wearing long white floating gowns running and at times seem to have the look or terror on there faces
It appears that these ghosts like the audience of the younger generation as they always seem to appear to children as they wander through the rooms of the castle and around the outside grounds.
Another ghost seen to be wearing white is that of the lady in white.
This ghostly lady can be found in the white tower. Before her death she was known for looking down and waving at the children playing in the grounds, now in her deathly state, she is often found hovering around the entrance of the white towers chapel, the St Johns Chapel.
You’ll know she’s there even before you see or sense her.
She has a really pungent and nasty perfume that lingers in the air, many of the guards say that the smell is that horrible that they feel sick when she’s around.
So far the Tower of London ghosts have been very tame and harmless but not all the spirits that live here are quite so kind, some are hands-on and even dangerous.
As we know the guards of the Tower of London have witnessed a lot of the creepy ghosts and some have even had the hands-on experience as in this case.
Whilst on duty patrolling the area and grounds where Henry VIII suit armour is on display, one of the guards was all alone and going about his own business when suddenly he's been attacked, by no one.
He reports of a terrifying sensation that someone has thrown a blanket or cloak over his head.
The unseen entity was so strong that the guard was unable to escape, and the cloak was swiftly removed from the guards head and then places around his throat and pulled so tightly that the guard couldn't breathe. With one final attempt, the guard managed to release the invisible noose and legged it. Back in the safe haven of his quarters and upon investigation, it was clear that this invisible angry soul had meant harm and had left visible signs of the attack around his neck.
This isn’t the only scary happenings around this area.
Most if not all the guards all express the same crushing of the chest feelings whenever they enter the entrance to where Henry VIII armour is.
Henry VIII was a very bitter and vengeful character so much so that he even had the mother of one of his rivals murdered, just for his satisfaction.
The poor 72-year-old woman was sentenced to have her head chopped off but she wasn't going to go down without a fight. She ran as fast as her old legs could carry but only to be chased down swiftly by the axed man, who right there on the spot brought her to her gruesome and painful death.
You don’t need to imagine how painful her last moments were, you can see and hear it.
There are numerous reports of witnesses actually seeing this bloody scene unravel before their eyes.
It’s reported that on the anniversary of her murder her lost soul is seen to relive her final moments of life as she runs through the grounds followed by her heart-wrenching screams before perishing into the air.
As well as these famous ghosts, there are also many non famous ones here too.
Many people express a feeling of someone watching their every move as they make there way around the palace as if there being followed.
A snippet of Shadowy figures are often seen from the corner of the eye, and strong odours just seem to appear from nowhere and even on a few occasions a few visitors report that someone touched them.
With all the high paranormal activity that happens here and with so many people experiencing the creepy going ons, I think it’s safe to say that not only is the tower of London haunted but it may be true, that this is the most haunted place in London?