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The Tower of London Ghosts

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The Tower of London is known to be one of the most haunted places in the world. The Tower has an extensive history that’s filled with horror and blood.

There have been hundreds of brutal executions held at the Tower of London during its 900 years of existence, including the gruesome beheadings of prominent political figures and noble ladies. Countless prisoners were also held inside the Bloody Tower and suffered from horrific torture and “unspeakable acts”.

Even children were killed in the Bloody Tower. In 1483, Edward IV died unexpectedly, and his young, twelve year old son, Edward V was set to inherit the throne. Unfortunately, his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester received permission from Parliament to ascend the throne himself. Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, mysteriously disappeared shortly after and were never heard from again. All though child mortality at the time was high, the young princes both disappeared at the same time. It was rumored that their uncle had them killed (or killed them himself) in order to secure his spot on the throne. In 1674, small skeletal remains were found, and recent testing has found them to be the remains of both humans and animals. Were the young princes held prisoner with their pets? Or perhaps buried along with dead animals? We may never know.

Nevertheless, there have been sightings of two ghostly boys over the centuries. Later in the fifteenth century, after they [the princes] disappeared, guards reportedly saw the ghosts of two boys in the Bloody Tower. The boys appeared to be wearing white nightgowns and they were moving down the stairs with “frightened” looks on their faces. They were holding on to each other and eventually faded away. Other sightings of the two ghostly princes have been reported over the centuries, and they’re all similar — the boys appear frightened and saddened, and when the observer tries to comfort them, they fade away.

Another popular ghost that haunts the Tower of London is that of Anne Boleyn. She was accused of “infidelity”, and there were also rumors of her being a “witch”. Her husband, King Henry VIII had a bad habit of either divorcing his wives or killing them, ordered her to be beheaded. She was beheaded on May 19, 1536, and to this day she can still be spotted gliding through the Tower with her head tucked under her arm. There are also reports of her leading a ghostly procession of other noble Ladies and Lords down the Chapel Royal aisle.

Catherine Howard was another one of King Henry VIII’s wives that was beheaded. She was supposedly in love with a man named Thomas Culpepper, who was also executed right before she was. Her last words were allegedly, “I die a queen, but would rather die the wife of Culpepper." She was only around 18-21 when she was killed, and it’s said that she lives on still in the Tower of London. Unlike Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard’s ghost appears in the likeness of her human form — the head is where it’s supposed to be.

Many other nobles were tortured and executed in the Tower of London over the last several centuries. The Tower is one of the hot spots for tourists visiting London. Everyone loves a good ghost story, and every year people flock to the Tower hoping to get a glimpse of a famous ghost or two. Paranormal and psychic investigations have also been undertaken at the Tower of London. Hopefully someday these restless spirits can finally find some peace.