Spare a thought for the poor old Queen. She may rule 17 countries, have dozens of castles and palaces and possess the most expensive collection of jewellery in the world, but Her Majesty has also to contend with living alongside countless ghosts and ghouls. And if that wasn’t bad enough, half those ghosts are family. Windsor Castle in particular, suffers from its fair share of paranormal activity. Built in the reign of William the Conquerer, Windsor castle is nearly 1000 years old. Since the Middle Ages, thousands of souls have crossed-over within the confines of the Castles. Some, however, appear to have chosen to stay firmly put, becoming part of the castle’s ever growing population of ghosts. British Paranormal takes a look at the ghosts of Windsor Castle and names our favourite royal spectres.
The Ghost of Henry VIII
Henry VIII, the Tudor King who ruled England and Wales during the 16th Century, is Windsor Castle’s most famous ghostly resident. The royal tyrant, who famously dissolved the monasteries and broke from the Catholic Church, is reputed to have been witnessed many times in spirit form, wandering the halls and corridors of the Castle. Observers describe a large anxious, angry man pacing furiously and occasionally shouting as well.
The Ghost of Anne Boleyn
The second most famous Windsor Castle ghost is that of Anne Boleyn, one time wife to Henry VIII and former queen of England. Anne was executed in 1536 having been found guilty of charges of treason, adultery and witchcraft. She was beheaded at the Tower of London. Anne is alleged to haunt the Dean’s Cloister at Windsor Castle. Her ghostly form has been seen peering from a window. She is variously described as looking sad, distressed and occasionally weeping.
The Ghost of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I has a specific fondness for dropping-in on her living relatives. The inspirational monarch, who spared England a bloody religious war and stood-up against the tyranny of Spain appears to be watching over her distant royal successors, occasionally paying them a visit at Windsor, perhaps to remind them of the shoes they have to fill. Mad King George III, who spent many a long, lonely night at Windsor Castle, once claimed to have conversed with a spectral woman dressed in black, who called herself Elizabeth and claimed to be “married to England’. One hundred years later, Edward VII is alleged to have confided in one of his mistresses about a strange ghostly encounter he had had in Windsor Castle. He described a woman in black, who resembled the great Tudor queen. Elizabeth’s visitations are said to become particularly frequent during times of war. George VI, the present Queen’s father, is said to have observed the ghost of Elizabeth I on eight consecutive nights, during the opening days of the Second World War.
The Ghost of Mad King George III
King George III was a troubled soul. He suffered from several spells of mental illness during his reign, eventually culminating in a regency, which resulted in his royal executive powers being transferred to his son George, the Prince of Wales. During the King’s periods of ill-health he would be taken away from London and kept out of public view. Windsor Castle was regularly used to cloister the King. The monarch spent many a long, cold, lonely night hidden deep within the ancient walls, far from his wife and family. Perhaps it was this trauma that caused his spirit to linger on. The ghost of George III has been witnessed since the Victorian era, mournfully peering through windows and doors.
The Ghost of Queen Victoria
Clearly Queen Victoria was “not amused” by the alterations made to the Castle grounds by her great grandson, Edward VIII. Although Edward only reigned in theory, the errant King quickly set about modifying the grounds of Windsor Castle following his father’s death. When his lover, Wallace Simpson, requested the removal of a family of spruce trees planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he was quick to oblige. The work was hampered however by a number of inexplicable phenomena. Workmen in 1936 even claimed to have seen the ghostly figure of Victoria striding towards them from the Castle, waving her arms and moaning loudly.
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