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Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Ghosts of Hampton Court Palace :: A Personal Experience

  Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl

Hampton Court Palace was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in the 16th Century. After the refusal by the Pope to grant King Henry VIII a divorce to his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, the blame was laid on Cardinal Wolsey,  who promptly fell from grace. The palace then became the royal property of King Henry VIII. Under his reign, it became one of the most magnificent, lavishly constructed buildings in England - and remains so to this day.

There are numerous ghosts associated with Hampton Court Palace. The most famous is that of Henry VIII's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, who is said to linger in the passageway outside the Chapel Royal (also known as the Haunted Gallery). Upon her arrest for adultery, Catherine managed to escape and run down the gallery, only to be dragged, screaming, back to her apartments. Catherine was later beheaded. It has been reported that her screams can be heard, and two women have fainted in the same spot, during two separate night tours, on the same day.

Catherine is known as an anniversary ghost, as most of the activity associated with her is reported around and on the anniversary of her arrest, the 23 November 1541.

Portrait thought to be Catherine Howard by Hans Holbein
the Younger, curtsey of The Royal Collection

Another ghost that is regularly seen at Hampton Court Palace is Sybill Penn, also known as the Grey Lady. She was a servant to the Tudor monarch and nurse to Elizabeth I and Edward IV. In 1829 her tomb was disturbed, bringing about the first sightings of the "Grey Lady" around the Clock Court and the state apartments.

Probably the most famous haunt of Hampton Court Palace is known as "Skeletor". There has been much debate as to whether this spectre is King Henry VIII, or perhaps a lady of the court. Many have questioned the authenticity of this footage, some believing it to be a publicity stunt to draw tourists.  This apparition was witnessed on CCTV footage in 2003 by security staff.

Having recently relocated to the United Kingdom from Australia, I couldn't wait to visit Hampton Court Palace. So, it was on a crisp wintery morning that we set out to investigate.

We arrived at Hampton Court Palace upon opening, so as to enjoy the rooms before they became overcrowded with tourists. During this visit, I had a personal experience in the Chapel Royal, which has left me somewhat troubled. I believe I am able to sense energies; meaning, I can pick up whether a particular place is haunted, or whether a spirit is present in the room with me. So, as we walked onto the balcony (Holy Day Closet) that overlooks the Chapel below, I was instantly overwhelmed with emotion and burst into tears - that is, uncontrollable sobbing.
Later that day, we entered the Chapel from below and again I experienced the unwavering need to cry. I was so overwhelmed that I had to run out of the Chapel. The feeling left as soon as I had exited the Chapel. I wouldn't describe it as sadness, per se, but rather an overwhelming, powerful sense of emotion. It is difficult for me to describe. I have scoured the internet looking for similar experiences, but to date have not found a single one. 


Orb in flight? Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl

A photo I took whilst walking into the Hampton Court Palace courtyard (pictured above) possibly shows a white orb travelling towards the second storey windows (mid-right in photo). Now, I'm not one who normally jumps up and down in excitement about "orb evidence", as I believe the majority can be explained away by dust, water, reflections, sun glare and the like. But this particular "orb" appears solid and must have been moving at significant speed for it to appear with a "tail". I feel it is worth noting and would appreciate any feedback.
What can you see? Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl
Orb? Dust? Water particle? Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl

Another photo that I thought may be of interest is this photo (above) taken in one of the closets. I have provided a close-up of the orb, which appears in the right of the photograph.

What do you think?

I recently came across Haunted Earth's Ghost World Blog in which the host, Chris Halton, posted about some photos that he has been privy to, claiming that two apparitions were caught on film at Hampton Court Palace in August 2013. The photographer claims that he had waited until the room was completely void of tourists before taking the pictures, so was quite shocked when his photographs show a young girl and a cloaked figure beside her, overlooking the balcony. I admit: The girl is semi-transparent, and the cloaked figure looks a lot like a man of the cloth. However, with modern technology, especially the endless software applications providing people with the means by which to manipulate photos, it almost seems too good to be true. But I still think it is worth looking at and ponder over. (The blog regularly posts interesting photos and videos).

Want to know more about the history of Hampton Court Palace? Visit here.

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