73. A Gaggle Of Ghosts: Part Three
London's dark history is littered with tales of eerie mysteries, and not many places harbour such weirdness as Hampton Court Palace, the most haunted royal residence in the capital. Stretching for over sixty acres, this beautiful structure, and its grounds, have been shared with the public since 1838, and many of these visitors I'm sure are very unaware of the spectres which reside within the vast hallways, and beneath the beams.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey built the palace in 1514, but in 1528 it was Henry VIII who took over the place and it was here that his second wife, Anne Boleyn was accused of harlotry and adultery and eventually beheaded in the Tower Of London. Her ghost, adorned in a blue dress is said to haunt both the tower and the lonely corridors of Hampton Court, and she remains one of London's most famous spooks.
In 1887 a three-year old boy drowned in the small lake of the property and in 1927 a couple, whilst visiting the palace were horrified when their daughter, also aged three, ran into the lake and vanished beneath the depths. The same incident occurred also in 1967 when a four-year old boy ran into the water, but on this occasion he was saved. However, when asked why he'd chosen to run into the water, he replied, "...to play with the other children!"
Another young spirit also haunts the place, this being that of an eight-year old page boy, but the ghosts of the place are numerous. Some of the more often mentioned are the group (two men and seven women) who vanished in front of a policeman in 1917 as he opened the front gate for them, a grey lady in the palace, and also the apparitions of two Cavaliers said to have haunted an area close to the Fountain Court. Their presence was a mystery until a sewage worker found their remains beneath a pathway.
Who knows what other ghosts hide within the darkest corners of one of London's most enigmatic buildings.
Photo by edwin.11 on flickr