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If it is true that in every castle there is at least one ghost, then the English royal family is truly surrounded by them. In fact, the Windsors own many estates, many of which have belonged to the Crown for centuries. There is therefore no shortage of stories from illustrious personalities who roam the halls and gardens of the most emblematic palaces of the British monarchy.

But who are we talking about? Many stories and sightings involving the ghosts of the House of Windsor refer to two of King Henry VIII’s famous wives. The famous Tudor ruler’s marriage affairs fired the imagination of the English, and the tormented tales of his wives lent themselves very well to Halloween-worthy tales.


The first ghost, according to the British, would be that of Catherine Howard, whose end began the day after Halloween. The other specter that lurks in the mansions of the English Crown, however, would be that of the famous Anna Bolena.

Queens and ghosts around the palaces of Windsor

The first tale about the ghosts of the House of Windsor tells of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Queen Catherine Howard, crying out for the royal palace after discovering she was accused of adultery. The Queen was then in a splendid residence in Hampton Court Palace when, on November 1, 1541, the King decreed that she had been unfaithful to him. Within hours, the guards arrived at her apartment to arrest her.

Wikimedia – Catherine Howard

The queen would free herself from the guards to cross the long tunnel that separated her from her husband and try to convince him of his innocence. But history teaches us that Catherine Howard never saw the king again. She was imprisoned in Syon Abbey for three months before being taken to the Tower of London where she was executed on February 13, 1542. It is therefore not surprising that for the British this ghost haunts Hampton Court. For centuries, in fact, witnesses have claimed to have seen and heard a young woman all along this corridor, which today bears the name of Haunted Gallery.

Anna Bolena: Britain’s most famous royal ghost

Almost 500 years after her death, Anna Bolena is nevertheless the most famous ghost of the English monarchy. In fact, over these centuries there have been countless reports of “ghostly activity” in various locations associated with Henry VIII’s second wife. The British bring very famous stories from elsewhere. A famous episode is said to have happened in 1864, when Captain JD Dundas was living in the Tower of London. Legend has it that one day he looked out the window and noticed a strangely behaving guard as he stood in the courtyard where the queen had been beheaded.

Wikimedia – Portrait of Henry VIII and Anna Bolena

The guard, frightened by the vision, fired his bayonet and then fainted. He thwarted the sentence only because Dundas testified on his behalf. Other stories about the ghost of Anna Bolena relate to the Church of San Pietro Ad Vincula, where at night a guard is said to have seen a procession of ladies and knights in Tudor-style dress, led by the Queen, buried there. . Sightings of her ghost are also linked to Windsor Castle, her childhood home of Hever Castle in Kent and birthplace of Bickling Hall in Norwich.

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