There is nothing romantic about a castle that has witnessed more than a 1000 deaths. Despite the harrowing history, the Tower of London manages to fascinate visitors. Not surprising that the Tower is the most drawn, photographed, and painted monument in the world. Is it because of the countless nobles beheaded here, or the several ghost stories that portray the Tower to be one of the most haunted places in England? We explore some of these tales below:
There are no lack of ghost stories in a place that has witnessed human suffering. In fact, psychics have often noted the surreal energy around the place. There are reports about the headless body of Anne Boleyn meandering in the corridors of the White Tower. There also are stories about Anne being spotted beside her grave. And there are people who have claimed to have witnessed King Edward V and his younger brother playing in the Bloody Tower.
Stories About the Ravens:
Legend has it that the crown and with it England will perish should the ravens living in the Tower of London leave. According to historians, ravens have inhabited the Towers for many centuries. Some believe they came attracted to the smell of the corpse of the Irish King Matholwch. There are stories that claim even the ravens fell silent when Anne Boleyn was executed. They weren’t so kind during the execution of Lady Jane Grey- they pecked her severed head, it is alleged.
Stories of Torture:
Throughout the history of the Tower, there have been several stories of how its famous inmates were tortured. There are stories about the Countess of Salisbury, Margaret Pole being tortured for siding with Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII. She was arrested for two years before her death, tortured and neglected, before being sentenced to death without trial. As was the practice in those days, she was executed with an axe. But since the axe wasn’t sharp she was struck 11 times before she finally died. We do not know how Guy Fawkes was tortured, but the infamous signature evidence is enough to prove that it was most excruciating. And yes, his body was quartered and thrown across the four sides of the Tower as a reminder to the others. There are horrifying accounts of torture narrated by John Gerard, the Jesuit prisoner. Some of the instruments used to torture victims are said to crush the body like a nutcracker, some others stretched the body until one could hear the sounds of the cartilage and ligaments snapping under pressure.
Author Bio : The Author is a History aficionado and a travel freak. He loves to write about Medieval England, especially about the history related to the Tower of London.