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Ghosts of the Tower of London



It’s a landmark everyone wants to see when visiting the city of London, UK but not everyone is aware of the spooky secrets hidden within. It is claimed there are at least 13 separate ghosts living in the tower including the spirits of some of England’s most famous royals.

The Tower of London was built in the decades following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The tower complex was primarily a royal residence but was also used as a prison from 1100 until 1952. The tower has a grim reputation where many people have been tortured and executed for nearly 1000 years.

The 13 Ghosts

Anne Bolelyn

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII. Henry was originally married to Anne’s sister Catherine. When Catherine couldn’t produce an heir to the throne Henry divorced her and married Anne. Henry and Anne had a daughter, Elizabeth I, but their marriage also failed to produce a male heir. Desperate to have someone to continue his legacy Henry began courting another woman and needed to find a way to get rid of Anne. He accused Anne of high treason, adultery and plotting to kill the king. She was subsequently imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is believed these accusations were false but she was convicted by a jury of her peers and executed four days later.

Some visitors to the Tower claim to have seen Anne’s spirit wandering the Tower Green where she was executed. Others have seen her in St. Peter ad Vincula where she was buried or even wandering the corridors of the Tower as a headless apparition.

Henry VI

In the 1400’s Henry VI stood to inherit the thrones of both the French and the English. During the War of the Roses the House of York imprisoned him. Shortly after Edward IV seized the throne and Henry VI was stabbed to death while praying in Wakefield Tower. It is claimed that his spirit still wanders the tower where he was murdered often appearing at the stroke of midnight.

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey was put forward as an alternative Queen to the catholic Mary Queen of Scotts, also known as Bloody Mary. As soon as Queen Mary caught wind of this plot Lady Jane was executed at the Tower of London along with her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley. Lady Jane’s ghost is often seen as a solitary figure wandering amongst the battlements.

Lord Guildford Dudley

As mentioned above the husband of Lady Jane Grey was also executed at the Tower of London. Before he died he carved his dear wife’s name into the stone of the tower which can still be seen today. It is believed to be his spirit heard weeping and calling out to his love in the Beauchamp Tower.

Margaret Pole, Duchess of Sainsbury

Margaret Pole was a devout Catholic and as such she was not viewed favorably by the Protestant Monarchy. She was imprisoned in the Tower of London for two and a half years before the king decided to execute her. Before she was killed she carved the following poem onto the walls of her cell:

For traitors on the block should die;
I am no traitor, no, not I!
My faithfulness stands fast and so,
Towards the block I shall not go!
Nor make one step, as you shall see;
Christ in Thy Mercy, save Thou me!

The usual executioner was not available when she was to be killed so an inexperienced one was brought in. Some sources claim she refused to kneel for her execution and attempted to run away from the executioner. He chased her, swinging at her when he could causing her to die in an incredibly horrific manner with her head and neck being hacked into several pieces.

Some visitors to the tower claim to have seen this grisly scene being recreated as a residual haunting. Others have heard her ghostly screams echoing over the Tower Green.

The White Lady

The White Lady often makes her self known with the sudden appearance of an overwhelming smell of cheap perfume that has been said to make some visitors feel ill. Some visitors to the Tower have felt a tap on the shoulder and when they turned around to see who was there they saw nothing but a wisp of white smoke.

The Grey Lady

The Grey Lady is another spirit that hasn’t been identified as anyone in particular. It is a shrouded grey figure spotted in various locations around the Tower Complex. It is said that this spirit only appears to women.

The Smothering Force

Many visitors have reported that while in the gallery featuring the armor of Henry VIII they have felt a strong smothering force. Some have been so overwhelmed that they had to leave the building to get their breath back.

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes was captured attempting to blow up the British Parliament Building. He was brought to the Tower of London and tortured before being executed. It is said that you can hear Fawkes screaming and crying from the council chamber in the White Tower.

Arabella Stuart

King James I did not give his permission for Arbella to marry William Seymour, nephew of Lady Jane Grey. Enraged at the insult, and perceiving the marriage as a possible threat to his throne, James I imprisoned Arbella in the Tower. She died there in 1615—conflicting reports claim she either stopped eating or was murdered. She haunts the Queen’s House.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower for treason and then executed. It is said that his ghost wanders around the Bloody Tower to this day as well as across the battlements. The area has even been named after him as Raleigh’s Walk.

The Princes – Richard, Duke of York and Edward V

Two young boy princes were made prisoners in the Tower by their uncle Richard the Duke of Gloucester and assumed to have been murdered by his order as they were a threat to the crown. The bones of two young boys were found buried under the stairs in 1674 and are assumed to be the remains of the boy princes. Visitors to the tower often report seeing two young boys wandering around in the White Tower wearing antique nightshirts. They have also been seen playing on the battlements and heard giggling throughout the tower complex.

The Grizzly Bear

The Tower of London has been home to a menagerie of animals over the years and some of their spirits are reported to still roam the grounds. One guard at the Tower of London claimed that the ghost of a Grizzly Bear charged at him. The guard attempted to bayonet the animal but his sword when straight through. The guard then lost his mind and was taken to his quarters where he died two days later.

If you liked this article you may also be interested in the ghosts of the London Underground or the ghost stories of Uwharrie Forest.

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Crisis Apparitions




Can we communicate with our loved ones telepathically during times of crisis?

In the early 1800s, Pastor John Frederick Oberlin moved to the town of Bande-la-Roche, France, hoping to educate the residents and relieve them of their superstitions. In the end it was Oberlin who was educated, becoming convinced that the apparitions residents saw in times of crisis were real.

Pastor John Frederick Oberlin and the Crisis Apparitions of Bande-la-Roche

John Frederick Oberlin, a well-known pastor, teacher, and philanthropist from the 18th and 19th centuries, completely changed the way of life in the Bande-la-Roche valley in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. When he arrived in the area, he didn’t like the superstitions of the locals, especially their stories about seeing their dying family members appearing to them in spirit form before their deaths. Despite his efforts to educate them and speak against these beliefs, the reports of such sightings continued.

A significant turning point in Oberlin’s attitude towards the apparitions occurred in 1806 when a devastating avalanche struck Rossberg, burying several villages in its wake. The aftermath of this catastrophic event was marked not only by the physical destruction but also by an increase in the number of villagers claiming to have witnessed visions of their deceased loved ones.

As these accounts multiplied, Oberlin, the steadfast clergyman, found himself grappling with a growing sense of doubt. The sheer volume of testimonies and the intensity of the experiences described by the locals led him to reconsider his earlier dismissal of the supernatural. The tragic circumstances surrounding the avalanche seemed to challenge his previously held orthodox views.

In the face of mounting evidence and the profound impact of the disaster on the community, Oberlin began to believe that the villagers were indeed be perceiving spirits of the departed.

What are Crisis Apparitions?

In most supernatural encounters, the spirits involved are usually belonging to people who have passed away. Sometimes, however, the spirit seen is belonging to someone still living. What does this mean?

One idea regarding crisis apparitions suggests that when a person dies, their soul is released from their body. This liberated soul can then move freely across space and time. The belief is that the individual’s soul might want to make a final visit to say goodbye or provide comfort to loved ones.

In some cases, crisis apparitions involve a person who is still alive. For instance, someone might hear the voice of a loved one delivering a message or warning during a vision. According to a theory, when a person is in physical pain or danger due to illness, they might unconsciously project psychic energy to their loved ones. This projection could happen without the person being aware of it, driven by the challenging situation they are facing.

This type of crisis apparition resembles visions of those who have passed away. As the energy is sent to the receiver, their brain interprets it as an image of the sender. Researchers believe that some individuals may be more sensitive to this energy, increasing their likelihood of having paranormal experiences.

Other Notable Examples of Crisis Apparitions

A woman having an out of body experience is seen by her husband who was hundreds of miles away

According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s book, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, (affiliate link) in 1863, a man named S. R. Wilmot and his sister, Eliza, sailed from England to New York. They faced a severe storm that lasted nine days. Wilmot, feeling seasick, stayed in his sleeping area for several days and nights. On the eighth night, after the storm eased, he dreamt that his wife, Mrs. Wilmot, visited him in a white nightgown, kissed and caressed him, and then left.

The next morning, William J. Tait, who shared quarters with Wilmot, mentioned seeing a lady visitor. Wilmot was surprised because Tait’s description matched exactly what he had dreamt. When asked, Eliza denied being the visitor.

Later, Mrs. Wilmot asked her husband about his dream, describing her own experience of going out during the storm, finding the ship, going to the stern, and entering the cabin. She hesitated at first when she saw Tait but eventually kissed and caressed Wilmot, just like in his dream. Mrs. Wilmot shared this vivid experience with her mother, insisting it felt too real to be just a dream and that she believed she had actually been on the ship.

A Man Sees His Wife’s Dying Sister-in-Law

“In the higher part of the door was a glass window, and I all at once, in the darkness, saw a face looking through that window. The face was very well known to me, though for the instant I did not associate it with the original, as she was 300 miles away. I instantly opened the door, found nobody there, and then searched the ivy with which the porch and house are covered. Finding nothing, and knowing it was impossible anyone could have got away. … I at once knew the face was that of a married sister-in-law of my wife’s. I told all our family of the circumstance directly I got home, and judge of our dismay when we had a letter to say she died at the very hour I saw her. Monday was the evening I saw the face, and on Wednesday, when we were at dinner, the letter came.”

W. Goodyear.

Apparitions of the Living Vol 1 p. 523

A Man Sees His Brother During a Near Death Experience

“It was either in 1874 or 1875. My brother was third mate on board one of Wigram’s large ships. I knew he was somewhere on the coast of Australia  …  I looked up, and, to my astonishment, saw my brother coming towards me from the outside door of the kitchen. … I noticed he was in his sailor uniform with a monkey jacket on, and the wet was shining on his jacket and cap. I exclaimed, ‘Miles, where have you come from?’ He answered in his natural ‘For God’s sake, don’t say I’m here.’ This was all over in a few seconds and as I jumped towards him he was gone. I was very much frightened, for I had really thought it was my brother himself; and it was only when he vanished that I realised it was only an appearance. … About three months afterwards my brother came home, and….I asked him in a casual manner if he had had any adventures, and he said, ‘I was nearly drowned at Melbourne.’ He then told me he was ashore without leave, and on returning to the ship, after midnight, he slipped off the gangway between the side of the ship and the dock. There was very little space, and if he had not been hauled up at once, he must have been drowned. He remembered thinking he was drowning, and then became unconscious. His absence without leave was not found out, so he escaped the punishment he expected. I then told him of how he had appeared to me, and I asked him the date. He was able to fix it exactly. … He had no recollection of thinking specially of me at the time, but he was much struck by the coincidence, and often referred to it. He did not like it, and often when he went away said, ‘Well, I hope I shan’t go dodging about as I did that time.”

Apparitions of the Living, Vol 2, p. 141

Billie Holiday Sees Her Mother at the Time She Died

Billie Holiday wrote in her memoir of a strange incident occurring at the time of her mother’s death. Her mom was very young when she had her, and they were close. In the middle of the book, Billie talks about a strange moment in a hotel room with her boyfriend after a show:

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but something weird happened that night… We were just sitting there when suddenly I felt my mother behind me, touching my shoulders. And I knew she was dead. I told Joe, ‘Mom just left, and she’s dead.’

‘You’re crazy,’ he said. ‘You must be losing it.’

‘Listen to me,’ I said, ‘you better be good to me because you’re all I’ve got now.’

Her mom wasn’t sick, and she was only 38, so nobody expected her to die. The next day, people acted strangely around Billie. She went up to the road manager and “told him Mama was dead and what time she died the night before…He blew his top, raised hell with everybody backstage. He swore somebody must have told me. But nobody had told me nothing.” The crew knew about Billie’s Mom but didn’t want her to know as it might impact her performance.

Knock Once for Yes Podcast covers the topic of Crisis Apparitions

Have you ever had a crisis apparition experience? Tell us about it in the comments. If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in the phenomenon of paranormal apathy or twin telepathy.

Interested in Talking to Spirits? Try one of our paranormal communication apps!

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MacKenzie Family Omens




The MacKenzie family received various omens to warn them of death that was about to occur in the family.

In the early 1900s, the MacKenzie family line in Scotland experienced several different paranormal omens, warning them about deaths that would soon occur in the family.

These stories have been gathered from 1934 book “Family Ghosts and Ghostly Phenomena,” by Elliott O’Donnell.

The Prophecy of the Face

One evening, young Sylvia MacKenzie was alone in her small house, sitting in the living room. She heard a tapping sound at a window facing a small garden. When she looked, she saw a strange face with a long, narrow nose and no nose at all. The eyes were very pale, set at an angle, and far apart. The face seemed to be looking at her in a menacing way. As Sylvia stared, scared and unable to move, the face slowly disappeared. When her parents came home, she told them about the scary vision. They were really upset because, as they explained, their family believed this ghostly face showed up only when something bad was about to happen.

The next day, Sylvia’s brother Robert, who was in the Canadian forces during World War I (between 1914-1918), was killed on the Western front.

Miss MacKenzie and the Ghostly Arm

One morning, another, unamed member of the Mackenzie family went upstairs to get something from her bedroom. While leaving, she heard something fall behind her. When she turned around, she saw an old-fashioned silver candlestick on the floor next to the chest of drawers. Curious, she went to pick it up and noticed a “beautifully round” arm, from the elbow up, coming out of the wall beside the drawers. The skin was very white, and the hand had long, slender fingers and filbert nails, like a woman’s hand. As she watched, the arm slowly faded away and disappeared.

After it was gone, she remembered her family’s stories about a phantom omen—a strange hand seen only by family members that predicted death and misfortune. She worried that her vision foretold her mother’s death, who was very sick at that time. Fortunately, her mother recovered fully. A few days later, the family received news that a cousin had died tragically. It made the young woman wonder if her vision had predicted this sad event.

Mr MacKenzie and the Cold hand

One night, Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie were at a cinema in Glasgow. While watching the movie, Mr. MacKenzie suddenly felt a cold hand touch his cheek. Annoyed, he thought it was the people around him playing a prank. A little later, he felt the cold hand on the back of his own hand and got really scared. He knew his family believed in a ghostly hand that showed up before someone’s death. Unable to enjoy the movie, they left right away.

When they tried to sleep that night, Mr. MacKenzie felt someone moving in the room. He lit the gas to check, but the room was empty, and the door was locked. As he went back to bed, the cold hand touched his forehead. He grabbed the arm, describing it as soft and slender, and felt it up to the elbow where it suddenly disappeared. The next day, they got a telegram telling them that one of Mr. MacKenzie’s sisters had died during the night.

Here is another gripping ghost story recounted by Scotish author Elliot O’Donnell

Have you had any similar experiences with in your family? Tell us about it in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in other omen phenomena such as Our Lady of Fatima or Katherine Hobbs predicting her own death

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