Scary Ghosts that Haunt the Tower of London

Many Spooky Ghosts Haunt the Tower

The Best Place in London to Witness a Ghost

Approx. Reading Time 7 Minutes

Restless Ghosts Revealed

As and idle thought, you may wonder what ghosts haunt the Tower of London. Intriguingly, the Tower of London spectors feature headless figures, creepy moans, suffocating sensations, ice-cold touches, and wispy gliding “white ladies.” From the headless specter of Anne Boleyn to the spooky figures of two murdered young princes, read the terrifying accounts of Tower of London ghosts.

Thomas Becket is the First Ghost on Record

Sir Thomas Becket, once a close friend of Henry II, was made the Archbishop of Canterbury. Later, Henry, furious that Beckett wouldn’t play by his rules, made his anger known. Several loyal knights, thinking that Henry wanted Becket dead, murdered Archbishop Beckett at the Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. 

Although murdered at Canterbury, Beckett’s ghost is reportedly one of the first ghosts seen in the Tower of London. Speculation held that his ghost haunted the Tower because, at one time, he’d held the title of Constable of the Tower.

The next King, King Henry III, commissioned an inner circle wall. Notably, workers claimed that Becket’s ghost appeared twice during the construction. According to legend, on both occasions, he touched the newly constructed wall with his cross, causing it to crumble.

Incredibly, more sightings of Becket’s apparition happened near his tomb in the eastern crypt of the cathedral. Supposedly, to appease this troublesome ghost, King Henry had a new chapel built and named it after Thomas Becket. After this, surprisingly, his ghost stopped appearing at the new wall.

Why Do Ghosts Haunt the Tower of London?

The Tower of London is perhaps the oldest historic site in London, England. The place of many executions, horrific torture, and imprisonment, the Tower of London is a prime location for ghostly activity.

Not surprisingly, the long and bloody history of the Tower earned it its name as the Bloody Tower. The stone structure became the perfect prison for kings to house political prisoners, religious dissidents, and traitors awaiting execution. Imagine languishing in a stark and cold stone cell awaiting a terrible death.

The infamous Tower of London stands on the north side of the River Thames in central London. But, by all accounts, the structure’s purpose was for defense, not as a prison.

Executions in the Tower of London

In the years that followed, a succession of monarchs added more towers within its confines. But chillingly, in the inner Tower is a grassy area designated specifically for the beheading executions of high nobility.

As befitting their station, executions inside the Tower were a privilege reserved for those of high rank to keep them from the gawking crowds. More specifically, just outside the Tower of London is the notorious Tower Hill, which stands on slightly higher ground. Today, a memorial paved with bricks marks the site of the notorious blood-soaked scaffold at Tower Hill.

Reserved for the lesser nobility, political prisoners, religious heretics, and traitors, Tower Hill’s executions undoubtedly made it the most infamous of the two execution sites. Open to the public, townspeople flocked to witness the bloody executions. The beautiful surrounding gardens of today belie the blood-soaked ground and the original purpose of the spot. Beefeater guides love to show these areas to tourists and regale them with gruesome tales of executions.

Executions of Notable Figures in History

These dismal sites were the places of executions for many notable figures in British history, including the disgraced Queen, Anne Boleyn, explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, the infamous Guy Fawkes, George Plantagenet, the First Duke of Clarence, the Duke of Northumberland, Cardinal Wolsey, and Lady Jane Grey.

One of the most infamous of these prisoners was King Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Having failed to give Henry a son, he got tired of Anne and wanted to be free of her to marry his new flame, the lovely Jane Seymour. Henry callously ordered his legal advisors to cook up all sorts of foul charges against Anne, including her having an incestuous relationship with her brother. Of course, she was found guilty.

In the early hours of May 19, 1536, Anne was led to the scaffolding and beheaded. Afterward, Anne Boleyn was ignominiously buried in a communal grave beneath the chancel pavement along with other people executed at the Tower.

What Ghosts Haunt the Tower of London Revealed

Anne Boleyn’s ghost, minus her head, is said to haunt not only her place of execution at the Tower Green but also several locations inside the tower walls. One such place is the Queen’s House facing the Tower Green. Reportedly, a sentry suffered a heart attack after allegedly encountering the apparition of Anne Boleyn on a staircase in 1817.


The Apparition of Anne Boleyn Haunts the Tower

A similar account is even stranger. One evening in 1864, a sentry standing guard at the Towers Queen’s House noticed the misty white figure of a woman approaching him. She was wearing a Tudor-era dress and, over that, a cloak with a hood. Disturbingly, however, there was only an empty dark space where her face should have been.

As sentries are supposed to do, the guard challenged the figure. When it did not respond to his calls and eerily continued moving towards him, the sentry thrust at the figure with his bayonet. What happened next caused him to faint. The bayonet passed right through the person to his horror, and then a fiery flash moved up his rifle.

The unfortunate sentry faced court-martial for supposedly falling asleep on his watch. However, when several eyewitnesses told the court that they, too, had seen the headless woman on Tower Green that night, he was deemed not guilty.

One witness, an officer stationed in the Bloody Tower, saw the incident from a window upon hearing the commotion. The officer testified that he saw the sentry thrust his bayonet into the apparition and then saw the figure pass through the bayonet and right through the sentry! His testimony, although chilling, saved the sentry from execution.

Margaret Pole

In 1541, Margaret Pole, the Countess of Salisbury, met her gruesome end on Tower Green, located west of the White Tower. This was the exact place where Anne Boleyn was executed.   Aged 67 at the time, Margaret was condemned for execution by Henry VIII unfairly simply because she was the mother of Cardinal Pole, who opposed Henry’s self-imposed title as “Supreme Head of the Church of England.” Witnesses recount the executioner, described as a “wretched and clumsy youth,” struggled to sever Margaret Pole’s head with his axe cleanly. Instead, he resorted to repeatedly hacking at her head and shoulders, leaving enduring echoes of her screams resonating through the towers to this day. Those who have allegedly heard the screams say they will never forget the agonizing sounds.

The Ghost of Queen Catherine Howard

The fifth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, eventually became a prisoner at the Tower of London as well. Conducting an affair behind Henry’s back, she was found out and locked up in her private chambers at Henry’s Hampton Court Palace. Making a desperate attempt to save her life, she escaped her room.

Racing through what is now known as the Haunted Gallery to the Chapel door, Katherine screamed for Henry to grant her an audience. An immovable Henry ignored her cries and ordered her moved to the Tower of London, where she was subsequently beheaded.

Although not actually haunting the Tower of London, the ghost of Catherine Howard is said to haunt Hampton Court in what’s now called the haunted gallery. Visitors to the palace often hear the screams of a woman. People claim that the screams are from Catherine’s ghost as she attempts to beg for her life. As visitors enter the gallery, many people claim to feel an eerie presence, icy cold spots, and an unaccountable sadness. Some reports claim that Catherine Howard’s ghost can be seen racing toward the chapel in a white dress with long flowing hair.

An Artist’s Paranormal Experience

As a side note, when the gallery was finally opened to the public by Queen Victoria, an artist was allowed to sketch the period tapestry. Suddenly, he saw a ghostly female hand wearing an intricate ring move in front of the tapestry. Not knowing what else to do, the artist immediately sketched the hand. Later, he matched the ring to a portrait of Catherine Howard wearing the exact ring.

The Sad Tale of the Two Young Princes

In 1483, orphans Edward V, 12, and his younger brother Richard, aged 10, were in line for the English throne. Their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester and Lord Protector of the boys claimed that Edward, the eldest, needed “watching over” until he was old enough to rule. So, he had them moved to the Tower of London. In this situation, the two princes played together along tower walls, seemingly happy.

Not long after, the boys mysteriously vanished from the tower. As a result, rumors circulated that their uncle, who had himself crowned King Richard III, had them murdered.

The story doesn’t end there. In 1674, workers found two small skeletons inside a wooden chest. The assumption was that skeletons belonged to the missing princes. “Restoration King,” Charles II had them reburied in Westminster Abby. In 1933, reexamination of the bones proved that the skeletons were of two boys aged 12 and 10.

Ghostly Sightings of the Princes

Undoubtedly the most tragic of the Tower Ghosts, eyewitnesses commonly report seeing two boys playing on the battlements. Even more chilling are the frequent sounds of children giggling in the area where the princes were once held. But, perhaps the most heartbreaking are stories about apparitions of two young boys wearing nightshirts and holding hands in many rooms of the White Tower. Were the frightened boys holding hands for comfort in the terror in their last moments?

Crown Jewels Spooky Light

Edmund Swifte was the trusted Keeper of the Crown Jewels between 1814 and 1852. He lived inside the Tower of London with his family, as did many caretakers. Here’s a startling account of a truly supernatural experience in the Jewel House (now the Martin Tower).

That particular evening, the windows were closed, the curtains were pulled over, and the room was lit by a couple of candles. His family was seated around a table. Suddenly, something very odd happened. That evening, the windows were closed; the curtains were pulled over, and the room was lighted by a couple of candles. His family were seated around a table. Suddenly, something very odd happened.

Swifte’s Account of the Event

“It happened on a Saturday night in October, at “about the witching hour.” “My wife looked up and exclaimed, ‘Good God! What is that?’ “I looked up, and saw a cylindrical figure, like a glass tube, seemingly about the thickness of my arm. It was hovering between the ceiling and the table: its contents appeared to be a dense fluid, white and pale azure, like the gathering of a summer cloud, and incessantly rolling and mingling within the cylinder.”

“This lasted for about two minutes. Then it began slowly to move before my sister-in-law; then, following the oblong shape of the table, before my son and myself, passing behind my wife, it paused for a moment over her right shoulder. Instantly my wife crouched down, and with both hands covering her shoulder, she shrieked out, ‘Oh, Christ! it has seized me!’ Then it disappeared.” Even now, while writing, I feel the fresh horror of that moment.”

Was this the ghost of one of the Bloody Tower’s victims searching for their severed head or seeking revenge? Unfortunately, we’ll never know. The event never happened again.

The Tower’s Ghostly White Lady

A wispy figure of a woman in white, appropriately called The White Lady,” haunts the White Tower. No one is sure who the White Lady is, but an overwhelming smell of a pungent perfume usually announces her presence. Incredibly, the odor is so strong; it has made more than one Tower visitor sick. Also, visitors report being tapped on the shoulder, only to turn around and see nothing but a fleeting a wisp of white. Adding to this, some visitors have described a feeling of claustrophobia and chills running from their neck down their spine.

Lady Arbella Stuart

Lady Arbella Stuart was newly married to William Seymour. However, King James I opposed the marriage as they did not seek his permission to marry as was customary. Consequently, William was sent to the Tower as punishment, while Arbelle was placed under house arrest. Undeterred, Lady Arabelle quickly devised a plan to rescue her husband so they could escape to France. But the plan failed when William couldn’t make it to the rendezvous on time. Arabella set off for France alone but was quickly recognized and sent back to England, this time straight to the Tower of London and installed in the Queen’s House. 

Arbella Stuart Seymour spent her final days as a prisoner in the Tower of London. During that time, she refused to eat and eventually fell ill, passing away on September 25, 1615. Four days later, on September 29, 1615, because of her noble lineage, she was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey.

The Ghost of Lady Arbella Stuart Seymour

Legend says that Arabella’s ghost haunts the Queen’s House, located within the Tower grounds. She is said to weep and moan, frightening caretakers and visitors alike. Those who have witnessed her apparition claim that it resembles Lady Arabella as depicted in paintings, leaving no room for doubt that it’s her ghost.

In the early 2000s, the Governor of the Tower experienced a terrifying attack by an unseen pair of hands that shoved her out of one of the bedrooms and down the hall. Many believe it was Lady Arbella’s angry spirit that was responsible. Interestingly, almost every resident of the Queen’s House has experienced something scary or even life-threatening in that particular room. Several women who’ve slept there have reported being awakened at night with the terrifying feeling of being strangled. However, no ghost apparition accompanies the events.

The Royal Zoo

Not many people know this, but at one time, the Tower was home to many exotic animals and birds. As gifts to various monarchs, these animals were eventually housed in a large secure area called the Royal Menagerie.

For some years, a grizzly bear named Martin ambled the grounds while courtiers kept a safe distance. Unaccountable animal noises still echo in the grounds, although the zoo is gone now. Mainly, it’s reported that monkeys cry, lions growl and horses neigh, but only one animal is still reportedly seen.

In 1816, a Yeomen Warder on night duty saw a bear near the Martin Tower. Another victim of “death by ghosts,” and before dying of shock, the warder claimed the phantom bear charged him. Much like the incident involving the ghost of Anne Boleyn, the guard attempted to bayonet the bear, which kept coming at him; the sword went through the animal. This was too much for the guard, who promptly fainted and was carried to his quarters. He died of shock two days later.

Evil Spirit Guards King Henry VIII’s Armor

King Henry VIII’s massive suit of armor is on display at the Tower of London. I know because I saw it in person and actually touched it. I got away with this because security was lax at the time.

Although not a ghost in the typical sense, over the centuries, guards report sensations of dread when patrolling the inner Tower at night. Adding to this, numerous guards have told of truly harrowing experiences upon entering the chamber where Henry’s armor is stored. 

A case in point, some describe walking into the room and immediately feeling like they’re being crushed alive. It was as if invisible arms wrap around their chest as if attempting to suffocate them. Perhaps the most frightening are reports that something was trying to strangle the guards. They report a tight grip of hands around their neck before stumbling from the room into safety.

Even more so, there’s even a tale that tells of a guard being assaulted by a ghost wielding a visible cloak. Again, the guard struggled as he felt the cloak wrap right around his neck. He managed to escape the room – but although his assailant was invisible, the remaining bright red marks on his neck were real.

Additionally, some tourists have described the very same sensations or the feelings of chills running through their spine when entering that particular chamber.

Does a Suffocating Spirit Truly Inhabit King Henry’s Armor?

Indeed, according to many, the answer is yes. All these stories of suffocation and strangling have one thing in common: they occurred in the room storing Henry VIII’s armor. Wherever the armor was moved to another location, these terrifying experiences would occur.

Nowadays, the suit of armor still resides in the Tower. But on a special note, I advise you to be very careful when you pay it a visit. The armor appears to have an evil entity attached.

In conclusion:

Not surprisingly, countless ghost sightings have occurred over the centuries. In view of the the ancient and bloody history of the Tower of London, restless spirits roam near the sites of bloody scaffolds, the prisoner’s cells, to White Tower, The Queen’s House, and the Martin Tower. If you are ever in London, the Tower of London is a must-visit place, especially if you want to see a ghost.

Sources: »The Ghost of Anne Boleyn


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Carol Nicholson is thirty-five years a professional Psychic Medium and author of numerous Psychic and Spiritual courses since 2001.
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Do you know what your strongest psychic sense is? Psychic abilities are often referred to as the psychic senses. These are powers such as telepathy, Clairvoyance, psychic hearing and feeling, psychokinesis, precognition, and remote viewing that allow one to interact with the spiritual world and connect with information beyond normal perception

Significantly, the psychic senses are thought to be a manifestation of an individual’s sixth sense or intuition. There is debate over whether these abilities are real, but many believe that they are a natural human ability since the appearance of mankind on this earth and can be developed with practice. 

Therefore, with the help of this blog post, you’ll most likely be able to determine your strongest or primary psychic sense.

Psychic Senses Help Us Tap into the Unknown

Psychic senses offer an opportunity to tap into the unseen and explore realms of consciousness and energy beyond our physical world. They provide insight and guidance on one’s journey towards spiritual growth and self-discovery. Ultimately, only you can decide which of your sixth senses is your strongest psychic sense, and the most powerful for you. And it is up to each individual to explore them in whatever way works best for them. 

Let’s Explore Each of the Most Common Psychic Senses



Clairvoyance is the gift of “psychic seeing. Often, clairvoyants use the pictures and symbols that appear in their mind’s eyes to achieve deeper insight into the world around them. They use images or symbols to sense, feel, or intuit things they otherwise have no knowledge of. Particularly, many find that their clairvoyance faculty is their strongest psychic sense hands down!

Indicators of strong Clairvoyance are:

  1. An image or scene popping into your head for no reason.
  2. You can easily visualize scenes, symbols, and sometimes past lives.
  3. Many clairvoyants will experience sudden visual flashes, like sparks and discs of light in their peripheral vision. However, some will sense these movements, where others don’t.
  4. Although Clairvoyance is innate in most of us, usually, the average person pays no attention to sudden images and scenes that seem to play on their own. As an intuitive, it’s vital to pay attention to the images that appear during wakefulness, dreams, or during meditation. 

What to Remember about Clairvoyance

Having strong Clairvoyance is an incredible power and one that should be used responsibly in order to gain maximum benefit from it. By using this ability with care and understanding its implications, individuals can make more informed decisions  and ultimately lead a better life. Moreover, clairvoyant powers can ensure that they are making the best possible decisions for themselves and those that depend on them. 

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