Hampton Court Palace is a popular tourist destination in England and is considered to be quite haunted. The beautiful property was even inhabited by King Henry VIII as well as his wives. In addition to being an extraordinary palace, it was also a hotel, theater, and a leisure complex by the 1530s while Henry VIII lived there.
The king had a pretty complicated love life with his six wives and numerous mistresses. Two of his marriages resulted in annulment and two of his wives were even beheaded. This may explain why at least two of his wives are said to haunt the palace in addition to several other spirits. Let’s take a look at the ghosts that allegedly roam around Hampton Court.
The most famous apparition is the “screaming queen” who is believed to be Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard. The two were married in July of 1540 when Catherine was just a teenager. However, not even a year after their marriage began, rumors began circulating that she was being unfaithful and Henry VIII had her beheaded. Prior to being executed, she broke free from the guards and ran along the Haunted Gallery screaming for the king to change his mind but she was ultimately killed and her ghost is still said to wander the grounds still screaming for mercy. There was even a postcard from the early 1900s that appears to show a ghost who many believe is Catherine. (The postcard can be seen here.)
Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, who died from childbirth complications, is also said to haunt the palace. Several people have reported seeing a pale apparition on the Silverstick Stairs which, coincidentally, lead up to the room where she gave birth and died.
A “Grey Lady” has been seen many times and it is believed that she was a servant and nurse named Sybil Penn who contracted smallpox from Elizabeth I and died from the virus. When the church where she was buried was renovated in 1829, Sybil’s tomb was disturbed and that’s when the sightings of the “grey lady” began. Her ghost has been seen walking along the corridors of the State Apartments and the Clock Court. She has also been linked to mysterious noises that came from behind a wall that sounded like a spinning wheel. Interestingly, an old spinning wheel was found after a wall was taken down in the palace, according to legend.
A woman who was living in a nearby apartment reported hearing continuous banging and knocking on her walls but the noises stopped after two male skeletons were discovered in shallow graves underneath a cloister in Fountain Court in 1871. Coincidence?
Something very interesting happened in 2003 when the palace’s CCTV recorded a ghostly figure shoving a fire door wide open. In fact, the same door flew open for three days straight with the spirit making his presence known during the second time. The video can be viewed here.
Hampton Court is an extremely haunted location with not only two of the six wives of Henry VIII roaming around, but other ghosts as well. This is definitely one spooky spot.