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The Tower of London

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The Tower of London

Over the past 1000 years, the Tower of London has seen more than its fair share of murders, executions, tortures and poisonings. It's little wonder therefore that a few of its victims should remain there in death. 

On the 12th February 1957 a guardsman came face to face with one of the ghostly residents at the foot of the Salt Tower. It was 3.00am when something struck the roof of the sentry-box in which he was sheltering from the rain. Stepping out, he looked up to see what it was, and saw a shapeless white ghost on the top of the tower. He shouted, bringing out the guard captain and the duty warder. They both searched the Tower, but could find nothing. Is it a coincidence that on 12 February 1554 Lady Jane Grey was beheaded on Tower Green, which lies less than 200 yards away from the Salt Tower? 

One of the best known ghosts is that of Anne Boleyn, who also lost her head on Tower Green. She is now said to carry her head under her arm on the eve of a death. A sergeant serving with the Artist's Rifles was on duty the night before several spies were due to be executed during the First World War. He claimed that the night before Carl Lody was executed, he saw the ghost of Anne Boleyn in a silk dress and a white ruff. 

Anne has also been seen in the Tower Chapel. One night, a guard captain and a sentry set off on their rounds, but when they reached the chapel they both noticed lights coming from inside. The captain sent for a  ladder and climbed up to a window to look within. He found the interior  lit with a blue-white light, and a ghostly procession of men and women  in Tudor costume could be plainly seen walking down the central aisle.  At the head of the procession was the spirit of Anne Boleyn. Suddenly  the light faded and the chapel was left in complete darkness. 

      It's not only ghosts of people that visit the Tower. In 1816 a sentry was walking his beat in front of the Jewel House when he saw a dark shape moving on the steps of the building. He approached the figure just as the moon came out from behind some clouds, revealing a huge bear lunging at him. Paniced, he struck out at the bear with his bayonet but the blade simply passed through the bear, which then engulfed him. He was later found by another sentry and died shortly after.  

          The Tower of London is no longer used to hold prisoners and no longer carries out executions, but according to the beefeaters, gaurdians of the Tower, strange sights can still be seen on certain days...