JANUARY :: We share more of our favourite haunted locations, further frightening experiences, and some possible fascinating evidence of the paranormal.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Ghosts of Hampton Court Palace :: A Personal Experience

  Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl

Hampton Court Palace was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in the 16th Century. After the refusal by the Pope to grant King Henry VIII a divorce to his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, the blame was laid on Cardinal Wolsey,  who promptly fell from grace. The palace then became the royal property of King Henry VIII. Under his reign, it became one of the most magnificent, lavishly constructed buildings in England - and remains so to this day.

There are numerous ghosts associated with Hampton Court Palace. The most famous is that of Henry VIII's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, who is said to linger in the passageway outside the Chapel Royal (also known as the Haunted Gallery). Upon her arrest for adultery, Catherine managed to escape and run down the gallery, only to be dragged, screaming, back to her apartments. Catherine was later beheaded. It has been reported that her screams can be heard, and two women have fainted in the same spot, during two separate night tours, on the same day.

Catherine is known as an anniversary ghost, as most of the activity associated with her is reported around and on the anniversary of her arrest, the 23 November 1541.

Portrait thought to be Catherine Howard by Hans Holbein
the Younger, curtsey of The Royal Collection

Another ghost that is regularly seen at Hampton Court Palace is Sybill Penn, also known as the Grey Lady. She was a servant to the Tudor monarch and nurse to Elizabeth I and Edward IV. In 1829 her tomb was disturbed, bringing about the first sightings of the "Grey Lady" around the Clock Court and the state apartments.

Probably the most famous haunt of Hampton Court Palace is known as "Skeletor". There has been much debate as to whether this spectre is King Henry VIII, or perhaps a lady of the court. Many have questioned the authenticity of this footage, some believing it to be a publicity stunt to draw tourists.  This apparition was witnessed on CCTV footage in 2003 by security staff.

Having recently relocated to the United Kingdom from Australia, I couldn't wait to visit Hampton Court Palace. So, it was on a crisp wintery morning that we set out to investigate.

We arrived at Hampton Court Palace upon opening, so as to enjoy the rooms before they became overcrowded with tourists. During this visit, I had a personal experience in the Chapel Royal, which has left me somewhat troubled. I believe I am able to sense energies; meaning, I can pick up whether a particular place is haunted, or whether a spirit is present in the room with me. So, as we walked onto the balcony (Holy Day Closet) that overlooks the Chapel below, I was instantly overwhelmed with emotion and burst into tears - that is, uncontrollable sobbing.
Later that day, we entered the Chapel from below and again I experienced the unwavering need to cry. I was so overwhelmed that I had to run out of the Chapel. The feeling left as soon as I had exited the Chapel. I wouldn't describe it as sadness, per se, but rather an overwhelming, powerful sense of emotion. It is difficult for me to describe. I have scoured the internet looking for similar experiences, but to date have not found a single one. 


Orb in flight? Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl

A photo I took whilst walking into the Hampton Court Palace courtyard (pictured above) possibly shows a white orb travelling towards the second storey windows (mid-right in photo). Now, I'm not one who normally jumps up and down in excitement about "orb evidence", as I believe the majority can be explained away by dust, water, reflections, sun glare and the like. But this particular "orb" appears solid and must have been moving at significant speed for it to appear with a "tail". I feel it is worth noting and would appreciate any feedback.
What can you see? Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl
Orb? Dust? Water particle? Hampton Court Palace
© Ghost & Girl

Another photo that I thought may be of interest is this photo (above) taken in one of the closets. I have provided a close-up of the orb, which appears in the right of the photograph.

What do you think?

I recently came across Haunted Earth's Ghost World Blog in which the host, Chris Halton, posted about some photos that he has been privy to, claiming that two apparitions were caught on film at Hampton Court Palace in August 2013. The photographer claims that he had waited until the room was completely void of tourists before taking the pictures, so was quite shocked when his photographs show a young girl and a cloaked figure beside her, overlooking the balcony. I admit: The girl is semi-transparent, and the cloaked figure looks a lot like a man of the cloth. However, with modern technology, especially the endless software applications providing people with the means by which to manipulate photos, it almost seems too good to be true. But I still think it is worth looking at and ponder over. (The blog regularly posts interesting photos and videos).

Want to know more about the history of Hampton Court Palace? Visit here.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Well, you know, I see... stuff. :: Guest post by author Rae Gee

© Rae Gee
I'd like to thank Sarah and Laura for giving me the opportunity to come and write for Ghost and Girl. It's an honour and a privilege.
Some people would call me mad. Others may call me possessed. My mother, bless her, calls me “spiritually sensitive”. She's a devout Christian and I'm sure that some of my experiences probably sit a little uncomfortable with her. But, nevertheless, she acknowledges that there are spiritual realms and has come up with a nice, easily packaged term for what I've seen and felt over the years. It sure beats having to say, “Well, you know, I see... stuff”.
My day job involves working in a nursing home. We see a lot of sick people and many of the staff believe in the paranormal to some degree. It goes with the territory and, even though the building is less than twenty years old, there are many tales of strange happenings. My boss also tells stories of what happened in her old work place. Ironically, it was the same place my mother had worked twenty years before. Both of them tell exactly the same stories of cold spots, moving shadows, and unseen eyes watching them.
I've seen my fair share during the four years I've been there. One morning I was working in one of our downstairs lounges. There was a pile of paperwork to do and it was far more fun to do it while sitting with some friendly faces and watching a couple of movies. I was sitting in one of the far corners of the room. To my left, and just in my line of sight, was the door. Sitting beside that was an upright piano.
It was the middle of summer and all the windows were open. There were a lot of calls for drinks, and, as I stood to fetch us more juice, something caught my eye. Turning, I looked to where the piano was and there, in the corner between the piano and the door, stood a figure. It wasn't much taller than me and had no features. The whole being was grey but you could make out the distinct features of a woman. She didn't turn to look at anyone, just stood with her back to the wall and faced the door. A shiver ran up my spine and she disappeared just as quickly as she'd appeared.
Asking around, I discovered that the grey lady wasn't an unusual spirit. She'd been around for a while and had always been spied in the downstairs lounge. No one's quite sure whether she's one of the old residents or not.
Stories have abounded about a shadow which is seen from the corner of the left eye. For the first year I was working there, I never saw it. From a spiritual perspective, our building has a relatively pleasant feel. I've never felt threatened while being there, even in the small hours (when I've popped in and out for various jobs). There have been buildings I've refused to go in to due to the energy they give off. But ours is generally a happy place to be.
Just before we lost several people, I started to see the shadow. And, as a few people had told me, it was there in the corner of my eye. A fleeting glimpse of a tall, human shaped figure that rushed by and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. There was a distinct drop in temperature in that moment and, despite the warmth, I had goosebumps. Again, I asked around and there's the general consensus that the shadow we see is some kind of angel of death. I've seen it many times, normally in the days or hours before we lose someone. Despite the feeling of foreboding and the change in temperature, the being seems to harbour no malice or ill will.
We've also had many people speak of the final hours of the people in our care. They talk about how those who are dying will be speaking to people only they can see. Sometimes these are relatives. Sometimes they seem to be beings from another realm. Sometimes the dying person talks calmly to them. Sometimes they scream and lash out, as though in fear of what they're seeing. Obviously the question arises as to whether they're hallucinating or actually seeing spirits. We'll probably never know, although there are many studies into near death experiences where the person involved has experienced something similar.
Speaking of strange experiences in places, I used to work in a town called Dumfries. Just across the Scottish border, visually it's a beautiful place. Spiritually it's a nightmare. If there was ever a place which could be described as hell on earth, Dumfries would be it. The people are nice enough but you only have to look a little closer to see that things aren't all okay.
I used to take the train to work as I lived in a town about fifty miles away. The journey passed through beautiful scenery with the train lines running alongside the town before dropping in to it. Yet, as you began to draw closer, you could see a dark cloud hanging over the town. It wasn't smog, nor fumes from factories, but a dark cloud of fear and hate. The cloud lingered and was there on every visit.
It didn't improve once you were in the town centre and I suspect that much of the rest of the town was the same. The heavy weight of spiritual apathy hung over the town and, despite the presence of a fast flowing river, it never seemed to dissipate. Not only that, there was something about the people who lived there, something I'd never seen before and haven't really seen since.
I worked in a store in the middle of the town. Being in a central location was great for doing one of my favourite past times during quiet moments: People watching. On nice days, I'd prop the door open and watch the world go by. While the locals were nice enough, all of them appeared to have some kind of shadowy being that walked alongside them. It was the strangest thing I'd ever seen and felt like being in the Grand Central Station of spiritual activity. Yet I never really felt any malice or apathy coming from the people, nor the beings who walked beside them. And I've not figured out why it happened there and nowhere else. Maybe I haven't been watching hard enough. It's definitely going to be something I try when I visit London again.
Rae Gee 

[Rae Gee is the author of the Veetu Industries series of LGBT steampunk novels, published by Torquere Press. To find out more about Rae Gee and her books, visit, her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.]


Sunday, 2 February 2014

Do you have a story to tell? :: Ghost & Girl, personal experience, and you

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here." - William Shakespeare
So, you're watching one of the many paranormal investigation shows on television, when one of the investigators has a profound personal experience, and you think WOW. THAT WAS AWESOME.
Yet, much to your amazement and annoyance, that same personal experience is later ignored or reduced to something insignificant by the rest of the team, or the person in charge, simply because it couldn't be documented and/or supported by the scientific equipment.
But what if the key to truly understanding life after death is to be found within that personal experience - and all other personal experiences of the paranormal that happen on a daily basis? If science, and therefore our knowledge of the world and how it works, is still developing, why is it that the personal experience is not receiving evidentiary consideration whilst (sometimes seriously unexciting) scientific "proof" is?
Sure, we understand that some paranormal investigators want to appear as legitimate as possible, but if the science isn't giving the evidence required, perhaps it is time to take a closer look at the personal experience.
In our first post, The Devil is the Detail, we mentioned that the purpose of this blog is to share our encounters and lessons in the paranormal with you, and that in doing so, we hope that you will share yours in return. Whilst we enjoy the EVPs and the videos as much as the next person, and agree that there is a lot to learn from them, we also believe that personal experiences have a lot to offer in trying to understand how the spirit world operates. For us, the biggest question we'd like to answer is: Why do some people experience the paranormal whilst others do not?

Thing is, we can't quite figure this out on our own, so this is where you come into the mix: We want to read about your encounters, right down to the finest detail. Nothing is insignificant. We don't mind if there is nothing or no one to "back up" your claims. We want to know what happened to you, or what you think happened to you. Just call us theoretical paranormal investigators!
We are keen to hear from you. Not desperate; just curious. We'd love to read about your encounters and the lessons you've learned, and then with your permission, share them here at Ghost & Girl.
You can get in contact with us via three avenues:
1. Email. It's quick, it's easy, and almost everyone knows how to use it. It's also a little more discreet, for the shy types. Our inbox is at ghostandgirl333(at)gmail(dot)com.
2. Blog Comment. All comments are moderated so that we can filter through the tripe. However, if you've a legitimate experience, please share it and we'll publish it. Please note that published comments are viewable to the public.
3. Twitter. If you're a person of few words, and would prefer to follow us or communicate in 140 characters or less, our twitter username is @ghostandgirl333.

Alternatively, if you have a blog, or website where you keep an online record of your paranormal experiences, please tell us about it. We'd love to read it and be given the opportunity to provide our opinion, theories and feedback.

You can follow us by email, or follow us using Bloglovin'.

Finally, if you are willing, we'd be most appreciative if you were to grab our button from the right-hand menu and share it on your own blog and/or website (if you have one). The more people who know about Ghost & Girl, the more likely we are to achieve our objective.

We don't proclaim to have the answers. Sometimes, all we have is more questions, but someone has to ask them.

So. Do you have a story to tell? And are you brave enough to tell it?


Laura & Sarah  

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