The Ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn
Her spirit seems to have left a permanent imprint on the fabric of her surroundings, which is perhaps down to the impact she made in life and her traumatic death as to why her ghost still persists more than 500 years after her execution.
Anne Boleyn was the second wife of King Henry VIII, with their marriage changing the course of English History. King Henry was already married to Catherine of Aragon and could not obtain a divorce from the Roman Catholic Church. In order to obtain his divorce he therefore created a reformed version of the Church, putting himself at the head - a direct challenge of authority to the Pope.
Having obtained his divorce and married Anne, the King's most important desire was for Anne to conceive a male heir. His previous queen had only given him a female heir, Princess Mary. On 7th September 1533 Anne Boleyn gave birth to a girl, Elizabeth (who was later to become Queen Elizabeth I). After her birth, the relationship between the King and Anne Boleyn deteriorated, and he began to court a new queen in Jane Seymour.
However, Anne became pregnant again, and there was a brief reconciliation, but the child was stillborn. Henry determined to get rid of Anne Boleyn and came up with a charge of treason, arresting and confining her to the Tower of London. Her execution had been scheduled for 18 May 1536 but actually took place the following day as there had been a delay while a skilled executioner was brought in from France.
Queen Anne Boleyn is one of the most enduring ghosts at the Tower of London. Queen Anne is buried under the chapel's altar, with her ghost being spotted there on many occasions. Anne Boleyn has also often been seen standing at the window in the Dean's Cloister at Windsor Castle.
Anne Boleyn's ghost also appears in the grounds of Blickling Hall dressed all in white, seated in a ghostly carriage that is drawn by headless horses, spurred on by a headless coachman. Anne too is headless, holding her severed head securely in her lap. On arrival at Blickling Hall the coach and driver vanish leaving the headless Anne to glide alone into Blickling Hall where she roams the corridors and rooms until daybreak.
The magnificent Blickling Hall was built during the reign of King James I, by the Holbert Family, on the ruins of the old Boleyn family property. Blickling Hall in Norfolk has recently topped a National Trust poll as the Trust's Most Haunted Building. Blickling Hall was in the possession of the Boleyn family between 1499 and 1507. There is a statue and portrait of Anne Boleyn in the Hall, the statue is inscribed "Anna Bolena born here 1507".
Her brother, Lord Rochford, also appears on the same night, he too is headless although he doesn't enjoy the comfort of a carriage, for he is dragged across the surrounding countryside by four headless horses.
Sir Thomas Boleyn, who stated his belief of Anne's guilt at her trial has not found peace in death. Every year, for a thousand years to do as penance, tradition says he is obliged to drive his spectral coach and horses over twelve bridges that lie between Wroxham and Blickling.