Over the past 1000 years, the Tower of London has seen more than itsfair 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
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 (unconcious?) by another sentry and died shortly after.