Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP, DAY 1, PART 3: Westminster Abbey

Tom and Rob near the Abbey courtyard
Westminster Abbey is the church where royal coronations occur (since 1066), and it sits across from Parliament. It was originally the site of a Benedictine abbey, until Edward the Confessor rebuilt it in January 1066. Many of the nation’s Kings and Queens are buried in the Abbey.  Also buried and/or memorialized are over 3,000 men and women, from Charles Dickens to Queen Anne of Cleves. There are politicians, lawyers, warriors, clerics, writers, artists and musicians.
  The Cathedral is huge and somewhat confusing inside to remember where you walked. There are also a number of smaller chapels within, and rooms that just house the bodies of important people (kings, queens, other royalty, statesmen, etc.) The ornamentation is elaborate beyond words.
outside Westminster Abbey

A Well-Known Ghost we didn't encounter:
   According to Westminster-Abbey.org, the ghost of John Bradshaw, a lawyer, politician and regicide is said to appear only on the anniversary of the beheading of King Charles I (which happened in Whitehall on January 30, 1649). So it wasn't him that we encountered.

OUR GHOSTLY ENCOUNTERS: We took the audio tour of Westminster Abbey. Upon walking in I (Rob) got my usual headache indicating ghosts or spirits were present. There was a lot going on in there (ghost-wise) and between the emotional energy that was created by the current visitors touring and those that lived before, it was making my head spin!
1) TOMB OF HENRY VII - Near the tomb of Henry VIII's father, I was very uncomfortable. I felt that that area is where people were told they were going to be executed for something they had done. Why there, I don't know. Regardless, I needed to get away from that area.
2) QUEEN ELIZABETH AND QUEEN MARY'S TOMBS - These 2 queens were buried here, too. However, we both got light-headed there.
Credit: Unofficial Royalty.com

3) A HAIR RAISING EXPERIENCE! - While we were standing in front of the tomb of Anne of Cleves I got my hair pulled! I looked at Tom and he looked at me - I told him "My hair just got pulled!" It was a female entity that was standing behind (and between) us that pulled my hair on the top left side. I'm unsure if it was Anne of Cleves, or the ghost of a woman that haunts the Abbey. The only thing I do know is that she wanted to be noticed. She got her wish.
4) KING RICHARD THE LIONHEARTED - Born September 8, 1157, Richard was the third legitimate son of King Henry II of England. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey in September 1189. - In front of his tomb I really got dizzy...
Poet's Corner. Credit: ChestofBooks.com
5) THE MALE GHOST IN POET'S CORNER OF THE ABBEY - Poets' Corner can be found in the South Transept. It was not originally designated as the burial place of writers, playwrights and poets; the first poet to be buried here, Geoffrey Chaucer, was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey because he had been Clerk of Works to the palace of Westminster, not because he had written the Canterbury Tales. (according to (www.westminster-abbey.org). It was here that I got a very clear message. It was the ghost of a man who died at 38  years old. He told me he was killed from a blow to the head. He gave me the year 1678, which was likely the year of his death. He said he fell on the floor in that Poet's corner. **In this corner we saw the burial places of Henry James, Lewis Carroll, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Elliott, Alfred Lord Tennyson, George Elliott, D.H. Lawrence, Rudyard Kipling and Charles Dickens.
6) THE GHOSTLY MONK - In the Cloisters area I got a stabbing pain in my left hip. It felt like someone was jabbing me with a sword and didn't want me to be there. I believe it was the Monk that haunts the Abbey.  ** I later found out (when I got home) about the ghost that haunts that area. Ghost-Story.co.uk noted that the ghost of a Benedictine Monk called "Father Benedictus"  haunts the Abbey and is seen hovering over the floor (the floor level was progressively lowered over time, so the Monk's ghost is walking where the floor level used to be). He is most often seen floating around the cloisters at five or six in the evening.
Courtyard in the middle of Westminster Abbey
7) MONKS IN THE PYX CHAMBER - The chamber was probably made into a treasury in the 13th century and may have been used as a sacristy when Henry III was rebuilding the main Abbey. Sometimes when I touch objects, I get a sense of the person or people that had handled them. In this case, I touched a door here (that has been there for hundreds of years) and saw a lot of robed monks walking around in the room. They kept showing me their robes. I didn't understand why until we looked further around the room and saw a wooden  "cope chest." On the wooden chest was a plaque that read "Circa 1450, this cope chest stored monks' robes."

Funeral Effigy of King Henry VII. 

Credit: Shakespeare.berkeley.edu

8) GHOST POKING - One of the last rooms we entered in the Abbey was the gift shop. This turned out to be a place where I got a physical sign of a ghost. The shop was also part museum that had display cases of effigies of queens and kings that were held up and paraded in the city after the king or queen had died. While looking at a large glass case with a few effigies, I was suddenly poked in my back. I turned around and no one was behind me. Of course, I still had the headache in the back left side of my head, which I get in the presence of a ghost or spirit, so I knew it had to be a ghost that was poking me!

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next