Saturday, June 30, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4: Part 12: Ghostly Soldier/Armor Exhibit

Alleyway where the ghostly soldier marches
Here's some info about the 7 executions at the Tower of London (most occurred outside the walls on "Tower Hill." Rob also spotted a ghostly solider walking up and down outside of the White Tower.
 - Inside the White Tower there's a huge display of armor from many of the kings, including Henry VIII.

SEVEN EXECUTIONS AT THE TOWER OF LONDON:  Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more commonly held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period.

Before we entered the White Tower, I (Rob) saw a soldier walking down this walk between buildings. White Tower is on the right). He was dressed in 1600s clothing and he disappeared!

The White Tower: Credit: Wikipedia (it was gray and wet on our visit)
The White Tower is a central tower, the old keep, at the Tower of London.It was built by William the Conqueror. Evidence suggests construction of the White Tower began in 1075–1079. The White Tower now holds an extensive collection of Kings' armor and the Crown Jewels (which you stand on a moving walkway to see).

Following are some of the VIDEOS we made of the Armor collections, which we thought were more interesting than the crown jewels!
Henry VIII's Armor in White Tower

Friday, June 29, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP Day 4: Part 11: Tower of London: How was it Used?/ Bloody Tower

Bloody Tower. Credit:
Here's some interesting background on the Tower of London, and a story about Sir Walter Raleigh's ghost that supposedly haunts one room there.

DIFFERENT USES OF THE TOWER OF LONDON: The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

A STARTING POINT OF ROYAL CORONATIONS:  From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch.

UNDER THE TUDOR FAMILY (Henry VIII's lineage): The Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defenses lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.

Sir Walter Raleigh's "prison" room, nicely furnished


In the 1580's, Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to bring colonies to what would eventually become America. They landed at a small island called Roanoke Island in Virginia. He was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer. He is also well known for popularizing tobacco in England.

He was considered to be connected with a plot against King James the First. The King didn't care for Sir Walter Raleigh, and when Queen Elizabeth the first died in the early 1600s, he placed (for the 2nd time)  in the Tower of London. Thirteen years later he was released and went to South America. When he returned, he was arrested and jailed in the tower.  His "rooms" are still furnished as they were in the 16th century, and can be seen when visiting the Tower today. He was executed by James I, and has been seen looking exactly as he does in his portrait hanging in the Bloody Tower. Many think ghosts will remain in a place that has great importance from their lives, thus Walter remains here because he was put in the Tower twice.

Two princes; Edward V (who was 12) and Richard Duke of York (who was 10) were kidnapped and were thought murdered in 1483 - likely by command of the Duke of Gloucestershire, who was to be crowned Richard the III.
   In the late 15th century some guards near the Bloody Tower saw shadows of two small children moving down the stairs,  wearing white night shirts  (that  they had on the night they disappeared). The two children then disappeared in the wall of the Bloody Tower.  -These children were the ghosts of the murdered young princes.
  In 1674, workmen found a chest containing two skeletons of young children (thought the remains of the princes).

TOWER LATER IN HISTORY:  In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison, and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired and the castle reopened to the public.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Good News for our Foster Dog- and a family pic

More good news for our foster dog Chance - During his hip/leg surgery the doctor found a large mass within his tummy. It was infected so he removed it. We finally got the tests back, and thankfully, it was a fatty tumor, benign. The doctor did say, however, that if the surgery wasn't done when it was, that could've ruptured and killed this poor, lovable dog. We are so thankful, and SO relieved.
  - I (Rob)  took all of the the "kids" outside on Tuesday at lunch and lined them up for a picture in the backyard. They're all obedient, including our new foster dog so the let me take this great picture!

L to R: Sprite, Chance, Franklin and Dolly

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4, Part 10: Tower of London!

After Hampton Court Palace, we returned back to London and visited the Tower of London. Here's the thing- it's NOT just a "tower." It's an entire castle that was once used as such by royalty. It also served as a prison.
  The weather was VERY uncooperative. In fact, we had downpours, and it was quite chilly. 

Outside the Tower of London
 Tower of London (also called Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, is a castle located on the River Thames in London. It was founded in 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The "Tower" is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.
  Since 1100, the castle was used as a prison in part, but it also served as a royal residence. As a whole,  There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.

The Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula ("St. Peter in chains") is the parish church of the Tower of London. It is situated within the Tower's Inner Ward and dates from 1520. It is a Royal Peculiar. The name refers to St. Peter's imprisonment under Herod Agrippa in Jerusalem. The Chapel is probably best known as the burial place of some of the most famous prisoners executed at the Tower.
Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula

Three queens: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, the second and fifth wives of Henry VIII, respectively, and Lady Jane Grey, who reigned for nine days in 1553. George Boleyn, brother of Anne, was also buried here after his execution in 1536, as were Edmund Dudley and Sir Richard Empson, tax collectors for Henry VII, and Guildford Dudley, husband to Lady Jane Grey, in February 1554, after being executed on Tower Green.
Thomas More and John Fisher, who incurred the wrath of Henry VIII, were subsequently executed, and later canonised as martyrs by the Roman Catholic Church, are also buried here; Philip Howard, a third saint who suffered under the Tudors, was also buried here for a time before his body was relocated to Arundel.

THE GHOST OF ANNE BOLEYN:  According to the website: ( the most persistent ghost in The Tower of London is the ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn.
King  Henry VIII accused Queen Anne of infidelity after he learned the baby boy she carried for nine months was stillborn.She was taken to TOWER GREEN and was beheaded on May 19, 1536. Anne's ghost is said to appear near the Queen’s House (on the Tower grounds), close to the site where her execution was carried out. Reports say she's seen leading a ghostly procession down the aisle of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula. Anne's ghost floats down the aisle to her final resting place - She's buried under the Chapel’s altar. Her headless body has also been seen walking the corridors of the Tower! 

We managed to get in a short guided tour of the Chapel. As we walked in, I (Rob) became very uncomfortable. Sitting down in the pew, the discomfort level increased. I was anxious, nervous and even teared up. I felt like it was a woman's spirit who was tortured (mentally). I came to find out that the ghost of Anne Boleyn haunts the church, and believe it was, in fact her ghost, sharing those emotions. Remember, she was one of Henry VIII's wives who was beheaded, so the pain, and anguish she experienced leading up to her death was still being felt afterward.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Married 3 Years Today!

LtoR: Rob, Mike (marrying us), Tom, Jeff (best man)
On June 26, 2009, we married each other (legally) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Our friend Mike Bettwy married us (and has since married his wife Amy). Our friend Jeff Feldhaus was our best man (and has since married his partner Jose).
- Several friends and family members came the small gathering (the reception was held in Maryland in September). We had our ceremony in an Italian Restaurant (recommended by Rob's brother Doug), and it was perfect. After the ceremony and a nice lunch, we called it a day.
- Some days it feels like we've been married for decades! (Kidding!). I (Rob) don't think there's a more perfect match. We laugh every day, even when one is grumpy or had a bad day.
 - We've grown from 2 dogs (Dolly the Weimaraner and Franklin the Dachshund) to 4 dogs- one of which is a foster. Sprite (the Dachshund) was a foster we adopted. We have a new foster, (Chance) that we just took in to get back to health and find a home.
  - I think that we can say that we are the "love of our lives." We say it to each other all the time.

Here are just 2 of the pictures from the event.
For all of the pictures from that day:

Back: Rob, Tom, Mike, Steve, Doug, Jeff / Front: Colleen, Jacquie, Amy, Dawn, Gail

Ralph & Rich's Restaurant- where we got married!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Amazing Videos of Chance Walking Pre & Post Surgery

TWO SHORT VIDEOS OF A SUCCESS: This will make you smile.

Our foster dog, Chance had surgery on Thursday, June 21, just 5 days after we took him out of the county animal shelter (and had three vet appts in between). The veterinary surgeon, Dr. Prostedny in Annapolis, is amazing.
Take a look at the first video here of Chance limping toward me (Rob) on the morning of June 21st. He typically hopped with his emaciated, non-working leg twisted behind him.

The second video was shot Sunday, June 24, 2012, just three days after his surgery. We've been limiting his activity to just going outside, but it was amazing to see that in just three days, he's already walking much straighter, and trying to put his weak leg down!!  (We're taking him to therapy after the stitches come out- which is July 5th - and the stitches are healing well and quickly!). We couldn't be happier for him, and we've been giving him new toys (he loves stuffed squeaky toys) and treats.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Recap of Rob's Big Interview on Coast to Coast AM syndicated radio

On Saturday morning at 1 a.m. EDT, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for an hour by famous radio show host, George Noory of the "Coast to Coast AM" show.  This show has been on the air for about 20 years and Art Bell used to host it (I remember listening back then!). Its heard in ALL 50 STATES and internationally. That became obvious when I checked the rankings of my 2 books, and both of them were in the Top 15 (Kindle versions) for Paranormal books!  The new book  "Lessons Learned from Talking to the Dead" made #4 today in the "Channeling" category on Amazon!! WOW. I'm really amazed...

What's the Show About? Coast to Coast AM - UFOs, strange occurrences, life after death and other unexplained phenomena. Overnight talk radio with daytime ratings.

- The show copyrights all audio and podcasts can be heard on the website (for a fee of $6.95 a month). Last night's show is located at:

So, although I can't have a podcast of the show on the blogs, here's a Brief recap from Coast to Coast AM's producer, from their website:

Ghost Communication

In the first hour, medium and meteorologist Rob Gutro talked about his interactions with earth-bound ghosts. Gutro recalled having his first paranormal experience as a teen, when he saw an apparition of his deceased grandfather materialize before his eyes. He spoke about the challenge of learning to separate his own thoughts from those of ghosts trying to contact him. Gutro credited falling in love with helping him more accurately tune into ghosts, noting that any positive emotion can give an entity power to communicate with the living. He said some ghosts linger here because of unresolved emotional issues, others do not realize they are dead, and some simply do not wish to leave their houses. Gutro likened earth-bound ghosts to prisoners in isolated jail cells, able to see spirits that have passed on but unable to communicate with them. He also shared an amazing paranormal experience with his father's ghost: "I felt two arms come around me, wrap around me, like I was getting a big hug from behind," he remembered.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

News from Different Churches on Civil Rights

  • Here are two interesting articles. Glad to see that the Catholics in the U.S. are not putting up with the political crap the church is trying to thrust on them. I believe the Catholic and Baptist churches also didn't want mixed-race couples to marry... As for the Southern Baptists, well, they appear hopeless on civil rights issues, and always have to be made to understand what "all equal in the eyes of God" really means. Sigh.
  •   IN OTHER NEWS- Finally, the GOP stopped harassing the military about allowing gay members to serve in the armed forces. Yay.
  • Catholics disagree over church role in marriage debate
    Some Catholics who are fighting an attempt to ban marriage equality in Minnesota say they feel out of step with a church they otherwise admire, but polls find they are among a majority of Catholics who support the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Minnesota church officials contend their role in trying to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples via a constitutional amendment should not be seen as anti-gay. CNN/Belief blog (6/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Friday, June 22, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4, Part 9: Hampton Court Palace- GHOST ON VIDEO

Ghost flinging open doors. Credit: Hampton Court
In October 2003, closed-circuit security cameras at Hampton Court Palace, captured an image of a hooded man flinging a set of doors open behind the model of William III's state apartments.  When security reached the fire doors the first time they opened, there was no one there.  They saw the doors fly open on their own on the security camera tape. The next day, the alarm went off (as it did the first dy), and no one was there and the doors closed themselves. The next time, CCTV cameras showed a hooded figure flinging the doors open!!

Excerpt from a story from MSNBC about the incident:
“We’re baffled too — it’s not a joke, we haven’t manufactured it,” said Vikki Wood, a Hampton Court spokeswoman, when asked if the photo the palace released was a Christmas hoax. “We genuinely don’t know who it is or what it is.”
Wood said security guards had seen the figure in closed-circuit television footage after checking it to see who kept leaving open one of the palace’s fire doors.
In the still photograph, the figure of a man in a robelike garment is shown stepping from the shadowy doorway, one arm reaching out for the door handle.
The area around the man is somewhat blurred, and his face appears unnaturally white compared with his outstretched hand.
“It was incredibly spooky because the face just didn’t look human,” said James Faukes, one of the palace security guards.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Post Surgery Update: Chance's Hip

At 8 p.m. EDT tonight, June 21, I received a call from the Veterinary surgeon who worked on Chance's hip surgery. He said that the surgery went well, BUT, it appears that the hip was out of joint a LOT longer than 2 weeks (when he was found and turned into the Prince George's County animal shelter. This poor dog has been in pain a LONG time- and it's just heartbreaking that some idiot could be so cruel to another living thing.
 -The surgeon did say that because the leg has been out of joint for so long, therapy would help speed the recovery, so we're going to get that done, too.
 -One other thing that he said was that when he was operating, they found a large what appeared to be fatty mass next to his groin area that was filled with pus (sorry). Of course the surgeon removed it, but asked if I wanted to have it tested for cancerous cells. I told him "Yes!" - He said that dogs often get these fatty tumors (and Chance has several on the outside), so we're hoping for the best. 
  We may be able to pick him up tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday. We're just glad he'll be able to start walking on all fours again in a while.
  We're so glad we could take him in through the DC Weimaraner Rescue and get him the care he needs to heal and be pain free.  Thanks to all for your good wishes and support.

Our Foster Dog Chance Goes in for Hip Surgery

Chance getting ready for surgery at the hospital this morning
Today, Chance, our foster dog (and a Weimaraner) is going to have hip surgery today to enable him to walk on all fours again. He has a dislocated hip and leg, that the doctor thinks is the result of a car hitting him when he was wandering the streets.
He checked into the hospital this morning at 7:30am and will be in surgery this afternoon. The doc said it will be good for him and has a good "chance" for success. 

Tom and I have got it covered (its a lot to ask of the rescue, when they're taking care of 25 dogs- so we're happy to cover it) We want him to be healthy and enjoy the rest of his life. Thanks to DC Weim rescue for allowing us to foster and rescue him
Franklin, Dolly and Chance on a walk yesterday (Chance Hops)
and for the Prince George's County, Md. shelter for taking him in, giving him a place to stay, vaccines, medications, and contacting the rescue. 

I've (Rob) been picking him up in the mornings because his good back leg is weak.I've also carried him up and downstairs (Glad he's only 66 pounds!). 

Healing will take several weeks, including physical therapy, so when he comes back we'll be working with him. Its such a great feeling to be able to take a dog that may have had "no chance," and giving him a "Chance" for a new life. - Tom was the one who gave him the new name.   Watch for more updates, and thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement.

They're removing part of  the femur, which is separated from the hip. It's called " Femoral head ostectomy" and it will create a "false joint."
- From Wikipedia:   Unlike most other hip surgeries, the head of the femur is not replaced, but is allowed to heal and develop its own fibrous scar tissue so that the joint is no longer bone−to-bone, a pseudoarthrosis (also called a "false joint"). The neck of the femur is usually removed at the same time as the head. This prevents the post operative complication of bone rubbing on bone and continued pain. This has led to the procedure often also called "Femoral head and neck ostectomy".
Animals who have had FHO surgery are required to maintain a lower weight throughout their lives to compensate for the loss of skeletal integrity, and generally have less mobility than normal- but will be able to walk without the pain!
Diagram of the FHO procedure- removal of part of Femur
Chance discovers he likes toys

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4, Part 8: Hampton Court Palace-.Ghostly Cat and Dog

If you think that ghosts are limited to people at Hampton Court Palace, they'll tell you otherwise. There's a ghostly cat near the Old Information Center in the first courtyard, and a ghostly dog near the kings apartment.  
GHOST CAT - The ghost cat was seen during the 1980s and 1990s by several visitors of the information center. People appeared to step over something. Staffers asked the people what they were stepping over and they said it was a white cat! However, there were no cats in the room.

GHOST DOG - The phantom dog was seen at the King's staircase during the 1990s. It appears to have been heard several times. What's weird is that dogs were banned from the palace by Queen Victoria for the most part. There were exceptions, though- lap dogs... although some were pretty large.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4, Part 8: Hampton Court Palace- Entryway Ghost

    As we  were leaving Hampton Court Palace, we thought that the monumental scale of the palace was overwhelming. After seeing the Tudor style on one side of the palace and the Baroque style on the other side (where William and Mary lived), we preferred the Tudor style.

HENRY'S KITCHEN /CARPENTER'S COURT (and video) - There are separate buildings for the Kitchen, and others for carpenters, blacksmiths, etc. They were all down an alleyway on the side of the castle (where we posed for the photo below). Tom and I both felt uneasy in the kitchen, and there were some ghosts still lingering in there, too- still cooking, still trying to please the king. Oddly, you could still smell the beef stew! Really! 

GHOST AT THE ENTRYWAY - We took the walkway out and before we got outside the final gate, I (Rob) felt another ghost walk right through me. I physically got chilled.
  - According to the "Palace Phantoms" brochure, the formal gardens on the east front is the location where a ghostly procession was seen by a constable in the early 1900s. The police officer reported  two men in evening dress leading a group of eight or nine women down a gravel path. He thought they were coming into the palace (as we were going out). They formed a procession, walking two by two and then disappeared!
Pot for stew in Henry's Kitchen

Tom and Rob in Carpenter's Court at Hampton Court Palace
Entrance Where the ghostly procession walked

the location where one of the ghosts walked through Rob!
 - I believe it was that procession of ghosts that bumped into me as we were departing the palace.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4, Part 7: Stewart's Own Ghost Story at the Palace!

STEWART'S GHOSTLY ENCOUNTER - While we were in Henry VIII's bedchamber I (Rob) explained to Stewart that I can feel the presence of ghosts. I asked him if he believed in ghosts or had an encounter he'd like to share with us. I told him I have written books about ghosts, and he was glad to oblige!
  The first thing he said was that he never believed in ghosts until his encounter.

Stewart said that he was talking with a group and a shadow man ran by him.  Below is the video of Stewart's ghostly encounter!

Monday, June 18, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4, Part 6: Henry VIII's Private Bed Chamber and Secret Door! and Stewart's Ghostly Story

Once we ascended the Silver Stick Staircase, we met a docent named Stewart, who let us see some cool things that most people don't get a chance to see unless they ask: Henry VIII's Private Bed Chamber and Secret Door! 
  Stewart showed us a stairway made of wood (behind a locked door) that was part of the original castle when Henry VIII lived there. 
  He then took us in the bed chamber of Henry VIII and through a small passageway next to the bed, which led to a wooden door. Stewart explained that this was the door that King Henry VIII used. He let us feel the door- and it was so cool to actually touch something that Henry VIII touched! (Tom is a huge fan of Tudor history)  -
  Hampton Court Palace was originally built by and for Cardinal Woolsey. When King Henry VIII visited, he said "your house is much better than mine." So the Cardinal "gave" it to him to remain on his good side. One room, that used to be the Cardinal's bedroom has murals depicting biblical scenes all around it. See photo below. 
ALSO IN THE TWO VIDEOS BELOW -Hear Stewart, a docent there, explain about the rooms.

Stewart showing us the orig. wood staircase
Original brickwork in Henry's bedroom

Mural in Cardinal Woolsey's Closet

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Weimaraner Rescue Story: Fostering Chance

At the Shelter earlier this week
We continue to support the Dachshund and Weimaraner rescues and as a result, we have a new foster dog. It all started two weeks ago when we got a notice from our city alert system that an 8 month old beagle puppy was found in our neighborhood. So, being the dog activists, we created a flyer with the dog's info, where he was found, and a picture of him. Rob distributed the flyer up and down the street where the pup was found and called the county shelter days later to check if he was claimed. Fortunately, he was! - However, when I (Rob) called the rescue, the shelter coordinator asked why I was interested in the dog's well-being, so I told her we work with the two rescues. That's when I learned they had a Senior Weimaraner (11 years old) in the shelter. The shelter had already called DC Weimaraner rescue, and talked with Karin, the coordinator. The rescue already has 25 dogs, and we offered to take this guy to help out. 
  Saturday at 5pm we picked up the male Weimaraner, whom the shelter called "Snoopy." But we've renamed him "Chance" because now he's got another chance. He did well on the ride home and sat up in the back for most of the ride.
Chance now resting comfortably with us at home
  Here's the interesting part - His left rear leg is lame, but he can still walk around. He'll  be 11 on August 4th (he had a microchip in him that had vet info on it, but not the owner's info). So, the shelter got his records. The shelter also gave him all vaccinations, etc. 
    He's so calm. When we got him home, Tom bathed him in the backyard (he smelled of the shelter), and it was so sweet to see Tom taking care of him. Rob washed his ears and clipped his nails and he just laid down and let us take care of him. Poor thing is also dealing with severe diarrhrea, but we're treating that. He's very passive and hops around and gets along with our other kids.
TOUGH FIRST NIGHT - Chance had a really tough night. He got up during the night and had severe diarrhea all around the
room and on himself. .
LEG ISSUES: ** The strength of his good leg (his other is apparently useless) is weak in the morning, so after we got him out he tried to pee and collapsed on the ground, peeing while laying down.**
 - I was able to bathe him again outside (it was 5:30 a.m.), clean his bed and put a towel on it, and clean up the entire room.   We gave  him the metronidizole and Imodium last night after several runs of severe diarrhea. I've made sure he's had plenty of water and he finally ate a little this morning when I put tuna fish on his food, but I hear his tummy roiling. He was also shivering, so I covered him with a blanket. Right now we're waiting to hear from the rescue to get some guidance on what to do next for him. He's such a sweet dog. We want to get his hip and leg back in place to see if he can walk on his back leg again.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4:, Part 5 : Hampton Court Palace: The Silver Stick Staircase and Ghostly Jane

WHAT IS SILVER STICK STAIRCASE IN HAMPTON COURT PALACE? The Silver Stick staircase is the set of stairs that led to Queen Jane Seymour's apartment in the Hampton Court Palace.
Jane Seymour by Hans Holben the Younger

WHO WAS JANE SEYMOUR? - On May 30, 1536 Henry VIII married Jane Seymour in the Queen’s Closet at Whitehall Palace (you read about that in the earlier posting about the Banqueting House, which is all that's left of Whitehall Palace). Jane Seymour was publicly declared queen on June 4, 1536.
On October 12, 1537, Jane retired to Hampton Court Palace and gave birth to a boy who would become King Edward VI at 9 years old (and died at 16 years old of illness)!   
    On October 24, 1537, only 12 days after the birth of Prince Edward, Jane died in her apartments. These apartments don't exist anymore.

DID YOU KNOW? Within 24 hours of the execution of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, Jane Seymour and Henry VIII were formally betrothed.

VIDEO - We made this video where Tom describes how Jane Seymour's ghost haunts this Silver Stick Staircase.

HAS JANE SEYMOUR'S GHOST BEEN SEEN HERE?   Yes. Jane's ghost has been seen gliding through the cobbled grounds of Clock Court and on October 12th, the anniversary of the birth of Edward. Then the ghost ascends the Sliver Stick Staircase leading to the Silver Stick Gallery. Her figure is seen dressed in a white robe and carrying a candle.

WHAT'S WEIRD ABOUT HER BURIAL? I can understand why her burial would cause her unrest to linger as a ghost. When she died, her tomb at Windsor Castle was not finished. So, her heart and other organs were removed and buried somewhere under the high altar in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court. Why they did that, I don't know- but basically, they desecrated her body.

COMING UP: Henry VIII's Private Bed Chamber and Secret Door!

Friday, June 15, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4:, Part 4 : Hampton Court Palace: Base Court Lady in Gray/Fountain Court Ghost

BASE COURT - At the Base Court in Hampton Court Palace, I (Rob) got a headache that indicated a ghost was present. I was drawn to the southwest corner of the court and took pictures there. The palace had reported accounts of a lady in gray appearing there. 
Corner where the Lady in Gray is Seen
LADY IN GRAY - During the 1830s when the Ponsonbys family lived in that part of the castle and complained that they kept hearing sounds of spinning wheel and a woman's voice. After investigators broke into a sealed chamber, they found a well-used spinning wheel!  There has also been reports of a woman dressed in a long gray robe and hood that leaves that area. Even Princess Frederica of Hanover who lived in the rooms in that part of the castle reported seeing the ghostly woman. 

Tudor Dynasty curtain

Tunnel near Fountain Court

Tom and Rob in tunnels near Fountain Court
 WHO IS SHE?  Mrs. Sybil Penn, King Edward the VI's nurse died of smallpox in Hampton Court in 1568. She was buried in St. Mary's Church, Hampton and in 1829, her grave was robbed and bones scattered. She is likely trying to get final rest for them.
Fountain Court

PAIN IN FOUNTAIN COURT - As we were walking around fountain court in the center of the palace, I (Rob) got another sign that someone from the past was still there.   Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain on my left shoulder and realized that someone was killed here by a sword or something slammed into my shoulder! Apparently it was someone who died when a wall collapsed and they were conveying that pain to me.
REPORTS IN FOUNTAIN COURT - Hampton Court's "Palace Phantoms" brochure says that Lady Hildyard complained about 2 ghosts, one who knocked on her door (her apartment was in the Fountain Court area). When workmen were putting in two drains, they unearthed 2 skeletons of men under the pavement!  They were found to be skeletons of two workmen that were killed in 1689 when the new apartments collapsed. - So, they were sharing how it felt to have a wall collapse on my shoulder. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4:, Part 3 : Hampton Court Palace: The Screaming Ghost of Catherine Howard

The haunted gallery- where I encountered Catherine's ghost
  The most haunted part of Hampton Court Palace is known to be the "Haunted Gallery." This is a hallway that has paintings on each side... it's also the hallway that young, 15 year old Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII's wives (his 5th wife), ran down screaming to get to the king while he was praying - to beg not to have her head cut off for cheating on him. Henry was actually out hunting at the time, and Catherine was dragged away screaming by guards.
  Many people have reported seeing a woman drifting down the gallery and describe her as being dressed in white with long flowing hair. According to Hampton Court Palace's publication "Palace Phantoms," one person described this incident: "Just as she reaches the Royal Pew she lets out an unearthly shriek and hurries back to the top of the stairs with a ghastly look of despair."  Note: As a queen, Catherine's room were located at the top of those stairs- but its not there anymore). Other times people reported seeing a hand reach out from one of the curtains, or feeling a cold chill.
  ROB'S CHILLING EXPERIENCE: I didn't know anything about what transpired in this hallway or the history until after i I walked in the hallway and got a headache. I was listening to the audio tour (which I replayed and videotaped below). As I was standing near the hallway curtains, the ones that have been known to have a ghostly hand reach out from them, I felt a ghost running down the hallway and pass right through me!!  It was a feeling of terror, too. Not a good feeling at all. I know it was Catherine Howard that ran through me screaming! 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4:, Part 2 : Hampton Court Palace: Kings Apt

HAMPTON COURT'S GREAT HALL -  In Hampton Court Palace one of the most impressive rooms was the "Great Hall." It is also the entrance to Henry VIII’s and the Queen’s Tudor apartments (that don't exist anymore).  The great hall is 106 feet long, 40 feet wide and the ceiling is 60 feet high. Its the largest room in Hampton Court. It served as a communal dining room  as well as being the apartment entrance. Here's our picture of the hammer-beam roof designed by the king’s master carpenter. It is decorated with royal arms and badges and carved decorations. 
The horn room was once a servants’ waiting room. The original Tudor oak steps are still in place.
SOMEBODY'S WATCHING YOU - Well, in the room connected to the Great Hall, is the "great watching chamber" where people would sit and wait for the king to come out of his apartment. There are tapestries in there that are original and go from floor to ceiling!    Here are two videos - one in the great hall, the other in the watching chamber.  NEXT UP: Catherine Howard's Screaming Ghost


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ENGLAND TRIP: Day 4:, Part 1 : Hampton Court Palace!

Welcome to Hampton Court Palace!
Hampton Court Palace is about 40 miles southwest of London, so we took a commuter train to get there. It was much like taking a commuter train out of a city like Baltimore and into the suburbs. We were excited to go here, because it was a Palace where Henry VIII lived, and Tom is a huge fan of Tudor history. Not only was there lots of great Tudor history there for Tom, but there lots of ghosts there to keep Rob occupied - from ones that ran screaming through him to sharing sword injuries. We'll get to those in the next several days, however.
Tom and Rob about to report on the animal statues outside
 - For today, its an introduction to the Palace. Hampton Court Palace is a story of two palaces: a Tudor palace, magnificently developed by Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII, alongside a baroque palace built by William III and Mary II.
  Of course, we were interested mostly in Henry VIII, and learned that he spent more than £62,000 (pounds) rebuilding and extending Hampton Court over 10 years. This equals approximately £18 million today. Which would be around 32 million dollars (U.S.)!

Lots of animal statues outside the entrance

One of Rob's favorite signs

Tom at a gate used by Henry VIII- as it appeared in the 1500s

Tom in the Inner Courtyard - Base Court

VIDEOS - Here are the first couple of short videos as we approached the palace and investigated it!

Visit the official Hampton Court Palace website to learn more about the palace, its history, opening hours, the events that take place there and much more.

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