Saturday, August 10, 2013

UK Trip Blog #37: Hampton Court Palace and Catherine Howard's Ghost Returns

After a great tour of the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, we headed north for Hampton Court Palace!
Inside Clock Court of Hampton Court Palace

ABOUT THE PALACE - Hampton Court Palace was our very favorite Tudor castle when we visited England before (and remains our favorite). Its a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, and the historic county of Middlesex. It was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey circa 1514, and  in 1529 when Wolsey fell from favor, King Henry VIII took ownership of the palace and enlarged it.

WHY WE RETURNED TO HAMPTON COURT - Although we went there the last time we visited England, this time my (Rob) favorite male singer, Cliff Richard, was giving a concert in the Palace!  We actually planned the vacation around THAT concert!  You may remember Cliff from the 1980s- and I'll clarify who he is in a couple of blogs- but he's the U.K.'s equivalent to Elvis, and Cliff has had #1 hits from the 50s to the 2000s.The Clock court was all set up for the concert, so we toured the palace again and found some familiar and unfamiliar things.

Catherine Howard, by Holbein c. 1540-1.
WHO WAS CATHERINE HOWARD? -She was Henry VIII's fifth queen. She was born in 1523 and died on Feb. 13, 1542. She was the first cousin of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn (Henry VIII's second queen, who also lost her head). 
Catherine was only queen of England from 1540 until 1541. Henry sometimes called her his "rose without a thorn." Henry VIII and Catherine wed on July 28, 1540, almost immediately after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves was arranged (whom you "met" at Hever Castle). Catherine Howard was beheaded after less than two years of marriage to Henry on the grounds of treason. Henry VIII accused her of committing adultery. It is known that Catherine then fell in love and started a sexual relationship with Thomas Culpepper. Culpepper was a gentleman of the bedchamber - an honored position at court - he tended to every intimate requirement of King Henry

  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. 
Katherine Howard's Ghost ran through me in this hallway
ROB'S CHILLING EXPERIENCE IN 2012: 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! 
ROB'S EXPERIENCE IN 2013:  As we walked through the palace, the third room we came into was the long hallway where I sensed young Catherine Howard run through me screaming last year. This year I wondered if she had crossed over. As we walked from "the King's Waiting Room" into the hallway, I developed the headache in the back left side of my head that indicates the presence of a ghost or spirit. It was definitely a ghost.
  I cautiously walked down the hallway waiting to get a message from Catherine. As I neared the end of the hallway, Catherine's ghost came running down the hallway screaming (in my mind). Once again, she ran right through me and I got cold chills on my left side! Catherine continues to run down that hallway over and over, begging the king to spare her life.


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