The Haunting Tale of Anne Boleyn’s Ghost

Anne Boleyns ghost

Born in the early 1500s, Anne Boleyn lived a short and eventful life, becoming the Queen of England in June 1533.

What should have been a fairytale life soon turned into horror: Her husband, King Henry VIII, frustrated with her inability to give him a son, accused her of adultery, incest, and treason. This led to her beheading on 19 May 1536. Many believe this betrayal left her spirit unhappy and unsettled, leading it to haunt several places after her death.

Read here to learn more about the life of Queen Anne, how she died, and where people have reported seeing Anne Boleyn’s ghost after her untimely passing.

The Life And Death Of Anne Boleyn

A short royal life

Born somewhere between 1501 and 1507, Anne was the youngest daughter of Thomas Boleyn and Elizabeth Howard.

She was educated in the Netherlands and France, and after her marriage plans with her cousin, James Butler, broke off, she became the maid of honour to King Henry VIII’s wife, Catherine of Aragorn.

Henry, besotted by the young and beautiful Anne, began his plans to divorce his wife to marry Anne. However, Anne initially refused Henry’s advances. Steadfast in his attempts to make Anne his wife, Henry later managed to annul his marriage to Catherine and officially married Anne on 25 January 1533. Anne was crowned queen on 1 June 1533.

On 7 September 1533, she gave birth to her first child, the future Queen Elizabeth I. Disappointed with his wife’s inability to deliver him a male heir, the king started courting Jane Seymour.

The infamous beheading

After several miscarriages, Henry, as part of his plans to wed Jane Seymouer and have a son, launched an investigation for high treason against Anne in April 1536, saying she wanted to kill him. She also faced charges of adultery and incest.

Anne was arrested and sent to the Tower of London. Here, she was kept for almost two weeks. She was tried before a jury, found guilty, and convicted on 15 May. She was publicly executed on 19 May after uttering her final words:

And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.

Anne Boleyn Ghost Sightings

Of course, Anne Boleyn’s story doesn’t end with her beheading. Over the years, Many people have reported seeing her ghost in several locations across Britain – years after her death.

Her ghost is often seen in two distinct forms:

  • She sometimes appears as a young Anne, radiating with beauty.
  • Other times, the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn wanders around, carrying her severed head under her arm.

Said to be the most well-traveled ghost in Britain, many have reported seeing the Queen’s ghost in these historic locations:

Hever Castle

Hever Castle is Anne’s childhood home. The estate is also where the young Anne spent her time after her return to Britain and where Henry courted her, pleading for her hand in marriage.

Hever Castle is said to be one of the most haunted locations associated with the Queen’s ghost. Eye witness reports say she appeared beneath an old oak tree on the Hever Castle grounds.

Others report seeing her ghost manifest on the castle bridge around Christmas Eve, walking across the River Eden and staring out over the lake.

The Tower of London

As mentioned, Anne was imprisoned in the Tower of London after Henry VIII brought the charges against her. She stayed here for almost two weeks before being tried and sentenced to death.

Since her public execution, there have been several reports of her ghost appearing in this historic building:

  • According to a captain of the Royal Guard, one night he noticed a light flickering in the Chapel Royal. Puzzled by the light emanating from the locked chapel, he used a ladder to peer through a window. To his amazement, he saw a procession of royal knights and ladies pacing the chapel, led by a beautiful, elegant female figure, resembling Anne Boleyn.
  • Probably one of the creepiest sightings comes from 1864. An on-duty soldier reported seeing a white figure near the lieutenant’s lodgings. After getting no response from the mysterious figure, he charged at her with a drawn bayonet, only to have his weapon pierce nothing but thin air. Another officer confirmed the whole story, saying he saw it all happen from his window.

Blickling Hall

Anne’s ghost is said to appear yearly at Blickling Hall in Norfolk on the anniversary of her death in a spectacle that would have any fan of ghost stories excited.

The late queen arrives in a phantom carriage drawn by a headless horseman and four spectral horses. Anne steps out, severed head clutched under her arm. The four headless horses and the coach disappear, and Anne roams the Blickling Hall grounds and corridors until sunrise.

Hampton Court Palace

Queen Anne lived at Hampton Court Palace during her short reign. Her ghost often appears here wearing a blue or black dress. Some have reported her appearing headless during these ghostly encounters.

Windsor Castle

The world’s largest and oldest castle has also had its fair share of Anne Boleyn ghost sightings. Many people have reported seeing her ghost standing at a window at the Windsor Castle Dean’s Cloister.

Other accounts say that the ghost of Anne Boleyn has been seen in the castle, sometimes clutching her severed head under her arm, running and screaming down the corridors.

Rochford Hall

Rochford Hall, owned by the Boleyn family since 1515, is said to be where Henry VIII first saw Anne Boleyn and where he regularly, in secret, met with her before their marriage. A previous owner reported seeing the ghost of a headless woman roaming the home, with severe temperature drops occurring during these sightings.

Salle Church and Marwell Hall

There have also been many reports of Anne’s ghost manifesting at Salle Church and Marwell Hall. Witnesses claim to have seen a paranormal being, resembling the late Queen, wandering the buildings or grounds of these historic buildings.

FAQs

Are there any other famous royal ghosts?

Yes, there are several reports of other royals haunting historic locations long after their deaths:

  • Queen Elizabeth I: The ghost of the daughter of Anne Boleyn is often seen floating from the library to the inner room in Windsor Castle.
  • Catherine Howard: The ghost of Henry VIII’s fifth wife is often reported running down the Hampton Court hallways, crying and screaming.
  • Queen Victoria: Her ghost is said to haunt the gardens of Windsor Castle, protecting a clump of spruce trees she planted during her reign.
  • King Henry VIII: His ghost, angrily shouting and pacing, has been reported to roam the halls of Windsor Castle.

How many wives did King Henry VIII have?

Henry had six wives in his lifetime:

  1. Catherine of Aragon was married to Henry from 1509 to 1533.
  2. Anne Boleyn was Henry’s wife from 1533 to 1536.
  3. Jane Seymour was married to the king from 1536 to 1537.
  4. Anne of Cleves was the royal first lady in 1540.
  5. Catherine Howard was Henry’s wife from 1540 to 1542.
  6. Catherine Parr was married to Henry from 1543 to 1547.

Final Thoughts

Featured in many traditional British ghost stories, the tragic story of Anne Boleyn continues to fascinate many royal fans.

Her story of betrayal and tragedy has spawned many a ghost story, with many eyewitnesses over the years saying her ghost – sometimes manifesting as the young and beautiful Anne and sometimes as a headless lady – appeared in places such as Hever Castle, the Tower of London, Blickling Hall, and Hampton Court Palace.

Make sure you visit one of these famous places on your next ghost-hunting adventure. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next to see Anne up close and personal…

Remember to take along some of SpiritShack‘s range of ghost-hunting equipment, such as our spirit boxes, EVP recorders, thermal imaging cameras, or EMF meters, to make your ghost hunt extra special.

Sources

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!