We’re a celebrity-obsessed culture. But you knew that. Tabloid newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and TV shows follow around celebrities so we can know everything about them. You can blame the Internet age, or 24x7 news outlets for this obsession, but in reality, we’ve always been fascinated with those people who are held above us.
If we go back centuries, royal families were the talk of the people. The clothes they wore, the expensive things they owned, and where they lived, were all hot topics of conversation. Maybe it’s because like celebrities, royalty lived lives most of us can only imagine. And like celebrities, when royalty die, it’s easy to imagine them haunting their favorite castles where they lived lavish lives and ruled over their domains.
I recall visiting the Tower of London several years ago and touring the building. I was invited in after hours as a guest of one of the Yeoman Warders who live and work there because I had interviewed him for one of my books. I even had the opportunity to witness the changing of the keys ceremony that has taken place every night for more than 700 years. During the ceremony, the army formally takes over the night’s watch from the Yeoman Warders.
I was told ahead of time that during the ceremony when everyone’s eyes are supposed to be front, that Anne Boleyn’s ghost was said to stand in the back near the banks of the Thames and watch the ceremony. So of course, when that part of the proceedings happen, I’m the only person turned around looking the other way with the hope of seeing the former’s queen’s ghost.
This month, we’re going to focus on royal ghosts. Those famous (and sometimes infamous) castles and manor homes where kings, queens, dukes, lived and sometimes died. We imagine the power they felt as they oversaw how the resources were spent, and how much they got to keep.
So many castles have haunted reputations because they’ve also seen so much history. Decisions that shaped borders and decided who would live and die were made within those castle walls, and they often have a story to tell if we listen.
Speaking of haunted castles, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be heading over to England for a paranormal event this October 8-9. We’ll be checking out the haunts of Warwick Castle in the West Midlands section of the UK.