The Ghost of Anne Boleyn

The Beautiful Anne Boleyn...does she roam England as a ghost now?
The Beautiful Anne Boleyn...does she roam England as a ghost now? | Source

Intro to The Ghost of Anne Boleyn

In recent times, the interest and intrigue in the story of Anne Boleyn (King Henry VIII's second wife) has grown immensely. With novels and popular television shows most likely sparking the imagination of many, Anne Boleyn has become quite a well-known name in history and popular culture. But for centuries now, before mainstream society knew her name well, the ghost of Anne Boleyn has haunted more than one place in England.

Who was Anne Boleyn, really? And why would her ghost haunt so many places in England to this day, after five centuries following her death?

Let's explore the captivating and ultimately tragic life and death of Anne Boleyn, short-lived Queen of England.

Natalie Dormer Playing Anne Boleyn in The Tudors
Natalie Dormer Playing Anne Boleyn in The Tudors
Anne Boleyn & King Henry VIII (The Tudors)
Anne Boleyn & King Henry VIII (The Tudors)

"For her behavior, manners, attire, and tongue...she excelled them all." - Lancelot de Carles

A Brief History of Anne Boleyn's Life

Anne Boleyn was estimated to have been born sometime between the years of 1501 and 1507. No one quite knows her exact birthdate or year. Unfortunately not a whole lot of information is known of Anne Boleyn's childhood, but we do know that Anne Boleyn spent some time in France (between six and seven years) in her teens, as an attendant to the French Queens. She had acquired this job through her older sister, Mary Boleyn.

Some claim that it was in France where Anne Boleyn first crossed paths with King Henry VIII. Apparently he had a rendezvous with the French King, King Francis I when Anne first laid eyes on him. At this point, King Henry VIII was young, fit and handsome (unlike his later years, might I add). Eventually, Anne's sister went back to England and left her to attend the Queen Claude in France for some time.

In 1522, Anne Boleyn returned to England as well, in preparation for a marriage to the earl of Ormonde. This marriage didn't work out as planned, and Anne Boleyn ended up flirting with another handsome man known as Henry Percy. At this point, she had come to be an attendant in the court of the Queen of England, Catharine of Aragon. Well, you can guess how Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII came to know each other after that...especially if you've read or learned anything about the reputation of King Henry VIII. Let's just say he really liked the ladies of the court and his Queen's attendants...I mean really liked them.

When King Henry VIII started courting Anne, it is believed that he asked her to be his "mistress", but Anne wasn't having it! She wanted to be his Queen or nothing at all...so she denied his advances until King Henry VIII had split permanently from his wife, Catharine of Aragon. Of course this caused a big uproar with the Church, as annulments (or divorces) were not a thing that the King was supposed to be doing. Eventually this would lead to the English Reformation...but we won't go into those boring details here.

In 1533, Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII were married in secret, as Anne was "with child"...Henry's child, of course. She became Queen of England, despite many members of the court holding sort of a grudge against her and many people in England spreading nasty rumors about her. Anne Boleyn gave birth to a little girl, though the entire country (including herself) was expecting a boy as an heir to the throne. King Henry VIII was no doubt disappointed, and so Anne Boleyn knew that she must give birth to a son for Henry or she'd eventually be given the boot, too (just as Henry's first wife had).

After at least two more pregnancies, and both of them ending in miscarriages or stillbirths...Anne began to panic. She knew her life was in danger if she couldn't give King Henry VIII a son to eventually take his place. And during Anne's panicking and trying times with her pregnancies, you can bet that King Henry VIII had taken a keen liking to one of Anne's attendants...by the name of Jane Seymour. Naughty boy, wasn't he?

In 1536, Anne Boleyn (as a plot from some of the miserable men of the court who hated her) was accused of horrible things, crimes which anyone who was close to her knew were false accusations. Adultery, witchcraft, and treason were the charges. The adultery was said to have been between Anne and five other men, one including incest with her own brother. She was said to be a witch and carried the mark of a witch - a "sixth finger" (though this has never been proven). Treason was a charge brought up for Anne's supposed plot to murder her husband, King Henry VIII.

Anne Boleyn, alongside of her brother, were tried and convicted of the charges brought up against them. You can guess that Anne was distraught...and probably didn't care whether she lived or died, at this point. To have the person you love so much accuse you of such terrible crimes would be enough to break anyone's heart into pieces...to leave you as an empty shell. Anne was killed by beheading at the Tower of London.

Anne Boleyn's body was put into a chest and then thrown into an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. Eventually her body would be found by Queen Victoria and placed in a marked grave in the chapel.

Did Anne Boleyn's spirit get stuck between this world and the next?
Did Anne Boleyn's spirit get stuck between this world and the next? | Source
Source

"She who has been the Queen of England on Earth will today become a Queen in Heaven." - Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, on hearing of Anne's execution.

Read More on Anne Boleyn

"Oh Death
Rock me asleep
Bring on my quiet rest
Let pass my very guiltless ghost
Out of my careful breast
Ring out the doleful knell
Let it sound
My death tell
For I must die."


-Anne Boleyn,
in the days before execution

The Ghost of Anne Boleyn

The most famous haunting place of the ghost of Anne Boleyn is the Tower of London...the place where she was beheaded. Many documented sightings of the ghost of Anne Boleyn have been made from accounts there. Guardsmen are the usually witnesses, and have reported seeing the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn roaming the tower and the Chapel since the early 1800's. Two guardsmen claim that Anne Boleyn has walked right into their bayonets, after one guard told a story of thrusting his own weapon through a headless ghost. Her white image has been seen walking between the Tower and into the Chapel...and eventually sinking back into her grave under the Church.

On Christmas Eve, the sorrowful ghost of Anne Boleyn is said to haunt Hever Castle in Kent. (Hever Castle is where Anne Boleyn grew up). The ghost of Anne Boleyn has been sighted many times here and she is said to take walks, stopping to stand under an oak tree where she and King Henry VIII courted. Legend also has it that the ghost of Anne Boleyn likes to walk across a bridge and drop a sprig of holly into the water. Is this her spirit's ghostly nod to Christmases past or to the Christmases that she never had the joy of experiencing in later life?

On the anniversary of her death, the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn is said to ride towards one of her supposed childhood homes in Norfolk, England on a carriage pulled by headless horses. It is said that her very head sits in her lap...looking outwards...trying desperately to find her home and family. Unfortunately, her home in Norfolk has since been destroyed and a new building has been placed over the site where her home once stood.

Is the ghost of Anne Boleyn in search for her head or is she in desperate search for a sense of peace? She was used and accused in life, but maybe one day she will ascend to a better place and know what it's like to be treated as a real Queen...and not yesterday's trash as King Henry VIII had treated her. As creepy as a headless ghost might be, the stories of the ghost of Anne Boleyn are truly sad stories...a woman who wanted nothing but to please her husband and could never fulfill that simple wish.

This article written and fully owned by Kitty the Dreamer ©. Any reproduction of this article in any way is considered plagiarism. Please submit for permission to use this article directly with the author.

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Neheleth - I agree...I believe Anne Boleyn was a doll.


Neheleth 4 years ago

Anne never deserved such a cruelsome Fate if you ask me :(


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Dolores - I agree...not a fan of Henry VIII...just because of the arrogance. Love the show though. I've never heard that song! Wow..I would love to though. :) Thanks!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Got to love those Tudors, what an interesting bunch, though I have to disagree with Nell in that I hated Jonathan Rice Meyers as Henry VIII. He was such a little punk. I think of Henry as a big red head. (Not that I have anything against Meyers, just the role)

I seem to remember a song about Anne Boleyn's ghost. One line of which went "with her head tucked underneath her arm."


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Just History - Yes, some accounts of the ghost of Anne Boleyn have her as a headless ghost! Creepy but sad.


Just History profile image

Just History 4 years ago from England

What a lovely hub- I never knew her ghost roamed! I guess that places like the Tower of London and Hever Castle must resonate in the sounds of their history.

I wonder if the ghost is headless?

Great hub, voted up!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Awww, thanks, Stephanie!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

Excellent!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Nell - I love The Tudors, as well! Except...I'm not sure about this King Henry VIII person...seems very arrogant and selfish to me. And you're right...he basically threw his own daughter to the wolves. Sad but true. Thanks for reading and commenting, you are always welcome. :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, kitty, I loved the tudors, especially jonathan rice meyers! but that's getting off the point! lol! I found Anne boleyn a fascinating character, even though she was forceful and knew her own mind, her father was behind the push to get her on the throne, in a sense it was his fault that his daughter died this way, bit like putting your hand in a nest of vipers, marry the king and get your head cut off! evidently Henry 8 was only a miserable old buffoon because he had a poison leg because of a sword cut or spear, before that he was supposed to be really pleasant! strange how history goes, does her ghost wander the halls etc? who knows, but I would love to see it! or maybe not! lol! fascinating hub again, cheers nell


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Sorry to take you back to school...blah...I must be boring!


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Your story took me back to school, Ahh.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Thank you, Smokes Angel. :) And so nice to meet you!

Seeker7 - I had never heard that legend of her daughter's doll before...HOW INTERESTING. Thanks so much for sharing that with me. What if the doll represented her mother...maybe Queen Elizabeth was a "witch" just like her mother? (Just food for thought by the way, you know I'm not one to throw women under the bus for society's idiotic view of the craft) ;) Thanks, again!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Interesting hub Kitty about Anne Boleyn. I honestly think if Anne had been allowed to marry Percy, as they both seemed to want the marriage, then her life probably would have been a happier one. I definitely believe that this lady was set up and she was not guilty of any of the charges brought against her. But if she had produced a son, no one would have been able to touch her.

I agree that most of the accounts of her ghost are sad ones and although it is claimed she had a temper in life, this ghost, as far as I know but correct me if I'm wrong, has never harmed anyone. I do hope she will get peace eventually from the tragic events that marred her later life.

As an end note - there is one creepy legend that states that Anne's daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, who never spoke about her Mother in public, kept a doll hidden secretly that she had been given as a present from her Mother. But the doll was headless. It is suggested that Elizabeth broke the doll deliberately on her Mother's death when she heard that she had been beheaded. Elizabeth kept the main body part and the head together wrapped in a cloth and kept it beside her throughout her life. This could just be legend, but it could also be the kind of thing that a wee girl, knowing her Mother was dead due to being beheaded, might do due to the trauma she was suffering.

Anyway, sorry for the novel. Enjoyed the hub very much. voted up!


Smokes Angel profile image

Smokes Angel 5 years ago from Broke Alabama

Totally loved this story..


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Thanks, Frank! You're always so kind.

gryphin - And thanks to you! :)


gryphin423 profile image

gryphin423 5 years ago from Florida

Great job Kitty!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

I think Im starting to love your hubs clean, crisp, educational, and somewhat compelling..yeah? well-paced I just like your searches

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working