The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2419 Monday, 22 December 2003
From: Bill Arnold <
Date: Saturday, 20 Dec 2003 02:12:54 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Shades of the Spirit/Ghost of Will S, King James I, Hamlet's
Well, which is it: the *shade* of the Spirit/Ghost/Soul/Will of Will S,
King James I who chaired the Hampton Court Conference of 1603 which
resulted in the KJV, or Hamlet's father?
Top Stories - AP
U.K. Castle Cameras Catch Ghostly Visitor
Fri Dec 19, 1:51 PM ET
By JACK GARLAND, Associated Press Writer
LONDON - Are there ghostly goings-on at Henry VIII's palace, or is that
hazy image of a fellow in fancy robes just a bit of Christmas cheer?
Closed-circuit security cameras at Hampton Court Palace, the huge Tudor
castle outside London, seem to have snagged an ethereal visitor. Could
it be a ghost?
"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 robe-like garment is
shown stepping from the shadowy doorway, one arm reaching out for the
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.
"My first reaction was that someone was having a laugh, so I asked my
colleagues to take a look. We spoke to our costumed guides, but they
don't own a costume like that worn by the figure. It is actually quite
unnerving," Faukes said.
The palace, built in 1525 on the River Thames 10 miles west of central
London, is a popular tourist attraction and some of the guides wear
costumes of the Tudor period.
Wood said she was hoping people would come forward with similar stories
and try to explain the figure.
The palace has been the scene of many dramatic royal events, and already
is supposed to have a few ghosts.
King Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour, died there giving birth to a
son, and her ghost is said to walk through one of the cobbled courtyards
carrying a candle.
Her son, Edward, had a nurse called Sibell Penn who was buried in the
palace grounds in 1562. In 1829 her tomb was disturbed by building work,
and around the same time an odd whirring noise began to be heard in the
southwest wing of the palace. When workmen traced the strange sounds to
a brick wall, they uncovered a small forgotten room containing an old
spinning wheel, just like the one Penn used to use.
Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, condemned for adultery, was held
at the palace under house arrest before her execution at the Tower of
London. An 1897 book about the palace says she was reportedly seen,
dressed in white and floating down one of the galleries uttering
The palace was once a prison for King Charles I, who later was beheaded,
and then home to his nemesis Oliver Cromwell, who briefly ruled when
Britain was for a short time a republic.
On the Net:
Hampton Court Palace, http://www.hrp.org.uk/webcode/hampton_home.asp
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