All posts tagged Headless

Holy Trinity Church. York Minster

The 13th century church is near York Minster. It is in the care of the ‘Churches’ Conservation Trust, and the interior has not changed in 200 years.

A local woman was visiting the churchyard and sat alone on a bench eating her lunch. She found herself joined by a man in Elizabethan dress. The figures head was bowed and the woman could not see his face, he then disappeared behind the church, so the woman returned to eating her sandwiches. Continue reading →

Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted Castles in Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted Castles in Scotland.

Among its many ghosts are a phantom piper, and a headless drummer. Under Edinburgh runs a series of secret tunnels that run though to the Royal Mile. Continue reading →

Scarborough Castle. Scarborough

Scarborough Castle dates from the 12th century.

Scarborough Castle dates from the 12th century.

It was severely damaged during the English Civil War but remained usable long after as a prison and then a military barracks right up until the end of World War I. It is still home to a 14th century spirit. In 1312 a favorite of King Edward II named Piers Gaveston was captured at Scarborough Castle and taken to Warwick Castle where he was held prisoner and then executed. It is said that the headless spirit of Gaveston returns to Scarborough Castle to haunt the ruins. In fact he is said to lure people over the edge of the castle down the cliffs to their deaths. There have been countless reports from the public of feeling like they are being pushed or shoved, some have even reported hearing an unusual laugh!

Abbey Ghost Hunters have looked into many of these reports and found that most have been reported to have happened on the outside wall of the castle rather than inside, even local tales are reported to have happened outside the castle mainly at two specific locations. Gaveston was reported to be a joker and often hid in the dark along the castle wall and would push and shove Barons and Earls who had decided to stroll along the wall late at night.

Edward II (1307-28) was thought to be incompetent and frivolous by his father and his people. He was thought to be largely under the influence of his favourites, especially the Gascon squire, Piers Gaveston (and later Hugh le Despenser and his son).

Edward II was not as politically astute or as militarily capable as his father and soon lost many of the strongholds taken by Edward I during his campaigns. Throughout his reign as King, Edward II struggled with discontented barons, who particularly objected to Gaveston’s influence – he was widely considered the king’s lover.

In 1312, the barons seized Gaveston and executed him at Kenilworth. Edward II’s wife, Isabella, (daughter of Philip IV of France), left Edward, and took their son (the future Edward III) to France. In 1326, she returned with her lover, Roger de Mortimer, to depose and murder Edward.

A Gascon by birth, Piers was the son of Sir Arnaul de Gabaston, a soldier in service to King Edward I of England. As a boy he entered the royal household, where he became a companion of Prince Edward in 1300. Prince Edward was delighted with the bold and witty Gaveston, and gave him many honors and gifts. This did not sit well with the king, who did not approve of his son’s choice of such a low-born companion. When Prince Edward asked to bestow Ponthieu upon Gaveston, the king flew into a rage. “You wretched son of a whore!” cried King Edward. “Do you want to give away lands now? You who have never gained any? As God lives, if not for fear of breaking up the kingdom, I would never let you enjoy your inheritance!” Then he grasped Prince Edward by the hair, flung him to the floor, and kicked him until he was exhausted.

King Edward then banished Gaveston, with the intention of punishing his son more than Gaveston. He forced Prince Edward and Piers to swear an oath never to see one another again without his permission. Then Piers set sail for France, loaded down with many rich gifts from the prince. But as soon as his father died in July 1307, the new king recalled his “Brother Perrot” and endowed him with the county of Cornwall.
Gaveston was married to Margaret de Clare a granddaughter of King Edward I and was created Earl of Cornwall by the king. He was made guardian of the realm when Edward had to leave the country in 1308 to marry Isobella of France Gaveston was unpopular with the new queen as well as with the nobles, and the two men, who were approximately the same age, are believed to have had a homosexual relationship.

Following his bungling of the coronation arrangements, Gaveston was sent away to Ireland as regent. He returned within the year, and made more enemies, the most powerful of whom was Thomas earl of Lancaster a cousin of the king, whom Gaveston defeated in a tournament. Lancaster led opposition to Edward, forcing him to send Gaveston into exile yet again. When he had the temerity to return, he was captured and executed by his rivals. He would shortly be replaced in the king’s affections by Hugh le Despenser.

More Information About Scarborough Castle

Canewden Church. Essex

Canewden village has long been associated with witchcraft.

Canewden village has long been associated with witchcraft.

According to a prophecy by the famous 19th century James Murell, the Essex village of Canewdon would be populated with Witches “forever”. The spirit of a faceless witch (who was executed 300 years ago), is said to rise from her grave and float among the headstones. The ghost then floats through the west gate and disappears at the river. Continue reading →

Whitby Abbey. North Yorkshire

Set on a headland high over the popular seaside town, Whitby Abbey is the perfect choice for a great value day trip in Yorkshire

Built in A.D. 657, the Abbey stands on top of a very tall mound and accessed by walking up a long and steep set of steps. It is haunted by Saint Hilda who founded the Abbey.

Her ghost appears in a high window wrapped in a shroud. The abbess in life used to have a habit of chasing snakes to the edge of the Cliff and then decapitate them with her whip. The apparition of a hearse like coach with a headless driver and pulled by four headless horses, races along the cliff near the Abbey then is seen to then plunge over the edge and into the sea. Continue reading →