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Ghost Story: Catherine Howard

The ghost of Catherine Howard’ has been videotaped at Hampton Court Palace – it’s a video that has shaken many people up. Below is a timeline of the story of Catherine Howard. Enjoy!

1521: Catherine Howard, also known as “the rose without thorns” was born around this year.  She was the second of the 5 daughters of Lord Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpepper.  She was the cousin of Anne Boleyn, who was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn.  Anne was executed in 1536 on false charges of witchcraft, adultery and conspiracy against the king.

1529 (est): Catherine sent to live with his grandmother, Isabel Tilney, who ran a guest house and received many visitors. Her grandmother was constantly at the Court, so, when she grew older, Catherine son became embroiled in amorous affairs with many people..

1539: At the age of 16, Catherine got the job of Lady-in-Waiting of the new wife of Henry VIII, the Queen Ana de Clèves. Catherine caught the attention of the King Henry VIII.

1540: King Henry VIII annulled his marriage to Anna de Clèves and married Catherine. She was 19 and her was 49. Henry, old and obese, gifted his young wife with jewelry and other expensive gifts. Despite all these riches, Catherine found that her marriage did not satisfy her. She began a romance with one of the courtiers favourites of the King, Thomas Culpeper. Prior to that, she had been in a relationship with Francis Dereham.

Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Catherine Howard

1541: Increased rumors about the conduct of the Queen reached the ears of Henry VIII. At first, the King would not believe it until the evidence were too clear to deny the fact. She was placed under surveillance. Soon thereafter, they discovered a love letter that Catherine had written to Culpeper. Queen Catherine was imprisoned in the Abbey of Middlesex in the winter of 1541. Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed on December 8, 1541. The case of the Queen arrived at Parliament in January.

Legend has it that one day, while Henry VIII was attending mass at Hampton Court Palace, Catherine managed to escape from his quarters, where she had been locked up until her fate was decided. Catherine’s asked to see King Henry VIII but was refused. She ran screaming down the hall to beg for the monarch’s clemency but was captured by the guards and dragged back to the rooms crying hysterically.

1542: Catherine Howard was executed at the Tower of London on February 13, 1542. The night before her execution, Catherine spent hours practicing placing his head on the gallows. She is said to have arrived at the gallows with dignity but pale and terrified. Her death was quick and she was buried in the the Tower chapel, Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula along with her cousin Anne Boleyn. However, for many, the soul of Catherine Howard never left Hampton Court. Many claim to have heard or seen the emotional Catherine Howard ghost.

1870: Queen Victoria opened the Hampton Court Palace to the public. The Hall through which was dragged has been scene of strange phenomena for centuries. So much so that it is known as The Haunted Gallery. The Gallery has been home to unusual experiences including visions of a woman dressed in white and unexplained screams – all widely believed to come from the Catherine Howard ghost.

1915: Surreal postcards are printed that depict the ‘Hampton Court Palace Ghost’ – a ghost story that has lasted for centuries.

Hampton Court Palace postcard of ghost Katherine Howard
Hampton Court Palace postcard of ghost Katherine Howard

2003: After centuries of rumors of being haunted by the ghost of Catherine Howard, closed-circuit television cameras at Hampton Court Palace captured for the first time a so-called ghost image. It first collected pictures of doors opening, without the image of the person who pushed them. Subsequently, it captured pictures of a spectral figure who closed the door.

Hampton Court Palace ghost Catherine Howard CCTV
Hampton Court Palace ghost Catherine Howard CCTV

Ghost hunting at Hampton Court Palace – a chance to see the Catherine Howard ghost

A very limited number of evening ghost tours are offered during the winter months. They book quickly and there are up to 30 people per tour group. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside Hampton Court Palace but you do have an opportunity to walk through the dark gallery and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Catherine Howard ghost.

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