Where to find the Anne Boleyn ghost: A complete guide to her 5 most haunted haunts

anne boleyn ghost fi

Note: The content found on this website is intended for entertainment purposes and may have themes of a disturbing nature. Proceed at your own risk. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Meet the ghost of Anne Boleyn: The original drama queen, Tudor-style

Ever heard of Anne Boleyn? She’s not just a name in a history book — she was the real deal in real life Tudor soap operas. Picture this: a young woman catches the eye of a king, sparks a religious revolution, and then — plot twist — ends up losing her head (literally). But wait, there’s more! Anne’s life was a rollercoaster that makes your favorite TV dramas look like child’s play, and her afterlife? It’s just as action-packed.

Get ready to explore the tale of love, power, and betrayal that shook England to its core — and the Anne Boleyn ghost stories that linger to this day. This is the story of Anne Boleyn, the woman who changed history and still haunts it, centuries later. Spoiler alert: it’s a wild ride.

Anne Boleyn’s life, death… and haunting

Anne Boleyn’s life reads like something straight out of a drama series (and has inspired many such!). Born around 1507 and executed in 1536, she was King Henry VIII’s second wife and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I.

Her marriage to Henry was transformational, leading to the infamous English Reformation and England’s split from the Catholic Church. Henry wanted out of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, mainly to marry Anne and have a son. This event marked a profound shift in England’s religious and political landscape, setting the stage for the country’s break with the Roman Catholic Church​​.

In 1527, Henry VIII sought an annulment from Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne, driven by his desire for a male heir and his growing affection for Anne. The union was made public in 1533, leading to the nullification of his marriage to Catherine. Unfortunately, Anne’s marriage to Henry was tumultuous and ultimately tragic.

Life at the court was no walk in the park for Anne. Unable to give Henry a male heir, she fell out of favor. In 1536, she found herself imprisoned in the Tower of London on some devastating charges, including adultery and incest, and was executed soon after. The charges against her were likely fabricated, part of a court faction against her led by Thomas Cromwell​​.

anne boleyn ghost cell 2200x2200

Anne Boleyn ghost stories

Now, about those ghost stories. Anne’s spirit is like a celebrity in the ghost world of Britain. She’s been spotted all over, seen in locations significant to her life and death. The Tower of London is a major spot for Anne sightings, which makes sense considering it’s where she met her grim end. One famous encounter in 1864 involved a soldier who, mistaking her ghost for a living person, charged at it with a bayonet (!) only to pass through the apparition​.

Her childhood home, Hever Castle, is another location where her ghost is frequently reported. She’s usually seen around Christmas, which was said to be her favorite time of year. Some claim to have seen her apparition beneath a great oak tree where she and Henry VIII are believed to have spent time during their courtship​. At Windsor, the Anne Boleyn ghost is said to appear in the windows — as well as running down corridors — sometimes holding her head.

Anne’s ghost is also said to appear at Hampton Court and Rochford Hall. Her apparition is often described in a blue or black dress — and yep, often headless. Perhaps the most dramatic of these tales is the one associated with Blickling Hall in Norfolk. It’s said that every year on the anniversary of her execution, May 19th, her headless ghost rolls up in a phantom carriage drawn by headless horses. Talk about making an entrance.

These ghost stories keep Anne Boleyn’s memory alive in a pretty unique way. It’s a mix of real-deal history and spine-tingling ghost tales that keeps us intrigued and a little spooked, all at the same time.

AnneBoleynHever anne boleyn ghost
A painting of Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle, c. 1550

Even before Anne Boleyn’s death, she was a legend in her own right

Before Anne Boleyn became a key figure at the English court, she spent a significant part of her early life in France. In the early 1500s, Anne was sent to serve at the French court, specifically in the household of Queen Claude, wife of King François I. Her father, Thomas Boleyn, a successful diplomat, arranged this to give Anne the best possible education and exposure to the more progressive and cultured continental courts. This experience would shape her into a sophisticated and worldly young woman.

After coming back to England in the early 1520s and landing a gig as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine, Anne quickly turned heads with her European education and air of sophistication. She joined Queen Catherine of Aragon’s household, and her role as a lady-in-waiting gave her a front-row seat to the intricate dance of power and politics of the Tudor court. It wasn’t long before she caught King Henry VIII’s eye, sparking a romance that would forever alter the course of English history​.

The infatuation Henry felt for Anne wasn’t a mere passing fancy. It grew into an obsession, pushing him to challenge the Roman Catholic Church, seek an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, and ultimately lead to the English Reformation. Anne, far from being a mere romantic interest, was a key player in this dramatic shift. Her intelligence and influence over Henry were pivotal. Their relationship was a partnership that reshaped religious and political landscapes​.

King Henry and Anne Boleyn Deer shooting in Windsor Forest anne boleyn ghost
“King Henry and Anne Boleyn Deer shooting in Windsor Forest”. Painting by William Powell Frith, c. 1903

Anne’s execution on May 19, 1536, marked a turning point not just in her story, but in English history. This event, remembered for being the first execution of a queen in England, had both immediate and long-term impacts. In the short term, Anne’s death was a sensational event, comparable to other historic moments of shock and tragedy.

Looking at the broader scope, Anne’s greatest legacy could be seen in her daughter, Elizabeth I. Elizabeth’s reign was deeply influenced by Anne’s intelligence and spirit. Elizabeth’s decision not to marry and produce an heir — a decision undoubtedly shaped by her mother’s fate — eventually ended the Tudor reign after just five monarchs.

Over time, how people saw Anne shifted. In the 18th and 19th centuries, she was often seen as a romantic victim. This interpretation presented Anne as a strong-willed and beautiful woman who fell prey to her cruel and tyrannical husband. This view persisted well into the 20th century, as seen in works like the Oscar-winning Anne of the Thousand Days and Donizetti’s opera Anna Bolena​.

But more recent research has given us a fresh take. Academic historians in the latter half of the 20th century began to view her as an ambitious, intelligent queen with significant political and religious influence.

This newer perspective, influenced by feminism and deeper historical study, recognized Anne as a key figure in the English Reformation, not just a victim of her circumstances. Modern biographies and academic works now tend to view Anne with respect and admiration, acknowledging her as a figure of significant historical importance, far beyond the narrow scope of her tragic end​.

anne boleyn ghost painting 2200x2200

Sightings of the ghost of Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London

Anne Boleyn’s final days at the Tower of London were both dramatic and tragic. In May 1536, after being accused of adultery and plotting against King Henry VIII, she was arrested and taken to the Tower, ironically to the very same royal apartment where she had once awaited her coronation. Henry VIII, who was then enamored with Jane Seymour, dismissed Anne’s pleas of innocence. The trial that followed was a sham, stacked with her enemies, leading to her being found guilty​​.

On the eve of her execution, Anne’s resilience shone through. According to the Constable of the Tower, she joked about her impending death, saying, “I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck.” Henry granted her the small mercy of a skilled swordsman instead of an executioner’s axe.

Her execution was held within the Tower walls, rather than at public execution sites, and it was a carefully staged affair. Anne’s final words were dignified, focusing on her innocence and her prayers for the King, perhaps with her daughter Elizabeth’s future in mind. Following her execution, she was buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower​​.

Tower of London viewed from the River Thames anne boleyn ghost
The Tower of London, viewed from the River Thames. Photo by Bob Collowan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many visitors to the Tower of London report having encounters with the Anne Boleyn ghost, with numerous sightings over the years.

One famous sighting in 1864 involved General Dundas, a British Army officer. He claimed to have seen Anne as a ghostly white figure moving towards a guard in the courtyard where she was imprisoned. The guard, thinking she was real, charged at her with his bayonet, only to pass straight through her, realizing too late that he had seen a ghost. This incident was apparently so credible that General Dundas testified at the guard’s trial to prevent him from being charged with fainting on duty​​.

Another notable sighting occurred at the Chapel Royal in the Tower. A Captain of the Guard saw a flickering light inside the chapel late at night and upon investigating, witnessed a procession of figures dressed in ancient costumes, led by a figure resembling Anne Boleyn. This procession vanished as mysteriously as it appeared​​​​.

In the early 2000s, numerous visitors reported seeing a ghostly figure near the site where Anne was executed. Descriptions often include a woman in Tudor dress, wandering restlessly around Tower Green. These sightings usually occur around dusk or after the Tower has closed to the public.

Similar to the Captain of the Guard’s account from the 1800s, a group of tourists in 2010 claimed to have seen a ghostly procession, led by a woman who resembled Anne. This was near the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. They described the scene as suddenly appearing before dissipating into thin air.

Tower guards and staff have reported experiencing sudden, unexplained cold spots, often accompanied by faint whispering voices in the area of Anne Boleyn’s imprisonment and execution. These incidents, reported as recently as 2018, have no discernible source and add to the atmosphere of the Tower.

In 2015, a Tower guard recounted seeing a translucent lady in a Tudor dress walking along the battlements late at night. As he approached, she vanished into thin air. The description of her attire led him to believe it was Anne Boleyn.

SEE MORE: 10 famous Tower of London hauntings that will take you back in time in the creepiest way

anne boleyn ghost tower 2200x2200

The headless phantom at Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall in Norfolk, England, has a long history that dates back to the Tudor era, and it is known for being the potential birthplace of Anne Boleyn. The hall as we see it today was built in the early 1600s, on the ruins of a former property owned by the Boleyn family. It’s this earlier property where Anne is rumored to have been born.

However, the exact location of her birth remains a subject of historical debate. While Blickling Hall is often cited as her birthplace, some historians argue that she was born at Hever Castle in Kent. This ambiguity arises from the scarcity of concrete records from the early 16th century regarding her early life.

Each year, tales of the Anne Boleyn ghost sightings at Blickling Hall intrigue a new generation of visitors.  The most famous of these is the story of her return on the anniversary of her execution.

anne boleyn ghost house 2200x2200

Imagine Blickling Hall, a stately mansion in springtime. The estate, shrouded in darkness, is surrounded by the deep, quiet countryside of Norfolk. It’s May 19th, the anniversary of Anne Boleyn’s execution.

As midnight approaches, a stillness blankets the hall. Then, suddenly, a ghostly carriage emerges out of the shadows, drawn by headless horses and driven by a headless coachman. The horses, spectral and silent, move swiftly towards the hall.

The carriage itself is an ethereal vision, glowing with a faint, otherworldly light. As it draws closer, the figure of Anne Boleyn becomes visible inside. She, too, is headless, yet her regal presence is unmistakable. Dressed in what appears to be a gown from the Tudor era, her ghostly form emanates a sorrowful but noble aura.

The carriage halts in front of Blickling Hall, and Anne’s apparition descends. Her movements are graceful, almost as if she’s gliding rather than walking. She carries her severed head tucked under her arm.

Anne’s figure is said to wander the hall’s corridors and grounds until daybreak, perhaps reliving moments of her life or contemplating her tragic fate. As the first light of dawn touches the hall, she returns to the carriage, which then disappears as mysteriously as it arrived, leaving behind a haunting silence and the lingering sense of a tragic past that refuses to be forgotten.

Blickling Hall, with its beautiful architecture and gardens, today stands as a popular tourist destination, part of the National Trust. Visitors are drawn not only for its beauty and history but also for its connection to one of the most famous stories of Tudor England.

Blickling Hall (3894872696) anne boleyn ghost
Present-day Blickling Hall. Photo by Peter Hurford from Downton, Wiltshire, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hauntings at Hever Castle

Hever Castle, tucked away in the countryside of Kent, England, is a living chronicle of England’s Tudor era. This historic structure, dating back to the 13th century, was originally built as a country house. It was later fortified in 1270, which transformed it into the castle we recognize today.

The Boleyn family, pivotal figures in English history, came into possession of Hever Castle in the early 16th century. Thomas Boleyn, Anne’s father, acquired the castle and it became the family’s primary residence. Anne Boleyn, before she caught the eye of King Henry VIII, spent her youth in this castle, its walls enclosing the formative years of a future queen consort of England.

After Anne Boleyn’s tragic end and the fall of the Boleyn family, Hever Castle changed hands several times. In the 16th century, it was owned by the Waldegrave family who were Roman Catholic recusants. Later, in the 17th century, the ownership passed to the Meade Waldo family. It was during this time that the property underwent significant alterations and refurbishments.

The castle’s resurgence as a site of historical interest came in the early 20th century, when it was purchased and restored by the wealthy American businessman, William Waldorf Astor. Astor invested heavily in its restoration and expansion, adding the Italian Garden and the Tudor Village. His work was pivotal in preserving the castle’s historical integrity while also adapting it for modern inhabitation.

Hever Castle 2014 06 20 1 anne boleyn ghost
Hever Castle in Kent, England. Photo by Christoph Matthias Siebenborn, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stories of the Anne Boleyn ghost wandering the halls of Hever Castle adds a paranormal layer to its history. One of the most frequently told stories at the castle is during the Christmas period. It’s said that every Christmas Eve, Anne’s ghost returns to the castle. Visitors and staff have reported seeing a spectral figure resembling Anne walking across the bridge of the River Eden, which runs through the castle grounds, and then vanishing.

Another commonly reported phenomenon is the appearance of a ghostly figure in what was once Anne Boleyn’s bedroom. Witnesses have claimed to see a woman, resembling portraits of Anne, gazing out of the window, looking somber or contemplative. These sightings often come with an air of melancholy, as if the spirit is reflecting on her tragic life and downfall.

Some have also reported seeing a ghostly figure, thought to be Anne, wandering the gardens of Hever Castle, particularly around the areas she was known to have favored during her youth. This manifestation is described as being a quiet, reflective presence, moving slowly through the gardens. Alongside visual sightings, there are accounts of strange auditory phenomena within the castle walls. Visitors have reported hearing whispers, soft crying, and even Tudor-era music in empty rooms or corridors.

Unlike the dramatic stories of Anne’s ghost at the Tower of London, the sightings at Hever are often described as more peaceful, reflecting perhaps her happier times spent in these surroundings.

Hever Castle’s history extends well beyond Anne Boleyn, encompassing various owners and renovations over the centuries. Whether one believes in ghosts or not, the idea of Anne’s presence lingering in the place she once called home provides a tangible connection to the past, allowing visitors a unique window into Tudor England and the personal story of one of its most famous figures.

anne boleyn ghost castle 2200x2200

Other reported hauntings

Anne is said to haunt several other historic sites across England. In these accounts, there’s a recurring theme: a sensation of sadness or a heavy, uneasy feeling, almost as if Anne’s tragic history has imprinted itself onto these locations.

Hampton Court Palace is one of these sites. Once a favorite residence of Henry VIII, it’s unsurprising that Anne’s presence is said to linger here. She spent a significant amount of time at this palace during her marriage to Henry.

The most famous ghost story from Hampton Court involves sightings of Anne in the Haunted Gallery. It’s said she appears walking towards the Chapel Royal, perhaps reliving her arrest or seeking to plead her case to the king. Visitors and staff have reported seeing a woman dressed in Tudor-era clothing, presumed to be Anne, who then vanishes as they approach. Despite skepticism, the Anne Boleyn ghost remains a persistent figure in the legends surrounding this historic site.

 Hampton Court Palace
The Great Gatehouse at Hampton Court Palace. Photo by Luke Nicolaides, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another location tied to Anne’s life and afterlife is Salle Church in Norfolk. It’s a bit of a different story here, as Anne’s family had connections to this area. The Boleyn family owned nearby Blickling Hall, and some historians believe Anne may have spent part of her childhood in the region.

At Salle Church, the sightings are less about apparitions and more about a feeling. People have reported an overwhelming sense of sadness or a chilling atmosphere in certain parts of the church, which some attribute to Anne’s tragic end.

Salle St Peter and St Pauls church - geograph.org.uk - 2263516 2933x2200
Salle St Peter and St Paul’s Church. Photo by Adrian S Pye, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Skepticism vs. belief in the ghost of Anne Boleyn

When it comes to the tales of Anne Boleyn’s ghost, there’s a healthy dose of skepticism and alternative explanations. This skepticism is not just about debunking ghost stories but about understanding why these stories persist and what they say about our fascination with historical figures like Anne Boleyn.

Humans are pattern-seeking creatures, and this can lead to pareidolia, where our brains interpret random stimuli as significant — like seeing faces in clouds. In dimly lit, historical places like Hampton Court Palace, it’s easy for shadows and sounds to be misconstrued as something more supernatural. Add to that the power of suggestion — when you’re in a famous historical place, and you know a tragedy once occurred there, (and you’ve heard ghost stories!) your mind is more prepared to interpret events as paranormal.

The environment of these historic sites contributes to this effect. Old buildings creak, drafts are common and the very architecture can create odd acoustic effects. All these factors can easily be misinterpreted as supernatural occurrences, especially in a setting already ripe with dramatic history.

There’s also the cultural angle. Anne is a figure who has captured the public’s imagination for centuries. Her life was dramatic and her end tragic. This makes her a perfect candidate for ghost stories — they can be seen as an extension of this fascination. Ghost stories serve as a way to keep the memory of figures like Anne alive and continually relevant.

In an era of advanced technology, it’s notable how many supposed ghost sightings lack concrete proof. In an age where almost everyone carries a high-quality camera in their pocket, the lack of definitive photographic evidence of ghosts raises questions. Despite numerous claims, there are no definitive photographs or scientific data to substantiate these sightings. Skeptics argue that many ghost stories, including those about Anne, are anecdotal and often arise from traditions or hearsay rather than verifiable facts.

While the ghost stories of Anne Boleyn captivate our imagination, there’s also an interplay of psychology, culture and environmental factors at work. These stories speak to our desire to connect with the past and the human tendency to seek patterns and meaning, even where there might be none.

anne boleyn ghost illusion 2200x2200

Anne Boleyn’s ghost is still turning heads

The politics and her tragic end have made history books and have also fueled centuries of folklore and ghost stories. In each location, from the Tower to Blickling Hall, the accounts vary, but they all paint a picture of a figure that can’t seem to leave these significant places behind.

What’s truly remarkable is how Anne Boleyn’s story continues to fascinate us, centuries after her death. Whether it’s through historical accounts, ghost stories — or even our own experiences visiting these historic sites, her narrative continues to engage us.

What do you think? Have you ever visited the Tower of London and felt a shiver down your spine? Or perhaps a sense of awe at Hever Castle? Maybe you’re a skeptic who loves the history but not so much the ghost stories? Either way, we’re keen to hear your thoughts and experiences! Share your stories with us and join in on this conversation about one of the most iconic figures in English history. 👻

DON’T MISS! The Bloody Mary legend: Say goodbye to mirror selfies and hello to horror

Share the scare!

If you’d like to share this post on Pinterest, please feel free to click save on the image below. And thank you for your support!

anne boleyn ghost (Pinterest Pin)

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

read at your own risk