Ghost Encounters Royals & Rogues focuses on power and privilege, and the philosophical question of whether it is as much a fine test of character as is a life without either.
Open pdf chapter page samples Royals & Rogues
‘The Ghost of the Battlements’, A ghost is often seen roaming the battlements of Carisbrooke Castle, and some people believe it to be the sad lost soul of doomed King Charles I who was imprisoned here in the mid 1600s. But those who have seen the ghost up close say it seems to be from an earlier period than the 17th century.
‘The Not-So-Great Escape’. Newport has some fascinating hauntings, for ghosts of all variety roam its venerable buildings and streets. Ghostly candlelight is seen at the windows of the Old Grammar school on St James’ Street; nearby the Sun Inn building on Holyrood Street is the scene of terrifying supernatural dramas; and some people have encountered a sinister dark shape who stalks the old church yard – now Church Litten park – where once stood the town’s archery butts.
‘The White Flowered Coffin’. Quarr Abbey near Ryde, once was the Island’s greatest house of God, among the first Benedictine monasteries in England, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was torn down during the 1500s on the orders of Captain Worsley ‘The Fortifier’; the tombs of the Wight’s great Norman lords were cracked open and plundered, though that destruction caused a curious karma for the Worsleys.
‘The Power of Love’. Appuldurcombe House was the principal seat of the Wight Worsleys, the most powerful, most royally-favoured family on the Island. This beautiful house suffered enough destruction as to leave it uninhabitable to the living. The dead, however, seem still to be enjoying its former comforts and grandeur. A blighted house may keep away the quick, but has no effect, it seems, upon the dead.
‘Murder Mystery’. The world-famous Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, was home to two ghosts separated only by architecture and class, but they shared an unexpected commonality and problem: murder. And there’s a body in the basement.
‘Into the Mist’. Some people will do anything to preserve the comforts to which they have become attached; others prefer not to get involved with the needy. Sooner or later what we do in this life, and paradoxically – don’t do – starts echoing down eternity. Manslaughter by indifference or design, the consequence is the same.
‘The Ghost-Gunner’s Woe’. Yarmouth Castle was built on the orders of big Henry VIII to defend the town against French invasion marauding. Some say that once built it was redundant as there never was another attack. But the ghost of Yarmouth Castle had seen action somewhere.
‘Last of the Lamp-Wick Trimmers’. The Needles Old Battery is among the most spectacular of fortresses built high atop the Needles. It was designed as part of the Solent defenses, which with the Hurst Castle gun battery across the water, created a deadly trap for any would-be invader. The trouble was no one invaded once it was built, and those charged with defending it, got bored and caused trouble; like the ghost who haunted the battery.
‘The Spy Who Stayed Out In The Cold’. Shanklin Chine is among the many natural wonders of the Wight, inspiring poets and painters, but its picturesque qualities were best appreciated by the Allied commanders planning the Normandy Landings for D-Day. The problem, as it ever was and has been, leakage – damned spies informing the enemy, as the ghost of Shanklin Chine discovered all is not fair in love and war.
‘Victoria’s Ghosts’. Osborne House in East Cowes was the lair of the great queen Victoria, ruler of an empire so great the sun never set upon its land. How much bigger would it have been if not for the confounding efforts of underlings in her majesty’s secret disservice?
‘Tower of London’. A top quality psychic in the world’s most haunted building. It had to happen. It did, and it’s all here.
‘Greenwich Ghosts’. The Queen’s House and the old Royal Naval College which stands on the site of Placentia, a Tudor manor house favoured by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, who was born there. Two ghosts, two confessions.
‘Windsor Castle’. St. George & the Dragon’s Curse. England’s most famous fortress, home of the Windsors and some might say, a curse. Historic records seem to prove this true.
‘Time Travel Chapel‘. Swainston Manor, near Newport once was the summer palace of the bishops of Winchester; and the venue for an argument between the King of England, Edward I, or ‘Longshanks’ and the bishop John di Pontiserra; an argument which seems to have echoed down the ages, for sometimes the medieval party reappears in the old chapel where it happened.