Wednesday, 29 January 2014


A religious reliquary containing blood from the late Pope John Paul II has been stolen from a remote mountain church in Italy, with speculation that a Satanic group could be behind the theft.
A team of around 50 Carabinieri police officers with sniffer dogs were on Monday searching for any trace of the reliquary, which was stolen from the Church of St Peter of Ienca in the Abruzzo mountains at the weekend.
The ornate gold object contains a fragment of material, stained with blood, which was purportedly taken from the clothing worn by John Paul II after he was shot during the failed attempt on his life in St Peter’s Square in 1981.
It was donated to the church in May 2011 by Stanislaw Dzuwisz, a Polish cardinal and the Pope’s former personal secretary.
The reliquary is one of just a handful in the world that contains the blood of the Polish pope, who died in 2005 and was succeeded by Benedict XVI.
It was stolen along with a cross from the church, which lies close to Gran Sasso, a 9,550ft- high mountain in the Apennines east of Rome.
The theft was discovered on Saturday by a priest from the religious sanctuary, which is dedicated to the memory of John Paul II.
The Pope was very fond of the region and used to spend holidays there, walking, meditating and skiing at the nearby resort of Campo Imperatore.
It is also famous as the place where Benito Mussolini was interned after Italy swapped sides during the war, and from where he was rescued by a team of German paratroopers in Sept 1943 during a daring airborne raid.
“It’s possible that there could be Satanic sects behind the theft of the reliquary,” said Giovanni Panunzio, the national coordinator of an anti-occult group called Osservatorio Antiplagio.
“This period of the year is important in the Satanic calendar and culminates in the Satanic ‘new year’ on Feb 1. This sort of sacrilege often take place at this time of the year. We hope that the stolen items are recovered as quickly as possible.”
The theft of the reliquary comes as the Vatican prepares to canonise John Paul II, along with another former Pope, John XXIII, at a ceremony on April 27.
At John Paul II’s funeral in 2005, crowds of mourners cried "Santo Subito!" - "Sainthood now" - prompting the Vatican to speed up the Polish pontiff’s path to canonisation.
In Aug 2012, another relic containing a vial of the late Pope’s blood was stolen from a Catholic priest while he was travelling on a train north of Rome.
The relic was in his backpack, which was swiped by thieves but later recovered in a thicket of cane grass by police.

Story: DailyTelegraph


EXCLUSIVE VIDEO - Inside the 'portal to hell': Relative gives investigators tour of haunted Indiana home where 'possessed' children were 'chanting satanically' and saw 'ugly, black monster'

*MailOnline has obtained exclusive audio and video footage from the exorcisms of Latoya Ammons
*She who was 'possessed' along with her three children after moving into home in Gary, Indiana, in 2011
*Video shows police, utterly convinced case is real, being given a tour by Latoya's mother.
*She claims children were 'satanic chanting' and saw 'big, black monster'
*Police audio also features a 'demon' rasping 'hey' in the basement
*Sons were taken to hospital after one was inexplicably thrown in the house - while there a nurse and a CPS worker saw him 'glide' backwards up a wall
*Town's veteran police chief, Charles Austin, says basement is 'portal to hell' and he saw objects moving and shadowy people
*He even claims he was 'attacked' away from the house by spirits ....

MailOnline also has obtained picture of 'frozen' finger of DCS worker who touched mystery ooze that was dripping in house. She never returned

Frozen finger: On one visit to the house a DCS worker Samantha Illic touched a cabinet seeping a clear oil. Her finger turned white (right), like 'a blister after a burn', and she vowed never to return 
Catholic priest Father Michael Maginot carried out exorcisms on Ammons in English and Latin and talks of his personal battles with named demons.

                                Portal to Hell: Rose Campbell, Latoya's mother, gives police a tour of the basement

The footage is shaky as the camera pans to and fro moving from room to room – each in a state of disarray, left in haste - before descending into the basement.

The cellar is lit by naked bulbs. With bare walls and concrete floor it looks cold even on film and is all but abandoned, except for a small table covered in a cloth.

Be gone! The family, under instruction of a priest and clairvoyants, set up an altar in the basement and surrounded it in salt in a bid to banish the evil spirits

An open Bible and burned out vestige candle sit on it. Salt is scattered on the concrete floor – a desperate ritualistic attempt to rid this place of evil.Seen here for the first time, this is video footage from the Gary, Indiana police investigation into a case that is, without question, the most bizarre and disturbing in their history: the possession and exorcism of Latoya Ammons.

Evil: Rose Simmons claimed 'something down there was choking me to death, I don’t know what it is' because she went into the basement praying

Throughout the hour-long film officers hear testimony of children picked up and flung against walls and furniture; of adults being ‘choked to death’ by some supernatural force; of a demonic form appearing in different shapes – the shadow of a man, a black looming monster; an apparition of a withered old lady with red eyes and hood; of a house that bled clear, odorless oil and of the household’s three children convulsing and chanting Satanic verses.

In a chilling aside, in a separate audio recording made by one of the officers as he took pictures while his colleague filmed – audible here exclusively at MailOnline – the two officers’ speech is cut across by a whispered, but clear, ‘Hey.’ Neither said or heard it at the time.

Both are now convinced it is a demonic rasp, issuing a welcome or a challenge as they stood unwittingly on the lip of a ‘portal to hell.’

At one point, Latoya Ammons’s mother, Rose Campbell, who acted as ‘paranormal tour guide’ to the officers drawn from Gary, Lake County and Hammond Police Departments, admitted saying to her daughter: ‘Nobody’s going to believe this, Toya.’

Certainly few involved in the case wanted to when it began in early spring 2012. But today, the veteran police officers, experienced physicians, paramedics, nurses, social workers and clergy linked to the case speak of being ‘attacked’ by demons, profoundly shaken and left with little choice but to believe that ‘something’ possessed the 32-year-old mother-of-three and the rented home in which she, her children and her mother, lived from November 2011 until May 2012.

Fears: Ammons, pictured, said she saw her daughter levitating in a bedroom. A nurse and a CPS worker later reported seeing her nine-year-old son run backwards up a wall before flipping over to the ground

As she showed the investigating officers, accompanied by social worker Valerie Washington, around the home in May 2012, Rose repeatedly stopped to recall the events which had, by that time, driven the family from the residence.

Standing in the kitchen she claimed: ‘I heard dogs barking, it sounded like there were dogs barking in here.’ The family had no pets. And when she investigated she saw, ‘A shadow of somebody moving.’

Downstairs in the basement, a focus for much of the disturbances, Rose recalled an occasion on which she was down there alone doing some cleaning: ‘I started coughing and joking so bad…I was praying the whole time and they don’t like for us to pray. They don’t like that at all.

‘Something down there was choking me to death, I don’t know what it is.’

 'I was praying the whole time and they don’t like for us to pray. They don’t like that at all. Something down there was choking me to death, I don’t know what it is' - Rose Campbell

On another occasion she said that her daughter, Latoya and godson were in the basement when, according to Rose: ‘He felt like something was stabbing him in the stomach. The more he was was reading the Bible, the more it was stabbing, punching... they saw something flying across the room and land “blam” like that.’
Rose reached for the object she claimed had been flung by some demonic force – a small Holy Family ornament.

She also said that her daughter had told her that, as the force had grown in power she had seen it’s full manifestation in her bedroom one night. ‘She said it was like a scary, ugly, black monster… she couldn’t say anything else.’

Two of them most disturbing physical manifestations were witnessed by several medics and law enforcement officials.
The first, Rose recalled, was during a visit to family physician Dr Geoffrey Onyekum on 19 April 2012. Both focused on the youngest child, then 7. She recalled: ‘I saw “it” trying to come out [of him]. It was trying to break loose in front of the doctor.

Father Michael Maginot explains how he performed three exorcisms - two in English and one in Latin - on Latoya Ammons in his church, St. Stephen Martyr in Merriville, Indiana

‘His head was turning, his eyes rolled back, his mouth went crazy, he started talking in tongues then it threw my grandson completely across the room.’

The nurse who witnessed this would not go back into the room while the doctor, realizing this was well beyond his capabilities, called police and paramedics to take the child and his brother, both of whom fell unconscious, to Gary ER.

When there, and in the grips of demonic possession, his grandmother maintained, her youngest grandson – growling and gurning – walked backwards towards a wall then glided up it, walking backwards to above her head height, holding her hands all the way as she tried to coax him down and ‘it’ out, before flipping over her head and landing on the floor.

The child had no recollection of the event that was witnessed by nurses, social workers and paramedics all of whom recorded it in official reports.

Cary Indiana Police Captain Charles Austin, 62, was there the day the footage seen here was recorded. He entered a skeptic and left convinced that he had just witnessed a ‘portal to hell.’

Speaking to MailOnline he said: ‘Everyone of us who was there that day in the basement and who saw what we saw, went through what we went through after…we all think the same, we all call it the same. That bit of dirt is a portal to hell.

When Capt Austin heard of a bizarre initial report on a Monday afternoon his sergeant told him that Child Protection Services were involved.

Capt Austin, 62, said: ‘The sergeant told me that the children had been missing school and there was talk of satanic goings on. He was very leery of it. I contacted some people, high-ranking officers; we decided to take a look.

Eerie: Cops and child protection workers were also spooked during visits to the home in Gary, Indiana (pictured). In this image, a figure appears in a window, right, although no one was home

What is it? A close-up of the image shows the cloudy white figure in the window of the home

‘I walked in there thinking this was nothing but a hoax, a concocted story.’
Instead what he experienced that day in the spring of 2012 shook him to his core, threatened his life and became part of the documented history of one of the most disturbing and baffling cases in Indiana’s police history.

Capt Austin’s assertions were echoed by Roman Catholic priest Father Michael Maginot, also interviewed by MailOnline.

Father Maginot may be a more natural candidate to believe in supernatural phenomenon than a cop of 37 years' standing who prides himself in being an ‘aggressive and assertive law enforcer.’

But, like Capt Austin, he set out to disprove the story. Instead he would conduct one minor and three major exorcisms on mother-of-three Latoya and told MailOnline that he himself had been the target of demonic attack for his involvement in the case.

  'All of a sudden this growling voice came from my AM/FM radio. It said, “YOU OUTTA HERE” Then a lot of garbled other stuff and static' - Captain Austin

Over a six-month period Latoya claims that she and her children were possessed by demons.
She says that the house in which they lived was ravaged by malevolent spirits, that her daughter, then 12, and sons, 9 and 7 respectively were physically attacked – thrown against furniture, dragged from the sofa, punched and tormented till their gums and noses bled and they struggled to breathe.

As a family she says they fell ill – she to three kidney infections, her children to a variety of ailments and disturbances.

She says the house ‘dripped oil,’ that shadowy figures walked the rooms at night, that footsteps could be heard coming up from the basement only to be followed by a furious pounding on the door leading from it to the main house when, in increasing terror, she and her mother put a lock on it.

There were swarms of dead horseflies on the porch – swept up one day only to return in equal abundance the next. Lights flickered, phones played up, television signals scrambled and reverted to normal on a whim.

Convinced: After three decades on the force, Gary Police Captain was in no doubt: He told MailOnline: 'Everyone of us who was there that day in the basement and who saw what we saw, went through what we went through after…we all think the same, we all call it the same. That bit of dirt is a portal to hell'

She claims the family was terrorized beyond all endurance. And the impact in school-time lost and medical treatment sought saw the Department of Child Protection Services step in and call in first he police, and finally after one particularly harrowing event, Father Maginot.

Sitting before the fire in the main room of St Stephen the Martyr’s rectory in Merrillville, Indiana, Father Maginot admitted he only became involved by chance. He happened to be covering for the usual chaplain of Gary ER on the weekend when a medic called in some distress to report a bizarre occurrence.

He said: ‘We were having our bible study after mass when I got the call saying “You’re a Catholic priest. You do exorcisms. We need you to do one.” They went onto tell me that a little boy had just walked, glided, backwards up a wall and flipped over to land on his feet.

‘They said he was growling, they described all sorts of things. I went of course.’

Father Maginot speaks rapidly and earnestly. He is affable, open and welcoming but he is no fool. He set out, he insisted, to disprove any notion of the occult. To do an exorcism, permission is needed from the Bishop. Fr Maginot admitted he was reluctant to go down that path having approached Bishop Dale J Melczek, Bishop of Gary some years earlier on another matter involving possible supernatural events only to receive short shrift.

He said: ‘I set out to disprove it because to be honest I didn’t want to get the bishop involved. But I had policemen, social workers, doctors and security guards telling me what they had witnessed.
‘I couldn’t just dismiss them all. That was a Friday. So I met with the mother and grandmother on the Sunday.’

In an involvement with the case spanning five months, Fr Maginot never met or examined any of the children.
But he became convinced, he said, that Latoya was indeed possessed and that the house in which she and her children lived had become cursed as a result of a hex placed on her.

Shaking his head, aware perhaps of how unbelievable the story, he admitted; ‘I think there was a curse placed on the mother, that she was the focus, possibly by an ex-boyfriend or his wife, and that combined with some tragedy and perhaps occult practices that had taken place in that house before and that had opened a portal.’

It is the conclusion Capt Austin has drawn against every logical thought that told him that just could not be true.

Speaking from Gary Police Department Headquarters, he has run every department from narcotics to homicide, gang intelligence to auto detail. He has taught 500 officers and received the department’s highest reward for his service. He doesn’t believe in the sort of ‘garbage’ he thought he was being fed in by the two women at Caroline Street in Gary two springs ago.

Ooze: The family and officials reported an oil-type substance running down furniture and the blinds, marks can be seen above. Even when they sealed the room and returned, it would continue to run

Violent: The family claim that on one occasion this Nativity ornament mysteriously flew across the room

He said: ‘I was skeptical. I was leading the pack through the house. We walked in and the first thing we see is in the living room there’s a candle burning and a bible and a little altar with a crucifix – same in every room in the house. There was a drawing on the refrigerator done by one of the boys that was Jesus on the cross but behind him there looked like demonic figures.’

The further into the house he investigated the less comfortable he felt. Things just seemed ‘odd'.
He said: ‘Underneath the stairs was dirt and a candle. I was trying to figure out what was going on there because the rest of the basement was cement.

‘I took pictures of the candles and crucifix under the stairs on the dirt.’
Those pictures, taken on his iPhone, subsequently disappeared he said, and the phone which he used that day never behaved the same again.

 'But when I went back to my car the drivers seat was just moving backwards and forwards by itself. Backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards' - Captain Austin

But before those images disappeared, he said, he saw that they contained figures he had not seen before; figures he said were not there before, standing around him and beneath the stairs.
According to Capt. Austin: ‘The officer behind me took pictures of me standing in front of him and in his pictures he saw lots of figures too.’

With the practiced narration of an experienced witness, he continued: ‘I said, “Enough of this garbage.” On leaving the property I went to a gas station and made a phone call.

‘I had my police radio, my squad car dash AM/FM radio, my police cell and my iPhone. I was looking at the pictures I had taken on my iPhone when I made this call and all of a sudden this growling voice came from my AM/FM radio. ‘It said, “YOU OUTTA HERE” Then a lot of garbled other stuff and static.’
After that, according to Capt. Austin, every other officer present that day had problems with their radios, phones and house alarms.

Most alarming for Capt. Austin was an incident he had two weeks later when he was, he said bluntly, ‘attacked.’

Disbelief: Father Maginot says he set out to disprove the claims but instead became utterly convinced of them

Exorcism: The priest carried out several exorcisms using these crosses on the family and the house has had no reported issues since

''After almost four hours when she was going through one of these moments I took my crucifix and put it to her forehead and she began convulsing' - Fr Maginot

Household trash? Or objects ritualistically buried in an attempt to summon something up or keep something at bay?

By then even the most level-headed present were open to the latter explanation and several of the people who had visited the house on the first inspection, including the original CPS case worker, had become so shaken by the day and its aftermath that they refused to go back.

Department of Child Services, family case manager Samantha Illic was part of the group that visited the house on 10 May 2012 when officers recorded the scene and Campbell’s accounts of many strange and disturbing events.

During that visit Illic reached to touch a cabinet that appeared to be dripping clear oil. Both Capt. Austin and Father Maginot tell a similar tale.

According to the Capt: ‘She touched it with her pinky and her finger just went flush free of blood, it was white like it was dead. She was holding up her hand saying, her finger was numb and the side of her hand.’
Father Maginot described the seemingly spontaneous ‘wound’ or affect as like ‘a blister after a burn.’
He said: ‘Her whole finger had this grey, white colour – a death colour. She wondered after if maybe there had been a bug that had bitten her but she didn’t see anything or feel anything.’

Father Maginot’s experience of the exorcisms of Latoya is similarly unnerving.

He met with Latoya and her mother at the house and, he said, for two hours they conducted an interview without any incident.

The women told him what they claimed was going on. He said: ‘Only the children saw definite figures but the grandmother saw a shadow of a man and they would find dirty footsteps in the front from in the morning just paced to and fro and going nowhere.

Activity: Most of the problems at the home were around the basement stairs, pictured. Police dug a four foot hole under the stairs to look for graves
History: Both the police officer and priest believe the demons may have something to do with the home's past. During a dig they found, five foot down into the dirt, a bizarre collection of objects: boys’ socks with the ankle portion cut out, a fake fingernail and women’s panties

Returning home in his Infiniti SUV he said, ‘the electric door to my garage would not open. It had been fine before. I pressed the keypad it must have been 10 times then gave up.
‘I exited the vehicle and went to flip the main power in the garage but that didn’t work, then the house and finally that worked.

‘But when I went back to my car the driver's seat was just moving backwards and forwards by itself. Backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards.

‘When I took the car to the shop to get it looked into they said if I hadn’t brought it in it could have caused an accident and I could have been killed because for some reason the seat was about to collapse.’

The next time Capt. Austin was in the house it was with Father Maginot several weeks later.

They brought a dog, thinking perhaps they would find a crime scene, perhaps human remains, that might account for the disturbances but the dogs found nothing.

The men dug, five foot down into the dirt in the basement and unearthed a bizarre collection of objects: boys’ socks with the ankle portion cut out, a fake fingernail, women’s panties, a heavy, corroded iron weight, a broken plastic shoe horn and a red oval kettle lid.

‘Ghostly things are easier to deal with,’ said Father Maginot, explaining: ‘A lot of the time as Catholics you can have a mass, pray for them, tell them to go into the light, not to be afraid. But demons are different. You're inviting in guests from other realms and they don't necessarily want to leave.'’

During his visit to the Carolina Street house Father Maginot said that among the many strange phenomenon he witnessed were walls dripping with oil, Venetian blind rods tilting from side to side in unison and apparently for no reasons, seemingly set footprints appearing on the floor.

Lights repeatedly flickered then stopped when approached in such a way that the priest became convinced this was ‘an intelligence’ not simply an electric fault.

The final straw, the family told him, was when they were sitting as a family watching television and a bottle of Febreeze floated up, moved in the air before being hurled into Latoya’s room, smashing a lamp. In the aftermath they saw the shadow of a man.

They left the house for a hotel that night and never returned to live there again.
A clairvoyant who had visited the house and told Latoya she saw ‘hundreds of demons’ in the basement had told her to anoint the house with oil and put salt down to seal the gateways to demons.

Father Maginot did the same during his visit, uttering blessings and trying, at every turn, to find a logical explanation for the things he was seeing and the things these women were telling him. But increasingly he struggled.

He said: ‘I was trying to find a focus for it, to understand where it was coming from because that can help solve these things.’

Father Maginot became convinced that Latoya’s former lover was a ‘trigger’ or possible ‘source'.
Every time he asked her about this man – who is not the father of any of the children – Latoya complained of more symptoms of the possession, fever, cold, headaches, nausea and convulsions.

He said: ‘After almost four hours when she was going through one of these moments I took my crucifix and put it to her forehead and she began convulsing.

‘I had thought the demons were with the kids but now I could see they were with her. She was the source. They jumped from her and they jumped from child to child – they would pick up each other’s chants, or convulse in turn, act crazy, or growl in turn. But they were with her.

‘I said, that’s enough. We’re not prepared to do an exorcism here but I’ve got enough there’s no need to torture anyone.’

Fear: Capt Austin even claims he has been 'attacked' outside the house by spirits, including one occasion when his car moved by itself

Instead on June 1, 8th and 29th Latoya came to St Stephen the Martyr, Church in Merrillville and submitted to three major exorcisms.

She had, by then, moved out of the Carolina Street house in Gary and was living in a new apartment in Illinois.  At the time the children were in state care but they have since been returned to their mother and grandmother.

Father Maginot recalled: ‘I carried out the first exorcism in English and there was no incident. It was like it had already gone but they do say they play possum.’

Father Maginot gave Latoya a crucifix and a rosary made of Benedictine medals. As she left the church the rosary ripped into five pieces.

Father Maginot said: ‘I said, “I don’t think we’re done here.”’

Later Latoya reported to the priest that the corpus, the figure of Christ on the crucifix he had given her, had similarly been torn off.

‘I had to figure out how to provoke the demons and drive them out,’ Father Maginot said, rocking to and fro in his easy chair.

Latoya had researched names and felt two belonged to her demons. Father Maginot will not repeat either - one is a biblical name, other is not – because he does not want to risk calling them.

He explained: ‘It’s a very personal thing. Once you have their name, it’s as though you have them caught. They like to work in mystery and darkness. Once you shine a light you show their limitations and they don’t like that.’

As if to prove that point Father Maginot recalled how he was ‘attacked by demons’ the day before the second exorcism.

Ritual: Ammons went through 3 exorcisms, as famously depicted by the 1973 movie, The Exorcist, pictured

Out riding his bike a series of near accidents and unsettling moments climaxed with him being seemingly spontaneously thrown from the saddle of his bike into the grass at the side of the bicycle path he was following.

He said: ‘I looked and saw that the seat of my bike was completely twisted but it made no sense because it was absolutely tight and I had to really pound it to straighten it out. I was in no doubt I had been attacked. I was being warned.’

The second exorcism saw a more violent response. The exorcism is, Father Maginot explained, a ritual repeated over and over, with the priest narrowing in on the demon and its triggers.
He said: ‘You try to protect yourself as much as you can. You go to confession because if there are any unconfessed sins it will use that.

‘It will use anything possible to deflect, or distract or scare you.

‘I had to figure out how to provoke the demons and drive them out. It’s a very personal thing. Once you have their name, it’s as though you have them caught’- Fr Maginot

‘You will think you’re torturing the person but you’re not. You’re torturing the demon.’
The final exorcism was in Latin – praising God and condemning the demon.

‘The parts that were praising God there was no reaction from Latoya,’ Father Maginot recalled. ‘The parts condemning the demon she convulsed which was interesting to me as she doesn’t know Latin.’

Latoya said she felt herself being pulled up as if to levitate, but Father Maginot saw no sign of that.
After a third exorcism Latoya fell asleep he recalled. He gave her the now mended rosary and she took it home with her.

‘I never heard from her again,’ he said. ‘I was anticipating more. I was anticipating another at least but it turned out the game was over.'

After the final exorcism Father Maginot visited the house and blessed it with what he referred to as a 'more serious blessing.' He said: 'This involved incense and salt and Holy Water.'

There were already new tenants in place and they had reported no problems since the priest had 'sealed' the portal with salt and blessings following an earlier investigation.

But, he said, he told landlord Charles Reed, 'If we don't deal with this now, properly, this will not go away. This will close the portal and seal it.'

Father Maginot is in no doubt that the possession was real and that everything that happened to Latoya and her children and everything that others witnessed was the work of demons – fallen angels, God’s creatures turned against God and against man.

And for all his reluctance the same seems to be true of Capt. Austin. He said: ‘It shook me, everything to do with this. It shook me. This was a situation that was so out of my normal habitat. Did it shake me? Yes to a certain degree it did.

‘You tell me. What do you think happened?’


Anna Ecklund - 1912-1928 - Earling, Iowa

Anna was just 14 when she was allegedly cursed by her father and aunt - and soon she was unable to be near religious artifacts or churches. She underwent an exorcism in 1912, but her father and aunt then prayed for Satan to visit her again.
In 1928, she asked the church for help and was put in a convent. But when nuns came near her she would hiss at them, speak in foreign languages and levitate. After three more exorcisms, she was declared free of the demons.

Roland Doe - 1940s - Cottage City, Maryland

Doe - known as the inspiration behind the Hollywood film, The Exorcist - was 14 when his aunt encouraged him to use a Ouija board in the 1940s. When she died, he might have tried to contact her this way and it is believed this gave demons the chance to reach him.
When he was possessed, religious artifacts began flying off the walls and people could hear footsteps and dripping inside his home. Scratches also began appearing over his body, which levitated and contorted. His family contacted a Catholic priest and an exorcism was performed more than 30 times, sometimes injuring the priest before they were eventually successful. Doe went on to have a normal life, according to reports.

Anneliese Michel - 1973 - Germany

Anneliese was a 16-year-old Bavarian girl who had suffered with epilepsy and mental illness. In 1973, she began to hear voices, drink her own urine and became intolerant of religious symbols. She begged her family to take her to a priest to rid her of demons. Two local priests secretly agreed and performed nearly 70 exorcisms (each lasting up to four hours) in 10 months - but her parents stopped treating her health issues, and she died from emaciation and starvation. The film The Exorcism of Emily Rose is loosely based on her life.

Michael Taylor - 1974 - Yorkshire, England

Taylor was a married Christian who was accused by his wife, Christine, of having an affair with a prayer group leader. He responded with anger and continued to act erratically, leading some people to think he was possessed by evil.
He eventually underwent an exorcism that last for more than 24 hours and priests believed it to be successful. They warned that a demon may still be inside of him. When he went home, he murdered his wife and was later found wandering the streets. He was found not guilty in her murder by reason of insanity.

Story: DailyMail

Other notable poltergeist incidents on this blog (click link title to view)


Tuesday, 28 January 2014


DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Cecil Hotel was once a part-time home to serial killer "The Night Stalker" and murder victim "The Black Dahlia," but it may now be home to a haunting new visitor.

An Eyewitness News viewer claims to have captured a ghostly image outside of the famous downtown Los Angeles hotel.

Koston Alderete, a Riverside boy with a love of scary films and ghost stories, took the picture, which shows a ghostly figure outside a fourth floor window. He says it looks a little too real.

"When I looked at that window, it just looked kind of creepy to me, and then I showed my friend, and he kind of freaked out. It just creeps me out still," said Alderete.

Alderete says his ghost photo has already cost him some sleep and caused him to have a nightmare.

The Cecil Hotel has had its share of suicides and bizarre deaths, including the death of a missing tourist whose body was found in a water tank on the roof of the hotel last year.

Source: abclocal

The Hotel Cecil is THE hotel I would love to visit to shoot an investigation. The building has a certain air about it, and it`s deadly history is compelling ....

Check this previous Hotel Cecil link:


Monday, 27 January 2014


With the stadium the base for clubs nicknamed Red Devils and Sharks it is only to be expected there would be plenty of surprises - and not always of the most pleasant kind to keep the fans enthralled.

But we can reveal there is action of a very different kind at the AJ Bell Stadium (formerly Salford City Stadium) at Barton, the home of Salford Rugby League, Sale Rugby Union and United's academy at night when the ground and barren land surrounding is pitch black and deserted.

Things are going bump for there are spooks about with staff reporting some odd goings-on including an unexplained object that was caught on CCTV cameras running across the pitch, strange noises like footsteps inside the stadium, lifts going up and down on their own accord and a glass moving off a boardroom table during a meeting.

"We're haunted, it's as simple as that," said one petrified stadium worker who refused to give her name because she thought whatever is giving her the jitters might target her.

"Everyone is talking about what's going on here at night. Is it some kind of curse? We don't know but it is weird. Virtually every night something happens be it a sinister figure in the match security office or cleaners refusing to work on their own because they are frightened.

"Do we call in the Ghostbusters? Well, what I'd say about that is it seems to be a friendly sort of spook, not malicious but certainly mischievous.

"The M60 Barton Bridge is always busy, even at night so vehicle headlights could be playing tricks. Whatever is happening staff are always talking about things that cannot be explained like items going missing and then turning up a few days later in a different place."

Stadium janitor Mark Young, 38, said: "The weirdest unexplained happening-  and there have been a few - was that night something ambled across the pitch. We all thought it was big fox but on the camera it looked like a gorilla, baboon or even a cheetah.

"That was a complete mystery, as was the image in the security box which was checked out but nothing found. I don't want to make out I'm scared because I have a reputation to maintain!"

Security officer Matthew Gilmore, 21, added: "We are always monitoring the cameras and haven't got any absolute proof that we are haunted but we check out  many reports of strange footsteps being heard at night.

"When we were discussing what's really happening someone said there is an old story of a young boy and a dog drowning and then freezing in a brook near here, and that's why all this has started. You never really know do you?

Story: ManchesterEveningNews

Despite the references to CCTV capturing alleged paranormal activity, they seem very reluctant to share these events. Makes no sense other than a news report with some good stories.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


A 500-year-old Tudor mansion boasting a 100ft great hall, three priest holes and its own ghost is for sale for £4.75million.

Sawston Hall, described as the finest private house in Cambridgeshire, has five ensuite bedrooms, a moat, and an arboretum with rare trees, but its real draw is its history.

Owned by a grand Roman Catholic family for centuries, the Hall has secret places where outlawed Catholic priests could hide when the terrifying priest-hunters came to call during the Reformation.

Feared by Catholics who continued to practise their religion even after it was made illegal, priest-hunters would arrive with skilled carpenters who would spend up to a week ripping out panelling and pulling up floorboards looking for priests.

Sawston Hall, which was one of the famous Catholic safehouses in the reign of Elizabeth 1, has three such holes hidden in the fabric of the stone, Grade I-listed mansion.  One of them, hidden within a stone turret housing a spiral staircase, was created by master carpenter Nicholas Owen, and is said by experts to be the finest example of a priest's hole in the country.

Owen, who died under torture in the Tower of London in 1606, was later canonised for his role in ensuring the future of British Catholicism, and his work in creating spaces where priests could escape capture played a key role in English Catholic history.

Sawston, which lies seven miles outside Cambridge, was owned by the Huddleston family from 1517 until they sold up in 1982, but much of its original furnishings and artefacts are still there, including paintings, tapestries and furniture.

Hailed as a rare perfect - not added to or rebuilt - example of mid-Tudor building on a grand scale, it was built using stones from Cambridge Castle between 1557 and 1584, replacing a late medieval manor house on the same spot that burnt down.

Mary Tudor, the future Mary I, hid in the original house as a guest of the Huddlestons in 1553 on her way to claim the throne, and it is said the Duke of Northumberland, hot on her heels, burnt it down when he found she had escaped dressed as a dairy maid.

Mary is said to have told her hosts not to worry, and promised to build them a better house, and the current Sawston Hall, which was occupied by the US Air Force during the Second World War, is the result.

After the Huddlestons sold it, Sawston Hall became a language school and was then bought by an internet tycoon who hoped to turn it into a five-star hotel.  But when he lost interest and emigrated to Australia, it was bought by former hedge fund manager Stephen Coates in 2010.
Since then, he and his wife Claire have spent millions of pounds restoring the building, adding a bespoke kitchen by kitchen designer Mark Wilkinson, five bedroom suites, and a sophisticated zoned heating system.

The house is said to be haunted by Queen Mary, but the Coates, who have three young children, say it has never bothered them.

A campaign to raise the money to buy the house and open it for future generations has been launched by historians and is backed by leading Catholics including Ann Widdecombe and Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster.

Brian Plunkett, of the Sawston Hall Heritage Trust, said the house's rich history made it of interest to everybody, regardless of religion.

He said: 'We want to buy it and open it as a heritage site for everyone to share.  It's just the most beautiful place, and has the most astonishing history.'

He added: 'One of the priest holes at Sawston, said to be the best in the country, is ingeniously hidden within the actual thick stone wall of the medieval spiral staircase and can be accessed by lifting the boards of the landing at the top of the stairs.

'It is a couple of metres long once you get inside it and is a genuine hidden chamber built of stone. As you walk up the spiral staircase you could never spot it without knowing it is there.
'The opening is quite small so the priest would have needed to be quite small to get in through the access. My understanding is that it worked in that nobody was ever caught in it during the bad times.'

He also said Sawston was designed to allow someone to circulate in such a way that would confuse an intruder.

Sawston Hall is for sale through Savills estate agents, who say it may be of interest to the new breed of tech millionaires working in Cambridge.

When Catholics were persecuted by law in England, beginning in 1558 in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, it became an offence to celebrate Mass.

Those found breaking the law were fined in the first instance, imprisoned if caught a second time, and imprisoned for life for a third offence.  Imprisonment for a priest often meant torture and execution.

And those who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, declaring that the Queen was the head of the Church, would be found guilty of high treason and could be put to death.

After the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, anti-Catholic sentiment became even more rabid.
Grand Catholic families who were determined to continue in their faith built secret priest holes into their large houses, where priests could hide from the dreaded priest-hunters.

They would be carved into thick stone walls, dug deep under wooden floorboards, or hidden in thick chimney breasts, and priests would often have to hide in them for days at a time while the priest-hunters laid waste to a house in their bid to uncover evidence of practising Catholics.

Many grand houses had priest holes, including Boscobel House in Shropshire, where Charles II hid in a priest hole after hiding in a tree known as the Royal Oak, to avoid capture by Cromwell after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Estate property details : Savills

Story: DailyMail


One famous spectre is that of Queen Mary Tudor, which has been seen gliding through the house and at times flitting through the gardens.

Another ghost is known as the grey lady, and she is reported to appear in the tapestry room and is said to knock three times at the door and then float across the room.

A clairvoyant stayed in the hall back in the 70's and reported that she could not sleep because of the repeated tapping on the door, and someone fiddling with the latch on the door, these sounds also kept a priest awake in the room next door..

Other strange sounds have been heard in the house including distant music, and the laughter of a young girl.

My thoughts:

Any form of religious bigotry is totally unacceptable, but this piece veers it`s way to portraying English Catholics as sole `victims`. Yet the truth was that when Mary Tudor (a staunch Catholic) took the throne, Protestants were persecuted by her in the same way, and she ordered mass public executions - mostly with her victims being burnt alive at the stake.

Under the Heresy Acts, numerous Protestants were executed in the Marian persecutions. Many rich Protestants, including John Foxe, chose exile, and around 800 left the country.The first executions occurred over a period of five days in early February 1555: John Rogers on 4 February, Laurence Saunders on 8 February, and Rowland Taylor and John Hooper on 9 February.

The imprisoned Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was forced to watch Bishops Ridley and Latimer being burned at the stake. Cranmer recanted, repudiated Protestant theology, and rejoined the Catholic faith. Under the normal process of the law, he should have been absolved as a repentant. Mary, however, refused to reprieve him. On the day of his burning, he dramatically withdrew his recantation. All told 283 were executed, most by burning.

The burnings proved so unpopular, that even Alfonso de Castro, one of Philip's own ecclesiastical staff, condemned them, and Philip's adviser, Simon Renard, warned him that such "cruel enforcement" could "cause a revolt". Mary persevered with the policy, which continued until her death and exacerbated anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish feeling among the English people. The victims of the persecutions became lauded as martyrs.`

For fear of this house being made into a biased religious theme park, let`s hope that the owners find a private buyer or it is publicly owned to share the history of both sides of this pointless bigotry.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Haunted Earth tv are currently filming a new historic documentary with aerial footage at Henry VIII`s fort at Tilbury in Essex.
Taking over two days to shoot, the documentary will focus on it`s early beginnings as a D-shaped blockhouse built in 1539 on a dissolved religious Hermitage, to defend the reaches of the Thames with it`s sister blockhouse based on the Kent embankment at Gravesend.

I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman;
but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too!
His daughter, Elizabeth I made a rallying cry to her English forces against the expected Spanish Armada in 1588 at nearby West Tilbury, with her now famous speech of which part is shared here:

`I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.`

Unbeknown then to all was that a small and inferior naval force led by a better strategist, Sir Francis Drake, defeated the much bigger and more powerful Spanish warships at Gravelines, by sinking or routing them with fire ships and cannon which forced them to flee around the coast of Britain with the intent to find another safe route back to their home ports in Spain. Many surviving ships were floundered or sunk in wild and heavy seas off Ireland and the Scottish Isles. This was due in part to their top heavy galleons, which were unsuited for this campaign.

Because of this, and other unstable factors in Europe, the threat of invasion was always uppermost in the minds of English rulers, and over the centuries the fort was much improved and extended.

The current site plan was mostly the work of a brilliant Dutch engineer and settler, Sir Bernard De Gomme.
Under the direction of King Charles II, De Gomme started the construction in 1670, which went slowly through to the 1680`s.

Labour was provided by captured prisoners and military personnel, and during it`s construction many died from work related injuries or the climate which was largely the result of a disease ridden boggy marsh.
To many soldiers, Tilbury Fort was a `short straw` posting, despite it`s close proximity to London.

The area lacked social amenities and proper accommodation, and the risk of illness from the Essex marshes drove many officers to get permission to live opposite in the Kentish town of Gravesend.

The site accommodation consisted of a barrack block for soldiers, and another for officers.
The barrack block was destroyed by a stray Luftwaffe bomb in WW2.

As the fort sat between West Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary, the officers were buried in West Tilbury, and other ranks in the churchyard at Chadwell St Mary.

General Gordon
During the 1860`s the forts at Tilbury and Gravesend were modernised and improved to carry modern heavy ordinance by the then Captain Charles Gordon [1833–85], later known as 'Chinese Gordon or Gordon of Khartoum'.

Despite it`s long military career, the fort never fired it`s heavy cannons in anger, although during WW1 an anti-aircraft gun shot down a Zeppelin on it`s way to bomb the city of London.
In 1950 the fort was decommissioned and is now managed by English Heritage.

Tilbury has many lost souls attached to it`s name. Scottish prisoners from the battle of Culloden were kept here in appalling conditions. Many were held on hulks on the Thames or here in Tilbury Fort, and executions took place in Carlisle, York and Kennington Common.

During the Napoleonic wars, many French prisoners were also housed here or on the `hulk ships` moored in the estuary. Again, many died from the unsanitary conditions offered either on the hulks, (which were old, decommissioned or captured enemy ships that were beyond military service) or died labouring for their captors in the maintenance and improvement of the fort`s defences.

Today, the fort is open to the public with interesting activity of a paranormal kind experienced by visitors or through the infrequent night investigations there.

Indeed some years ago I visited Tilbury and shot a daytime video of my experiences there.

As with all of my work on day shoots, there will be a paranormal section at the end of the documentary.
I`m sure that on part two of my day shoot we may capture some interesting activity.

Mick using camera goggles and controls to fly his quadcopter

Discussing with Mick proposed shooting order for his quadcopter
In this special shoot, we have aerial video footage in HD quality of the
site. The footage was shot by Mick Coulter whose website is: Or other videos he has made on Youtube

Here below are some stills taken from the cam footage which give a new and excellent perspective of this huge defensive site. The video will be used in conjunction with my production, and is something I hope to utilise on future shoots.

The documentary is targeted for completion in February 2014.

Story: Chris Halton

Monday, 20 January 2014


In the past, I was able to share with you scenes of paranormal activity captured from my long study of a former RAF/USAAF airbase in rural Essex.

The site was often turning up considerable activity as EVP, light anomalies, AVP and  full or partial apparitions.

Why these airfields are so spiritually active is due to the simple fact that many aircrews died on these airfields from enemy attack or injury, and others that never returned from the many perilous missions flown into occupied territories. Also add those that served and lived a full life to return once more in spirit to rekindle these former times.

This leads me to today`s report of investigations carried out on a former WWII airfield by Middlesbrough Paranormal at the former RAF Tholthorpe.

They have been kind enough to share with us some images of paranormal activity, which gives an idea of the activity engaged at this site.

1) The Spirit of a Nurse.

This image shows what appears to be a nurse on the left side (facing) of the image which was shot at 4am in the morning.

Although the image is blurred through movement when taking the photograph, the image of a WWII period military nurse is clearly identifiable from the head dress and clothing.And if you examine the waist area, you can actually see what appears to be a nurses belt.

Here is a group photograph of nurses from Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, a British services medical unit during WWII. As you can see, all nurses wore a headdress with a veil.
This unit served from the airfield where the image was captured. There is a strong similarity to the rather blurred image shot, and of course the head dress which was worn at that time. I accept this is not conclusive, but the indicators can be seen easily.

And here is the original image of the apparition which has been cropped to give greater clarity.

Is this a ghostly nurse?
2) The Mechanic.

Here in a former Nissen/Quonset vehicle workshop used as such during WWII, here you can see the outer skin of the corrugated curved side, with a rough cast inner building constructed post WWII.

Looking more closely, you can just see what appears to be an arm and hand clutching either a tool or a rifle. The image cast appears to be a partial figure without definition.

Now cleaned and cropped, you should be able to see a full figure with the back gently curving over a panel behind. Also there appears to be two arms with hands. The figure appears to be wearing a one piece boiler suit which were typically worn by service personnel engaged in vehicle servicing.
Quite what the figure appears to be doing isn`t clear. But this is an excellent capture.

My thanks to Middlesbrough Paranormal for these great images. Why not visit their page and check out their photographs, EVP and investigations.

If you have something similar to share, please contact me - Chris Halton.

Saturday, 18 January 2014


It is seldom that anyone is lucky enough to catch a ghost, and even rarer to capture one to film, and far rarer still to have pictured more than one spirit in a single frame.

Yet this is what happened two years ago on a hot August weekend in Hampton Court Palace. The photographer, Trevor Tye was standing in the main public entrance waiting 45 minutes for the area to clear of tourists before he took this shot looking from the entrance to a galleried area above, in an area devoid of any people.

In this unretouched photograph, you can just see on the gallery what appears to be a small girl with blond locks and wearing a white coloured patterned dress. Please note the orb appearances around the area in question.

Here the image has been simply brightened to show more definition within the shadows.

In this second photograph you can see in this clipped and enlarged area, a possible second figure to the left (facing) of the girl and appears to be wearing a dark full length gown and a skull cap..

The photographer, Trevor Tye was told to leave afterwards by Hampton Court staff as photography is strictly banned. Whether the reasons are conservational (to preserve art from camera flashes) or commercial (to sell their own photographs), nobody can confirm.

Trevor left but later sent a copy to Hampton Court. The staff confirmed that a child ghost of a young girl had been seen there, and even a security officer later confirmed that he too had seen her.
Of course, the girl has to be `royal`, although nobody can confirm who she was in life.

But as intriguing is the second figure. Could this be the ghost of Cardinal Wolsey who owned Hampton Court before falling from grace?


Hampton Court Palace owes part of it`s existence to it`s predecessor, the former Knights Hospitallers of St John Jerusalem who acquired the manor of Hampton in 1236 and used the site as a grange - a centre for their agricultural estates.

The grange was later rented by the Hospitallers of St John, to a royal courtier,  Giles Daubeney, who took out a lease on the property in 1494.

Around this time, the area surrounding the grange was becoming very popular with members of the royal family, and particularly King Henry VII who rebuilt the royal lodgings at Sheen as Richmond Palace.
Henry and his family stayed on the Daubeney estate on a number of occasions and seem to have particularly favoured Daubeney’s country residence as a peaceful retreat away from their London homes at Westminster and the Tower of London.

Daubeney died in 1508, and the estate`s next resident was an ambitious religious cleric, one Thomas Wolsey.
Wolsey became firm friends with the next King, Henry VIII, and through him, Wolsey rose rapidly to becoming a cardinal and later, Lord Chancellor of England. He also held a host of other influential posts, and remained at Henry`s side for over a decade.

Wolsey (no doubt buoyed by his new status) decided to turn Daubeney’s estate into a Bishop`s palace fit for his own elevated social position.
Wolsey added new sumptuous private chambers for his own use, as well as three suites for the new royal family: one each for King Henry VIII, Queen Katherine of Aragon and their daughter Princess Mary. 

By the 1520`s, Hampton Court was centre to hosting many delegations from Europe, and with that Wolsey`s fall from grace wasn`t too far away into the future.
The Bishop`s Palace was regarded by some as far too grand a palace for a cleric, and Wolsey rarely ventured from his palace to visit the King, which drew scorn and division from within the royal household.

Although Wolsey`s days were numbered, it wasn`t until the late 1520s, that Henry who was desperate to obtain a divorce from his first wife. Katherine. The reason being that she had failed  to provide Henry with a male heir, despite numerous pregnancies.

Katherine was 40 in 1525, and the object of Henry’s desire was now the much younger Anne Boleyn. But after years of political manoeuvring and discussions, Katherine still refused to comply, the Pope didn’t grant the divorce and in 1528 Wolsey lost both Hampton Court and other estates to the King.

 Wolsey however, was permitted to remain as Archbishop of York. He travelled to Yorkshire for the first time in his career, but at Cawood in North Yorkshire, he was accused of treason and ordered to London by Henry Percy, 6th Earl of Northumberland. In great distress, he set out for the capital with his personal chaplain, Edmund Bonner (later known as the murderous Bishop of London, `Bloody` Bonner).  He fell ill on the journey, and died at Leicester on 29 November 1530, around the age of 60. "If I had served my God", the Cardinal said remorsefully, "as diligently as I did my king, He would not have given me over in my grey hairs."

By the time Henry finished his building works at Hampton Court Palace in about 1540, the palace was one of the most modern, sophisticated and magnificent in England. Much of what the visitor see`s today was that commissioned by Henry who made Hampton Court his own palace and reigned from there until his death 1547.

His three surviving children – the 9-year old Prince Edward and his older sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Each would rule England, and Hampton Court would continue to play an important part in the lives of the Tudor monarchs, although more as a country retreat than as a main royal palace, which may explain why so much of the original palace exists to this day.

It was during Elizabeth’s reign, that Hampton Court continued to welcome foreign delegations. It also remained a stage for court entertainments and, in particular, for dramatic performances and court masques.

After Elizabeth died without heir, King James VI of Scotland came south to become James I of England (ruled 1603-1625), Hampton Court's continuing importance in royal life was assured.

James was a keen huntsman and the palace provided excellent hunting in the park. James’s first English court took place at Hampton Court over the Christmas and New Year of 1603-4, and during his reign Hampton Court became more of a royal leisure centre and served as a venue for plays, dances, banquets and court masques and amongst the assembled guests was one William Shakespeare. He was booked as one of the newly liveried ‘King’s Men’ to produce his plays in front of a royal audience.

James’s queen, Anne, was at Hampton Court when she died in 1619.

Hampton Court served as both palace and prison for James’s son Charles I (ruled 1625-49). In the early part of his reign, he was a frequent visitor to the palace.

Though the King’s main residence was still in central London, at Whitehall, Charles revamped and updated parts of Hampton Court to ensure its continued popularity as a holiday season pleasure-palace, and a suitable venue for entertaining visiting dignitaries.

Charles built a new tennis court and also dug out the Longford River, which still brings water from 11 miles away to power the fountains of Hampton Court’s formal gardens.

Whilst Charles I indulged in personal luxury at Whitehall and Hampton Court palaces, he grew increasingly distant and hostile to his people, and in particular those who wanted a fairer system of democracy in Parliament. Until then, Parliament had very little say in the affairs of state, and by 1647 he was arrested by the Parliamentarians and later in 1649 he was executed after raising a mercenary army in Scotland which was later to be defeated the forces of Parliament. At that point Charles 1 was considered to be a traitor to the people of England and of course, the main reason for his execution. Earlier attempts to plead with the King to change his ways had failed. In short, a very selfish and arrogant ruler who met his end on the blade of an axe.

The Parliamentarians then decided to strip the royal palaces of their wealth and possessions, and drew up a list of items from Hampton Court to be sold or disposed of. An early victim was the Chapel Royal which was stripped of all it`s fine fittings. It was at this time that Oliver Cromwell (governed 1654-8) the Parliamentarian leader became Lord Protector, and used the facilities provided at Hampton Court at weekends. In fact, Cromwell`s daughter was married in the Chapel Royal.

By 1650, Charles`s son, Charles II was invited to return from exile to take the throne from the Parliamentarians. Although restored to office, Charles did not enjoy the absolute power of his father, and instead all major affairs of state were in the hands of the commoner`s at Parliament.

Charles`s tenure added a set of lodgings to the estate and these were built in an architectural baroque much favoured by his descendants, and this evolved style remained popular for state or important buildings right through into the early 19th century.

After Charles came Queen Anne, (ruled from 1702 - 14) and she used Hampton Court for her love of hunting. Anne much preferred Windsor Castle rather than Hampton Court as a royal residence, but when at Hampton Court she was able to use the now recently completed King`s Apartments, and consequently work on the unfinished Queen’s Apartments at Hampton Court (for the use of Anne’s consort, Prince George) proceeded slowly.

After Queen Anne`s death in 1714, the reigns of royal power were inherited by a distant cousin in Hanover, Germany, a man who was to become King George I (ruled 1714-27).

George was ill-suited for English life. He could not speak English, and preferred to spend more time in Germany rather than England, and his Queen never visited England. For a short period during 1718, George I held full court at Hampton Court, including assemblies and balls in the tennis court, Cartoon Gallery and Public Dining Room.

The Queen’s Apartments were finally completed under the direction of Sir John Vanbrugh.
Vanbrugh completed the formal circuit of royal apartments and fulfilled the vision of William and Mary and Sir Christopher Wren. Sumptuous furnishings from the cabinet-makers John Gumley and James Moore filled the rooms, and a new state bed lay under a painted ceiling by Sir James Thornhill.

Hampton Court Palace was little used for a decade after 1718, until the death of George I in 1727. 

In July 1737 George`s son, Prince Frederick took his wife – Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg – away from Hampton Court to London in the middle of the night, where she gave birth to a short-lived daughter.
Frederick’s defiance of the King and Queen Caroline led to his dismissal from St James’s Palace in London. Queen Caroline died a few months following the episode, and the King never visited the palace again with his full court.   

However, after him came his son and daughter, King George II (ruled 1727 – 1760) and Queen Caroline (ruled 1768 – 1821) who who delighted in the display and magnificence of a royal court.

Finally, the completed King’s and Queen’s Apartments played host to a full gathering of the royal family and royal court. The final embellishment of the palace state apartments was the completion of the Queen’s Staircase by William Kent.

Queen Caroline also covered up the racy images in the Queen’s Drawing Room with Mantegna’s Triumphs of Caesar.

George II’s reign also produced the last rooms at Hampton Court built for any member of the royal family. He had new lodgings made on the east side of Clock Court in 1732 for his second son, the Duke of Cumberland. These rooms, today known as the Cumberland Suite, were also designed by William Kent and built at a cost of £3,454.After George III (r 1760-1820) decided not to live there, there was debate as to the future of the palace’s thousands of rooms.

From the 1760s onwards, the palace was divided up for ‘grace-and-favour’ residents who were granted rent-free accommodation because they had given great service to the Crown or country. 
They lived, often with their own small households of servants above, underneath and around the state apartments.

In 1838, the young Queen Victoria (r 1837-1901) ordered that Hampton Court Palace ‘should be thrown open to all her subjects without restriction.’


Officially (according to the Hampton Court website), the palace is haunted by:

Catherine Howard - The screaming lady in the Haunted Gallery

She is believed to frequent Hampton Court’s Haunted Gallery where she was dragged back screaming to her rooms while under house arrest, accused of committing adultery by her husband King Henry VIII.

Sybil Penn - The Grey Lady of Hampton Court Palace

Sightings of Dame Sybil Penn, servant to four Tudor monarchs, began around 1829 when the church at nearby Hampton was rebuilt and her impressive tomb moved.
Dame Sybil – otherwise known as the ‘Grey Lady’ – has reputedly haunted several parts of the palace including the state apartments and Clock Court.

Skeletor - The famed CCTV ghost

In 2003 security staff at 16th-century Hampton Court Palace heard alarms ringing near an exhibition hall indicating that fire doors had been opened, but found the doors closed. Mystified, they examined CCTV footage and were astonished when the cameras showed the heavy doors opening, apparently of their own volition.

Suddenly, a figure wearing a long coat appeared and proceeded to pull the doors shut. The identity of this figure, which was nicknamed Skeletor, became the subject of intense debate with some even claiming it might be the ghost of one of Hampton Court’s most famous former residents, Henry VIII. Britain has many haunted locations and this Hallowe’en should you find yourself in the wrong place at the right time, or the right place at the wrong time, you might well manage to capture a ghost on film.

For me, Hampton Court Palace is perhaps one of the most visited but less is known of it`s ghostly residents than some other royal palaces. And uniquely, one that has never been properly investigated. Trevor was very lucky in capturing this presence, which probably happened as the area was devoid of other visitors.
Without doubt, spiritual presences do not enjoy large audiences which also might explain why so few incidents have been recorded here. A proper investigation of this 1,000 roomed palace might reveal much more. But that is not likely to happen soon.
Why not check out the photographers own website at Middlesborough Paranormal 
Here is a video presented by a warder on the haunted legends of Hampton Court Palace.

Story: Chris Halton