Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Royal Ghost Tales

This is the end to this terrifying Halloween month and the point where I feel obliged to take all the fun out of what could have been spooky tales. The following just might be the least scary ghost tales you have ever heard.

The Ghost of Anne Boleyn

The Scary:
Visit the Tower of London and you might spot a very famous ghost. Several eyewitnesses have reported the ghostly apparition of Henry VIII’s second wife clad in white roaming the Green Tower with her head in her hands.

And if Anne’s tower haunting is not spooky enough then take a trip over to Blickling Hall. Anne’s ghost has been spotted drawing up to the stately home in a coach pulled by four headless horses driven by a headless coachman.

The not-so-scary:
If Anne was to haunt the tower wouldn’t she have the dignity to put her head back on her shoulders? That hussy Katheryn Howard might prance around without a head….but not our lovely Anne. And I really can’t understand why Anne would choose to use a horse drawn coach considering that they didn’t exist in England at the time. If she was really going to pull up in an anachronistic vehicle…why not something a bit fancier, like a Porsche?

The Ghost of Marie Antoinette

The Scary:
You don’t have to travel all the way to Paris to see Marie Antoinette’s ghost. In a house on the coast of Maine in North Edgecombe, a phantom appears decked out in a towering headdress and a satin dress. The ghost sightings have become so common that the house is called the “Marie Antoinette House”. According to legend, there was a plot to rescue Marie Antoinette in a ship called the Sally with the intention of taking her to Maine. But alas, the rescue attempt failed and Marie Antoinette was beheaded and never forgave the French. For this reason, Marie Antoinette’s ghost has chosen to haunt the coast of Maine. If you see this ghost, you must bow deeply while backing away. If you don’t follow this royal etiquette then the ghost will have a royal tantrum and will curse like a Maine truck driver.

The not-so-scary:
Marie Antoinette was well-known for eschewing royal protocol. She got her husband to abolish the custom of dining in public daily and thought it was downright silly for her ladies-in-waiting to serve her while kneeling. And swearing would never have happened. Marie Antoinette was so polite that she apologized for accidentally stepping on her executioner’s toe. But most importantly, if any self-respecting ghost was to arrive in Maine, they would stick around for maybe one winter and then head straight for Florida to never return again.

The Ghost of Mary Queen of Scots

The Scary
Mary is believed to haunt at least 5 Scottish landmarks including Stirling, Craignethan, Borthwick and Lockleven Castle and also the Palace of the Holyrood House. Wheeeeew! When it comes to castle haunting, Mary really gets around. And if that was not enough to keep Mary’s ghost busy you can also visit the ghost of a young boy believed to be her servant at Glamis Castle.

Legend has it that there is a blood stain on the floor of Holyrood House from when Mary’s secretary David Rizzio was butchered. People have tried to clean the blood stain but it keeps…reappearing.

The Not-So Scary
It’s ironic that Mary has chosen to haunt Scottish castles considering that she was confined in English castles for the majority of her life (19 years). Why not float over to Buckingham and try to scar the queen? She is at least the namesake of the women who sentenced her to death? And why not haunt some castles in France? She certainly spent the happiest years of her life in France. Those raucous Scotsmen seem to be very possessive of Mary. With all this talk about the Scottish government digging up the poor woman’s body and shipping it back to Scotland, they can at least be satisfied that they got her ghost.

And as far as the bloodstain goes - have they tried Pine-Sol? That stuff works wonders and smells like Christmas trees.


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

That's so funny about Mary, Queen of Scots haunting 5 places in Scotland. Does she rotate which ones she haunts on a weekly basis? Since she's so busy haunting Scottish castles, she must not have time for England and France as well.

The story of Marie Antoinette and Maine reminds of Napoleon House in New Orleans. Now that would be a great place for Napoleon to haunt.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Frankly I am skeptical about Marie-Antoinette in Maine. I agree that it would be out of character for her to cuss her visitors. And if she were so angry with the French, why wouldn't she haunt THEM instead of those poor people in Maine who never even thought of guillotining her?

And, by the way, Carlyn, I gave you a (very well deserved) award for your excellent blog. I simply forgot to spell out the rules...

Heather Carroll said...

What a great post, I thoroughly enjoyed that! It appears as thought Mary Queens of Scots may not have gotten around much in her lifetime but she seems to in her afterlife!

Ya know, I read a while ago, and my memory is going to fail me here, about 2 ladies who did see the ghost of Marie Antoinette in France! I'm almost positive it was an article by Terry Castle in regard to MA's sexuality. If my memory doesn't fail me, it was saying her ghost has only appeared at Versailles to women. In the 19th century she appeared in the gardens to two spinster sisters. I think she even interacted with the gobsmacked ladies.

Sorry about leaving a long, babbling comment! Now I think I have to relocate that book again and straighten out my facts!

Bearded Lady said...

oh that's the "ghost of Versailles" and that story REALLY is scary.

I found a reference to it here:

No offense to anyone from Maine who might stumble upon this but....pleeeeeease.

Lauren said...

Caryn I want to let you know I have really enjoyed all your Halloween posts! But this last one especially!

Heather Carroll said...

Ahh thank you Carlyn for setting the record straight! One less trip to the library for me.

...or maybe one more Halloween post from you?? Hmmm....? :)

katie said...

great post!

keep em coming....


Kelly S. Bishop said...

If Mary is considered a romantic heroine by modern readers, they should check into what the Scots thought of her in her lifetime.

When the Scots in her day demanded her back from England, it was so they could have the joy of whacking her head off themselves.

Kelly B.