Tudor ghosts caught on film

Over the years there have been several cases of people claiming to have caught a Tudor ghost on film. With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it was a good time to post all the available footage and photographs here for us to examine more closely.

In 2003 at Hampton Court Palace a pair of modern emergency exit doors became the focus of international discussion. The doors themselves weren’t of interest but what was perplexing the staff was why they were mysteriously opening at the same time each day. On one occasion the emergency alarm was activated but on further investigation the doors were found to be closed. The CCTV footage shed no light on the matter until this was recorded:

Fast Tube by Casper

This footage is fascinating because it clearly shows the doors flying open of their own accord and then a tall figure, dressed in what looks like Tudor clothes, closing them. Is this the ghost of Henry VIII? Is it one of his queens? Is it a member of the public? Or is it a costumed guide working at the palace?

Well, the palace claims that it could not have been one of their guides as they do not enter that part of the building.

There has been much speculation and I suppose we will never know for certain. What makes this incident so interesting is not so much who closed the doors but what opened them. To make things more peculiar, the doors flew open at around the same time the day after the figure was seen closing them but this time nothing was caught on film.

Then, in 2008, 54 year old Anne Lambert captured this photo on her mobile phone while staying overnight in Samlesbury Hall.

Ghost of Henry VIII?

Anne was alone in an upstairs room of the 14th century manor house when she ‘sensed something’ and so started taking photos. It was only later when she went through the photos that she saw what looked like a ghost, with an uncanny resemblance to Henry VIII, in one of the photos.

During Henry VIII’s reign, the hall was owned by the Southworth family – staunch Catholics. Their years of royal favour came to an abrupt end when they refused to abandon their faith, instead continuing their worship clandestinely.

The figure in the photo is assumed to be Henry VIII but could it in fact be a member of the Southworth family?

In 2009, photographer Andrew Kitt was shocked by what he saw when developing photos he had taken at Cinema City in Norwich. On only one of a sequence of photos taken in the courtyard he saw a shadow.

Norwich Tudor Ghost

On closer examination, the shadow appears to be a person in what could be described as Tudor style dress. Although there were some staff and customers still around at the time the photo was taken, the photographer is adamant that no living person walked through the shot. The other peculiar thing is that this ‘shadow’ was only captured on one of a sequence of photos.

Considering that the buildings occupied by the bar and dining rooms are some of the oldest buildings in Norwich dating back to the 14th century, is it really surprising that paranormal activity is reported here? And could this in fact be the ghost of Robert Suckling, lord mayor and sheriff, who bought the property in the mid 1500’s?

In 2009 again, a tourist captured what looks like a ghost wearing a Tudor ruff at Tantallon Castle in Scotland. I have to say that I find this particular photo really unnerving. See the photo and read the full story here.

My personal belief is that ancient buildings, like Hampton Court Palace, have recorded in the fabric of the walls events that were played out long ago. The more traumatic and intense the event, the stronger an imprint that resonates. Then, on some occasions, the building offers up its past and reveals its secrets for some among us to ‘see’. I believe that an echo or ‘play back’ of events that transpired in the past can only be witnessed by those of us open to such experiences.

It is possible that not all reported ghost sightings are ‘play backs’ as I have heard of cases where people actually interact with the apparition, although, I think these incidents are quite rare.

There is so much about our universe that is unknown and so much about the power of our brain that we are still learning. To me it seems possible, actually- very likely, that we will one day uncover why some among us can see the echoes of people or events from long ago.

Please let me know if you know of any other Tudor ghosts caught on film.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,?Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.— William Shakespeare

Related posts:



  1. Good post for Halloween approaching! Whether ghosts are entirely the most wholesome part of us that survives death I would not like to say. I think there are better parts to us, our spirit, our soul, whatever. The ghost – some say – is merely the emotional husk that surrounds us and which can become particularly strong at times of emotional intensity or crisis. Perhaps then it can leave its imprint in places. Who knows! This might be why apparitions tend to be associated with unfortunate or traumatic events, never with happiness or contentment. Important always to keep an open mind, I think.

  2. I have shivers running up and down my spine. How breathtaking!

  3. A link to a video about some of the additional ghosts of Hampton Court.
    A nice few shots of the inside of the building anyway, even if there aren’t too many apparitions!

    • Thank you for posting this link Robert! I have seen this one before and do enjoy it 🙂

    • Great video Robert. Thank you. I’ve visited Hampton Court twice with no incident except a feeling of being very much at home (my coworkers have joked that I may have been one of Henry’s wives in a past life, but I think it has more to do with my passion for Tudor history). When I first went there, I had walked through the Whispering Gallery and didn’t even know it until someone mentioned where we were, then I went back for a second walk-through. No ghosts although I was hoping *g* Anyway, I just find it a beautiful place and my one regret is that there is not more of the Tudor palace remaining. Thanks again for the video and a closer look at one of my fave Tudor locations!

      • Hi tina u came n spent the night in my father’s house back in 2007, was wondering how we can contact you, also where can I find the private investigating you done

  4. Natalie – what a great article! I like ghost stories as far as they go, and even saw some apparition when I was a child, although I can’t fully explain what we are seeing. But even as a Christian, I realize there are unsettled spirits who — for whatever reason — have not found any peace. When I visited the Tower in 2000, I felt nothing ‘supernatural’ despite all the tragedy that permeated those walls; depression yes, but that might be part of what lingers over that place. And I can’t say if something was in those gardens at Thornbury where I stayed for 2 nights; went for a walk after supper and for a second, out of one corner of my eye…I just don’t know 🙂 But at Hever and Hatfield, Hampton Court and Windsor, Sudeley Castle, even Warwick Castle and lovely Thornbury, I only felt very happy to be in these places I had read about for so many years, making a connection with people that had been part of my life for a long time. If the spirits of Henry, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth or the others haunt these places, then I pray they’ll find some rest soon. But I’m not even going to try to figure out that door and figure at Hampton Court! LOL

  5. Tina, I like that observation about happy feelings being associated with places too. I am sure good positive thoughts and experiences also linger at places along with the occasional well-documented ghostly ones. Anyone who has ever gone house-hunting, or even looking for a flat or apartment would have experienced how different places can feel in their atmospheres (if they are open to that kind of thing, that is). Life is not just limited to what we can see and hear. Those Tudors would surely have had a lot of fun times and loving times as well as the trauma. I like to think so, anyway.

  6. Same here Robert. We hear about the tragedy because THAT tends to be what we know best about them. But I like to think that the many of their days were also filled with good times: Katherine and Henry celebrating the birth of their first son, no matter how short-lived; Anne visiting her baby daughter at Hatfield and watching the child try on a new gown; Henry and Jane welcoming the Lady Mary back to court; Katherine Howard’s youthful silliness making Henry feel young again; a young Henry and Charles Brandon playing a game of tennis; Henry finally welcoming his sister Mary and his new brother-in-law back to court; Katherine Parr playing hide-and-seek with Elizabeth and Jane Gray; Elizabeth and Robert Dudley sharing a dance at Christmastime. Happy moments to try to balance out the sadder times.

  7. This was really fascinating!

  8. Love this post!
    I took a photo at Hampton Court at one of the staircases and when I looked at the photo later on, there is a blur at the bottom of the case, the type you get when you take a photo as someone is moving. Didn’t realise until I saw the photo and looked it up thAt that was the staircase they believe is haunted!

  9. barry wall says:

    I captured an image if what looked like henry viii standing next to my girlfriend at Hampton Court in 1969. The image was clearly seen on the negative but did not leave any impression on the photograph. The negative was lost (stolen?) by the chemists shop when I tried to print it again. I am hoping there is a similar image in my archives one day.

Leave a Comment