Ghost of Catherine of Aragon- The Stories

Catherine’s Ghost Returns to Castle Lodge

Castle Lodge, Ludlow

Catherine of Aragon was born on the 16th December 1485 at the Archbishops Palace in Alcala de Henares near Madrid. She was the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castille.

Catherine of Aragon by Michael Sittow c. 1502

From a very young age she was considered to be a suitable wife for Arthur Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. On the 14th of November 1501 they were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Arthur’s younger brother, Henry, escorted Catherine.

Arthur Prince of Wale by unknown artist

After their marriage, the young couple were sent to Ludlow Castle on the Welsh border so that Arthur could preside over the Council of Wales and the Marches as his position dictated. The couple stayed in Castle Lodge, Ludlow but less than five months into their marriage Catherine and Arthur became very ill, possibly with the ‘sweating sickness’, and although Catherine made a full recovery, Arthur perished. On the 2 April 1502 Catherine found herself a widow in a strange country.

Visitors to Castle Lodge have reported seeing the spectre of a teenage girl wearing Tudor costume. The apparition walks the attic corridors as well as visiting the nursery. Feelings of being watched and cold drafts have also been reported. One eye-witness even came rushing out of the attic room in a visible state of terror after allegedly having witnessed the young girl disappear through a closed door.

Legend has it that this young girl is the ghost of Catherine of Aragon who has returned to the home she once inhabited with her young husband, the Prince of Wales. Presumably, being drawn back by the happy memories they once shared within the walls of the lodge.

Kimbolton Castle

Kimbolton Castle in 1880

On the 23rd May 1533 Archbishop Cranmer ruled that King Henry VIII’s 24-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon was illegal.  Only five days later, on the 28th May, he ruled that Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was valid.

Catherine was given the new title of ‘Dowager Princess of Wales’ although her faithful subjects continued to address her as queen.

In 1534 Catherine was sent away to live out her days in remote Kimbolton Castle.  There her health deteriorated rapidly and this was only further exasperated by the fact that she was forbidden to see or communicate with her daughter, Mary. Although it seems likely that those loyal to Catherine and Mary did secretly carry letters between the two women.

Catherine spent most of her time confined to her rooms with only a few trusted maids and servants as company.

Perhaps the most famous of Catherine’s letters was penned here at Kimbolton Castle, her prison for well over a year. Sensing that her end was near Catherine wrote to Henry one last time.

My most dear lord, King and husband,

The hour of my death now drawing on, the tender love I ouge [owe] thou forceth me, my case being such, to commend myselv to thou, and to put thou in remembrance with a few words of the healthe and safeguard of thine allm [soul] which thou ougte to preferce before all worldley matters, and before the care and pampering of thy body, for the which thoust have cast me into many calamities and thineselv into many troubles. For my part, I pardon thou everything, and I desire to devoutly pray God that He will pardon thou also. For the rest, I commend unto thou our doughtere Mary, beseeching thou to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired. I entreat thou also, on behalve of my maides, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all mine other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for. Lastly, I makest this vouge [vow], that mine eyes desire thou aboufe all things.

Katharine the Quene.

It’s almost incomprehensible to think that after all Henry made her endure she still desired him above all others.

Catherine died at Kimbolton Castle on the 7th January 1536 and was buried in Peterborough Cathedral.

In one final act of cruelty, Henry refused to allow Mary to attend her mother’s funeral.

Legend has it that Catherine’s ghost walks the halls of Kimbolton Castle. On one floor she appears as legs and lower body projecting from the ceiling and on another her head and shoulders have been seen gliding along the floor seemingly unaware of the alterations made to the original floor levels.

One thing is for certain; Catherine remained true to her motto- Humble and Loyal.

Read more about Catherine’s death and funeral here.

Feel free to contact me with any other stories about Catherine of Aragon’s ghost.

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Comments

  1. A fantastic article, thank you. I have always been very intrigued by Catherine of Aragon, a very multi-layered, complex character. I’m intrigued about her ghost(s), though the reports of her appearing as a teenage spectre and as an adult woman do lend credence to the theory that ghosts are simply sensitive people accessing the past. How I’d love to see the teenaged Catherine! And that letter of hers, that unbelievable last line, is unforgettable. Would love a movie about Catherine … now, who should play her?

  2. If any ghost was to walk this earth it would be Catherines. The way Henry treated her and Mary was digusting and shocking.
    I hope Anne is at peace but she its hard to know, she was murdered after all.

  3. i dont understand this queen. her and arthur didnt a queen and king consumate there marriage the night after there married. unless something was up.

  4. I believe I somehow aquired a desk that once belonged to Catherine and was haunted by her or one of her babies that died or all of the above. I have photos of the desk, but it was unfortunately destroyed before learning of the possible link to her. The ornate and extremely detailed carvings on the two full body figures that grace the two side doors of the desk could possibly be identified through clothing style, headgear, the cross on the book in the female figures hand, etc.,

  5. I’d love to send you some or all of the pictures as well as a story about everything that occurred while it was in our possession.
    I tried to send a message to the e-mail address you listed but it came back as a delivery failure. Do you have another address I can try? If not I can try to do it from another e-mail account…
    Michael

  6. You can see pictures of the desk here:
    http://www.iddesk.gobot.com
    The gallery links are at the top of page (Drawers Gallwery, Doors Gallery, Rail Gallery, etc.)
    Michael

    • Hi Michael, emails should all come through fine now. I received some large files overnight that completely filled my inbox. All good now though. Thank you

  7. What a shame the desk has now been destroyed. Looking forward to finding out why the desk had to be destroyed, then maybe I can agree with its destruction! How interesting.

  8. Debbie, I don’t think anything I can say can justify it’s destruction. But at the time, I hadn’t even thought of a connection to Catherine. When it made my baby daughter cry, I kinda went to the extreme I suppose. The laughing children that could be heard at play from time to time emanating from within the desk that would echo throughout the house was fine with me, but when it started to affect my daughter I changed my attitude towards it very quickly.
    I’m so sorry.

    Michael

  9. Dear Michael, you have my sympahties. If a piece of my furniture, no matter how beautiful, started laughing I would be running for the hills! Perhaps the spirits of Catherines many children. So very interesting. Thank you.

  10. I should mention also, if you go to the website listed in the previous post to view the pictures of the desk….if you click on any of the pictures, it will open a largewr view in a different window. This will help in seeing the intricate details in the carvings.

    Michael

  11. How eerie Michael. Is there more you can tell us about your piece of furniture, I’m fascinated!!

    • I’ll bring it (The story) back down tommorrow and try to see if Natalie will let me post it for all to see. There is so much more to tell, but even I find it hard to believe so I didn’t put all the strange occurrances in the story.

      Michael

  12. Natalie,
    I tried to e-mail the videos of the ghost stories that made me think of a possible connection to Catherine to you but it came back again, so they are now veiwable on my website by following this link:
    http://natf.yolasite.com/catherine.php
    Sorry it took so long.

    Michael (not unlike the Arch-Angel)

  13. The Desk by Michael Parrish

    In 2007, I lived in Lewisville, Texas with My Wife and 5 month old Daughter. At this particular time (The Desk Find) I was working nights at a Target store running (putting in) the new data cable for the new security/surveillance systems that we were installing.
    I would get home around 4 am and would still be wound up from work, so I would take that opportunity to get some things done around the house like the dishes and taking out the trash, etc.
    On my first journey to the dumpster, I saw huge, hulking items laid around the dumpster that were being thrown away, but it was pretty dark and I couldn’t really tell WHAT they were, I just knew they were in my way. I moved a few things out of the way to be able to clear a path to the dumpster and tossed in my trash and went back to the apartment for the rest.
    When I first walked in, the first thing I saw was my daughter peeking over the edge of her crib looking at me and smiling and holding her hands together and up in the air that meant “pick me up”. It was feeding time and my wife was sawing some heavy logs (sleeping), so I went and picked up my daughter and went thru the ritual of making her a bottle of formula and sat down to feed her. After her feeding, I finally got her back to sleep and went back to my chores.
    The sun was beginning to come up by this time and when I got to the dumpster, I saw what the hulking items that had been in my way were and my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how huge the thing was. I just closed my eyes and muttered “oh gawd” to myself, because I knew this was going to take a lot of toting to get it all into the apartment…But I wasn’t going to leave it out there to be tossed away, So I started grabbing stuff and quickly got it all into the apartment.
    When I finally got it all assembled, I would notice small parts that were missing and I would have to run to the dumpster and root around till I found them. All of this had to be done quickly because the trash men came early around there, and this was a trash day.
    Anyway, I finally got it all in and all assembled and almost every part accounted for. The only thing that appeared to be missing was a spindle off the top rail. I stood back to survey the whole thing. It was beautiful, and massive.
    I immediately went to work cleaning it up and oiling the wood and started putting all my paperwork and other research stuff in there. I even had room to install my guitar amp and speakers. I spent the next few weeks trying to find out anything about the desk. Who the people were in the carvings, what period it was from and found nothing.
    During this time I utilized it as my paperwork/music space.
    Then the weird stuff began to happen. My daughter was always looking at the desk, but in a strange way, like she was watching someone or something. She would turn her head and eyes like she was following someone as they moved around. I took several pictures of it while she was looking at it that way, but never captured anything but pictures of the desk. I never saw anything while looking straight on at it, but always thought I would see something near it out of the corner of my eye. When I would turn to look, there would be nothing. One night, about 3 or 4 in the morning, I had opened up the two middle doors on the desk and grabbed my acoustic guitar to work on one of my songs. (I also owned a B.C. Rich Warlock NJ Series Electric guitar, but that’s not the one to play while folks are trying to sleep.
    Anyway, as I played the guitar, I began to faintly hear the sounds of children laughing and playing and thought…”wow, that sounds pretty good with the music, I wonder how I could record them out there playing while I played the guitar so it would be on the recording together” (The way it was all set up, I could only record the output through the amp before it got to the speakers) Then I remembered it was 4 o’clock in the morning, “There aren’t any kids outside playing…”
    I put down the guitar and jumped up and went outside, and sure enough, no kids. I went back in and started to play again, and the laughing, playing children once again came in louder and clearer. I couldn’t figure it out. It went on for several hours and happened every time I played the acoustic guitar. I don’t remember ever hearing anything but the guitar when I played the electric. (LOL)
    A few days later (in the early hours again), my wife and Daughter were asleep in the apartment and I was out on the back porch smoking a cigarette. I always took the baby monitor out there with me in case my daughter woke up so I could hear her and go in to her before she woke my wife. As I’m smoking and listening to the monitor, I start to hear very loud sounds of drawers opening and closing and papers being shuffled and slung around, doors being opened and slammed shut and I think “Well, the wife is up…But what’s she doing going through the desk and all my paperwork and slamming the doors. She going to wake up the baby”…So I grab the monitor, toss the cig and go inside only to find it quite as a tomb. Wife and Daughter sound asleep.
    I looked around a bit and didn’t find anything or anyone that could have been the culprit. I went over to the desk to open and close a few drawers to see if that was the noise I had heard and it matched up exactly. All the other drawers in the apartment were on those roller tracks that hardly make any noise at all when you open them. It had been the heavy, thick, wood on wood desk drawers. I went back outside to finish my cig, and only a few seconds after setting the monitor down, the noise started back up. So I run back in to find it all quite, all asleep, no noise. This went back and forth about an hour or so before my neighbor stepped outside to smoke. He saw me and came over to chat and smoke as usual and said “Hey, what’s up Dude” “not much” I said…”just trying to figure something out”. “Trying to figure out what?” He asked about the time the noise started up again. He looked at the monitor and said “Damn, somebody’s looking for something!”.
    “You hear that too?” I asked.
    “Well, of course dude, who couldn’t hear that? What’s she looking for?”
    I went on to tell him about it all and he just looked at me for a second then said “BS dude, that’s your wife digging through the desk”
    I said “No…. It’s not. Come here.” and I took him into the house and showed him that they were both sound asleep. We went back and forth 2 or 3 times like I had before he got out there, He looked at me and said “Man…that’s messed up dude” and QUICKLY went back into his apartment, shut and locked the door then peeked out the curtain at me.

    A few days later, I had gone over to my mom’s house in Dallas, Texas. I had gone alone and when I got back my wife was really freaked out about something and after a bit of coaxing I finally got her to tell me what had happened.
    She told me that while feeding our daughter, she was looking the desk like she usually did, but that it was kind of different now. She was looking around quickly and nervously like she was trying to watch a bunch of people moving around over there. She finished feeding her and took her into the bedroom to lay her down and decided to take a nap till I got back. She said she then lay on the bed, kind of propped up with her chin resting on her fist and dozed off. She wasn’t even asleep yet before she thought she heard the front door open and someone come in and thought I was back already. She didn’t hear anything else so she started to doze off again. She was suddenly startled when it felt and sounded like someone walked into the bedroom and passed by her. (The head of the bed was right near the door) she said she had felt the breeze from it and heard the rustling of clothing and such. She started to get up but realized that I HADN’T come into the room so she lay back down and started to doze off again. When she closed her eyes and started to drift back off, something hit her elbow HARD and made her punch herself in the chin (her chin was propped up on her fist again) and at the same time our daughter jerked awake, screamed and started to cry loudly. My wife jumped up and grabbed the baby and went next door to wait for me to come home.
    When I got there, she came out of the neighbor’s apartment to greet me. She told me what had happened and I told her to go back to the neighbor’s until I came for them.

    When I went across the breezeway to our apartment and opened the door, I could hear voices in there that stopped as soon I stepped in. I softly shut the door behind me and could feel the very strong feeling of being watched. So I let them watch me as I grabbed my drywall hatchet and took the desk back out to the dumpster piece by piece. Once I got it all out there, I broke it all into very small pieces that I then tossed into the dumpster till it was all in there. I kept NOTHING from it. Not one gargoyle.
    When I was finished, I went to the neighbor’s and picked up my daughter and told my wife to follow.
    The closer we got to the apartment, the tighter my daughter clutched to me. When we stepped into the front room her face was buried in my chest. I said “See baby girl”. “All gone”……”Daddy made them go bye-bye”….She slowly looked up and then darted her head all around the room then looked at me and smiled and then hugged me, she looked all around again, smiling and hugged me again as if saying “Thank You!”

    I guess I’ll never really know what or who it was, but I still wonder about it from time to time and wonder where they are now that they don’t have the desk to dwell in anymore.

  14. Natalie,
    I recently put the story of the desk on to post. If it is to large or not appropriate, the videos, the story and some images of the interior of Castle Lodge that caused me to think of a possible connection to Catherine are now on the Catherine page at:
    natf.yolasite.com/catherine.php
    the story is at the bottom of the page below the images of Castle Lodge’s Interior. You access the story by clicking the text next to the icon of a page. You can view larger images by clicking on an image.

    Michael

  15. Keeping Catherine and Mary apart is cruel yes, but Henry was terrified that their being together would spark rebellion. Alone they were formidable women. Together, they would have been a force of nature that Henry’s beleaguered and tyrannized subjects could rally around. His fears were very likely genuine and potentially dangerous for him. Many believed Catherine to be the true Queen, and in the legal environment of those times, she likely was.

  16. Had never heard of this woman before until last night I had somewhat of a strange vivid dream of a ghost like lady telling me she was from Aragon. Looked it up the next day and this lady looks exactly like the one in my dream…quite creepy story about the desk also.

  17. Catherine was the true Queen of England & I believe that she should be buried with her daughter Mary. I really feel for both of them. Does anyone know where I can get any kind of furniture belonging to these women or paintings of them as they are both my heroes.

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