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Inside haunted houses of the British royal family; even Queen Camilla says 'I don't want to come back'

With centuries of history behind their castle walls, it’s no secret that many British royals have had encounters with neighbors from the beyond, as a recent podcast explains.

The British royal family doesn’t need to visit a haunted house this Halloween — chances are they’re living in one.

HELLO! magazine’s "A Right Royal Podcast" recently sat down with historians and a paranormal expert to learn more about infamous palace hauntings from over the years. With centuries of history behind castle walls, it’s no secret that many royals have had encounters with neighbors from the beyond.

"King Charles’ grandmother, The Queen Mother, grew up in one of the most haunted venues in Scotland — Glamis Castle," Kinsey Schofield, host of the "To Di For Daily" podcast, told Fox News Digital. "It is believed that multiple ghosts haunt the hallways of Glamis. Author Sir Walter Scott once wrote of his time alone at the castle… and William Shakespeare even used Glamis Castle as an inspiration for ‘Macbeth!’"


"The Queen Mother had several ghost encounters at Glamis," Schofield shared. "One of the ghosts she spoke of was a young male servant. They believe he was there around the 18th century. Despite being mistreated throughout his time there… he is described as mischievous and funny. Witnesses say he trips people outside the Queen Mother’s bedroom. He’s also suspected of tugging at bedsheets in the middle of the night."

Glamis is home to numerous spirits, including a butler who allegedly hanged himself and the "woman without a tongue" who walks on the grounds pointing at her bloodied disfigured mouth, as well as the "gray lady ghost," or Janet Douglas, who was burned at the stake for witchcraft in 1537. Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Crawford, is allegedly a more sinister spirit who is heard screaming on the grounds, Schofield said. And Thomas Bowes-Lyon, known as "the shunned royal" or the "monster of Glamis," for his deformed appearance, is also allegedly seen walking the grounds.

King Charles’ mother and aunt also weren’t strangers to ghosts.

Windsor Castle, the preferred residence for royal weddings, is said to be haunted by numerous ghosts, including King Henry VIII and King George III, as well as a Grenadier Guard who shot himself.

"Both the late Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth II reported apparitions, witnessing paranormal activity there of their late ancestor Queen Elizabeth I," British royals expert Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital.

According to the podcast, both women saw the daughter of King Henry VIII, who died in 1603, in the palace library. A lieutenant of the Grenadier Guards was also at the library one time when he saw the figure and immediately recognized it. He got up and followed it as she walked through the wall and vanished. According to reports, the Queen Mother has also been seen roaming the library and the sounds of her heels can be heard.

"Witnesses say that they have both seen and heard the spirit of King Henry VIII limping and crying out in pain over his leg throughout Windsor," said Schofield. "Witnesses also claim to see [his wife] Anne Boleyn around the Windsor grounds ‘in phantom form.’ They say Anne can be seen standing at the window in the Dean’s Cloister at Windsor Castle… Another story claims that Anne Boleyn can be seen running down the castle corridor screaming… clutching her head."

The mother of Queen Elizabeth I was beheaded in 1536.

Hampton Court Palace in England is also known for its peculiar activity.

"The most prevalent of restless royal ghosts, not surprisingly, are those of Henry VIII’s wives," Fordwich explained. "Jane Seymour, mother of his only son Edward, has been reported carrying a lighted taper walking along the Silver Stick Gallery at Hampton Court. Catherine Howard, beheaded for adultery in 1542, has been both seen and heard by many screaming for mercy from Henry, in the Haunted Gallery of Hampton Court, as she reportedly ran to try to meet with him as he prayed in the nearby chapel."

Dumfries House, an 18th-century Scottish property, has proven to be the stuff of nightmares for Charles’ wife, Queen Camilla. In the ITV documentary, "The Real Camilla," the royal described how Charles restored the run-down property before it was opened to the public in 2008. She described the heritage building as "eerie."

"There was definitely a ghost — without a shadow of a doubt," said the 76-year-old. "I walked up the steps, got into the hall and I thought, ‘I can’t go any further.’ I literally froze… I remember thinking I don’t want to come back, and I didn’t for years.’"

It’s been said that Camilla still refuses to set foot on the property.


The podcast also revealed that Charles had a scary encounter at Sandringham. It was at the royal residence when the king, 74, and a footman found themselves being followed by a ghostly apparition. And Charles apparently can’t escape the ghosts at Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s London residence. The home, built on a site that belonged to the Monks of Westminster Abbey, is said to be haunted by an enchained monk who wanders through the halls.

Also at Buckingham Palace, some have alleged to have seen Major John Gwynne, King Edward VII’s private secretary. According to reports, he shot himself in the first-floor office of the palace. Former palace aides have alleged seeing a strange aura in the office and hearing a single gunshot.

Scotland’s Balmoral Castle, Queen Elizabeth’s beloved summer home, is said to be haunted by John Brown, a servant of Queen Victoria’s. He’s allegedly seen in the corridor still wearing his kilt. Queen Elizabeth, who died at Balmoral in 2022 at the age of 96, saw and felt his presence at one point.

Schofield said the Tower of London is also a notable hot spot for ghosts.

"The Tower of London is believed to host the ghosts of the two young princes forced into the tower by their uncle Richard III in 1483," she explained. "We believe that he murdered them, but no one knows for sure. They are said to haunt together forever in the bloody tower. Along the haunted halls, you could also stumble upon the ghosts of Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey and the notorious Anne Boleyn."

"A Captain of the Guard once claimed he saw a light flickering in the Chapel Royal after dark," she continued. "Suspicious of the flicker, the chapel was locked, so he went to investigate by climbing a ladder. There his eyes were met with a vivid procession of spirits like ‘knights and ladies dressed in ancient costumes pacing the chapel.' As he searched the room, he recognized a familiar face… it was Anne Boleyn. The guard was frightened clear off the ladder as the procession simply disappeared into thin air."


But not everyone is fazed by the supernatural. Paranormal historian Richard Felix told the podcast that Prince William didn’t wince about the ghost of Anmer Hall, a Georgian mansion that was gifted to him by his grandmother.

"When the [Prince and Princess of Wales] moved into Anmer Hall… there was a ghost there of a Catholic priest that lived there and was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason," said Felix. "And for some reason has returned to his home."

"Although he was executed in York, they’ve actually heard his voice," Felix shared. "Before the [Prince and Princess of Wales] moved in, they were warned about the ghost, and the comment was, I presume it was from Prince William, he said, ‘No old hall would be complete without a ghost, would it?’"

Christopher Andersen, author of "The King," told Fox News Digital that British history "is so gruesome and bloody" that the current generation of royals "are not quite so susceptible to the spooky stuff."

"And of course, there's no point in frightening the children who have to live in these rather imposing, intimidating and even rather scary places," Andersen explained. "All the palaces and royal residences are loaded with spectral figures, supposedly, but if any of the current crop of younger royals have ever seen one, they've never spoken of it, to my knowledge."

"A notable exception is the king, who has heard the ‘click click click’ of the late Queen Mother's high heels," he shared. "Her ghost still walks the corridors of Clarence House, the home she occupied until her death. Charles and Camilla moved in shortly afterward."

But there’s one ghost the royals might be wary of seeing.


"There’s Stirling Castle of Scotland — legend has it that a maid of Mary Queen of Scots discovered her chamber on fire," said Schofield. "The young woman courageously saved Mary’s life by physically pulling the queen out of the bedroom engulfed in flames. The ghost of this maid is said to watch over the castle today and appears as a warning over a potential fire or emergency."

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