Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. In fact, scary movie marathons,bite-sized chocolates,and pumpkin drinks are the only things that stop me from mourning the end of summer. Because of this, I decided to enjoy this month by visiting some popular and not-so-popular Halloween destinations and recording my experiences here. Every Friday in October, a new Halloween destination will be featured.
Today’s post obviously didn’t take place in October. It took place in April, when I was visiting England. The day I spent at the Tower of London was cold and rainy and as I explored the Tower of London’s torture chambers, stood on the spot where Anne Boleyn was beheaded, and heard stories of missing princes and headless ghosts the spooky spirit of Halloween was alive and well.
The experience started with a Yeoman Warder tour guided by an authentic London beefeater. The group was led by Tower Hill– where Queens Anne Boleyn,Catherine Howard, and Jane Grey were executed– and then into the Royal Chapel. As the crowd filled the straight- backed wooden benches, the beefeater stood in front of the room and introduced the ground’s bloody history. His voice rose to a yell, dropped to a whisper , and paused ominously at all the right moments. With the rain pelting against the windows and the candle chandeliers casting shadows along the stone walls, it felt like scary story time. The only thing missing was the campfire.
Visitors have to walk the extensive grounds in route to the many towers and exhibitions. It doesn’t seem that exciting on a dreary day but I imagine it is this impressive year-round. The twisting rails and staircases lead to gorgeous views of the city. The walkways are lined with weapons and ruins of the ancient,original buildings.
If you ever feel like you’re being watched, I’d advise taking a careful look around. You might be under the watch of a silent guard or one of the many ink- black ravens scouring the grounds. Or maybe, one of the over-sized stone animals has taken an interest in you( Seriously though, does this not remind anyone else of The Shining?).
The many paths will lead you to places like the Crown Jewels , where a moving walkway takes you pass the crowns, sceptres, and coronation tools that are all on display. Or you can visit the bloody tower and learn about the missing princes, Richard and Edward. Entrusted to their uncle after their father’s untimely death, they were locked in the tower. Shortly after their uncle took the throne, the boys vanished and were never seen again. Though two human skeletons matching their ages and sizes were found on the grounds some 200 years later, the bones have never been identified.
One exhibit I found truly frightening was the display of the weapons and torture devices used during in the past. There’s also a Storehouse, that is used to store modern-day weapons.
And I don’t really remember the circumstances of these pictures but aren’t they creepy?
For more info on the Tower of London visit their site. Discount tickets can be found at 365tickets.com