Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thomas Becket: The Murder and Haunting, Part ll

Thomas Becket at the moment
of death.
In Part l of this post I share the reasons behind why the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170. After his death, he was martyred and made a saint.

Many feel that the brutal way in which he was killed has resulted in his ghost appearing at two locations in England.

One place Becket is said to haunt is the Tower of London. The official name for the Tower is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. The Tower is located in central London on the north side of the River Thames.

Today the buildings that make up the Tower are better known for being a prison than a palace.

Tower of London
Becket’s ghost is said to have been the first spirit to be seen at the Tower in 1241, seventy-one years after his death. King Henry the lll commissioned an Inner Circle Wall be built at the Tower.

King Henry lll was the grandson of the King who was responsible for Thomas Becket’s death. During this construction, Becket’s ghost was not happy with this change.

Between outer and inner
circle walls.
He appeared twice during the construction--on consecutive St. George’s Days. On both occasions when he was seen he touched the newly constructed wall with his cross and it crumbled.

To appease this ghost King Henry had a chapel built in the Tower and named it after Thomas Becket. After this, his ghost stopped appearing.

It is speculated that his ghost lingered at this location because at one time he was Constable of the Tower.

Another place Thomas Becket’s ghost has been seen is at the Canterbury Cathedral located in Kent. It is here where he was brutally murdered and where his tomb was originally located.

Canterbury Cathedral
Many witnesses have reported seeing his apparition near his tomb in the eastern crypt of the cathedral.

Many believe the old photograph to the left shows the ghost of Thomas Becket. It was taken inside Canterbury near where Becket was murdered. His image from time to time appears mysteriously on this pillar.

In Part l of Thomas Becket: The Murder and Haunting, I share the events that led up to his brutal murder.

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