▶ England: Anne Boleyn
Second Wife of Henry VIII and mother of a future Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn had three years as queen consort before Henry tired of her. Accused (most historians agree falsely) of adultery, incest and witchcraft, she faced an executioner’s sword with her head held high on May 19th, 1536. The executioner was reported to have said “Where is my sword?” before striking the single blow necessary, apparently in an effort to ease Anne’s anticipation by making her think she had a few moments more.
Her ghost has been spotted by several different people in several different locations: Hever Castle, Blickling Hall, Salle Church, Marwell Hall, and perhaps most famously the Tower of London. Though she is most often seen just as she was alive- a beautiful woman in a beautiful gown- some sightings are a bit more upsetting. More unlucky individuals will see her as she was just after death- headless, often with the head tucked under one arm. It has become such an iconic image it is often parodied in movies and television, and more elaborate Halloween costumes. One must not forget, however, what you would think if such a vision approached you in some dark corridor one night.