As this weekend is Halloween, the beginning of Hallowtide, I thought I'd share these resources from the archives as our "Friday video", or rather videos!
You can read all twelve of the Byland Ghost stories in their original Latin or translated into English at the Byland Abbey Ghost Stories Project. The versions I read, which make a bit more sense, are taken from Andrew Joynes' Medieval Ghost Stories which is a large collection of ghost stories divided into sections on Ghosts and Monks, Ghosts and the Court, The Restless Dead, and Ghosts in Medieval Literature. It's a good read but not of them are particularly scary, well, not to those of us who spent our teens scaring ourselves silly with Stephen King novels! As I say in my video, though, medieval people would have been frightened by the thought of restless spirits not being able to move on. They were very concerned with the fate of their mortal soul.
Now try not to have nightmares!
Sources and further reading
- Byland Abbey Ghost Stories Project http://www.anselm.edu/internet/classics/byland/about.html
- Twelve Medieval Ghost Stories by M.R. James, from English Historical Review, 1922 - see http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/12ghosts.htm and http://ehr.oxfordjournals.org/content/XXXVII/CXLVII/413.citation
- Joynes, Andrew (2006) Medieval Ghost Stories, Boydell Press
Do you believe in ghosts? I'm not sure, but I do love a good ghost story and there are lots involving Tudor personalities and places. As it's coming up to Halloween, I thought I'd share a few. Please do share ones you've heard too!
And here's Skeletor!
Hear some Tower of London ghost stories from a Yeoman Warder. He makes some mistakes with dates, but it’s an interesting video nevertheless:
More ghost stories:
- Some haunted houses of England by Elliott O'Donnell.
- The Ghost of Anne Boleyn
- Ghostly Visitors: A series of authentic narratives by Spectre Stricken.
Sources and Further Reading
- Real British Ghosts
- The Smithfield Ghost
- The Smithfield Ghost
- Walks of London - ghosts
- Haunted London by Matthew Roberts, Pitkin, 1993.
- Historic Hauntings at Hampton Court Palace
- Hampton's Ghost is given the Cold Shoulder
- The Haunted Tower of London
- Famous Ghosts and Haunted Places by Johnathan Sutherland, Diane Canwell, Gordon J. Lynch.
- Ghosts: An Exploration of the Spirit World, From Apparitions to Haunted Places by Paul Roland
But did medieval and Tudor people believe in ghosts?
Here are some other resources on ghosts, Halloween and Hallowtide...
- Horrible Hauntings - My Claire Chats video about Tudor ghosts and haunted Tudor places.
- Medieval Ghost Stories - Enjoy some ghost stories medieval-style.
- Did They Believe in Ghosts in Medieval Times? (Learning from Purgatory) - Timothy R.J. Eveland - https://timothyrjeveland.com/2018/10/07/medieval-ghosts/
- What Medieval Ghosts can tell us about the Afterlife - https://www.medievalists.net/2017/10/medieval-ghosts-can-tell-us-afterlife/
- Did Elizabethans Believe in Ghosts? - https://delshakeshamlet.weebly.com/ghosts-in-elizabethan-england.html
- Ghosts in the Middle Ages - https://www.ancient.eu/article/1404/ghosts-in-the-middle-ages/