The Ghosts and Hauntings of Holyrood Palace

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A murderous nobleman, an executed queen, and a unadorned witch are believed to be a number of the stressed spirits stated to stroll the venerable halls of Holyrood Palace. Located at one finish of Edinburgh’s prestigious Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace has performed a central function within the eventful history of Scotland’s capital. Formally referred to as the Palace of Holyroodhouse, it was the favoured palace of a number of of Scotland’s rulers, and is presently the UK monarch’s Royal Scottish residence. Nevertheless in its previous, the palace additionally offered the backdrop for quite a few notably grotesque incidents.

When James VI of Scotland was coming back from Denmark together with his new queen, their ship was virtually sunk in a fearsome storm. James had a profound perception in sorcery on the time and was satisfied that the storm had been attributable to witchcraft. His theories led on to an occasion in 1590 which got here to be referred to as the North Berwick witch trials, a infamous episode within the nation’s history which noticed quite a few folks, of various rank, rounded up on suspicion of utilizing sorcery towards the king. Many of those unfortunates have been subsequently imprisoned, tortured, and ultimately executed. The North Berwick trials have been the primary main outbreak of witchcraft persecution in Scotland.

Agnes Sampson was one of many accused within the Berwick trials. Referred to as the ‘Smart Spouse of Keith’, she was dropped at Holyrood Palace on particular orders by King James the place she was stripped naked and her physique shaved. She was then interrogated within the monarch’s presence earlier than being affixed to a wall by the help of a “Witch’s Bridle”. King James wavered for some time earlier than declaring Agnes responsible of sorcery. She was then taken to Fort Hill, an notorious spot for the execution of convicted witches, the place she was strangled and burned on the stake. Nevertheless some say that this wasn’t the final of Agnes Sampson, and her vengeful ghost, referred to as ‘Bald Agnes’, remains to be rumoured to roam nude round Holyrood Palace, the place of her horrible captivity.

Within the realms of the supernatural, the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots is arguably one of the ubiquitous of phantoms. There have been experiences of her apparition at a number of areas in Scotland, together with Stirling Fort and Craignethan Fort, in addition to in England, the place she was finally beheaded; a very messy execution that happened in Fotheringhay Fort on February 8, 1587. She lived at Holyrood Palace between 1561 and 1567 and her much-travelled spirit remains to be reputed to go to the place. The ghost of Mary’s second husband, Henry Stewart, extra generally referred to as Lord Darnley, can be stated to hang-out Holyrood. His spectre has apparently been sighted on quite a few events roaming the palace grounds with a guilt-ridden countenance.

In 1566, the palace was the setting for a frightful homicide when David Rizzio, a younger Italian courtier and personal secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, was brutally completed to dying by Lord Darnley and his cohorts. The recent-headed Darnley had grown terribly jealous of Rizzio’s shut relationship together with his spouse. The Italian had been enjoying playing cards with Mary when Darnley, accompanied by a number of noblemen, burst into the queen’s personal chambers by way of technique of a hidden staircase. Rizzio’s physique was thrown down the principle staircase at Holyrood after being stabbed 56 instances. The younger Italian’s ghost is alleged to nonetheless hang-out the palace and there may be additionally an indelible bloodstain on the spot the place he perished, apparently nonetheless seen to this present day.

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