Overview: Join the Royal Family for a ghost hunt in the walls of Windham Castle

In June 1926, the "Royal Paranormal Society", a group of brave individuals including the King and Queen of England, led by the Prince of Wales set out on a ghost hunt at Windsor Castle. The attendees were sworn to secrecy, the details of the investigation were never supposed to be leaked...

Introduction

Ghost Hunting Windsor Castle at Night
Ghost Hunting Windsor Castle at Night

On a dark and stormy night in June 1926, a group of brave souls gathered in ghost hunting Windsor Castle, a spine-tingling search for the “Woman in Black”.

Led by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII), they set out to find the mysterious spirit, who had been spotted roaming the halls of the castle. 

As they searched through the shadowy corridors and ancient chambers, they couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched by unseen eyes.

And as it turned out, their fears were well-founded. For the Woman in Black was no ordinary ghost – she was none other than the spirit of Queen Elizabeth, who had returned from the beyond to haunt the castle of her ancestors. 

Ripped from the headlines of the Brooklyn Daily Times from 1926, this true story follows the intrepid ghost hunters through their paranormal investigation at Windsor Castle. Were they able to uncover the truth behind the Woman in Black’s presence, or did they succumb to the supernatural terrors that lurk within the walls of Windsor Castle?

The Woman in Black of Windsor Castle

The Woman in Black - Queen Elizabeth
The Woman in Black – Queen Elizabeth

The Woman in Black of Windsor Castle, also known as the Black Lady, was a ghost said to haunt the castle. According to legend, she was the spirit of Queen Elizabeth, who was believed to have reappeared at the castle around the time of the Ghost Hunt on June 17th, 1926.

Many of the permanent residents of the castle, including royal relatives, pensioners, and servants, regarded her as a friendly visitor who sometimes made nocturnal appearances after being absent for months or years.

The ghost had been talked about for years before her first “authentic” appearance in February 1897, when Lieutenant Carr Glyn of the Grenadier Guards claimed to have seen the ghost while on duty in the Queen’s library.

While there’s no physical description of the Woman in Black of Windsor Castle, in the 1920s, ghosts were often reported as being human-like entities that were transparent or semi-transparent, with a pale or glowing appearance.

They were often described as being shrouded in mist or wearing flowing, ethereal garments. Some people believed that ghosts were the spirits of the deceased, while others saw them as malevolent or mischievous entities that could cause harm or bring bad luck. The Woman in Black of Windsor Castle however, was not associated with any particular legend of bad luck, and many people regarded her as a friendly presence.

Ghost Hunting the Woman in Black

The Woman in Black - Queen Elizabeth 3
The Woman in Black – Queen Elizabeth 3

The Ghost Hunt at Windsor Castle took place on June 17th, 1926 during “Ascot Week,” a time when the royal family would hold a house party at Windsor Castle for their guests.

The hunt was organized by the Prince of Wales, also known as the future King Edward VIII, as a diversion for the house party guests of King George V and Queen Mary at the castle.

The ghost in question was known as the Black Lady of Windsor Castle, said to be the spirit of Queen Elizabeth, who was believed to have reappeared at the castle around the time the guests arrived.

The castle, which dates back to the 11th century, was a grand and imposing structure, with a mix of medieval and Gothic architecture. Gothic architecture is a style that emerged in Europe in the 12th century and is characterized by a number of distinctive features. Some of the hallmarks of gothic architecture include pointed arches, ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and decorative details like carvings, stained glass, and sculptures.

During Ascot Week, the castle would have been bustling with activity as the house party guests arrived and the staff prepared for the events of the week. The royal family would have been accompanied by their entourage of staff, including butlers, maids, and other servants. These staff would have been responsible for helping to organize and run the events of the house party.

The castle would have been elegantly decorated and filled with the sounds of music, laughter, and conversation as the guests mingled and celebrated. On the night of the ghost hunt, the castle would have been illuminated by candlelight and the flickering glow of fireplaces, adding to the atmosphere of mystery and intrigue.

As the ghost hunters set out on their quest, they would explore the castle’s many rooms and corridors, searching for any sign of the Woman in Black.

It is likely that they would have encountered a number of creepy and unsettling sights as they delved deeper into the castle’s shadowy corners, and they may have used a variety of techniques, such as seances, ouija boards, or mediums, in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. They may have also relied on more scientific methods, such as using equipment to measure temperature or detect paranormal activity.

Ghost Hunting Windsor Castle During the Roaring Twenties

In the 1920s, there were a number of methods that were used to try to find ghosts or communicate with spirits. Some of these methods included:

Séances

A Seance Table
A Seance Table

Séances in the 1920s were typically conducted as a serious attempt to communicate with the spirit world.

During a séance, a group of people would gather in a room and try to invoke the presence of a spirit through various rituals and techniques, such as calling out to the spirit or using a ouija board.

Séances were often conducted by individuals known as mediums, who were believed to be able to channel the spirits of the deceased.

Séances today are generally more focused on entertainment rather than serious communication with the spirit world.

Séances are now often presented as part of haunted house attractions or paranormal-themed events, and may be more theatrical in nature, with participants dressed in period costumes and using special effects and props to create a spooky atmosphere.

In addition, the use of certain techniques and tools during séances has evolved over time, with the incorporation of digital recording devices and other electronic equipment becoming more common.

Overall, while the basic concept of a séance has remained relatively unchanged, the way in which séances are conducted and perceived has evolved over time.

Psychics

A Victorian psychic.

In England in the 1920s, a psychic was an individual who claimed to have special abilities that allowed them to sense or see things that were not visible to most people.

As a psychic, their job was to use these abilities to provide guidance or insight to those who sought their help. 

During the Victorian era in England, psychic readings were a popular form of entertainment and were often held in parlors or salons. Some psychics set up shop in the street, and sold readings from card stands, or small huts.

A typical psychic reading would begin with the psychic, who was often a woman, greeting the client and asking them to sit down in a comfortable chair.

The psychic would then begin the reading by asking the client to focus on a specific question or area of concern, or by using a tool such as tarot cards or a crystal ball to help facilitate the reading. The psychic might also use palm reading, mediumship, or other divination techniques to gain insight into the client’s life and provide guidance or predictions.

During the reading, the psychic would often speak in a soothing and calming tone, using phrases and language meant to reassure the client and offer comfort. Some psychics were known for their ability to provide detailed and accurate readings, while others were more vague or general in their predictions.

Overall, the experience of a psychic reading during the Victorian era in England was likely one of intrigue and wonder, as clients sought guidance and insight into their lives and the mysteries of the future. Some people may have approached psychic readings with skepticism, while others may have believed deeply in their power and effectiveness.



Ghost Hunting Windsor Castle with Victorian Technology

During the 1920s, ghost hunting equipment was still in its infancy, and many of the tools used by paranormal investigators were primitive by today’s standards. However, that did not stop people from attempting to use technology to detect the presence of ghosts and other supernatural entities.

One of the most common tools used in ghost hunting during the 1920s was the EMF meter, which measures electromagnetic fields. It was believed that spirits could disrupt these fields, and so EMF meters were often used to try to detect their presence.

Another popular tool was the film camera, which could detect heat signatures and was sometimes used to try to capture images of ghosts or other paranormal entities. In 1925 the 35 mm format was introduced to still photography. While likely fortuitous, the timing has caused many to speculate the Royal Archives contain photographic evidence of ghosts.

Thermometers were also used in ghost hunting during this period, as they could detect temperature changes that might indicate the presence of a spirit. Audio recorders were also commonly used in an attempt to capture EVPs, or electronic voice phenomena, which were believed to be the voices of spirits captured on tape.

In addition to these more mainstream tools, there were also many strange and unusual inventions that were used in ghost hunting during the 1920s. Some of these included “ghost detectors,” which were essentially Geiger counters that were supposed to detect the presence of ghosts, and “psychic cameras,” which were supposed to capture images of spirits on film.

Overall, the ghost hunting equipment of the 1920s was somewhat rudimentary compared to the sophisticated technology used today, but it was an important step in the development of paranormal investigation and the search for evidence of the supernatural.

Spiritualism

A Victorian Spiritualist.

During the Victorian era in England, spiritualism was a popular movement that sought to communicate with the spirits of the deceased through a variety of means.

Spiritualism attracted a diverse range of followers, including scientists, intellectuals, and ordinary people who were seeking answers to life’s mysteries and a sense of connection with the beyond.

Many spiritualists believed that communication with the spirits could provide guidance, solace, and a greater understanding of the afterlife.

In addition to psychic abilities and mediumship, some practitioners of spiritualism used techniques such as:

Automatic writing: A form of divination in which the medium would enter a trance-like state and write messages that were believed to be dictated by spirits.

Table-turning: A method of communication with the spirits in which a group of people would place their hands on a table and wait for it to move or tilt, which was believed to be a sign of spirit presence.

Spirit photography: The use of special techniques or equipment to capture images of spirits on film.

Ouija boards: A board with letters and numbers printed on it, used as a tool for communicating with spirits through the movement of a planchette.

During the Victorian era, spiritualist practices such as seances and mediumship were often shrouded in secrecy and considered controversial or taboo by mainstream society. However, many people were drawn to these practices as a way to cope with grief and loss, and to seek answers to the mysteries of life and death. It is not surprising that ghost hunting was popular during this time, as even the Royal Family, with their amenable religious beliefs, were known to engage in such activities.

The Royal Family’s Religious Beliefs

The royal family of Great Britain, including Queen Elizabeth, were members of the Church of England, which is a Protestant denomination within the Anglican Communion. According to Anglican beliefs, the natural and supernatural worlds are interconnected and overlap in various ways.

The natural world, which includes physical objects and creatures, is governed by God’s divine law and is believed to be enchanted with his presence. There is also an unseen celestial realm inhabited by spiritual beings, both good and evil, and the spiritual realm can be encountered through physical means such as the incarnation and the preaching of the Word of God.

A Victorian Anglican church.

In the Church, the spiritual and physical worlds intersect through practices such as the sacraments, prayer, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Anglicans believe that the supernatural can be a part of everyday life and that God can be encountered through the physical world. However, they also caution against seeking the supernatural for its own sake or becoming too focused on the unseen realm at the expense of the physical world.

In the case of the Royal family ghost hunting Windsor Castle, it is likely that some of the royal family members and guests involved in the hunt held these beliefs about the supernatural and may have been interested in exploring the possibility of the existence of ghosts and the unseen realm.

However, it is also possible that others may have been more skeptical or had different beliefs about the paranormal. Overall, the religious beliefs of those involved in the ghost hunt may have varied, but it is clear that Anglican beliefs about the supernatural would have shaped their perspectives on the event.

Officially, the Church of England does not deny the possibility of the existence of ghosts, but it also does not affirm it. The church’s official position is that it is open to the possibility of life after death and the existence of spirits, but it does not have any official teachings on the matter.

While we don’t know the result of the ghost hunt from that night on June 17th, 1926 – we can assume that they didn’t find anything considering the lack of an official endorsement on life after death.

Conclusion on Ghost Hunting Windsor Castle

Ghost hunting Windsor Castle in 1926 was a thrilling and unforgettable paranormal event hosted by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII. The prince lead the King and Queen on ghost hunt fit for a king through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The group sought to uncover the truth behind the Woman in Black; a mysterious spirit rumored to be the ghost of Queen Elizabeth.

Through their investigation, the ‘Royal Paranormal Society‘ encountered strange and unsettling occurrences, but ultimately they were able to piece together the truth behind the Woman in Black’s presence at the castle.

Whether we believe in ghosts or not, tales like these tap into a deep-seated human desire to understand the mysteries of the beyond and the unknown. And while the Woman in Black of Windsor Castle may be just a legend, but she will always be remembered as a spine-tingling reminder of the enduring power of the supernatural.

Anthony LFounder

Anthony Long is the Chief Ectoplasm Officer of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society.

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