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Westminster Abbey
      Stabbed to death by thieves, the apparition of a Benedictine monk, robed and cowled, floating inches above the floor, who walks in and out of walls and has a habit of introducing himself as Father Benedictus before engaging passers-by in conversation has been observed in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey for well over a hundred years and possibly a great deal longer that that.

      The site had been the Benedictine Monastery of St Peter for almost 500 years before being rebuilt and consecrated in 1066 just before the arrival of William the Conqueror. However the problems of Father Benedictus, as he apparently has told it, seemed to be more related to an incident that occurred during the early sixteenth century of Henry VIII while he, the good monk and faithful servant, was trying to prevent a robbery.

      Other sightings include the phantom of John Bradshaw, the President of The Court presiding in the trial of Charles 1st, who subsequently signed the royal death warrant in the Deanery of the Abbey in 1649 and is said to haunt that particular building. Also, since 1920, and usually only during times of general inactivity in the vicinity, the forlorn figure of a solitary spectral soldier from the first world war has been seen quietly gazing down poignantly at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He will look up entreatingly as though trying to say something - but makes no sound.


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Westminster Abbey
Photograph © Anthony Bliss 2004