03:40PM, Thursday 31 October 2019
Photo: Windsor Ghost Tours
On a chilly Saturday night, I joined Windsor Ghost Tours with a group of tourists and residents eager to uncover the historic town’s morbid secrets.
Supernatural Tours and Events runs spooky tours in cities across the UK and Windsor is an ideal location as it is home to the oldest inhabited castle in the world.
The tour begins outside the castle, by the Queen Victoria statue next to Windsor Guildhall, where two men suited in medieval costume with their faces painted in ghostly make-up wait to take us on a walk through Windsor’s grisly history.
Standing next to Windsor Castle, with history spanning 10 centuries and is rumoured to be home to more than one supernatural resident, it would be rude to ignore it.
The night-time walk through the town kicked off with the grisly tale of Mother Dutton, Mother Devell and Elizabeth Styler, known as the Windsor Witches, who are said to haunt the Edinburgh Woollen Mill where they once lived before their execution.
The women admitted to witchcraft after being accused of murder through bewitchment.
As the tour moved on to its next destination, screams rang out when the ghost of Nell Gwynn appeared from the shadows of her former home in the 1600s.
The actress had a 16-year affair with King Charles II before his death in 1685.
It’s believed that a secret tunnel was built by Charles especially for Nell to enter the castle without being noticed.
Having narrated her own story, the bloody-faced Nell vanished as quickly as she appeared, but as the tour continued I cast a nervous glance over my shoulder fearing another scare was lurking around the corner.
Perhaps the most gruesome tale of all Windsor’s ghostly inhabitants is that of the ill-fated Tudor butcher Mark Fenwolf.
Once flourishing at his shop in Thames Street which has since been taken over by fast food chain McDonald’s, Mr Fenwolf’s luck was about to turn.
On a drunken night in the pub, the butcher mocked Henry VIII’s wife Jane Seymour and was overheard by one of the king’s guards.
Brought before the angry king, he was told: “You’re a butcher, let’s see how you feel to be butchered.”
Taken to a chamber of Windsor Castle once synonymous with torture, Mark Fenwolf suffered an excruciating death.
His body was hung from the walls of the castle, as a frightening reminder of the fate which awaited anyone who dared speak ill of Henry VIII’s wife.
As it dawned on me that I will never look at Windsor Castle in quite the same way again, we were whisked along to Eton where a dark figure with horns protruding from his head terrified a member of the group who had strayed from the others.
This was the spirit of Herne the Hunter, and the story goes that those who come in to contact with him are plagued with misfortune.
At the conclusion of the tour the ghostly guide becomes Andrew Frewing-House, events and marketing director of Supernatural Tours and Events.
For anyone tempted to join the tour, he said: “We will take you around the town sharing blood curdling accounts, chilling tales and you can come face to face with some of the ghosts.”
Supernatural Tours and Events returns to Windsor on Saturday, December 7.
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