England's Church Phantoms
In London's Westminster Abbey the phantom of a monk takes visitors by surprise in the evening, when it gliedes through the alleys. In Watton Abbey in Yorkshire many have told they have seen Elfrida, an earlier novice, which is said to haunt this holy place. The so called Black canon, England's best documented ghost on the religious plane, often shows at the Bolton monestry near Skipton in northern Yorkshire.
It actually seems like whole England is full of phantoms, hauntings and other phenomenons which are connected to its stormy religious past.
Those who's been studying such things says these mysterious occurences are bound up with Henry VIII:s breaking with the Catholic church in Rome in the 1500s. This was followed by the so called "Dissolution", when the king abolished the monasteries and took care of the church's properties himself.
When some of the monks protested - especially those in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, that led what was called "Pilgrimage of Mercy" - the king did not put his fingers between when they were punished. He would, he told the duke of Norfolk,
with no mercy or delay... see to it that every monk and canon, which in one way or another show up, would be hanged without delays or ceremonies. In that way they would be an exemplary exampel for others.
This destiny came to those who were lucky. Others who made resistance were breaken on the wheel, hanged and stabbed into four parts.
In that way the numbers of members of the religious orders and churches were plundered and remade to private houses or left to fall to decay. Several ghost hunters thinks phantom monks and nuns, which is said to walk many of England's earlier churches and monasteries, are condemned to haunt there until their old religion are established.
Churchgoers in York, the picturesque cathedral city in northern England, have said to have seen such a phantom. The Holy Trinity church in the city once were a part of a Benedictine monastery which got dissolved by Henry VIII. The legend says the prioress refused to leet the king's soldiers to penetrate the convent. She ignored Henry's "dissolvence" and swore she would rather die than to give in to the king's orders. The soldiers attacked and when she were laying there dying she swore an oath to return and haunt the convent. At many occasions and especially at the Trinity Sunday people have seen a figure dressed in an ankle length clothing with an hood over the head glide through the air a little bit above the floor on the place where the prioress are supposed to have died.