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Thursday, 25 October, 2001, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Tower of London ghosts hunted
Ghost hunters search Tower of London
The ghost hunters are using high-tech equipment
The spectral presence of Sir Walter Raleigh is among a host of celebrated phantoms being sought by ghost hunters at the Tower of London in the run up to Halloween.

It is supposedly one of the most haunted collection of buildings in Britain.

Using high-tech equipment, the paranormal investigators hope to capture an image of the English explorer and adventurer who was famed for once placing his cloak in the mud allowing Queen Elizabeth I to cross.

Ghosts at Tower of London
Thomas a Becket
Little Princes
Sir Walter Raleigh
Queen Anne Boleyn
Lady Jane Grey
Guy Fawkes

Any ghostly goings on at the Tower will be filmed and relayed out to the world via the internet, enabling members of the public to watch from the comfort of their own homes.

To kick off the event, actor Paul Darrow, from Blake's 7 and Claudia Christian, from Babylon 5, will present a one-hour live broadcast from the Tower at midnight on October 26 on UK Horizons.

Ross Hemsworth, 44, and Andy Matthews, 36, are set to head the first ever hunt of its kind for the ghostly apparitions of former Tower residents.


The idea of headless ghosts and clanking chains is old hat to us

Andy Matthews

The pair, from Bedfordshire-based Galaxy Productions, a TV production company, are working in conjunction with BBC Worldwide.

They will be using temperature gauges, "black cameras" which turn night-time into day and infra-red light, to try to capture any haunted happenings.

Their equipment will be trained on four of the Tower's most infamous locations, including Sir Walter Raleigh's study in the Bloody Tower, the Bell Tower, the Chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula and the Beauchamp Tower.

Scientific approach

Mr Matthews said: "We try to take a scientific and logical point of view rather than sit in a dark room with a candle hoping something will turn up.

"The idea of headless ghosts and clanking chains is old hat to us. What we've discovered is that these phenomena are a lot more subtle than that."

He added that in earlier projects they had captured a number of "wonderful" images including strange orbs of light.

Ghosts
Ross Hemsworth and Andy Matthews go ghost hunting

Mr Hemsworth said they disproved about 90% of the phenomena they filmed, but there was still about 10% they couldn't explain.

He said: "I'm a lot less sceptical than when I started and if there were such a thing as a physical apparition then I would really like to see Sir Walter Raleigh."

Most haunted buildings

The earliest known sighting of a ghost at the Tower was that of St Thomas a Becket in the 13th century. Since then the spectres of the Little Princes, Queen Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Guy Fawkes have been seen.

The pre-Halloween ghost watch at the Tower was prompted by the success of a similar event at Hampton Court Palace last year.

Filming in the Tower will continue until Sunday, with any findings going out on a live web cast at www.ukhorizons.tv/ghostwatch

Visitors to the Tower will not be able to join in the overnight escapades, but they can see the cameras and hear spooky stories from Beefeaters at the Tower between 4pm and 6pm over the weekend.

See also:

29 Mar 01 | UK
Palace ghost laid to rest
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