People often ask if I believe in ghosts. To which the honest answer is yes. And no. You may remember that when Scrooge is confronted with the ghost of his business partner Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol he says that he doesn’t believe that he’s a ghost: ‘You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you’. I think at least some of our famous Yeoman Warder tales of ghosts and ghoulies have a touch more of the gravy than the grave about them. They’re best taken with a large pinch of salt – and indeed perhaps a drop or two of whiskey, late at night in the Yeoman Warder’s Club.

And yet . . . I have to admit that there are some things about the Tower that I can’t explain. I am an entirely rational rufty-tufty ex-infantry solider but even now… after fifteen years as a Yeoman Warder, wandering the Tower at night, even I can’t help but half expect to meet Anne Boleyn or Sir Walter Raleigh or the two Princes walking the battlements at night.

Are there really such things as ghosts at the Tower of London, do they stalk the ancient cobbles and passageways in the dead of night? Who knows? I prefer to call them echoes of the past, shadows which beckon and call out to us…perhaps… if only we’d pause and listen?

The Tower is a of course a place of memories and imaginings, an ancient site of banqueting and merrymaking, of courtiers and carousing but it is also a site of torture, imprisonment and murder…when the sun goes down and the shadows are low and distorted beyond all recognition I would defy you not to begin to conjure up those memories and imaginings of a bloody and glorious past.

There have of course been many reported ghostly sightings here. One of our ex-Yeoman Warders, Bud Abbott, wrote a whole book about them. Bud was a great character and storyteller and lots of us Yeoman Warders, even to this day use his accounts of ghouls and apparitions that he wrote about in his book, Ghosts of the Tower of London.

But because of the rather peculiar nature of my job, spending so much time wandering around the Tower alone late at night and early in the morning, I have experienced some uncanny goings on first-hand.

In Bud’s words, ‘A candle flame is almost invisible in the sunlight – but it is still there. So, it is with the Ghosts of the Tower of London.

If you wish to know more about the ghosts of the Tower of London  I wrote a chapter in my book, The Ravenmaster.