I recently returned from staying at Hever Castle for nine days in May 2023. For those of you who are interested in the history of the Boleyn family, Hever Castle was the seat of Anne Boleyn, Queen of England from 28 May 1533 – 17 May 1536. Her husband, King Henry VIII, was in desperate need of a male heir but unfortunately for Anne, her biology let her down when she produced a daughter who ironically became Queen Elizabeth I, one of England’s greatest queens. Anne’s end was tragic when she was beheaded on 19 May 1536. On that day, Henry’s diary showed he was having lunch with Jane Seymour. Although she was charged with treason and accused of taking five lovers, one of them her brother, it is widely believed that she was innocent. Henry had tired of her and had already decided to marry again.
So knowing this history, I was interested to stay at Hever Castle, some of it was built by my 16th great grandfather, Geoffrey Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s, great grandfather.
|Hever Castle. Credit: Cathleen Ross
I had newly refurbished rooms in the Astor wing which I shared with a roomie. My bedroom was gorgeous and the castle had a happy feel to it. It would be the least ghostly castle I’ve been in and I’ve been in a lot. However, the staff, some of whom live in the adjoining apartments, say differently, telling of strange happenings, of hearing noises and incidences they couldn’t explain.
The one thing all the staff I talked to agreed that the ghosts were seen in the Tulip room most. As it turned out my friend, Anne was assigned that room. I gleefully told her she had pulled the short straw and the poor woman slept with the light on for two nights. But Karma had a reckoning.
One day when I returned to my bedroom, my roomie mentioned in a small voice that something strange had happened. She had hung her tour pass on the back of my bedroom door. It had lifted itself up and turned itself around before floating back into position.
|Catherine of Aragon.
Credit: Cathleen Ross
Now most people would be scared at that but my roomie had just flown from America to London, taxidermied a guinea pig, named Winifred - yes you read that right - and agreed to share castle accomodation with me, even though we’d never met. We both liked each other on sight.
So after this strange event we sat on the sofa and I decided to tune in to see if I could sense anything unusual in the castle. I am psychic and have been in training for many years with a spiritual teacher who is a medium, so I know how to do this. I closed my eyes and meditated and saw in my mind’s eye saw an elderly man. I questioned him as to who he was and what he did. This communication is always telepathic. He told me he had worked as a gardener for Lord Astor in the 1920s, that he decided to stay on after he died to become a custodian of the castle because he loved the place so much but he wasn’t the only one. I could see there were several spirits dotted around the castle, all were custodians. Something you, gentle readers, may not know is that churches, castles and the like have custodian spirits who look after these precious places. Sometimes I can communicate with them, sometimes not, at other times I know they are aware of me but I make sure that I am very respectful.
|Credit: Cathleen Ross
Tom-the-ghost seemed to settle down after that. When my bedroom door opened by itself one more time, I said, “Welcome Tom.” I think he was pleased that I could communicate with him. I told him what a great job he was doing at Hever and that I was a descendant of one of the owners.
|Anne Boleyn's Book of Hours
Credit: Cathleen Ross
I wasn’t ready to deal with the ghost of Anne Boleyn. All I can say is that her spirit isn’t in a restful state, the way many others are when I tune into them. There was boiling anger there still even after six hundred years.
Cathleen's latest book is The Count’s Amnesiac Wife.
Count Lorenzo di Fontini doesn't want his ex-wife back. After all, he's been separated from her for a year, but he vows to her ailing father he will take her in after she collapses, and look after her until she is better. The trouble is Sophia has developed amnesia. Imagine Lorenzo's surprise when he finds out she thinks she's eighteen and she adores him. Although she can't recall getting married, she claims marrying him is all she's ever dreamed of.
Sophia Carino has never wanted anyone else except for Lorenzo di Fontini but fresh out of hospital, she certainly doesn't expect to find out that she's married to him. After all, she's only just left school and is still a virgin, isn't she?
When Lorenzo confesses they are separated, he won't tell her why she left him. What secret is he hiding from her?
And if he's so keen to accept their marriage is a failure why is the sex the best she's ever had?
She's not letting that go or him either.
She likes to write about the quirky side of life. Her characters often have psychic abilities because she comes from a family of psychics. She thought she was a "Sweet" writer until she was asked to write her first erotic story, sold it immediately and never looked back. Her first novel, Man Hunt sold to Black Lace/Random House. Man Hunt became the number one best selling erotic novel on the Publisher's website in 2006 and has been translated into German. She's been published with Harlequin Spice, Harlequin's Escape Publishing, Entangled Publishing and is indie-published.
You can find Cathleen at her website: cathleenross.com.