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Episode 51: Within the Walls

2017-01-09

We crave safety. We build rules and systems and even physical barriers in order to create a sense of security. But darkness has a way of creeping in, no matter how powerful the walls might be.

 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
When Duke William, the second of Normandy crossed the English channel in late September of ten sixty six, he brought something with him. It was a tool that he plans to use in his quest to take us own from Harold Godwin said a man who William saw as a thief and a liar and pretended to a throne was meant for him alone. thing that William Brides England was something that we all take for granted today. The castle. Yes, it's an invention that was already ancient by the Thai William landed on the shores of Sussex, but he brought in style in approach to an old art before he did anything in England before them.
adults and long marches across the countryside. He ordered his soldiers to build the castle. He right there in Pevensey near Hastings, where he would later defeat Harold and battle is builders simply found a tall hill built a wooden tower on of it and then surrounded that tower with a tall fence. No, it wouldn't stand the test of time, but that wasn't the door he simply needed central place from which to make raids, to be a symbol of the Norman presence in the put a finger to stake in the ground. After that, Quest Williams. Nobility replaced those wooden towers with stone and stone, as you know, can last a very long time,
back some of those original castles. Now a thousand years old are still standing today, but their presence and the presence of the ones that followed them are built to serve a greater purpose. Each was a physical representation of the king's power. They were majestic and grand and impenetrable. Yes, they were tools of horrible oppression, but they were also the armour plating not protected the new
in fragile Norman Rule of England, but every tool can be misused and within those stone walls, all of that power and oppression is brought to bear on the innocent and guilty alike. Blood was spilled, lives were ended, mysteries were born and in some castles, the echoes of those horrible deeds are still with us. Today. I Marin Monkey, and this is more or less The german castle comes to us from the latin word custom. It simply means a fortified place. The first year
oppian castles, as we might imagine them today were built in the ninth and tenth centuries, but these were fairly unsophisticated compared to what William brought with him when he invaded England his castles did more than just provide enormous walls to hide behind. When the first London fortress was constructed in ten sixty six, it was made of wood, like all his other early builds, and it followed that new design. Roughly a decade later, the timber was replaced with a more permanent stone structure when it was completed, the central building that we now call the White Tower became the center of the english universe. Back then, it was the royal residence, a symbol of the king's power and a military stronghold then it's been home to the royal mint, a zoo for exotic animals and even served as a prince.
All the way until one thousand nine hundred and fifty two and that's a whole lot of purpose to cram inside just twelve square acres. Today, the castle is home to the crown jewels, a fantastic museum and extensive tours that attract millions, people each year. If the tower is known for one thing over all the others, it's the imprisonment of those who became caught up in the sharp gears of the political machine, Sir Walter Riley, Lady Jane Grey, die Fox and Belen, even Queen Elizabeth, the first we're all held there for a time. Some walked out with their lives intact. Others didn't fare so well when Edward the fourth died in one thousand four hundred and eighty three is brother. Richard became Lord Protector until Edwards Boys, nine and twelve years old at the time were old enough to take over
Richard had both of them declared illegitimate and a short time later, the vanished from palace life. It wasn't until one thousand six hundred and seventy four, almost two centuries later, that a wooden chest was found buried in the ground outside the White Tower inside workmen found a collection of bones that made up to small human skeletons. slightly larger than the other. The most common residents of the Tower of London by far are the yeoman warders, the ceremonial guardians of the castle. Today they should primarily as tour guides and each warder lives with their family in an apartment within the walls. It was in one. these apartments, during Woolworth to that of water and his wife, were pulled from sleep by the sounds of their daughters screaming for help. The young girl, was crying and trembling when they found her when they asked her. What was wrong, she told her Instead, she seen something in her bedroom that had frightened her so frightening that she refused to go back inside when they pressed her
on it, she told them that she'd woken up to discover that there were strange children in her room to boys. In fact, they just sat quietly on the edge of her bed each according to her was dressed in old fashioned, clothing. The fire to the north, though Scotland, has its own fair share of troubled fortresses. And sitting at the centre of them all is Edinburgh Castle The Tower of London was constructed almost exclusively within a small to century window and castle is more, of a living breathing creature, while Saint Margarets Chapel, is the only remaining part of the original twelfth century structure. Other parts have been added throughout the centuries give it sort of us sprawling organic quality, but, of course, where there's life there's also death like most castles, Edinburgh served as a prison for criminals and political enemies
of the crown in one tale a prisoner. It managed to escape his cell and stowaway inside a wheelbarrow full of manure, with the hope of being carded out through the gate of the castle. Instead, the entire load was dumped off the West port side, where he plummeted to his death below visitors to the ledge have often described the overwhelming scent of dung. The odd sensation of being. pushed by unseen hands. The tunnels and dungeons of the castles lower level have played hosts to countless stories of unexplainable experiences, heavy breathing sound. Of knocking or hammering and painful moans have all been heard in the dark, subterranean portions of the building and these events some say, are connected to the tale of Lady, JANET Douglas and fifteen. Twenty eight lady Douglas was accused of witchcraft and conspiracy by King James, the fifth, her servants and family were each captured and imprisoned. Then the each of them one.
By one, was tortured in order to produce force confessions against her. She herself was rumored to be kept isolated in the dark for so long and she actually went blind and all the while carpenters in leather aprons wandered the lanes, above as they built the wooden platform of how which she would soon burned alive in two thousand one. A british psychologists named Doktor Richard Wiseman the wanted to get to the bottom of stories like these. We managed to find and screen over two hundred participants. Foreign unorthodox experiment The screens were designed to weed out anyone who might have knowledge of the story is told about Edinburgh Castle and its haunted past one stock, your wise man and his team had verified Oliver volunteers. They the work wise men and his assistants proceeded to take small groups of volunteers on tours through various parts of the castle. Now, admittedly, there were elements of experiments that weren't the most ethical. In fact, some volunteers,
actually shut up alone inside certain rooms that your wise men, that it was their chance to make personal observations without anyone around, but a matter how safe it might have been. I can't see how locking a person in a castle dungeon could be anything other than traumatic. One woman reported that her time alone inside one of these castle vaults was filled with odd experiences. She reported heavy breathing that seem to move closer and closer to her. The longer she was in the room.
Joseph said she saw flashes of light in the darkness. It goes without saying she exited the vault completely and utterly terrified others heard voices and caught glimpses of shall we figures. One entire group of volunteers unanimously claim to see the ghostly figure of a man moved slowly across the end of the tunnel. They said he was dressed in old fashioned, clothing and war, something unusual over his torso. It was a leather carpenters, apron
there is a common idea about castles that all those fix, stone, walls and floors make great hiding places for horrible secrets. After all, few castles were as orderly and perfectly structured as most modern homes Whether it's a hidden dungeon or the Brca body of a victim, the strong walls of a castle can act like a prison holding in centuries of suffering, tragedy and death. If the stories are to be if there's one castle in particular that holds a secret, that's darker than most darker, because, rather than plain host to some ghostly vision or spiritual inhabitant, this one is said I've been home to a flesh and blood monster. It's been the sun. The speculation for nearly two centuries and has intrigue the minds of locals luminaries alike in the name of the castle glands
Glands castle was built in the village of the same name on the supposed site of the murder of king, Malcolm the second, in the eleventh century, by the late thirteen hundreds castle had been granted to the lion family. Sir John Lion, you see, was married to the kings daughter, which apparently came with perks and if Monty Python has taught us anything, less perks probably involves huge tracts of land. Today, the castle is featured on the back of the scottish ten pound note and its famous for being the setting of Shakespeare's Macbeth of all the historical Macbeth predates the castle by centuries, but it's so the setting of a legendary tale about a fifteenth century Earl love to play cards. According to this,
worry when the Earls House Guess refuse to join him for an illicit game on the Sabbath he erupted in anger, he made a threat about being willing to play with the devil himself as long as he got to play cards and that's when a stranger showed up at the castle door. The stranger who turned out to be the devil, of course, proceeded to play cards with the Earl beat him and then take his soul. Historians are unsure which fifteenth century Earl was the focus of this story and, of course, there's no documented evidence of anyone having their sole taken away in a card game. So take it all with the green assault, by mention dark secrets. Didn't I'm sorry Let's get back to that. You see beginning sometime in the eighteen forties, rumours began to spread about a family secret. The lion family, they said, was hiding something horrible, so horrible
only the Earl himself knew what it was, but there were whispers details that hinted at what the secret might be We can probably think Sir Walter Scott, the famous novelist poet and playwright for making the secret public in eighteen. Thirty, he published the count of a visit he made to glance back in seventeen ninety and in it he made note of a secret room. He knew little else, of course, but help mentioning the words secret room and the public aid up. What Never and wherever this room is the access to it was either hidden very carefully or had just been removed, entirely. Think Harry Potter and the chamber secrets, I suppose, just without the giant snake. a room that no one but a select few ever get to see or even know about, and the knowledge of which is passed down from one generation to the next. Now this isn't an impossibility, some.
the walls of the castle are up to sixteen feet thick, which makes it easy to see how small room could be tucked away in their. There are even Rex, the small chambers being built within the walls. One such room is recorded near the charter room located at the base of the main castle tower, in a lot of ways, one of the main reasons for a castles construction was privacy in safety, so hidden rooms, even if they weren't and early trend, were certainly a common occurrence. as to what lay hidden inside the secret chamber of glands. No one except the Earl himself knew any of the details, but of course that didn't stop. Others from trying to find it times intentionally and sometimes my accident one day in eighteen, fifty the Earl and his wife played host to a number of guests for a large celebration. One morning the man went off. Hunting and left their wives and daughters behind board the Earls wife suggested game. Let's find the secret room, hundreds of why
rags were brought out in every one was tasked with the job of tying one rag in each window that they could find. Up and down the castle. These women ran about finding windows and placing rags in them and then when they were sure they'd finish the job they headed outside. As a group, they walked around the perimeter of the castle. Looking at every window and noting the rags that hung in them. Finally, as the story goes, the women found it a window on the tower could clearly be seen without a white rag hanging from it. The party and back inside to check their work, surely when Mr Window betrays they might after Examining the tower a second time they couldn't find the mistake. The window was in a room, they couldn't reach.
Naturally, people wanted to know what was hidden inside the walls of the castle. Sir Walter Scott had made the rumour popular in stories. Out of the white rag. Mystery only fan the flames and it didn't help that the earls from the Seventh, Earl, all the way down to the fifteenth were famously elusive about it. All in nineteen o three, Charles bows Lion, who was the thirteenth Earl at the time, said this about the secret. If you could even the nature of this castle secret. You would get down on your knees and thank God, it was not yours. Five years later. An article about the secret appeared in a historical journal called notes inquiries. The author claim to know more revealed to him in the eighteen forties. According to him, the secret room held- and I quote, a monster who is the rightful heir to the title and proper?
but who is so unpleasant that it is necessary to keep him out of sight and out of possession joy. What sort of monster are we talking about here? Well, that's the question: isn't it dubbed the monster of glands? A couple of rough descriptions have survived through the years. One from the night Century claim the monster resembled a human toad. It was said to leave the sea, room at night and wander the battlements. An area still referred to today as the mad earls walk. Another description gives us more detail in the eighteen, sixty British writer James Wentworth Day was staying at the castle as a guest of the sixteenth Earl when he was told the story ass, had been passed down to him. What he told Wentworth Day is the most detailed description we have on record.
The story confirms earlier rumours. A monster was born into the family. The Earl told him he was the air and a creature to behold. It was impossible to allow this deformed caricature of humanity to be seen even by friends. The Earl went on to describe the deformity that this rumoured air suffered from is ass was an enormous barrel. He told the writer and Harry as a doormat. His head ran straight into. Shoulders and his arms and legs were toy. Like, however, warped and twisted his body, though, the child had been reared into manhood, physically deformed heir to the title hidden away to save face. If this was really true, it at least made sense why each surviving was entrusted with keeping it all a secret. Their legitimacy to the title and castle were at stake, as was at least in their minds, the honor of their family name
It also makes you question who the real monster of glands was the deformed child or the fire. Who was so ashamed of him? Then he locked him away from the world. So, as you can imagine, anyone who got too close
to the secret ended up in some form of trouble. When the twelfth Earl found out that his wife and her friends had searched the castle for signs of this hidden room, it said that he divorced her and sent her away. She never spoke again of her experience and died. Many years later in ITALY, fifteen years later, in eighteen, sixty five, a workman was searching for something in the castle when he stumbled upon a door he never seen before. Maybe he was new to the castle, or maybe he just never fully explored it. Whatever the reason here, he was staring at a mysterious door, so he did when any of us would have done in his place. He pushed it open behind. It stretched a long dark hallway. He summoned up some courage and step through taking a few steps down the corridor. There was a shape at the end of the hall that he wanted to get a closer look at before he could figure out what it was, though the shape
moved in the workmen frightened for his life, bolted back down the passageway and out into the open, and then he reported everything to his boss. The next day the workmen was told in very strong language that he should move to Australia of all places. He was handed paper work with the details of his emigration. All paid for in arranged by the earliest He was never seen in the castle again another story is told of young doktor who visited the castle for professional reasons, is visit required spending multiple night So at the end of the first day, he was led to the blue room and left to himself. He settled in unpacked and was getting ready to turn
For the night, when he spotted a portion of the carpet that looked well I'd, so he lifted up off the floor and peak beneath it. What he found according to the story was the wooden square of a trap door set into the stone floor, curious and clearly a lot more brave than I would ever to be the doktor, forced the trap door open and then Lord himself down through the opening below he found a passageway after following it, for a few paces came to an end at a blank cement wall. The doktor claim that this wall look solid but was, in fact, still wet as if the cement hadn't fully dried before he discovered it even claimed, pressed his finger into the surface and watched it give way. If the summit was there to cover and opening, then he couldn't help but wonder what was behind it. You climb back up into his room and went to bed with
good many questions on his mind when you open. Next morning, though, he found an envelope on the floor near the entrance. Someone had slipped it under his door during the night, so he picked it up and tore it open inside. He found two things: payment for his services and a note announcing that a carriage was ready to take him to the train station. He was required to leave immediately
There's irony in the idea of a hunted castle, these buildings by nature and design are meant to be places of safety and refuge. Literal fortified home, if even on a grand scale, there were built to last centuries and to keep the people inside them safe from any outside threat imaginable, but instead many of these stone fortresses have become home to more than just nobility. They have collected tragedy intrigue, oppression, even murder, and, as a result, the undeniable echoes of dark history walk there halls to this very day. Now rather than worrying about outsiders breaking in there's a new more frightening threat, a threat within the walls. Surely, though, these stories can't be true. Yes, it's widely accepted that Edward, the fourth sons were imprisoned and killed, and quite possibly by their very own uncle
The discovery of those skeletons seems to support that legend, but without similar proof. Most other stories will never be anything more than speculation and whispers. Evidence is always required to give truth voice. All that said, some historians think they have an answer to the glamour mystery and they trace it back to the Eleventh Earl Thomas, my elbows, you see in eighteen, twelve one. His son and daughter in law recorded the birth of their first son, also named Thomas. The records show that Little Thomas died the very same day The young couple went on to have another son the following year. They named him like his elder brother Thomas now. Maybe
was a desire to carry on that family name. Maybe it was a way of honouring their loss. I don't think will ever fully no, but from that day on, according to some, there were two boys named Thomas in the castle. Not one one lived in the light and the other was a captive hidden away in the shadows. Sixty years later, on April, first of eighteen, eighty two, a number of british newspapers, ran a sensational story. It claim that the glamour secret had finally been solved, that a person kept in a secret room and passed away. This person, according to the article, had been old. The body had been carried out for burial. Sadly, nothing more was added to the description,
It's interesting to note that all of the stories, the 1850s exploration with white rags, the workmen the doctor, all of it, took place in the sixty one years between one thousand eight hundred and twenty one and one thousand eight hundred and eighty two outside those dates. There are simply no stories of the G monster that in itself is more than compelling last tale, I dont have a precise data on it, but it was published in the eighteen eighty edition Of all the year round, so at the very least we know it took place prior to that. a story goes that a woman known through London society, as in artistic celebrity at once, visited the castle for the very first time. She was given a luxurious room to stay and overnight and found it to be very modern, uncomfortable for such an ancient place.
The morning after her first night asleep, she came down for breakfast and join her hosts at the table. The earls wife politely asked how she slept, and this was her answer very well thanks. The woman said up until four o clock morning. That is your scottish carpenters seemed to come to work very early. I suppose they put up their scaffolding quickly, though, for they are quiet now the hosts file, completely silent after a moment. The Earl reminded her of the bonds of friendship and asked her never to speak of it again. According to him there were no carpenters working in the castle and there had it been four months.
this episode of war was written and produced by me. Aaron Maggie with research help from Marcel Crockett. More is much more than upon guess. There's a book series in bookstores around the country and on line, and the second season of the Amazon Prime Television show was recently released, check them both out. If you want more lore in your life, I also make two other upon guests errand, making his cabinet realities and unobserved, and I think you'd enjoy both each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You can learn about both of those shows in everything else, going on all over in one central place: Thou world of lore dot com
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.