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Ghostly Glastonbury


Figure One. Image of the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. The Conway Library.

Glastonbury has forever been imbued with folklore and tales of witchcraft, magic and the otherworldly. One of the locations which is a hub of lore is Glastonbury Abbey, the ruins of a monastery.

The mythology and history of the ruins are incredibly rich. Joseph of Arimathea, the man claimed responsible for the burial of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion and supposed keeper of the Holy Grail, is said to have founded the first Christian Church here. Another tale is that in 1191 two bodies were discovered beneath the abbey in a makeshift coffin, with the inscription ‘Here lies buried King Arthur and his wife Guinevere’ (Urbanus, 2016). 

In 1536, Henry III killed the abbot and two monks how refused to submit to him for closing the abbey. They were hung, drawn and quartered with their remains were put on display. In 2016, a woman attending a musical event at the abbey posted images online in which on further scrutiny realized had a dark, ghostly figure. She believed this to be one of the murdered monks, having heard of sightings of them around the abbey (C Nelson, 2016).

Are such legends the result of years of superstation, one seed of mysticism sprouting hundreds more? Or as the fables more than mere fiction, and the abbey is haunt of otherworldly wonderers?

C Nelson, S., 2016. ‘Ghost’ Of Monk Put To Death By Henry VIII Pictured At 16th Century Abbey. [online] HuffPost UK. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 September 2021].


Urbanus, J., 2016. Legends of Glastonbury Abbey. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 16 September 2021].

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