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Greensleeves In The Walls


This is an experience that happened to me almost 12 years ago now and it's something that still to this day I can make no sense of. It's very personal due to the circumstances at the time which I will explain further.

I was 15 years old at the time and me and my younger sister had to go and stay with my aunt who was house sitting my grandmother's farm house. My grandmother had passed away 5 years prior very suddenly in hospital after a knee operation. We had gone to visit her, and she passed away from a sudden collapse as she was getting ready to see us. It was very raw and shocking and it devastated all of us as she was such a huge part of our family.

So anyway back to the farm house. We ended up staying there for 4 nights. Myself and my younger sister stayed in the top floor which is where my grandmother would have slept. It was a large room right up in the rafters, very beautiful and open plan with a stand alone bath. The building was very old but I always felt very comfortable in it and I never felt strange or scared.

The first night I woke up and it was 3am on the dot as I remember looking over at the digital clock across from me. My sister was fast asleep and I recall looking around wondering what could have woken me at this hour. That's when I first heard it.

It was the very soft to begin with and could only just make it out. It sounded like classical music and then as I came around from being half awake I realised it was the song Greensleeves. I went over to the clock thinking that maybe it was an alarm on there and the radio playing music. No. I looked around for any other radio or alarm and saw nothing. At this point I just thought maybe it's coming from next door or downstairs so I went back to sleep and thought nothing of it.

The next night low and behold I woke up again. My younger sister fast asleep, I looked across and sure enough the alarm clock was bang on 3am. Greensleeves was playing again I just thought that this couldn't be! Where was this coming from? I got up from the bed I tried to look around to see where it was coming from. I came to no conclusion. I remember feeling so confused but I was not scared. The music was very soft, it wasn't muffled, it was clear as day.

The next day I didn't mention anything to my aunt or sister because I thought that maybe I was dreaming and I just put it to the back of my mind. I didn't want them to think I was weird randomly coming out with this stuff!

The next two nights it happened again in the same way at 3am that's when I started to think that something wasn't right. I couldn't explain where it was coming from, I remember feeling extreme sorrow the last night, I wasn't scared I just felt sad.

I told my mum about it a good while after this happened. Now this is the part that sends shivers down my spine. My mum explained that apparently a long time ago, when infants or babies would pass away they would bury their clothes in the walls. Apparently the house was occupied by a long history of farmers and families and there was evidence of a baby who had passed away at the house. I couldn't believe what she was saying.

To this day I believe this experience to be 100% paranormal. I could find no physical explanation since. At one point I thought that it could have been something to do with my grandma's death that she was trying to communicate somehow as we were sleeping in her bed in her room. But as soon as my mum explained the about the baby it all made sense. The music was coming from the walls all around us and who knows how many children passed away in that house. The music of Greensleeves could have been used as a lullaby back in the day.

Every time I hear that song it reminds me of this strange experience in my life and I will never forget this.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Maisiemoo23, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

LuciaJacinta (5 stories) (193 posts)
1 month ago (2019-04-16)
Well I'm going to go against the majority and say that the reason it was Greensleeves was because it is a song that means something to you. One that you can recognize. It's playing for some sort of message to you not because of a lullaby maybe?

I've also never heard of clothes buried in walls. That's strange. I'd like to know more about this. Maybe it's worth knocking a few holes in the walls to peek?
AugustaM (4 stories) (841 posts)
1 month ago (2019-04-16)
I discussed it with a European history professor and he was quite firm on the purely legendary status of Henry's authorship. However, the story intrigued him and he said he would look into locations of known baby farms, Magdalene establishments and homes for unwed mothers. He said a slightly more specific location would be helpful but I understand if the writer does not wish to provide it. Shame on me, after the long discussion we had about everything else, I forgot to ask about the clothes!
RSAChick (95 posts)
1 month ago (2019-04-15)
Great research AugustaM. I agree that the baby's clothes in the wall must be a very local or familial thing.

The_Morrighan, welcome, your history on Henry VIII seems accurate. Could you please give us references to the strong primary sources regarding Henry's authorship of Greensleeves?
I have read the same as AugustaM - there is no documentable evidence of him writing it. The style is Italian. But my research is based on Wikipedia 🙈
The_Morrighan (1 stories) (2 posts)
1 month ago (2019-04-15)
Sorry to be pedantic but there are strong primary sources indicating that Henry VIII wrote Greensleeves during the courtship of Ann Boleyn.

Also Southern European influences were present in England long before this. The most relevant one I can give however, is very close to Henry VIII; his first wife Catherine of Aragon who was daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabelle of Castile therefore there were already very strong familial links with Spain.
AugustaM (4 stories) (841 posts)
1 month ago (2019-04-10)
There is actually no documentable evidence that Greensleeves was written by Henry - in fact it's musical style is more reminiscent of Southern European styles, which didn't reach England until the time of Elizabeth.

I looked about trying to find any information on a tradition of immuring baby clothes and this is what I found:

Turkish traditions regarding treatment of baby clothes though not necessarily after death:

Another regarding Turkish birth traditions that perhaps hint in that direction but don't go directly there:

An American article dealing with articles commonly unearthed in historic homes in the US including baby *shoes* in walls for good luck:

There are UK and Egyptian (and possibly others) traditions of burying babies in and under homes.

I could find nothing directly pointing to the existance of such a tradition on a cultural level. Dissecting it logically based on historic realities - losing a child was not terribly uncommon in days gone by. Moreover, resources could often be scarce leading to more reuse and less discard. It would be more logical for those clothes to be retained for use by the next child. But grief does often cause us to place sentimentality above utility.

Perhaps I missed the key reference or the tradition was more local or even familial.

Do you know the history of the home? Has it always been in your family? Has it always been a private home? Could be that it was a home for unwed mothers or a "Magdalene Laundry"- such institutions were infamous and dreaded - the infant mortality rate often quite high. Interestingly, from an article I read about the "home" in Tuam, the young mothers often viewed the period of time waiting for the day they would have to leave (almost inevitably) without their baby as that of the Holy Mother awaiting the crucifixion. If you take the tune of Greensleeves paired with its (perhaps more) commonly known modern lyrics regarding Mary and her infant - the whole thing starts to make eerie sense.

In spite of whether their clothes are in the walls or not, it is a sadly quite safe assumption that young children have passed in a home over a certain age. Perhaps your grandmother is watching over them now - maybe the lullaby was her.
Waz1982 (2 posts)
2 months ago (2019-03-14)
Yes that song was composed by Henry viii and became one of the most popular classical songs of all time. He'd make a fortune in royalties these days;-D Great story!
RSAChick (95 posts)
2 months ago (2019-03-13)
Hi Maisiemoo, your story is well written. I enjoyed reading this. The babies' clothes in the walls is a sad and creepy thing. I never knew this was a custom. Does anyone know if this was unique to the UK?

Maisiemoo, can you recall if the music was a voice humming, or an instrument/s?
Your theory of it being a lullaby would make sense to me if it was a voice. Perhaps a residual haunting of a mom singing to her baby at the same time each night. However, your sadness on the last night might indicate more than just residual energy.

Do you perhaps know how old the house is?
Greensleeves is a folk song from the 1580s and already well known in the 1600s. So this haunting could be from hundreds of years ago.

Interesting story, thanks.

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