To conclude our long-awaited journey to western Europe, my brother and I landed in London on Good Friday of 2012. We had originally hoped to visit Westminster Abbey, but were disappointed upon being informed it had been closed to the public due to the holiday. We decided to go for a walk through Piccadilly Circus, and we were approached by a local vendor who offered us tickets to see the Tower of London at discount prices. The Summer Olympics were a few months away and the crowds became overwhelming. We immediately accepted the offer, as we became desperate to move away from the crowded streets.
The moment we passed through the Byward Archway into the tower grounds, it felt as if we were crossing the borderline from the modern city to an era long since bygone. We decided to tour the grounds on our own, reading the signs and learning fascinating historic facts along the way. The Tower of London made us feel understandably reminiscent of many of the historic forts we had visited throughout Ontario. On the facade, they appeared to be merely old stone structures, yet after some thorough research, one quickly discovers that this particular medieval structure offers far more than what the eyes immediately become acquainted with.
I can distinctly remember passing by a tour group and some medieval instruments held on display. These devices were used to inflict torture on several doomed prisoners over the span of many centuries throughout the Tower's history. I remember overhearing the Yeoman Warder guide conducting the tour and graphically describing the horrific instances in which they were put to use.
Our own personal tour eventually led us to the Chapel at St. Peter ad Vincula. I remember casually glancing into the chapel from around the corner and immediately became drawn to the sound of footsteps pacing back and forth through the aisle towards the alter and then back down again. The footsteps continued for roughly thirty seconds and then ceased completely. I stood at the entrance to the Chapel and continued to stare in awe at what I had just heard. We left the chapel and concluded our tour with a visit to the Jewel House to see the legendary Crown Jewels.
Almost ten years have passed and I still look back on our visit to the Chapel very regularly. The most enthralling part, however, is that I may never uncover the identity of the restless spirit who made the mysterious footsteps.