Tudor cousin Mary lay her head down for the last time at Fotheringhay Castle, where it took two whacks to get her out of Elizabeth’s way permanently. The ax first hit the back of her neck, and she mumbled, “Sweet Jesus.” I think I would have used more colorful language than that. The second time the ax came down, it severed all but just a bit of gristle. This did kill her, although her lips moved for 15 minutes afterward. (I’m a Sagittarius, with the same birthday as Mary, and it is indeed hard to shut us up!)
Fotheringhay Castle is now just a bit of rock, as my husband and I found out the day we decided to drive out that way and check out Mary’s execution spot. That was kind of disappointing. Her son James had ordered it be razed to the ground after the horror that happened there. But the castle’s oak staircase, which Mary is believed to have descended on her way to her execution, was used to build the nearby Talbot Hotel (so were other stones from the castle). Guests at the hotel report a chill on the stairs, moving furniture, and being pressed on by an clammy but invisible weight while in their beds.
But that’s not all! Mary’s restless spirit reportedly shows up in just about every abode she ever set foot in, from Stirling Castle to Bolton Castle to Manor Lodge to Craignethan Castle (the only location where she is actually headless). This royal multitasker fits into our present world quite well, don’t you think?