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White Lady of Cornwall

In England there are several ghosts that appear during each Christmas season. This phenomenon is called “anniversary ghosts”. These ghosts are seen most often on the same date and in the same location every year.

Animals are often anniversary ghosts.

It is stated that human ghosts return on these specific dates because while alive this time of year had a special meaning for them.

The most famous of these ghosts is Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry Vlll. Despite her devotion to her husband the King accused her of witchcraft, she was found guilty and beheaded.

Her ghost appears at the Tower of London but her spirit is also seen at her Childhood home, Castle Hever, on Christmas Day. It is said she appears here because this is where she spent her happiest years.

Another more unusual sight that reoccurs each Christmas Eve in the gentle village of Calcutt in Wiltshire is a group of small white pigs with red ears. They are seen crossing the road.

My favorite English Christmas ghost sighting of an anniversary ghost is that of the White Lady of Cornwall. On the night of the Winter Solstice, December 21st or December 22nd, she always appears.

The White Lady of Cornwall is seen on a Manor Farm near Pendeen Village near the Penwith Peninsula in South West England.

On this farm near the manor house is a “fogou”. Fogou is the name given to underground passages that are found in Cornwall. The term “fogou” is derived from a Cornish word that means cave. They are 2000 years old dating from the Iron Age.

The original purpose for these caves is still unknown. In the past it was speculated they were used for food storage or defense but modern scientists state that both these explanations are impractical.

When the White Lady of Cornwall is seen it is near an ancient Pendeen Fogou. It is said she is seen standing near the entrance to this ancient stone cave on Christmas morning.

She is described as very beautiful, tall and standing in a pronounced white mist or light. Some accounts state she has a blood red rose clasped between her lips. She appears briefly and then enters the fogou.

Local legend states that when seen she must not be followed for the Lady in White is a harbinger. Some legends state if you follow her that you will die within the year.

Yet another legend states that if you follow her you will see her change into a terrifying and deadly form once she is within her domain. It is said that in all the years she has been seen no one has ever dared to go in after her.

One group of scientists that visited the Pendeen Fogou in recent years set up cameras throughout this ancient structure. Fogou's have very small creep space entrances that eventually slope down steeply into the ground. Each of these fogous has several chambers.

This team set up cameras and took panoramic views of the entrance and various chambers. They noted humorously that they did not encounter the White Lady but they did say while they were in the rab chamber they got a very uncomfortable feeling.

One of the cameras they set up recorded a strange dark mist at one end of this chamber. They stated that it might have been caused by a complex reflection path of one of the fogou’s water pools in another chamber—but this is uncertain.