There has been a church of some form on this site – formerly known as Thorny Island – since the 600s dedicated to St Peter. During his reign, King Edward (better known as St Edward the Confessor), built the first of what would come to be England’s most iconic church: Westminster Abbey.
At such an age, you would expect there to be many spirits wandering it’s ancient halls, and indeed the earliest record of something spiritual happening to the church is from the final days of the church built by King Edward. Legend tells the story of a cloaked figure asking a boatman to take him across the Thames River and as the boat approached the opposite shore, the newly completed church was suddenly awash in a brilliant celestial light. The cloaked stranger was then revealed to be none other than St Peter himself who then proceeded to consecrate his own church.
Another restless spirit said to be present in the church is that of Judge John Bradshaw who roams the Abbey’sTriforium.
Over the years, there have been many occasions for renovations to the church. As previously stated, for 500 years before King Edward’s reign, a church dedicated to St Peter sat at the place where the Tiburn Stream joined the Thames River. When King Edward decided to build on and improve that tiny church, he built over and added onto the building as it stood at the time. Through the years more additions were made, making it the most recognisable church in the world. Many paranormal enthusiasts believe that any changes in construction to a structure brings forth restless spirits who don’t always seem to appreciate change. The same holds true for Westminster Abbey. There is a monk who roams the Abbey in the early evening hours and appears so solidly that many people are said to interact with him, believing him to be flesh and blood.
Leap forward many centuries and the early 20th Century when, on 11 November 1920 the complete, though unidentified, body of a young soldier was given a royal funeral and buried in soil brought from France for the occasion. The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior clearly has its own spirit as the ghost of the soldier buried within from World War I occasionally appears to visitors of the Abbey.