Welcome to York, the most haunted city of all England!
Europe, in general, has a very bloody history of wars and plagues. Some people even got their heads decapitated for silly reasons! And while death was very common thing during the medieval times, a lot of them have unfinished business. According to the Ghost Research Foundation International (GRFI), York has the most number — 504, to be exact — recorded hauntings.
York is not a ghost town though. It was a rainy afternoon but everybody was shopping along The Shambles, taking photographs of the York Minster, or playing at the park. I, on the other hand, went wandering about this quaint, lovely city until I reached Clifford’s Tower.
Inside York Minster. You have to pay if you want a tour of the famous and controversial minster. It is also the tallest building in York.
York is a walled city, all thanks to the Roman legions who used to occupy the land in 71AD. The Romans called the city, Eboracum. As time goes by, those who occupied the land made alterations at the wall, making it stronger against possible threats. By 1068AD, the Norman Castle was erected and it is now known as Clifford’s Tower.
The tower is really lovely but it is also the exact spot of a tragedy: the 1190 Jews Massacre. A fire also started but it’s unclear if the mob or the Jews started this. According to the History of York website:
The Jews were officially protected by the king as his feudal vassals and sought protection in the royal castle, barricading themselves inside the wooden keep.
The Jews in the keep, fearing treachery, locked out the royal constable, who then demanded the castle be captured by force.
Seeing no way out to safety most of the Jews chose to commit suicide in the keep. The alternatives were to renounce their faith and surrender to forced baptism or death at the hands of the mob.
Some who survived the massacre begged for mercy and was willing enough to renounce their faith in order to survive, but in the end they were still murdered. Eight centuries later, Jews or not, racism and discrimination that come from blind prejudice still exist. It's a tragic and senseless incident, and society remains the same. But this is where we come in; we will change the world through the power of blogs. I just hope that you, the reader, understood the message I'm trying to send across. If not, I'll make it clear: Do not judge people based on color, preference, background. Heck, just don't judge people.
Later that evening, Lucy and I attended The Ghost Trail of York. It's an evening tour around the ancient heart of York, where the guide would fill us in of history and ghost stories. I certainly had so much despite the chilly weather. The guide was very entertaining and he would tell his stories with so much passion.