The royal family in England owns multiple stunning castles. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married at St. George’s Cathedral on the grounds of Windsor Castle, which was built over 1,000 years ago. Some may recall there was a terrible fire there in 1992 ignited by a lamp heating up a curtain in the Queens private chapel. The fire cost taxpayers close to 37 million pounds (about 50 million dollars).
A magnificent fairytale castle where the Queen often resides, besides a world-class art collection, superb antiques and rare relics (some of which have never been seen by the public), ancient rose gardens, it even has its own handy-dandy torture chamber. Down in the bowels sleeps a dungeon, where your standard garden variety of medieval torture devices abound- including a nail bed, rack, head crusher, boiling pot, branding irons, chains, leg irons, tools to gouge out eyes and a chair with lethal spikes on the seat so you don’t get too comfortable- to name but a few.
Some prisoners would be violently rolled in a barrel built with daggers until they were ripped to shreds, which caused agonizing deaths. Some captives, beaten and crushed, had a cage strapped to their stomach. Inside of this cage scurried a starving rat- and the little rascals only way out was to eat through the prisoners stomach.
All castles contained elaborate torture chambers that extended far below in the bowels of the castles and ran the entire width and breadth of the structues. No self-respecting castle in Europe was built without a torture chamber, so aristocrats could rest easy knowing there was a place to stuff enemy marauders. Prisoners were kept deep down below so if some peasant was having their lips ripped off, the aristocrats could still have their scones and tea in peace.
Torture rooms were built with slanted floors to allow body fluids to flow down to a drain at the other end of the room keeping blood and guts all neat and tidy. Thousands upon thousands of prisoners met excruciatingly brutal ends, begging for death to soon set them free. The executioner always wore a black leather mask, so in the event that the prisoner escaped, they couldn’t recall their torturers face to come back and wreak revenge.
The "Rack" would stretch you until you're split in two
The saddest bit of it all was many of the beaten, crushed and incomprehensibly mutilated captives were not just men but women- as well as multitudes of children.
There was also this easy-breezy way in which bored executioners broke the arms and legs of some prisoners and swung them from the turrets of the castles. Tragically some prisoner’s actually survived impact and, desperately starving, would resort to eating chunks of the putrid corpses of the last folks left to rot. In some instances starving victims would even eat their own flesh. Chillingham Castle up in North England still has a pile of bones where the bodies were flung, and many tourists have spotted the last victim sadly gazing up at them- a little girl who was only seven years old.
Later in time royalty would hide from bombs in those very same dungeons where many of their staff slept terrified, claiming to hear the tormented screaming in their dreams. It’s all such a far cry from one of the Kings bathrooms upstairs in Buckingham Palace that has three sinks; individually marked “face “hands” and “teeth”.
Once I had to spend some time at a castle in London. I wasn’t in a dungeon, but in an ornate waiting room. Suddenly I began to be overcome by this asphyxiating stench. I desperately tried not to throw up as the noxious fumes overwhelmed my senses. Trying not to inhale too deeply, I followed the foul odor to a massive, walk-in fireplace.
It was so repulsive I could only stare as I tried to go in and look up the enormous smoke stack to see if some poor animal had died stuck in it. Overcome with an awful feeling my heart began to beat as I felt a swirling sensation in my head. I tried not to faint, puke or make any kind of spectacle as a security guard stepped up and said, “What, may I ask, are you doing”
“I just wanted to see what was causing that horrible smell,” I replied wondering why it didn’t seem to faze him.
“I beg your pardon, Madam, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He looked at me like I was a nutcase that had just escaped the loony bin.
“Are you serious? How can you not smell that?” I was thinking he was lying, or trying not to admit there was trouble in paradise.
At that exact moment, two other guards stepped up and also seemed annoyed I was stepping so far out of bounds.
“What’s in blazes is going on?” They seemed dazed and confused by my attempt to crawl in and look up the chimney stack.
“That stench- surely you guys can smell it?” I thought there was no way all three could fib to my face.
“What on earth do you mean?” I could see in their eyes they had no idea what I was talking about.
I was stunned none of them could smell it, when another security detail stepped up to see what all the fuss was about.
He was quite a bit older, a very kind black man, who’d been there over 50 years. He looked at me wisely, “I know what you smell,” he shook his head and told us a story.
“About 100 years ago small children were used to sweep the chimneys. They were small enough to crawl up to the top and were used all over London because at the time there were no child labor laws. Chimneys had to be swept, or else fires would erupt in the smoke stacks. This particular day the young lad got stuck and he was just left there like a sack of old beans. They claim he cried for help for days, until the footmen decided to make a fire…” the old mans’ eyes grew dim, “poor little nipper was burned to death, and it’s said the royal family had to move out for days until the muck was cleaned up- and the smell was gone. They say the young prince- who was about his age- cried for years and was inconsolable. The chambermaids burned lavender to make it smell better- but some say the smell of death lasted for weeks. That my dear,” He looked deep within me, “is exactly what you can smell.”
3 out of 4 Children perished before the age of 14. Children as young as four were sold as chimney sweep slaves. This brutal trade wasn't abolished until 1875.
Later, I could smell that rotting stench of death on my clothes and everywhere I went- for days it seemed to haunt me. I can still smell it now as I write this, many years later. Sometimes I say a prayer for that little kid. It shows how even something that happened centuries ago leaves an imprint that sensitive people can detect. You should be careful too- objects, people and even plants conduct energy. People are becoming more awake and so are becoming aware that less is more in so many ways.