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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Rare mural discovered by British couple in Somerset home

Say what you will about the devil - but he's always found out. A British couple has recently discovered that a concealed, almost life-size mural of Henry VIII they discovered in their 16th-century Somerset home holds a mysterious secret. When you turn the mural upside down, the face of Satan is clearly visible!

King Henry VIII was a jovial king who nonetheless ruled Britain with an iron fist. For obvious reasons -- the painting is unsigned.

King Henry VIII was a jovial king who nonetheless ruled Britain with an iron fist. For obvious reasons -- the painting is unsigned.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/25/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Henry VIII, mural, Satan, satire

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Needless to say, Angie and Rhodri Powell were unnerved by the discovery. When the portrait of Henry on his throne is viewed upside-down, his features transform into the devil, with horns and goats' eyes. The devil also appears when the mural is viewed through a glass.

Diabolical: When the portrait of Henry VIII (left), found by Angie and Rhodri Powell, is turned upsi

Diabolical: When the portrait of Henry VIII (left), found by Angie and Rhodri Powell, is turned upside-down, it is transformed into the head of the devil.

On display in their drawing-room in the village of Milverton, the Powells' home is the former Great Hall of the summer residence of 16th-century archdeacons of Taunton, including Thomas Cranmer.

While the portrait itself would appear to express loyalty, the hidden message suggests it was commissioned by someone with quite another view of the notorious king who established himself as head of the Church in England in place of the Pope.

A bestselling children's author who writes under the name Angie Safe Mrs. Powell along with her husband, a former publisher, came across the devil quite by accident.

They were before an open fire one evening when they noticed that a postcard of the mural which they had printed had fallen on the floor upside-down; which revealed the portrait's malefic side.

"It was fairly low light. My husband noticed the face . We were both very spooked. It's quite an unpleasant image. I was bit horrified. I realized it was the devil," Mrs. Powell says.

The painting of Henry VIII was discovered when some plaster was removed from a wall in house in Milv

The painting of Henry VIII was discovered when some plaster was removed from a wall in house in Milverton, Somerset.

The two were so unnerved that they did not venture downstairs that evening.

The next morning, they "very gingerly opened the door," and were reassured to find Henry with the "same old benign expression," Mrs. Powell said.

They then realized how skilfully the dangerous image had been concealed. The king's narrow shoulders become the devil's pointed chin and oddly-shaped sleeve-cuffs were satanic eye-sockets.

Thought to date from around the 1530s or 1540s, the mural is almost six feet high and 20 feet wide.

"It does look quite evil . Hold a glass up to it, it's bizarre. You get quite an eerie picture," Dr. Kathryn Davies, a wall paintings specialist with English Heritage who is researching the mural, says.

A portrait of Henry VIII (1491-1547) aged 49 in 1540, oil on panel by Hans Holbein.

A portrait of Henry VIII (1491-1547) aged 49 in 1540, oil on panel by Hans Holbein.

Henry VIII was a jovial king who nonetheless ruled Britain with an iron fist. For obvious reasons -- the painting is unsigned.

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