Sunday, December 17, 2023

Ghosts, Hauntings, Murders and Superstitions

Below are some of the more unknown hauntings and murders of London. 

London The Unfinished City

There are some gruesome details, below, so only read on... if you dare!

Downing Street

This street is said to be haunted by the ghost of Spencer Perceval, who was shot dead outside the Palace of Westminster on May 11, 1812. He is the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated... so far.

Ministry of Defence

This building is haunted by the ghost of a headless lady. The hooded figure of a lady was stopped by a Policeman, who asked, "what are you doing in a Government building?" She pulled back her hood to reveal an empty space where her head should have been.

Charing Cross railway station

It was here that a rather grisly murder was discovered, on May 10, 1927. Porters reported a dreadful smell coming from a trunk that had been deposited in the left-luggage office, four days earlier. When the Police opened the trunk they discovered the body of a woman, who had been hacked into five pieces, with each piece then wrapped in brown paper. The killer was caught, tried and then executed at Pentonville Prison on August 12, 1927. The case became known as the 'Charing Cross Trunk Murder'.

Adelphi Theatre

On December 16, 1897, the actor William Terriss was stabbed to death, outside the stage door, by Richard Prince, an actor that Terriss had had dismissed from the Play. He died in the arms of his leading lady and his last words were reported to be... "I shall return." His ghost has been seen outside the stage door and within the theatre, where he has been seen knocking on dressing room doors. His ghost has also been seen at Covent Garden underground station.

Savoy Hotel

This is a very superstitious hotel where there is no room thirteen. Also, if you are in a group of thirteen a statue of a cat, called 'Kaspar', is placed on your table to be your fourteenth 'guest'. 'Kaspar' is a two-foot high model of a cat, cut from a single piece of London Plane. Plus, if you die, while staying at the Savoy Hotel, they will pay for your funeral.

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

The theatre's most famous ghost is the 'Man in Grey'. Unlike many ghosts that appear during the hours of darkness, this apparition appears during anytime of the day. Plus, instead of solitary accounts of sightings, entire casts have witnessed his appearance. He is usually seen in the upper circle, before he makes his way down the aisle and disappears into a wall. 

In the late Victorian era, remodelling of the upper circle had workmen make a startling discovery. Part of the wall sounded hollow, so they knocked it down and discovered a small room behind it. On the floor was a skeleton with a dagger thrust between its ribs. His identity has never been discovered.

St Bartholomew's Hospital

This hospital is haunted by the ghost of the 'Grey Nurse'. A nurse accidentally gave a patient a fatally large dose of medication and, feeling so remorseful, decided to take her own life. Nowadays, any nurse about to make the same error is said to feel the hand of the Grey Nurse on their shoulder.

Cock Lane

In the 1750s a young girl, living at 33 Cock Lane, claimed to be haunted by the ghost of a lady who communicated via scratching noises and tapping on doors. She communicated that her name was Fanny Lynes and that she previously resided on this house and that she had been poisoned by her husband. The press nicknamed her 'Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane'. It was later discovered to be a hoax.

Viaduct Tavern public house

In the cellar there are genuine centuries old jail cells. One barmaid, who had not been working here very long, went down to cellar to change a barrel of beer, alone. All of a sudden the lights switched out and the door slammed shut and locked itself. In the darkness she felt a hand stroking her hair. She left that night and never returned. On the fourth floor, doors open and close on their own and objects mysteriously move around.

Old Bailey

The Old Bailey, is built on the site of Newgate Prison.  is said to be haunted by the 'Black Dog of Newgate'. A huge shimmering shape followed by a foul, disgusting smell. It is thought to be the spectral embodiment of all the prisoners executed in the jail over the years. It is said that if you look the dog in the eye you will drop down dead.

Christchurch Greyfriars Church and Garden

This ruined church is said to be haunted by Queen Isabella, who was the wife of King Edward II. She is said to be seen as a shimmering blue lady, walking along the back wall with a human heart in her hand, She was buried with her husband's heart in a wooden box. She had her husband, the King, murdered in a horrible and disgusting way. She had a horn inserted into the King's rectum, through which a red-hot poker was guided into the King's bowels. Here it fused with his intestines and brought them out, as it was withdrawn, disemboweling the King through his anus.

Bank of England

The Bank of England is haunted by the ghost of a Victorian Lady, named Sarah Whitehead. On November 2, 1811, Philip Whitehead, who had been employed at the Bank of England, was charged with forgery and brought to the dock of the Old Bailey. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death. He was hanged in early 1812. This news was kept from his devoted sister, Sarah. One day she went to the bank to enquire after her brother's whereabouts, when a clerk blurted out the story. The news caused Sarah to lose her mind. She then took to going to the Bank daily, in the mistaken belief that her brother was still there, until 1818. Following her death her ghostly visage has still been seen wandering along Threadneedle Street, by many a late night walker. She is known as the 'Black Nun of the Bank of England'.

Bank underground station

The most haunted of London's underground stations. Screams have been heard from the tunnels, while ghostly faces appear i n the windows of trains. Ghosts have also been waiting on the platforms. Part of the station is built over an old church crypt. Many of these occurrences have been noted by staff, some of whom have requested that they be moved to different stations.

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