TRUE LONDON GHOST STORIES

Pond Square. Highgate.

The Ghostly Chicken.

Pond Square in Highgate is home to a very bizarre ghost, that of a chicken that met an untimely end when Sir Francis Bacon tried an experiment. Read More...

London Wall. EC2.

A Ghostly Arm.

In April 1907 a letter appeared in the City Press concerning the old section of the London Wall that now cowers beneath the gleaming white modernity of the Museum of London.

A reader told how, on one Sunday night, he had been passing this relic when he noticed a hand and arm “stretched out from the railings to bar my passage.”

He was so alarmed by this that he jumped into the road and, for a moment, turned his back to the railings. On summoning up the courage to look round, he saw a man in dark clothes, walking back to the wall. When he reached it he “seemed to walk right into it.”

The bemused witness recalled how he had heard no sound of footsteps, and told how he had returned the next morning to examine the spot but could find nothing that threw any light on the mystery of what, or who, it was that he had encountered.

Eaton Place. Belgravia. SW1.

The Admiral’s Doppleganger.

On 22nd June 1893, Admiral, Sir George Tryon was on manoeuvres with the Mediterranean Fleet off the coast of Syria. Suddenly he gave orders for his ship the Victoria, and the nearby Camperdown to turn inwards and steam towards each other.

It was obvious to all on board that disaster was imminent, but none of his subordinates dared overrule or question Tryon’s extraordinary command

In consequence, the two ships collided and the Victoria sank, taking the Admiral and four hundred mariners to a watery grave.

As the ship went down Sir George was heard to say. ‘It is entirely my fault.’

At more or less the exact moment that Sir George Tryon was plummeting to the ocean bed, his wife was holding an, ‘At home’, in their houses in Eaton Place. Suddenly Sir George, resplendent in full naval regalia, appeared before over a hundred guests, strolled across the room, and vanished.

Lady Tryon did not see him herself and was mystified when told by her guests that her husband had just walked through the room. She explained to her guests that he was far away at sea.

Next day, however, word reached her of the tragedy and she realised that her guests must have seen her husband’s ghost.

Cambridge Gardens. W11.

The Phantom Bus.

There can be few hauntings that are as bizarre and dramatic as that which afflicts Cambridge Gardens in the early hours of some mornings.

The phantom in question is that of a number 7 double decker London bus, last seen in May 1990.

However, it first came to public attention when, in early one morning in 1934, a motorist driving along Cambridge Gardens, suddenly swerved, for no apparent reason, and was killed when his car hit a wall and burst into flames.

At the subsequent inquest into his death, witnesses came forward to testify to the existence of a phantom bus that many of them had been seen, more or less at the exact spot where the fatal crash had occurred. They told how it would always appear at round about 1.15am, the time that the crash had occurred, and spoke of their terror as it came racing along the centre of the road towards them. No driver was ever visible, and no lights were ever on

Convinced that they were about to be in a head on collision with the vehicle, motorists would swerve out of its path, and as they did so the bus would thunder past them. Yet whenever they turned round to look at the bus, they always found that it had vanished without trace.

Coutts Bank. The Strand. WC2.

Trouble at the Bank.

Coutts Bank is the largest of London’s private banks whose most illustrious client is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11.

In November 1993, the directors took the unusual step of calling upon the services of the psychic medium Eddie Burks, in the hope that he would be able to lay to rest the phantom that was making a decided nuisance of itself in the banks computer room.

A bank spokesperson told The Times how some staff had reported “strange happenings…like lights going on an off… and an apparition, a shadow was how it was described.”

One unfortunate woman was most alarmed when the ghost appeared before her minus is head!

A sťance was duly held in the course of which, Burks made contact with the spirit and learnt that it was Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk (1538-1572), whose plot to marry Mary, Queen of Scots and depose Elizabeth 1st in Mary’s favour, resulted in his execution. “ I was beheaded on a summer’s day,” the dejected Duke informed Burks, “ I have held much bitterness and…I must let this go. In the name of God I ask your help…”

Eddie Burks was able to persuade the spirit that the time had come for him to depart and, on 15th November 1993, a congregation that included the present Duke and Duchess of Norfolk, gathered at the nearby Catholic church, to say prayers for the repose of his soul.

On leaving the service the present Duke was asked by a reporter if he was glad that his ancestor was finally at rest. “Actually” came the reply “I don’t believe in ghosts.”