In any 2,000 year-old city, there will always be stories of ghosts, spirits, gruesome murders and a whole host of spooky gongs-on that would give the writers of Scooby-Doo ammunition for years. London is no different. If you’re not wearing socks, go and put a pair on because we’re about to scare them right off. Enter here if you dare….
First off, it’s important to note that at Euracom, we keep an open mind on most things. We live in an inclusive and pluralist society where within reason, people can do and say what they like however where ghosts, ghouls and spirits are concerned it must be noted that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to prove their existence. The evidence is almost entirely anecdotal so when we talk about London’s most haunted places, we cast no aspersions as to whether there is truth behind the story, we just think they are cracking tales!
So where are London’s most haunted places?
50 Berkeley Square in Mayfair has long been honoured with the title of London’s most haunted house. In 1913, Charles Harper wrote a book uninventively titled ‘Haunted Houses’ and he said ‘The haunted house in Berkeley Square was long, one of those things that no country cousin come up from the provinces to London on sightseeing bent, ever willingly missed.’
50 Berkeley Square
Sadly, original stories get bastardised, twisted and sensationalised but this particular one started with the tenancy of a Mr Myers, a jilted bridegroom, in the 1860s. He moved into a small room at the top of the house and became a recluse. He emerged from his room in the night hours to wander through the rooms and it is said that his ghost haunts the house.
Another tale is that of a man who moved in with his teenage daughters. The fiancé of the elder daughter, a Captain Kentfield, visited his betrothed and when the maid was preparing the room, a series of blood-curdling screams were heard. She was found contorted on the floor muttering ‘don’t let it touch me’. She died the next day.
Unconcerned by the fate of the maid, the Captain decided to spend the night in the room. Thirty minutes after retiring for the night, similar screams were heard, followed by a gunshot. He was found dead on the floor, his face contorted in unimaginable terror.
Here’s a list of some of London’s most haunted places…
Where: The Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SW10
What: Two ghostly figures were seen ascending the stairs in a photograph taken by a Canadian couple in 1966. The couple confirmed the staircase was empty and despite close scrutiny by photographic experts, no explanation was forthcoming as to the two figures in the picture, other than that they must have been there when the pic was taken…
Scare Factor: 6/10
Where: Sutton House, 2 – 4 Homerton High Street, London E9
What: Dogs can be heard wailing in the middle of the night and when dogs are brought to the house hey often stop rigid at the foot of the painted staircase, their hackles raised, apparently transfixed by something they can see on the stairs but which remains invisible to humans…
Scare Factor: 7/10
Where: The Grenadier Pub, Wilton Row, London SW1
What: A soldier was caught cheating at cards and was punished with such severity by his comrades that he died. A solemn, silent spectre has been seen moving slowly across the low-ceilinged rooms, as well as objects moving or disappearing and an icy chill that lasts for days…
Scare Factor: 7/10
Where: The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street, London EC1
What: The City’s last gin palace was undergoing renovations in the 1990s and as workmen took up the floorboards, one felt a tap on his shoulder. His mate was on the other side of the room and minutes later it happened again. As he was about to return to his chores, both men watched as the heavy carpet, that lay rolled up by the window, was lifted into the air and dropped heavily onto the floor…
Scare Factor: 8/10
Where: The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC4
What: In 1811, a bank employee was found guilty of forgery and hanged. The news was kept from his devoted sister who turned up enquiring on her brother’s whereabouts. A clerk blurted out the grim news by mistake. It freaked her out. Dressed in a long black veil, she became known as the ‘Bank Nun’ and turned up every day asking for her brother. She was treated with respect but in time, she was offered a sum of money to stay away. She did in life, but in death, a different story. Every so often, a weary woman dressed like a nun approaches bankers on their way home on Threadneedle Street and with sad eyes, politely asks ‘have you seen my brother…’
Scare Factor: 8/10
Where: St. Botolph’s Church, Bishopsgate, London EC3
What: In 1982, photographer Chris Brackley was inside St. Boltoph’s with his wife and he took a picture of the altar. When it was developed, he noticed a shrouded figure standing in the top right corner on the balcony. The image was scrutinised by experts who determined there was no double exposure and his kit was fully functional. The only possible explanation was that there was actually someone up there. Some years later, Chris was contacted by a builder who was doing some restoration work and inadvertently disturbed a pile of coffins. One opened to reveal a well-preserved body of a woman who face bears an uncanny resemblance to the ghostly figure in the picture taken years before…
Scare Factor: 9/10
Sleep well tonight…