The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

Home > Greater London > SW1

Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana of London's SW1 District

John Baldwin Buckstone

Location: SW1 - (Haymarket) Theatre Royal
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2009
Further Comments: A welcome ghost, Buckstone only manifests when a performance is destined to make it big. Patrick Stewart reportedly spotted Buckstone during a performance of Waiting for Godot. Another former manager of the theatre, David Morris, is reported to return maybe once a decade to the theatre just to cause trouble for a single night, before returning to his grave.

Aunt Ann

Location: SW1 - 19 St James's Place
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: 1864
Further Comments: The ghost of an old aunt appeared to three members of the family just prior to the passing of another aunt staying in the house.

Ringing Bells

Location: SW1 - 9 Earl Street, Westminster
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1820s
Further Comments: Over a two and a half hour period, every bell in the house constantly rang out. The strange activity ended as suddenly as it had begun.

Diving Lady

Location: SW1 - Between Westminster and Greenwich, close to Westminster Bridge
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century?
Further Comments: A man crossing the river on a steam ferry watched as another passenger, a lady wearing a black veil, jumped into the water. He quickly dived after her but was unable to find the lady. He swam back to the ferry and was pulled from the water by the captain and a few others. When the man told the captain what had happened, the captain told him she had been seen twice before that week, performing the same action, but could never be found in the water.

Black Mist

Location: SW1 - Buckingham Gate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: April 2020
Further Comments: A black smoke was seen to manifest and cross the road before abruptly vanishing while apparently moving towards the palace.

Chained Monk

Location: SW1 - Buckingham Palace
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 25 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Said to predate the construction of the palace, this monk appears bound in chains once a year on Christmas Day. The sound of a suicide (the single shot of a pistol) is occasionally heard on the first floor - the private secretary to King Edward VII ended his life here.

Lillie Langtry

Location: SW1 - Cadogan Hotel, Sloane Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 25 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: This quiet little spook is said only to come out when the hotel is nearly empty. During life, Lillie was the mistress of the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII.

Misty Shape

Location: SW1 - Clarence House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s
Further Comments: A misty shape scared a worker in the building, causing her to flee. The visitation had been preceded by much banging and crashing.

Headless Woman

Location: SW1 - Cockspur Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1975
Further Comments: A taxi driver watched a decapitated woman cross the road in front of him, vanishing once reaching the pavement. The figure is thought to be the same entity that haunts St James's Park.

Grey Figure

Location: SW1 - Green Park underground station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1970s
Further Comments: A young track engineer sat at the station waiting for the traction current to be cut off. The engineer felt a slap on the face and turned to see a grey figure vanishing along the platform. Another man present saw nothing, other than the victim flinch and swear.

Sir Henry Colt Duelling

Location: SW1 - Green Park, Piccadilly
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Sir Henry appears once a year (reoccurring), but date unknown
Further Comments: Sir Henry, along with fellow duellist Beau Fielding, meet repeatedly to fight for the heart of the Duchess of Cleveland. The sounds of heavy breathing and fighting are heard emerging from the misty mornings. The park is also said to have a 'tree of death', where many people have hanged themselves over the years; now a tall dark figure is sometimes seen standing behind it, disappearing if approached. Finally, an early twentieth century report says that phantom violin music would be heard around the site.


Location: SW1 - Greencoat Boy public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The pub is a former hospital which housed seventeenth century children who had lost their fathers during wartime. The ghost is thought to date from this period, and now haunts the bar area.


Location: SW1 - Grey Coat School (Hospital)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Stories are still told today about the murdered nurse, and how her ghost walks various parts of the building, scaring the young students.


Location: SW1 - Harrods department store
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twenty-first century
Further Comments: Justin Timberlake is said to have hired out the store after hours in an attempt to encounter the ghost which reputedly haunts the book department.

Sir Herbert Beerbohm-Tree

Location: SW1 - Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Responsible for funding the theatre's rebuild in 1899, Sir Herbert was the manager and an actor, and his favourite seat in the theatre was the top box to the right. In recent years (so they say) people sitting here have felt cold spots and had the door open on its own accord.



Location: SW1 - Jubilee Line, from Westminster to Stratford
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Since the construction of the Jubilee Line, reports of phantom monks walking the tracks have begun to emerge. The sightings may be connected to the large number of graves which were disturbed while work was commencing.

Old Face Puller

Location: SW1 - Lowndes Square, Kensington
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An old white haired woman in a chair has been seen sitting along this street, making funny faces at anyone who looks at her.


Location: SW1 - Morpeth Arms public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: The basement of this pub was used to prevent high risk prisoners escaping from the nearby Millbank Prison over two hundred years ago - the ghosts of those held are said to prod anyone in the cellar who they take a disliking to.

An illustration of a ghostly woman wearing a veil, by Wayne Lowden.

Woman with Veil

Location: SW1 - New Scotland Yard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Woman unknown, other events 2010
Further Comments: Some say that the entity which haunted the old New Scotland Yard moved along with the exhibits of the Black Museum (aka Crime Museum) and can now be found within the walls of this famous police station. More recently, it has been reported that perfume can be detected in a fire escape near the museum, while a new recruit encountered the ghost of a former staff member.

Old Admiralty House, London.

Margaret Reay

Location: SW1 - Old Admiralty House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1969
Further Comments: Shot by a former lover, Reay haunts one of the bedrooms in the building, a place that she was not unfamiliar with.

The old New Scotland Yard building, London.

Hooded Female

Location: SW1 - Old New Scotland Yard, Parliament Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Haunting the Black Museum, this ghost is thought to be that of a woman whose body was found on site as the building was erected. The remains had no head, and the void beneath the spectre's hood reflects this. In the early part of the century, the Reformatory and Industrial Schools unit was haunted by something which opened windows and slammed doors.

The Palace of Westminster, London.

Mrs Milman

Location: SW1 - Palace of Westminster
Type: Manifestation of the Living
Date / Time: 1899 (Milman), pre-1920s (MP), 1989 (other)
Further Comments: A ghost seen around the palace was identified as (the still living) Mrs Milman, and although she worked at the site as Assistant Clerk, she was not present at the time of the sightings. In a contemporary newspaper report, Milman said that she would be spotted in places where she was not present. Around the same time, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and other MPs witnessed a colleague sitting in the House of Commons chamber, even though they knew the colleague to be seriously ill at home. In 1989, a lift operator claimed an unseen force picked him up and tossed him fifteen feet along a corridor.

American Air Force Man

Location: SW1 - Private flat, Vandon Court
Type: Other
Date / Time: July 2005
Further Comments: A witness found a USAF service man in their apartment, wearing a uniform and holding a clipboard. The figure was said to be handsome and happy, and extended their hand, which the witness shook. The witness's hand began to freeze, causing them to scream loudly. The cries brought neighbours to the apartment, by which time the figure had vanished.

Elderly Man

Location: SW1 - Private residence, Cadogan Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1980s
Further Comments: This witness awoke to find himself looking at an old man with salt and pepper hair, fully black eyeballs and prominent teeth. The witness said nothing until his sister stated she had seen the figure.

Animated Queen Anne

Location: SW1 - Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 01 August (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Once a year the statue of the Queen becomes animated and walks around the neighbourhood. Until recently, the statue was believed to be Bloody Mary, until a clean-up operation revealed an inscription pointing out the error.

Records 1 - 25 of 44

Quick Links
Contribute to the Paranormal Database

Greater London
View Greater London records

View the Paranormal Database Calendar

Reports: Type
View Reports: Type records