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Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana of London's SW1 District

Lady in Black

Location: SW1 - Shakespeare Tavern
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This pub is said to be haunted by a woman wearing a black Victorian dress and has been encountered by both staff and visitors.

Child Crying

Location: SW1 - Sherrard Street (no longer on the map), general area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1755
Further Comments: The sound of a child's cries and their running footsteps could be heard by crowds of people who came to marvel at this phenomenon, though later a man was arrested and jailed for creating the sounds.

Hovering Craft

Location: SW1 - Sky over Palace of Westminster
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 12 February 2008
Further Comments: Seen hovering silently in the sky, this UFO had white, red and green lights and remained visible for around 90 minutes.

Madame de Beauclair

Location: SW1 - St James's Palace
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Madame de Beauclair was a good friend of the Duchess of Mazarine, and both lived in the palace grounds. They made a pact in which the first to die would appear to the other. The Duchess was first to die, and months passed without her ghost appearing. Then, without warning, one day the ghost appeared to Madame de Beauclair with the warning that the Madame would be dead by the following morning. Sure enough, at one in the morning, Madame de Beauclair died. Both women are said to have been seen since.

Cloudy Figure in Red

Location: SW1 - St James's Park, Birdcage Walk & Cockpit Steps
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1972
Further Comments: This entity, misty but apparently dressed in clothing with red stripes, was thought to be the wife of an officer murdered by her husband; he cut up her remains and was trying to dispose of them in the park when caught. Two soldiers encountered the entity in 1802, which left them too scared to return to duty, while in 1972 a motorist hit a lamppost on the roadside as he tried to avoid a misty figure dressed in red.

The former site of St James's Theatre, London.

Former Actress

Location: SW1 - St James's Theatre (no longer standing, replaced by an office block), King Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-1957
Further Comments: This white clad ghost was thought to be an eighteenth century actress. An unknown presence would also hammer at dressing room doors, disappearing as soon as they were opened, and once it was announced that the theatre would close, a man would be seen standing in the shadows, vanishing if approached.

Suicidal Presence

Location: SW1 - Thames, close to York Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1890s
Further Comments: Elliott O'Donnell wrote of speaking to the homeless community in this area, who spoke of a ghostly presence which urged them to leap into the river.

Grenadier Climbing Stairs

Location: SW1 - The Grenadier public house, Wilton Row
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September (reoccurring)
Further Comments: This young trooper was killed after it was discovered he cheated in a card game in the public house - the grenadier only appears in the month of September, as he walks around the building, looking into rooms and pacing along corridors.

Dreaming Teeth

Location: SW1 - Unidentified flat close to tube station
Type: Other
Date / Time: Pre-1920
Further Comments: According to Elliot O'Donnell, anyone who stayed in this flat had such vivid dreams about choking on their own teeth, it drove them to move out.


Location: SW1 - Unnamed flat, Buckingham Palace Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, likely early twentieth century
Further Comments: The occupant of this flat would hear sounds in the kitchen when it should have been empty. On one occasion the occupant entered the kitchen early in the morning to find a maid kneeling on the floor, facing away. Not recognising the maid, the occupant challenged the maid, who turned around, revealing a pale white face and wide eyes, a sight so unnerving, the occupant fled the room calling for help. When help arrived moments later, the room was searched, but nothing could be found.

Tall Man

Location: SW1 - Vauxhall Underground Line
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: This seven foot tall man was seen underground several times by diggers working on the line - he wore brown overalls and a cap.

Mugged Monk

Location: SW1 - Westminster Abbey, in the cloisters
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Between 5-6pm (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Stabbed to death during a robbery, this tall, thin monk has been known to make a brief reappearance. A First World War soldier sometimes makes a comeback and is seen standing by the tomb of the Unknown Warrior; his mouth moves as if he is trying to talk, but no sound emerges.

Westminster Bridge, London.

Leaping Shadow

Location: SW1 - Westminster Bridge (over)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 31 December, midnight (reoccurring) - 'Ripper' seen. Woman circa 1900s?
Further Comments: Just as a new year begins, a phantom man is said to throw himself off this bridge - many believe it to be the ghost of Jack the Ripper, taking his own life. Another story tells of a policeman who encountered a woman who pleaded with him to follow her. The policeman set off and was led to another woman in the act of throwing herself into the river. Having prevented her suicide, the policeman realised that the woman looked identical to the girl who had taken him to the spot, who had since vanished.

Westminster Bridge, London.

Shadowy Boat

Location: SW1 - Westminster Bridge (under)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A small boat, with three people travelling on its deck, has been seen moving under the bridge, only never to materialise from the other side.

Man in Black Robes

Location: SW1 - Westminster Cathedral
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1966
Further Comments: This apparent priest has been reported standing by the altar - he faded from view when approached.

President Bradshaw

Location: SW1 - Westminster Deanery, Islip Rooms
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Heard walking backwards and forwards, the ghostly footsteps belong to the man who authored King Charles I death warrant.


Location: SW1 - Westminster Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Dressed in traditional hat and cape, Guy Fawkes is said to disappear near one of the passageways that would take him to his secret stash of explosives.

Grey Lady

Location: SW1 - Westminster Hospital
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: When operational, this shady entity would appear just prior to the death of a patient, normally standing over the bed of the soon to be deceased.

Records 26 - 42 of 42

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