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Ghosts

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  • HOLY GHOST

    There is an ancient tavern on Gate Street which can be traced back at least 450 years. Over that time, innumerable beers and wines have been consumed by revelling patrons but you might be surprised to learn about the other spirits available here; in addition to gins and whiskeys, drinkers might encounter a different kind of spirit altogether: ghosts. The middle of the 16th Century was a period...

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  • SPOOK COLLECTING

    The opera has a phantom and you had better believe that the theatre has a ghost. Drury Lane theatre is famed for supernatural shenanigans with at least three authenticated ghosts creaking the boards at this historic theatre. Credulous luvvies consider a spectral visit to augur well; that the current production will meet with critical acclaim, however, if and when a ghost graces somebody with its...

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  • REST IN PEPYS

    If you go down to the Strand today look out for a big surprise. Hundreds of spooks have made the streets around the Strand their haunted home and Buckingham Street is no exception. Samuel Pepys lived in two different houses on the street and he seems to have left his soul in the first, number 12. Weary workers walking down the street have noticed a shadowy face behind the upstairs window where...

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  • WC BOO!

    Over the course of time the mighty Thames has claimed many a life. Suicides favour the jump into the water over a glass of the stuff, villains have been known to dress their victims in concrete boots before inviting them for a swim in the river and there have been tragic accidents whereby Londoners have drowned or been dashed to ribbons on the banks. It is perhaps unsurprising that some of these...

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  • CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE

    Cleopatra famously committed suicide by allowing a poisonous asp to bite her, this however is likely to be a factless embellishment of myth. She was also nothing like the looker she is purported to have been: a contemporary historian, Plutarch wrote: “Her beauty was by no means flawless or even remarkable”, and from her portrait on this coin she is less Liz Taylor more Graham Taylor. Regardless...

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  • YOU SHIVER BUT IT’S NOT COLD

    Some ghosts are scary, some comforting and some wear white sheets and say “Boo!” A fourth type is manifest in poignant melancholy. People who have fallen into ‘Jenny¹s Hole’ on Robert Street have reported the experience as unlike any other. “If words have been invented to describe that feeling I have never learnt them.” Little is known about Jenny; there is speculation that she may have peddled...

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  • A LIFE ON THE STAGE, AN AFTER-LIFE ON THE TRACKS

    William Terriss was very much the dapper gent in Victorian Covent Garden, seldom to be seen without his trademark pale gloves, Terriss was an actor held in high esteem by his contemporaries. Alas not all his contemporaries though, Terriss was brutally murdered over Christmas 1897 by a jealous actor down on his luck Richard Prince. Prince had briefly courted theatrical fame but due to sluggardry...

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  • ANNE BOO-LEYN

    Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous English Queens, despite having lived nearly 500 years ago and having sat on the throne for only three years. While her King, Henry VIII had absolute power, Anne pulled his strings, but for her miscarriage of two sons she would have been Henry’s second and last wife. Anne came to court as a handmaiden to Henry’s first wife Catherine of Aragon but quickly...

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  • TEMPLE OF SHADES

    Don’t tell everyone but Temple is surely the quietest public place on the Covent Garden map, nowhere else can you have a stroll uninterrupted by the activity which gives Covent Garden its uniqueness. Sandwiched between the buses and bustle of the Strand and the mighty Thames, Temple stands proud; the land that time forgot. Come rest a while and read of a bizarre epiphany. In 1898 Judge Hawkins...

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  • The Spook of Wellington

    Every good theatre should have a ghost and the Lyceum on Wellington Street has at least three; They aren’t the scooby doo kind of ghosts who mince around in a white sheet and say ‘Boo!’ but the kind which appear every so often with no explanation and as quickly as they were here, they’re gone. Before relocating to Marylebone, Madame Marie Tussaud opened her first waxworks collection on the site...

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