With Halloween fast approaching we’ve been inspired by the spooky season to delve into Mayfair’s ghostly past. In an area of London populated by beautiful but old properties, The Insider thinks there must be some ghoulish tales to uncover….
Attending the crowded Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, you’d never guess that towards the rear of historic Burlington house, there lurks the ghost of a “screaming nun” making night guards don headphones to block her wails.
Guards are also reporting of other weird occurrences, Nathan Phillips, speaking to the Evening Standard told them of his strangest encounter yet:
“On patrol, you walk past the bones area, go through the studios and then walk back the same way, pulling the doors shut behind you,” he said.
“When I got back to where the skeletons are, the doors all slammed shut — like boom, boom, boom one after another. I tried to make out what it could be and checked all the doors again. I got to the same point in the same sequence and the bangs happened all over again. I didn’t finish my patrol that night.
Another ghostly story is that of 50 Berkeley Square, now Maggs Brothers booksellers, said to be the most haunted place in England. For the last few centuries 50 Berkeley Square has been reported to have ghosts, sightings of a little girl and a more ominous “thing” have been reported.
Lord Lyttelton and Sir Robert both believed the rumours to be ‘poppycock’ and dared to stay in the top floor… Lord Lyttelton and Sir Robert met their death the same way, at the hands of the thing, crumpled in shock.
Two other men were sailors on shore leave, having drunk all of their money and seeing 50 Berkeley Square was empty decided to spend the night on the top floor. One of the sailors was terrified of the ‘bad feeling’ he got in the room but the other quickly started to snore. A figure appeared so gruesome that it left one of the men paralysed in shock.
The other ran for help and was accompanied by a bemused policeman back into the house. The other sailor had vanished, the Policeman thought the man with him was crazy but agreed to look through the house. Finally, in the basement, the policeman found the other man, lying in a heap on the floor with his eyes wide open in fear and his neck snapped.
Even now, there is a police warning from the 1950s which still hasn’t been revoked. It hangs on the wall of 50 Berkeley Square, saying no soul must ever enter the top floor …
We’re pleased to be able to say that here at Flemings we haven’t had any encounters of the paranormal kind!