Originally Posted 25/08/14
By Esin Huseyin
Today marks the first day of our new feature ‘London Five’; be prepared for anything from the supernatural through to the seductive – unfortunately the late 90’s band 5ive won’t be making an appearance.
This week I’m starting the feature with a ghoulish; BOO! There is nothing more fascinating than a ghost story, but there’s no better feeling than an ice cold drink (it is a bank holiday after all), so why not combine them both. Find a list of some of the local haunts; mine’s a double vodka cranberry, thanks.
This idyllic pub in Highgate is supposed to be the home to a female ghost; lights moving on their own accord, chills down customer’s necks, and even drinks moving on their own accord. There is a lot of speculation surrounding the identity of this female, and why she still haunts the pub -was it a suicide after an illicit love affair? Is she linked to the bullet in the wall? Either way you may be in for more than a round of drinks, here.
This Mile End Road establishment is home to a ghost who loves a bit of toilet humour; picture this, you’re sitting unawares on the toilet and along comes a ghost who flushes the toilet. If I didn’t know any better, this ghost foresaw the future of sensored toilets – in the 1970’s the pub owners attempted to flush out the ghost, which resulted in an aggressive reaction. Just bare in mind that if you take a visit down to the Bow Bells, 2 may certainly become a crowd in the toilet stalls.
Now, this pub is the favourite one of them all, because it’s dripping in history. The building was built in the 1720’s and was initially used by the Food Guards Regiment; or, known as Grenadiers after their battle at Waterloo against the French. A young grenadier was beaten to death, after supposedly cheating at a game of cards. Footsteps are said to be heard, unexplainable rattling, low moans, and one customer even witnessed mist appear before him – which when he reached out to touch it, he states felt like someone burnt him with an invisible cigarette. Whatever the history at Grenadier, this pub is located in beautiful Belgrave Square; if you’re after ghost hunting, with a view.
The Old Queen’s Head
This pub is dripping in history, most recently for being a renowned music venue; but what you may not have known is that this pub is thought to be haunted by both a female and a young child. The young child may very well be playing or sulking; slamming doors, crying, and running footsteps are heard. The older female is said to only be spotted on the first Sunday of every month, sporting her Sunday best – clothing dated back to the Tudors. Next time you’re in the Ol’ Queen’s Head, spare a thought for what might be happening upstairs.
The perfect example in to our sordid history; under this pub is a corridor of holding cells, where prisoners who we were trying to deport to the colonies, would be kept. Due to the conditions present, an outbreak of scurvy and cholera was inevitable – however, this pub is said to be haunted by a man who committed suicide rather than risk deportation to the colonies. But, this ghost is supposedly not alone; a man is meant to have died in the tunnels after escaping Millbank prison. These two ghosts go around knocking drinks out of unsuspecting customer’s hands, as well as bottles on the bar. Just make sure you keep a tight grip around here.
Have you visited any of these places? Do you have any other haunted pubs in London you wish to share with us? What would you like to see featured next week? Let us know in the comments below.