Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

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31 October 2009

See 50 Berkeley Square, London's most haunted house

In case you hadn't noticed, it will be All Saints Day tomorrow, which make's this evening All Hallows' Eve, or Halloween, the day when the spirits of the dead walk among us. So, what better day to learn about 50 Berkeley Square, which was known in the 1900s as the most haunted house in London. The house was built in 1740, and formerly occupied by Prime Minister George Canning. However, the house soon developed a reputation for apparitions, screams and noises.


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Haunted London recounts many of the ghost stories, which apparently began when resident Mr Myers was due to be married but was jilted at the altar. Myers subsequently moved into a tiny room at the top of the building where he lived alone, only ever leaving his room at night to walk through the house candlelight.

Stories include that of a maidservant sent to make up a room but found collapsed shortly afterwards, muttering to herself "don't let it touch me". No one knows what she saw as she died in hospital following day. The maidservant's master, Captain Kentfield, then decided he would spend the night in the room and headed upstairs. Thiry minutes later, after terrible screams and a gunshot, he was also found dead on the floor, his face twisted in terror.

Other stories include that two sailors who broke into the empty house and stayed in the haunted room, one was found strangled, and the other jumped from the house and was impaled on a wrought iron fence. Sir Robert Warboys also attempted, with the agreement of the landlord, to spend the night in the haunted room with pistol and a special cord to the landlord so he could alert him if he saw anything. When the bell rang the landlord found Warboys dead, with his smoking gun having made a hole in the opposite wall.

Since 1938, the building has been occupied by firm of Maggs Bros, an antiquarian book dealer. For more information, visit http://www.haunted-london.com/50-berkeley-square

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