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Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana of London's NW3 District

Boudica's Grave

Location: NW3 - Barrow known as Boadicea's Grave, Hampstead Heath
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Local folklore says that the barrow is Boudica's final resting site, although it could just be a Bronze Age burial mound belonging to someone else entirely.

Red Head

Location: NW3 - Church Row, Hampstead
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, early morning
Further Comments: The shade of a servant girl carrying a carpet bag has been seen walking down this street, heading towards the church. Contained within the bag are the remains of a child's body, which the maid had killed, and she is en route to dispose of the pieces in the churchyard. The entity was also said to haunt an unnamed building along the road.


Location: NW3 - Church Walk, Hampstead
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Loud sighing could be heard throughout the house, believed to be the site where a mother murdered a young child.

Old Man in Brown

Location: NW3 - East Heath Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This smiling old man, dressed in a brown overcoat, follows witnesses along the road, quickly fading into the air if challenged.

Victorian Woman

Location: NW3 - Fitzroy Park near junction with Millfield Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Spring 1975, around 22:00h
Further Comments: Four people in a parked car spotted a woman wearing a Victorian style dress glide past. Although dark outside, the woman was illuminated, and made no sound on the gravel track. The witnesses quickly drove away.

Stress Inducing Shade

Location: NW3 - Gatehouse public house, Hampstead Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1947
Further Comments: The landlord of this pub apparently collapsed after seeing the spectre and retired soon after. The ghost is thought to be an old white-haired smuggler who was murdered on site.


Location: NW3 - Hampstead Heath
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Sighting of ghosts unknown, cryptid in 2005
Further Comments: Thought to be none other than Dick Turpin, this ghostly robber rides around the heath after dusk on his jet black horse. Another ghost on the common land is that of a nineteenth century Member of Parliament who swallowed poison nearby; his shade can be identified by its top hat. A third ghost was spotted by two boys out playing on the heath, who reported watching an old man silently digging a hole. When they returned to the spot the following day, the ground was undisturbed. In 2005 a man encountered a large, winged creature which tore off the tops of trees as it passed overhead.


Location: NW3 - HG Wells' House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: This famous character, author of The Time Machine and many others, reportedly still walks between the walls of his former home.


Location: NW3 - Holly Bush Inn, Holly Mount
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: Seen and spoken to several times by customers who have given their orders to her, they later find out that a girl matching that description has never worked for the pub.

Victorian Man

Location: NW3 - Old Bull & Bush public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: This shade is thought to belong to a skeleton discovered hidden in the basement, dated around the end of the nineteenth century.


Location: NW3 - Priory, Church Row
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: The builder of this property, Mr Thompson, was said to have bricked up one of his daughters within its walls, and her ghost haunted the site.


Location: NW3 - Private house along Well Walk
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century?
Further Comments: The staircase and a bedroom were said to be haunted. One guest reportedly fled the bedroom after hearing knocking, quiet footsteps and whispering. A few days later, having changed room, the guest watched a woman in blue ascend the staircase and disappear into the haunted room.


Location: NW3 - The Spaniards Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Horses reported in the 1930s, other events in 2004
Further Comments: Sounds of a horse moving around this area were frequently reported prior to the Second World War. More recently, one witness reported her dog taking bites at an invisible presence within the public house.

Young Woman

Location: NW3 - Turpin's Restaurant
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980
Further Comments: The ghost of a woman who was strangled by the fireplace was said to haunt the area where she died.

Dog sized Cat

Location: NW3 - West End Lane, area near the church
Type: ABC
Date / Time: April 1992
Further Comments: Deep within London, the report of this large golden cat surprised many locals.

Girl Looking Through Window

Location: NW3 - William IV public house, Hampstead High Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The outside of the pub is haunted by a girl who gazes in through the lower windows, while inside walks the shade of a doctor's wife who was murdered and buried in the cellar.

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