Wednesday 28 October 2015

The Noisy Ghost of Poplar

The Morning Post dated 3rd October 1818 brings us a tale of terror and unexplained ghostly goings-on. Despite the efforts of the erstwhile Mr Bennett, magistrate, no update on the case was ever provided and it remains a tantalising, spooky snippet from the news...


Molly Megrim frightened at the #ghost of her first husband (1811)


SHADWELL. - A respectable lady, named JERVIS, residing at Regent's-street, Poplar, applied to Mr BENNETT, the Sitting Magistrate, on Thur-day last, for advice how to act under the following ludicrous circumstances:- She stated that she was the owner of a house situate next door to the White Hart, High-street, Poplar, and resided there for a length of time, but in fact she and a former tenant had literally been driven out by the frightful noises and ghostly appearances of some evil spirits which repeatedly haunted the place after the hours of twelve and one in the morning, by which not only the inmates of the house were alarmed, but the whole neighbourhood. For the last three years their unnatural visitations have nightly been witnessed by the hundreds of persons who gather in the adjoining streets, waiting anxiously staring at the house till the restless spirit who is "doomed for certain hours to walk the night" issues fort her with his usual direful sounds, disturbing the whole neighbourhood- when the sleepy inhabitants rise from their slumbers, with heads resembling "quills upon the fretful porcupine." The parish officers, agreeable to render all assistance, on several occasions, repaired to the house in order to ascertain from what source the noise proceeded, or how the evil spirits gained admission into the house; when, to the utter astonishment of all, no discovery could be made, there being no appearance of access, of anything else whereby any human could form could enter, the windows, doors and every other place being fastened. Notwithstanding, at the hour of its appearance, it is made known by a general shout, "There it is -- the ghost -- the ghost!" and in an instant the street is filled. It then commences its task, by knocking violently against the wall, as if done with a large maul, and on proceeding to the spot where the knocking is heard, it removes to a different spot, and when followed, as it aggravated, it screams in a most terrific manner, and can be heard at a great distance. A violent noise is then heard, like some person running heavily towards the stairs, similar to a person with draymen's shoes, and then runs up and down the stairs, during which time a terrible yell is heard, as from under the ground, and continues for several hours; and what is more surprising, the more it is followed, the more it disturbs and still cannot be seen. By these practises, the house remains on the owner's hands, every body being afraid even to live near the place.

The above was corroborated by other persons who attended.

MR. BENNETT, the Magistrate, being fully satisfied that this nocturnal visitor could be no more or less than flesh and blood, gave immediate orders to Neale, Fair, and other officers, to repair to the house, and endeavour, if possible, to apprehend the Ghost, and being him before him and he would meet with his due reward for his past labour, but cautioned them not to shoot him, as no doubt, he was a poor harmless ghost.


Pauline Montagna said...

Sounds like air in the pipes to me. Maybe they should have called a plumber.

Sarah said...

Sounds like my cats having a fracas over who eats the mouse

Catherine Curzon said...

Might have been more use!

Catherine Curzon said...


Tom P said...

“Air in the pipes” love that expression!