The Saturday Strangeness

By NeilA Last edited 109 months ago
The Saturday Strangeness

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90. The Ghouls of Greenwich

Several decades ago, author Elliot O' Donnell recorded many famous and obscure apparitions in his books. On the 24th July 1898, the writer claimed to have had a weird encounter with a 'nature spirit', as he described it, whilst he was perched on a bench in Greenwich Park. O' Donnell was shadowed by the diseased branches of an elm tree, when suddenly something caught his eye, a form which fell from the tree. It was no mere leaf, piece of rotten bark or insect, but a creature half-human, half-animal, "...stunted, bloated, pulpy and yellow", which, as it hit the floor, moved sideways like a crab and headed off towards a bush. O' Donnell fled the park, disturbed by the thing he'd seen.

In 1966 Rev. R. N. Hardy took a photograph of not just one, but two spirits whilst at the Queen's House, National Maritime Museum. The picture showed a figure on the Tulip staircase, it resembled a monk in its dark garb and was hooded. It appeared to be walking up the stairs, its left arm resting on the bannister. In front of the monk-like spectre is the arm of another, less discernible spook. Investigations at the time into the possibility of a haunting resulted in footsteps being heard, but nothing seen.

The Royal Naval College at Greenwich also has a ghost - author Peter Underwood mentioned such a ghoul in the Queen Anne Block, reported 1st January 1962, when a Mr Edward C. Hull and a colleague, noticed a door handle violently rattle and the door thrown open. Footsteps and tapping sounds were also reported.

Some believe the ghost to be of Admiral Byng, imprisoned in the college in 1757, before his execution for treason.

Photo by sonewfangled on flickr.

Last Updated 10 January 2009