94. Saving The Life Of A Ghost?
Despite the hidden alleyways, dark crevices, and secret crannies of the city, it comes as a surprise that the area around Cleopatra's Needle, on the Victoria Embankment, remains one of the most haunted. The Needle, brought to the capital in 1878, stands on the banks of the River Thames like some eerie, sky puncturing watcher, and if such an obelisk had eyes it would have seen many a tragedy.
This specific location is known for many suicides, more than any other stretch of the river. During the 1940s a peculiar encounter, involving a policeman, took place in the vicinity. It had been a foggy night, when the policeman was approached by a woman who hysterically told him that a lady was about to leap into the cold, grey waters of the Thames. She motioned to the officer frantically to follow her to the spot, and as they arrived at Cleopatra's Needle, he could clearly see a woman about to jump from the bridge. The policeman lunged for the despondent soul, wrenching her back to safety, but received the shock of his life. There before him stood the woman who he could have sworn only seconds ago had warned him of the pending tragedy. The policeman looked around him, but there was no woman to be seen.
Some people have reported also, that on some dark, mist-enshrouded nights, eerie moans can be heard near the Needle, others mention that the groans are emanating from within the granite form. And on several occasions there have been sightings of a naked figure, running across the riverside terrace and plunging into the murky depths. This is always a silent event, with no screaming, no padding of feet or even splash of water, and never any sign below that a person is flailing amidst the racing waves.
Photo by Mikelo on flickr