100. The old ones are the best...
And so we've reached episode 100. It's been a rewarding ride through the surreal, the quirky, the weird and the downright scary. Everyone loves a mystery, but they just don't happen like they used to! And so, to celebrate the 100th instalment of strangeness, we go back. Way back...
... to 1832 in fact. As cholera swept the land, purging and vomiting was certainly the order of the day, but as those who suffered looked to the sky, they did see before them a flaming sword. It was a sign, but a sign of what, as thousands cowered from the symbol hanging in the zenith. A century later, a similar sign appeared in the sky this time as the Crystal Palace burned. Witnesses spoke of a great red light in the Heavens, and the words that escaped their lips were of hope, for they believed that old ways of the old world were over.
However, one of London's creepiest mysteries was mentioned in the 1654 journal Mercurious Democritus and spoke of a bizarre and terrifying form said to have haunted East London. Every Saturday at Eastcheap and Whitechapel, as markets buzzed with trade, a hideous phantom appeared. This ghastly humanoid was said to have worn shoes with hooks upon, and upon its head a set of sharp horns.
The spectre would nimbly bound through the stalls, tormenting butchers by knocking their produce to the ground. They, in vain, attempted to apprehend the monster - many of the stall owners armed themselves with knives but despite hacking at the creature, their blades simply swept through thin air.
A local man named Mallet, a lawyer by trade, had died of food poisoning, or so it was alleged, and many believed it was his apparition said to loiter every week at the markets. It is unclear however, as to why a man should want to return from his grave to torment the local meat stalls. Unless of course, he was poisoned by such local meat! Even so, why would this spirit take on the form of a devilish being to fulfil its wrath? Maybe the fiend simply wanted to create its own bout of Saturday strangeness!!
Photo by Brymo on flickr