Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Ghostly Baker Street

Say the name ‘’Baker Street’ to most people and their immediate thoughts will turn to Sherlock Holmes, the seemingly infallible detective of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s extraordinary (if occasionally flawed) imagination. Ask them to name anything else connected with this street and many (including me) will mention the haunting and poignant autobiographical song by Gerry Rafferty.

Baker Street is in Marylebone in the heart if the bustling city. It has an underground station (on the Bakerloo line) and right around the corner stands Madame Tussaud’s and the London Planetarium, but Baker Street itself is an unprepossessing thoroughfare, with seemingly little but legend to recommend it.

  Named after the builder, William Baker, who laid out the street in the eighteenth century, it started life as a high class residential area but is now comprised mainly of commercial premises; oh, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum, situated at – you guessed it – 221B (which isn’t even a real address!). Confusingly, the museum is actually located between numbers 237 and 241.

A number of famous real people have lived in Baker Street –and some appear not to want to leave it. The eighteenth century actress, Sarah Siddons, is one of them. Her house was where number 228 stands today. She is seen walking through walls on the first floor.

 Meanwhile, nearby, the (now closed) two hundred year old Kenwood House Hotel, not only had sightings of an apparition dressed as a Cavalier gentleman, it also possessed that most fascinating of supernatural entities -  haunted furniture. Specifically, the drawers opened and closed by themselves and the mirror…poltergeist activity has been reported. With no guests to tease or terrify, it is not known if the ghosts still haunt.

 At 245-247, the Volunteer Gastropub not only feeds and refreshes its visitors, but guests can also look out for the ghost of Rupert Nevill, whose family owned a large manor house on that site which burned down in 1654. He is said to appear in the cellar – indeed, the cellars are the originals so would be familiar to him.

Deep underground isn’t free of apparitions either. Travellers on the Bakerloo line have reported seeing the reflection of a ghostly figure in the window, sitting next to them. But there is no one there…

I have always been fascinated by haunted locations and, in my novella - Linden Manor - there are ghosts both ancient and more modern congregating in and around a house with many a secret. Here's a taste:

Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body?

All her life, Lesley Carpenter has been haunted by a gruesome nursery rhyme—“The Scottish Bride”—sung to her by her great grandmother. To find out more about its origins, Lesley visits the mysterious Isobel Warrender, the current hereditary owner of Linden Manor, a grand house with centuries of murky history surrounding it.

But her visit transforms into a nightmare when Lesley sees the ghost of the Scottish bride herself, a sight that, according to the rhyme, means certain death. The secrets of the house slowly reveal themselves to Lesley, terrible secrets of murder, evil and a curse that soaks the very earth on which Linden Manor now stands. But Linden Manor has saved its most chilling secret for last.

Here's where you can find it:


  1. Ah Cat...doing some much needed catching up and worth it to read of a fav detective's haunt... xxxx