We’re keeping the chill of these stories, accounts and suspicions to a low level, bearing in mind this is a respectable weekly blog (a-hem), but If you simply have to know more, we’ve listed the local sites on which to find it. And if it’s all too chilling, Hocus Pocus 2 just came out.
We live in a historically rich area where London’s oldest home can be found, The Ancient House, and one of the earliest London settlements, Walthamstow village, dating back to 1086. Also, we’re located on the edge of the ancient woodland of Epping Forest and Hollow Pond, I mean, could we sound any spookier?
The original Blackhorse Road station was first opened in 1894, but during its construction, it was the scene of a terrible accident in which a worker perished.
After the incident, reports of mysterious sightings in the station circulated, including disembodied footfall walking around. On one occasion a full apparition was said to have been seen on the platform.
The new Blackhorse Road station at the junction of Blackhorse Road and Forest Road was opened in December 1981.
In 1944 Jane Rebecca Yorke, a resident of Forest Gate, was the last person convicted under the Witchcraft Act of 1735.
Nobody ever claimed Yorke had been a witch, but the Witchcraft Act was, apparently, the only legal device available, at the time, for arresting and charging her for being a fake medium.
Judge Dodson told Yorke, at the conclusion of the Old Bailey trial, that she "had been trading on the susceptibilities of poor distressed people" and that it was necessary "to protect women who had gone to her in their sorrow and bereavement to get some spurious comfort".
The case was significant because it led to a repeal of the Witchcraft Act of 1735, which was replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951.
Joan Peterson lived at Spruce Island and was known as The Witch of Wapping, it was recorded that she carried out devilish practises that included ‘bewitchment in the likeness of a cat’. And was condemned for practising witchcraft and sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn on Monday the 11th of April in 1652. It was also recorded that she represented an ‘exact and perfect relation of the life and devilish practises of Joan Petersen’. So spooked were onlookers, that they couldn’t even accept that the female form they saw in front of them was actually Joan Petersen herself.
There have been numerous sightings of an old man dressed in Victorian clothing in Whitechapel. And in the late 1990s, staff living in the Ten Bells Pub complained about alarming encounters they’d been having with a ghostly old man dressed in Victorian clothing. Awaking with an uneasy feeling in the middle of the night, they would turn over to find this phantom lying beside them in the bed, but as soon as they cried out, he disappeared.”
The Ten Bells in Dorset Street has long been associated with Jack the Ripper, whose final victim Mary Kelly was discovered in the pub in Miller’s Court in 1888.
It has a reputation as being one of the most haunted forests in England, Dick Turpin, although born in Hempstead in around 1705, was notorious for using Epping Forest as a base for his criminal activities. He murdered at least one man in the forest, for which he was tried and hanged in York in 1739.
In December 2003, the paranormal investigation show 'Most Haunted' did a live broadcast from the forest as the crew pursued the spirit of the infamous highwayman.
During the filming Turpin’s spirit apparently presented itself to Yvette Fielding and led the crew off the path and into the depths of the forest, forcing them to call a forest keeper to rescue them.
There are many many more and some fantastic websites where you can find them, a few are listed below.
Estates East Team
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E7 Now & Then
East End Women's Museum