Haunted History – 50 Berkeley Square

50-berkeley-square1    Possibly London’s most haunted house, 50 Berkeley Square was designed and built by William Kent in the late 18th century.  You’d have to wonder just exactly what was in the bricks because almost immediately, neighbors start telling ghost stories about its sinister residents.  One of the first stories was of a young woman seen hanging from the window sill of the 4th floor.  She screams loudly before letting go, thus falling to her death.

ghost2     Another story is of a young girl named Adeline that jumped to her death from the same 4th story window in 1789.  She was running from her abusive uncle.  Since the day of her death until today, her ghostly figure can be seen jumping from the top level, disappearing before she hits the ground.  Adeline can also be seen and heard on the top floors of the house.  You can hear her moving furniture around and knocking on the doors and walls.  But the two ladies weren’t the only supernatural residents.

There had long since been stories of this brown voided mass with tendrills, not a ghost, something so wicked and sinister that it was capable of driving those that it encountered insane if not killing them.

50 Berkely was well known to all to be haunted, and many thrill seekers came to explore the home themselves. Some were successful in their unguided tours, some returned as only remnants of their former selves, and some unexplainably died while inside.  In 1872 Aristocrat Lord George Lyttleton stayed overnight in the 4th level or attic bedroom, on a dare.  In his educated opinion, there were no such things as ghost or other mystical creatures of the night.  Uh Huh, we know how this goes right!?

So he has a bed set up then shows up later that evening with a shotgun, just for good measure.  Really, a shotgun!  And he’s an educated man, right?!  So anyway, he falls asleep but is awakened in the middle of the night, he looks up to see this brown misty creature floating toward him.  so what do you think he did?  He shot at it!  So the story picks up in the morning and Lord Lyttleton is searching the room for signs of where he fired his gun.  There were no scars on the walls nor was there a trail of blood.  He was perplexed.  Upon his leaving the house that morning, when questioned about his stay, he responded by saying that the upper level rooms were supernaturally fatal to body or mind.  I’d say he came out a believer, right folks!

7 years later, in 1879 a new family moves in.  After just getting settled the oldest daughter got news that her fiance’ would be coming to visit.  The maid is sent to the attic room to prepare for the house guest.  Not long after, her horrified screams were ringing through the house.  so the entire family goes running up to the 4th floor to see what the commotion was.  They find her curled up into a corner screaming repeatedly “Do not let it touch me!”  She dies the very next day in an insane asylum.  In the meanwhile, the fiance arrives, he’s seen to his room to rest up before dinner.  Not 30 minutes after he’s arrived the sound of screams fill the house and then there was a gunshot.  When the family arrived upstairs to see what had happened, the young man was found laying dead on the floor with no apparent injuries, the rumor was he died of fright, but no one ever figured out what he had shot at.

Upon hearing this story a noble man comes to the home to investigate. The family tells him about the maid, their daughter’s fiance’ and other odd incidents that had occurred since they moved in.  The man was skeptical to say the least.  To get to the bottom of the matter, he himself would spend the night in the attic room.  Well, the family was terrified for him.  A bell was installed for him and a system enacted,  if he was to become scared he would ring the bell once, if he was in need of rescue he was to ring the bell twice.

Well all starts out ok, as it usually does right?!  So it’s the middle of the night, the house is still and everyone is asleep.  All of the sudden the bell starts ringing like crazy.  Everyone jumps out of their beds and hauls ass to the attic room, but they were too late.  The skeptic was laid out on the floor, deader than Hell!  He was the first one documented to have died of fear in the house.

The next resident of 50 Berkeley was none other than Prime Minister George Canning.  He too reported noises coming from the upper levels of the house.  Anything from knocking, bells ringing, screaming and furniture moving around.  So needless to say, he didn’t venture to the upper levels of the house, and he didn’t stay there long either.

The next tenant was a renter, a 90 year old woman that died in the house.  Likely of natural causes.  You know her old ass couldn’t walk up 4 flights of stairs and she was probably too deaf to hear whatever the hell was going on on the upper levels.

In 1885 the house was purchased by Viscount Bearsted who would in turn lease the house out to a man known only as Mr Myers.  Myers had obtained the house for his new wife to be.  He had decorated the home especially for her and was eagerly awaiting to become her husband.  But it would never be.  Only days before the wedding, his intended wife ran away and he never heard from her or saw her again.

Myers became a recluse, never leaving the house.  He fell into a deep depression and barricaded himself into the attic room where he slowly lost his mind.  He would only leave the room at night, neighbors reported seeing him walking room to room with his candle held out in front of him.  Weeks passed and the neighbors stopped seeing the nightly candle light march.  Out of concern, they went to investigate.  Myers was found sitting in the corner of the attic room, he was catatonic.  He was then shipped off to the local nuthouse where he died just a few days later.

So now it’s 1887, the house is dilapidated and nobody from around there had too much interest in moving into that joint right?!  But luckily for the house, it’s next victims would come in the form of two drunken sailors.
So it’s Christmas Eve and their boat had just arrived in London.  These two young sailors, Edward Blunden and Robert Martin, were going to make a night of it.  so they go out on the town and by the end of the night, they realized just how much of a good time they had had cause they’re flat-ass broke and too drunk to go back to the boat.  So they’re wandering around and literally stumble onto a vacant house at 50 Berkeley.

So they settle in, in one of the second floor bedrooms.  Martin wakes up to the sound of heavy footsteps coming toward him, suddenly the door swings open.  This brown misty creature comes floating into the room.  The first thing he could think to do was arm himself so he grabs a fire poker from the fireplace.  The entity, seeing this of course as a threat, descended onto Blunden entrapping him in it’s ghostly tendrills.  So Blunden’s wrestling with it, trying to free himself and in the commotion, Martin wakes up and sees this madness going on.  So he hauls ass out of the house looking for help and eventually runs into a constable.

Martin blabs his story to the constable, who was no doubt more than aware of the things known to happen at 50 Berkeley.  Eventually Martin persuades him to go back to the house with him.  When they ran up to the second floor bedroom, Martin was gone.  The two of them began searching the house, after a while, Martin was located, he was in pieces down in the basement.

Though the house stayed vacant for quite some time, there were still plenty of reports filed by neighbors and pedestrians.  Sounds of screaming, gunshots, windows slamming, bells ringing and all kind of madness not to mention the ghostly spectors that seemingly made their appearances quite regularly.  The house was not occupied again until 1935 when an elderly couple moved in.  Just as before with the 90 year old woman, nothing was reported out of the ordinary, perhaps the ghosts and the brown misty entity liked old folks.  After the elderly couple in 1937 Maggs Brothers Book Dealers moved in.  Though both the owners and staff have reported hearing the same noises coming from the upper level rooms, no one has ventured beyond the first floor and there have been no major occurrences reported.

So would you go up on the upper level floors of this bad boy?  Would I?  maybe, just maybe!

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