RICK HALE takes us to the Flask, one of Highgate’s oldest and most haunted pubs…
77 Highgate West Hill,
London N6 6BU
In the early to mid 1970s, the north London neighbourhood of Highgate was held in the iron grip of terror.
Highgate cemetery became the focus of a hunt for the undead. According to local investigators, Highgate cemetery was the home to a mythical vampire.
Although, Highgate cemetery is considered to be one of the most haunted places in London, there is one other Highgate haunt, The Flask.
History Of The Flask
The history of The Flask goes back to a time before Highgate became the affluent area it is today.
The building of the pub was constructed in three phases. The oldest part dates to 1663.
The main body was built in the 1720s. And lastly, the finishing touches were added on around 1800.
According to legend, the first autopsy was secretly performed in the Committee Room, after two ressurection men snatched a fresh corpse from the cemetery.
Throughout its history as a pub, The Flask was a favourite gathering place for artists and writers.
Byron, Shelley and Keats were regular customers. As well as, William Hogarth, who sketched two customers as they attempted to beat each other to death with their beer tankards.
And infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin, hid out in the basement when the law was looking for him.
The Haunting of The Flask
With all this history behind the pub, it should come as no surprise that The Flask has a couple resident ghosts.
The Flask and the Spanish Barmaid
A commonly held belief among paranormal researchers is that unrequited love can cause a haunting.
If this theory is true, The Flask may just prove that theory.
In the 1800s, a beautiful young Spanish woman came to London and took a job as a barmaid at The Flask.
Over time, the barmaid became infatuated with the owner. Eventually falling head over heels in love with the handsome publican.
One day, the girl decided to risk it all and express her love for her boss.
When she told him her true feelings, her boss explained that he was a married man and an affair was not possible. The girl, of course, was devastated.
The next morning, upon opening the pub, the publican discovered the young girl’s lifeless body hanging in the basement.
Her failed overtures caused her to commit the desperate act of suicide.
Today, the basement where the Spanish Barmaid hung herself is a seating area.
The ghost of the barmaid has been seen by staff and patrons wiping down the bar and the tables.
She has also been heard sobbing uncontrollably at night while the staff is closing up.
A number of patrons who thought she was a living barmaid have gone to approach her, only to be shocked as she vanishes before their eyes.
The ghost a man dressed in the full uniform of a cavalier has been seen in the main bar area.
He is said to suddenly appear and looks out a window as if he is watching out for someone.
He then turns and vanishes through a pillar in the middle of the room. The cavalier is believed to be a soldier guarding the building and died while carrying out his duties.
Where is the haunted Flask pub?
The Flask in the north London neighbourhood of Highgate, is considered to be a local institution by the residents of the affluent area.
The staff of the pub love to tell patrons tales of their resident ghosts as they serve up traditional English pub food and drinks with a smile.
The Flask is opened daily, and if you or anyone you know, has had an experience at The Flask, we invite you to tell us about it in the comment section.