Silver Cross Tavern sits in the centre of Westminster in London, and with it comes a haunting perfect for a political scandal, says RICK HALE
The Silver Cross Tavern
33 Whitehall, Westminster, SW1A 2BX
Whitehall, a road that runs through the City of Westminster in London is recognised as the very heart of the United Kingdom.
The street is lined with numerous departments and ministries that are integral to the functioning of the country.
Located among these places of power, and just off Trafalgar Square, is a building that once represented the seedier side of Westminster.
The Silver Cross Tavern has been in operation for centuries, and is considered London’s only legal brothel.
Although not operating as thus, it does appear to still be haunted by one of its former employees.
History Of The Silver Cross Tavern
The building where the Silver Cross is located was built in the 13th century.
And was part of the Hermitage of St. Katherine’s until the reign of Henry VIII, when it was closed down.
The tavern received its first license in 1674 and it was known as “The Garter” due to it being a brothel.
The building was initially owned by William Waad, son of prominent politician, Sir William Waad.
His ownership came to an end after a year when Joseph Craig, bought the tavern as well as the surrounding buildings and called it Craig’s Court.
For some unknown reason the Silver Cross was never incorporated into the court.
In 1999, the BBC discovered that the license granted by Charles I was never revoked and the Silver Cross Tavern was still legally considered a brothel.
Even if they didn’t offer those services they offered centuries ago.
The Haunting Of The Silver Cross Tavern
Most pubs and Taverns in London generally have no problem making their ghosts public knowledge.
Many often advertise their hauntings, even going so far as being part of the the numerous ghost walks offered in London.
But not the Silver Cross. They like to keep their ghost under wraps. Almost as if it’s a naughty little secret.
The Dead Prostitute
When the Silver Cross Tavern was still in operation as a brothel the proprietor made a macabre discovery one day.
In the corner of what is the main bar area today, he discovered crumpled in a bloody mess in the corner the mutilated body of one of the prostitutes.
Seeing as how a murdered prostitute probably wouldn’t be missed by anyone, the proprietor unceremoniously disposed of the body and went about his business.
That was, of course, until her enraged spirit made its way back to the tavern.
The ghost of the murdered prostitute has not forgotten the horrific treatment she was subjected to all those years ago.
The bizarre activity that occurs in the tavern is often attributed to this vengeful wraith.
Pictures have been known to suddenly take on a life of their own and fly off the walls.
And glasses are pushed off tables and shatter on the floor making a dreadful mess.
Ghost footsteps heard
Footsteps are heard along with loud knocks on the walls.
Several people have claimed to see her apparition appear out of thin air. Her manifestation is typically preceded by a blast of icy, bone chilling air.
One former landlord, who was working late at night heard the voice of a woman yelling, ‘Daniel.’
Could this have been the murdered prostitute fingering her murderer? It certainly is possible.
Due to its close proximity to Trafalgar Square, and many British government buildings, the Silver Cross Tavern is a favourite of both civil service employees and tourists.
The Silver Cross Tavern is a traditional English bar that is well known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere.
With Christmas fast approaching, it should be noted the tavern has been hosting Christmas since 1799 and offers a festive menu for its patrons.
And a little ghostly activity thrown in to make your visit truly memorable.