Ghostly Wandsworth: South London’s Most Haunted

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Wandsworth in South London is known as the home of the Battersea Poltergeist but it’s full of spectral goings on, writes RICK HALE

Wandsworth Postcard

In the paranormal realm, a region that is extraordinarily active tends to get either forgotten or overshadowed by a haunting that dominates all others.

Wandsworth in south London is a perfect example of that. In the 1950s, the Hitchens clan came under attack by a ruthless and relentless poltergeist in Battersea.

if it wasn’t for Danny Robins and his Battersea Poltergeist investigation it may have been forgotten.

But what of the other, lesser known spectral activity in Wandsworth? Should we forget about those? No, of course not.

Because I tell you this, the Battersea poltergeist may have been bizarre and terrifying; the other hauntings in the area are just as bizarre and disturbing. 

The Black Dog 

Large, terrifying black dogs of diabolical origin has been a fixture of British folklore since time immemorial. 

according to legend they suddenly appear without warning with eyes burning in  nightmarish malevolence and horrific fangs snapping and gnashing.

While these dogs are frightening, the ghostly black dog of Wandsworth Road is anything but.

The black dog on Wandsworth Road is a relative newcomer to the area, only recently appearing around number 523.

The dog, known to be friendly is believed to have been a family pet that was killed when it darted into traffic.

The black dog appears mostly at night and has been seen vanishing through a wall at 523. 

Wandsworth Annie

Since it’s opening in 1851, Wandsworth Prison has housed some of the most dangerous criminals in Britain. 

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And because of this,Throughout its history Wandworth prison has known a great deal of controversy. 

While looking into troubling rumours, a BBC investigation made several disturbing discoveries, including staff corruption and drug trafficking.

While this alone would make for an interesting article, it is the paranormal we are concerned with here. Wandsworth Prison is home to its very own Grey Lady. 

There are two prevailing theories on who this grey clothed phantom, known as Wandsworth Annie was in life.

Some believe that she was a cook who died under mysterious circumstances. 

While others believe she was a former prisoner who died many years ago.

And her shabby grey clothes and veil she wears is consistent with the latter theory. As this was common prison clothing for female convicts.

Regardless of her origins a number of prisoners and staff have reported encountering the frightening apparition when they least expect it.

She quietly walks the halls of the prison and vanishes when confronted.

Poltergeist Of Eland Road

Harry Price was, and still is, considered to be one of most controversial figures in the history of psychical research.

Depending on who you talk to, Price was either a showman who exploited the paranormal for his own personal gain.

Or, he was a serious and learned investigator who was truly in pursuit of the unknown.

Either way, he was involved in the investigation of one of the lesser known Poltergeist cases in Britain.  

A case that truly mystified the veteran ghost hunter, the Eland Road poltergeist. 

In the late 1920s, Harry Price responded to a family on Eland Road who were experiencing something truly otherworldly. 

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The activity began as poltergeist episodes typically do. The family reported pennies being thrown around the house.

The haunting progressed to larger objects suddenly taking off from a fixed position and sailing across the room as if guided by an unknown intelligence. 

The haunting culminated in one violent act. A large chest of drawers was picked up and dumped on the floor.

Harry Price, despite his many years of investigating hauntings was truly stumped. He was never sure if a supernatural force was at play. Or, if human based shenanigans were at work.

The Crane Pub

Situated near The Causeway, where the River Wandle and Thames meet, is the Crane Pub.

Although the Crane is closed, it was at one time known as the most haunted building in Wandsworth. And it’s oldest Pub.

Throughout much of its history two ghosts were said to haunt the ancient drinking establishment. 

The first of two ghosts is that of a little boy in short pants seen in the pub area. Moving glasses and plates are attributed to this playful little spirit.

The second is a ghostly woman in the attic who has been witnessed walking through walls. Unlike the little boy, the woman in the attic is oblivious to her surroundings and whoever sees her.

Phantom Of St. Mary’s 

And lastly, we travel to St. May’s Church and the frightening figure seen lurking around the churchyard and nearby bridge.

Travelers passing by the church have reported the unnerving apparition of a large cloaked man croaching  among the tombstones. 

The same mysterious figure has been witnessed crossing Putney Bridge as it makes its way to the church.

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While a name has never been put to the ghost, it is widely believed he was a man who met a watery death after falling from the bridge.

The Wandsworth area may have been famous by its most illustrious spook, the Battersea poltergeist. 

But the rest of this south London burrough is brimming with supernatural activity that deserves more than a mere second look.

Have you had a paranormal experience in Wandsworth? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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