The Ghosts of the London Underground

You might not think twice about the history and life of the underground stations that you visit as you travel around the city of London.  They are normally busy, filled with people in a hurry to get to where they want to be, and no time to stop and take a look at what surrounds them.  Yet stand on a deserted platform with no other noise than the trains in the distant tunnels and the stations take on a distinctly different feel.

Photo by Pablo
Photo by Pablo

By length it is the longest underground in the world and has been in operation since 1863.  What many people fail to realise is that as the lines were being constructed they kept running into vast burial pits from the time of the Black Death, one of the largest of which was discovered during the construction of the Victoria line, at Green Park. It is believed that the line that runs between Knightsbridge and South Kensington is curved due to the fact that there is a burial pit there, so densely packed with human remains that the engineers found it impossible to tunnel through. With 145 years of tragedies that have occurred on the lines and the already dark influence of the plague pits, it is no wonder the deserted stations can be so ‘atmospheric’.

Layers of Emotional Echoes

People have met their end in many ways down here, during construction, and carrying out maintenance on the lines. Then there are the deaths of commuters by natural causes, suicides that have thrown themselves in front of approaching trains and of course the occasional murder. Add to that the deaths from accidents, fires and derailments over the years, and the scores of lives that were lost in the tunnels during the Blitz, and then again in the more recent terror attacks and it is no wonder that the entire underground system is widely regarded as being haunted.

Apparitions and Egyptian Princesses

The tube station that served the British Museum is now long abandoned; having closed in 1933 it is still believed to be haunted by the spirit of an Egyptian Princess, her earthly remains being on display within the museum. A respected national newspaper at one time offered a substantial reward to anyone willing to spend a night alone in the station, yet no one rose to the challenge.

The Jubilee Line Extension serves several stations; it was constructed during the 1990’s. The construction of the line took it through the grounds of several cemeteries belonging to old monasteries and by the time the track was completed the relocation of 683 graves was required. Since the line was built there have been regular reports of spectral monks walking the tunnels. What many visitors to London don’t realise is that every night the lines are checked on foot by patrolmen who work alone, some of these men and women have experienced things that have stopped them returning to the tunnels.

Be Vigilant

The next time you ride the underground be aware of what is around you, check your reflection in the window opposite your seat, is yours the only face you see? Many passengers have reported seeing a face next to theirs when the seat next to them has been empty.

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