By: Martin Elvery …..
The London Underground is of course the perfect place for ghosts and ghouls to hang out. The dark, spooky tunnels are frightening enough in themselves but the fact a lot of people have died down there after being trapped in Tube doors or falling onto the tracks makes it hallowed ground.
Then there’s the fact that the tunnels plough through old plague pits, disused cemeteries, former lunatic asylums and Roman temples which all produced their fair share of skeletons. But some ghost stories jolt you more than others, and this one certainly does!
It all started at Aldgate station which is right in the heart of the oldest part of London. One night a track worker was working a late shift when he slipped and fell onto the rails. He was zapped by 20,000 volts from the conductor rail which in most cases should have killed him instantly. But he miraculously survived with just minor bruising. How on earth had this happened?
Well, one of his co-workers later reported that he saw the spooky sight of a half-transparent old woman stroking the man’s head before he fell. The story got about that the old woman was killed during World War Two after also falling onto the electric rail. Had she really returned from the dead to save the endangered worker?
There’s no doubt Aldgate is a good spot for ghosts anyhow. Strange footsteps and eerie whistling have been reported many times in the tunnels. Some theorists have put these down to Infrasound on the Tube – sound which is too low to be heard by the human ear but which can cause people to feel like they’ve experienced something strange.
But we prefer the less scientific approach. After all, Aldgate dates back to Roman times when it was the easternmost gate of the Roman city and next door to the station lies St Botolph’s Church where more than 1,000 victims of the Great Plague were buried. In 2005, archaeologists uncovered some 238 burials associated with the Aldgate burial grounds. Some were five to a coffin.
The area was also heavily bombed in World War Two, and in 2005, seven people were killed in a horrific incident by a terrorist bomb when a train was approaching Aldgate on the Circle Line. There are generations of death and suffering here and so it’s no surprise it’s a favorite spot for spirits to return from the otherworld…