With hundreds of years of famous history and ancient landmarks that are known around the world, it comes as no surprise that Harrow is host to some of the creepiest ghost stories in the UK.
After the success of our previous article on the subject, we take a look at some of the other stories in the borough that will have you shaking in your boots!.
The Phantom ‘Monk’ of Marsh Lane: A cowled, black (or, possibly, brown) robed figure was glimpsed passing through the Spinney gate on Marsh Lane. This is at the entrance to Canons Park. A dog walker also claims to have seen him stood in the shadow of a tree, “wringing his bony white hands for all he was worth” before “fading to nothing.” The same ghost has also been seen on Du Cros Drive, although reported sightings seem to have diminished since the turn of the century.
Haunted Bench, Weald Lane: Sighted early evenings during late autumn through winter, the outline of a young man with stringy hair in cream-coloured trenchcoat, staring ahead as though awaiting someone he knows will never arrive. An eyewitness explained. “This one time I watched him from across the road on the High Street. What struck me was how eerily still he was, then one blink and he was gone. There’s no way he could have got to his feet and moved out of eye-shot that fast.” Same phantom also sighted seemingly “looking for something” on ground by the entrance to the underpass on Courtenay Gardens.
Ghost cat at Roxeth School: A ghostly cat has been frequently seen at Roxeth First and Middle School, on Roxeth Hill, and the shimmering presence of a former rector of Harrow School near the sight of the old rectory. (David Brown, writing in the ‘Harrow Observer’ for Aug 22 1996)
Stanmore, Middlesex: Old Church Farm: This was a former rectory and the ghost of a parson haunts it. He has been seen to rise from his grave opposite the farm, walk toward the farm, enter the house and then make the return trip. Witnesses report hearing knocking and other noises and the ghost seems particularly interested if there is an ill person in the house. In nearby Honeypot Lane, witnesses have spoken of a rushing sound and the feeling that something has brushed past them. It could be that this is related to a battle that took place here between the Romans and the Britons shortly after Caesar’s invasion. – (Jonathan Sutherland – Ghosts of London, Breedon, 2002).
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore: A Grey Lady is reputed to haunt the wards of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore each November 13. She is generally regarded as the ghost of a nun, for the hospital is built on part of the grounds of a former nunnery. One nurse told me that there had been a ghostly Grey Lady at every hospital she had ever worked at! Some of the stories may be invented as a joke to scare new recruits when they were preparing for night duty for the first time, but the reluctance on the part of hospital authorities to discuss and investigate alleged hauntings at hospitals suggests that there are genuine haunted hospitals in London as there are in the provinces. (Peter Underwood – Haunted London. Fontana 1975)
Harrow Weald Park’s ‘Phantom Horses’: Many people are said to have seen horses in Harrow Weald Park or Boxtree Park as it’s also known. One tale suggests that a stables was nearby at neighbouring Colmer Place, often debunked but one witness said “I saw horses walking down Boxtree Road, I asked where they were headed and the rider said ‘to the stables’. Apparently the stables were destroyed many years ago.”
Honeypot Lane, Stanmore: This was the scene of a great battle when Caesar’s armies first came to Britain. This is said to be the cause of its haunting – for a great rushing sound is sometimes heard on dark nights, and many have spoken of something horrible brushing past them at the same time.
Old Church Farm, Stanmore: This was once a rectory. People have often seen a ghost rise out of‘ a grave in the field opposite to the farm, go over to the farm, enter it. and come back and re-enter its grave. People have heard knocking, and all kinds of noises. Last year a man was in the house, watching a dying woman; no other people were in the house. He saw the parson‘s ghost come into the room, lean over the woman and look at her, and then retire. (J. A. Brooks – Ghosts of London. Jarrold, 1982)