Urban landscape — 31 October 2017
Site Unseen: Maggs Bros

Every month CabbieBlog hopes to show you a little gem of a building that you might have passed without noticing, in the past, they have ranged from a modernist car park; a penguin pool; to a Hanoverian gatehouse.

You probably pass 50 Berkeley Square on any journey from the West End to Bayswater without realising you’ve passed what some regard as the most haunted house in London.

Built around 1750 this mid-terrace townhouse is one of the few remaining original properties which once flanked the famous square, much of the north and west now given over to expensive car showrooms.

In the spirit of Halloween, I’ll recount those sighting which in all probability are tales to frighten the local populace and little else. A young girl (it always is a ‘young girl’) named Adeline apparently threw herself out of a window on the top floor in order to get away from an abusive uncle. As early as 1789 newspapers reported sightings of seeing Adeline clinging to the windowsill about to fall to her death.

A brown tendrilled misty mass is reported to inhabit the upper floor of 50 Berkeley Square. A maid reported to her employer in 1879 of seeing this apparition and died the following day in an asylum.

A Mr Myers who had rented the house was jilted y his future bride, spent years as a reclusive at number 50 before he too lost his mind.

The house became dilapidated and two sailors decided to spend the night within the property. One awoke to find a tendril strangling his colleague, and ran from the house to seek help. A police constable returned with him to find the second sailor dead, reports vary in the manner of his demise. More likely the sailor had killed his compatriot and blamed the apparition.

Today on antiquarian bookseller occupies one of the finest Georgian townhouses n Berkeley Square.

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