Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A spooky Tale

I was not sure how to start this post, I heard of it and thought it would make an interesting post, but how to tell it?. So please be patient with me as it goes round the houses just a little.

First... a little bit of history.

In the middle of the 19th century Victorian London was crazy-busy and huge numbers of people needed to be able to get about the city, especially to and from the railway termini feeding into London.

Some of you may not know it, but London's underground system (Subway/Tube/Metro) was the very first, and is the oldest in the world.

It wasn't planned and built by just one company, but each line was built by separate ones formed specially to build them, sometimes in the early days they were in competition in some places. It sort of evolved organically... and it grew one or two appendixes along the way.^_^

So in 1860 work was started on the Metropolitan Railway (now the Metropolitan tube line) to link three of London's main line termini with the City. The first bit of the line was opened in January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon. Way to go!

By the turn of the century there were a number of lines. One was run by the Central London Railway (now the central line) formed in 1891. It was electric and opened in June 1900. Now we are getting to the point, so pay attention ^_^. One of the Stations on it was 'British Museum' at 133, High Holborn. What is now Holborn Station was opened in 1906 and in time became an interchange between the Piccadilly and Central lines.

'British Museum' was between Tottenham Court Road and Chancery Lane when it was opened, close to the Museum, of which more later.

by September 1933 'Holborn' Station was by then a more useful interchange station now, on the same line, close by, so British Museum was closed. It is not the only station that happened to. There are lots of disused stations under London, cut loose by the flow of the city's history.

Did any of you read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman? I really enjoyed it.

Ok so back to the actual Museum the station was near, and named for. The British Museum is fascinating especially if you like ancient history.

It is one of the oldest in the world Founded in 1753 by Act of Parliament. I have visited it a few times. There are ancient statues and sarcophagi and Mummies... It is worth a visit.

And now back to that station but keeping in mind the mummies...

Not long after the station closed people started claiming the newly disused station was haunted. Haunted by the ghost of an ancient (surely beautiful and exotic also?)Egyptian Princess who would return to haunt it late at night, dressed in a fabulous regal loincloth and headdress, wailing and screaming in the tunnels.

The haunting was rumoured to be some part of the curse of Princess Amen-Ra's tomb, a curse on any who disturbed her rest. Her sarcophagus had arrived in the British Museum in 1889. There were rumours she was taken out of the sarcophagus because there had been too many incidents and disturbances.

She herself ended up going down with the Titanic can you believe, though she lived around 3000 years before it was ever built.

At the time The rumours about the haunting got so strong it is said a newspaper offered a reward to anyone who would dare to spend the night there, but no one took them up on the challenge.

In 1935, two years after the station closed two women are said to have disappeared from the platform at Holborn... and marks were subsequently found on the walls of the old station...

More recently it is said that she can still sometimes be heard, further on down the track, at Holborn station.

'British Museum' station is still down there, on the Central Line, between 'Tottenham Court Road' station and 'Holborn' station.


Anonymous said...

Went down with the Titanic? What an interesting twist. Thanks for the spooky tale. Very interesting and you've piqued my curiosity about Neverwhere.

Lee said...

What an interesting post. I enjoyed it very much.

Oh...brunette, I think!

Hope all is well with you, jmb. G'day from Down Under! :)

Anonymous said...

That was a really intriguing tale. A bit chilling. I liked it. I also love the underground, and if I filter out all other considerations I can still hear the screeching and rumbling sound of a train entering the station -- Holborn or indeed British Museum.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

I am so glad you all enjoyed the post.

LGS, Yes, the Titanic connection is freaky isn't it?

I do hope you enjoy Neverwhere if you read it. I read his Good Omens also. That was fun.

Lee, Maybe I should get pics of several hair dos and put it to a vote.. idea for a future post maybe.

I'll pass your good wishes on to JMB if she doesn't see them here.

Mrwriteon, It has been suggested the loss of the titanic was connected to the curse making it even more sinister.

I must admit tho, it was not totally lost on me that Tube train wheels can make sort of screetching sounds and brakes too. In a tunnel late at night echoing... ^_^

For me, personally, if I were haunting the British Museum and had a radius of territory that took in Holborne. Then there are theatres, good book stores, clothes stores, little back street retaurants and at least one English school.

A well read, up to date spook, with a Lous Vuitton bag, a nice pair of Jimmy Choos or Duos, the latest look and a good command of English. ^_^

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

I am so dumb.

Savile Row is probably too far away, It is more or less off Regent St... and How could I mail order boots without a fitting? No Duos *Sigh*

...Unless it were possible to roam further.. I don't really know the haunting rules.

Anonymous said...

I got myself a copy of Neverwhere and am reading it now.