Tag Archives: Sir Francis Bacon

London’s crappest ghost: a Halloween post

London has many ghost stories and some are actually rather scary, like the Black Dog of Newgate. This spirit is said to haunt Amen Court near St Paul’s, where a wall from Newgate Prison remains. It manifests itself as a shapeless, black form slithering along the wall before it disappears into the shadows.

Considerably less spooky is the ghost said to haunt Pond Square in Highgate.

The story goes like this.

In January 1626, the writer and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon wanted to test his theory that ice could be used to preserve food, so he bought a chicken on Highgate Hill, killed and plucked it, and stuffed the carcass with snow. The frozen chicken had been invented, but the effort caused Bacon to contract pneumonia from which he died.

A sad tale, but one which doesn’t end there. For, ever since, on icy cold nights in the depths of winter, a shape resembling a partially plucked chicken has been seen flapping around Pond Square and squawking before vanishing spookily into the ether.

Yes, that’s right, London is haunted by the spirit of a featherless fowl.

Has there ever been a crapper ghost than this?

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