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Ghostly Goings On At Senate House - A Halloween Special

23rd October 2015
Halloween At Senate House

The Ghosts of Senate House

Perhaps you have already heard whisper of ghosts, ghouls and strange things going bump in the night at Senate House. Is our library tower really haunted? What otherwordly secrets lay under Crush Hall?

Come curious children of the night, if you seek mystery and macabre read on…

Warning, if you’re afraid of the dark or of a more gentle temperament may we suggest you leave now and read this cheerier post on festive engagement ideas.

The Tragic Story Of Sir Edwin Deller

‘I find him in the wonder of his Tower,

That monstrous beautiful and bloody Tower,

His wordless monument, which seems to say,

“For this he worked and planned and gave his life,

Then took his wages – Death – and went his way” ‘

Published in The Times 1940.

It is 28th November 1936. Sir Edwin Deller, the Principle of the University of London, is leading a tour of University officials around the building site of Senate House when a skip accidently falls down the temporary lift shaft and hits the group. Sir Edwin dies of his injuries in hospital a few days later, and it is said that his ghost has haunted the lift ever since. Some say that the lift is noticeably colder than the rest of Senate House and some have even witnessed the lift call itself. 

The Nameless Blue Lady

The Blue Lady is said to appear from time to time in the Senate room. Though her identity remains uncertain, curiously, amongst all the paintings of important men hung on the walls, is a singular portrait of the Queen Victoria in a pale blue dress. Coincidence? You decide.

Haunted Book Collections And Magical Literature

Harry Prince gifted his collection of magical literature to Senate House in 1948, over 13,000 books and periodicals on all types of rare magic including witchcraft, conjuring and the occult. Some employees still believe the library room which houses the collection and the book stacks on the 8th floor are haunted by a few friendly and sometimes mischievous spirits.

The Mystery Of The Reappearing Lake

Mysterious waters have flowed under the foundations of Senate House since it was built in the 1930s. The water is regularly pumped out to stop the building from flooding, but the water keeps appearing. Though no one really knows where it’s coming from some suspect it is ancient water from one of the lost rivers of London.

The Field Of Forty Footsteps

The bloody tale of the field of forty footsteps is still well known in Bloomsbury.

As the legend goes in the 17th Century it was the site where two brothers, both besotted with the same lady, dueled furiously against each other to win her affections. Both were mortally wounded and died on the field. It is said that their footsteps can still be seen in Bloomsbury just north of Senate House in front of Birbeck College, as grass does not grow on the spots where the brothers stepped as they fought.

Acknowledgements:

A big thank you to Sarah Sparkes, who has spent over three years researching legends and collecting intriguing first hand accounts of ghost encounters at Senate House for ‘The Ghosts of Senate House’ project http://www.sarahsparkes.com/blog/residencies/the-magical-library/

Further Reading

The Ghosts of Senate House

http://ghostsofsenatehouse.blogspot.co.uk/

Posted by
Charlie Vernon
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