There are endless stories of ghosts haunting the London Underground but one of the most ‘electrifying’ tales of supernatural activity has to be the strange case of Aldgate and the suspicious spectral old lady who made a shocking appearance in the twentieth century.
Built on the site of a plague pit that was the final resting place for an estimated thousand victims of the Bubonic Plague in 1665, Aldgate Station was opened in 1876. Almost as soon as the trains began rolling in and out, the stories of spooky shenanigans began. A popular early tale relates to Tube staff being able to hear ghostly footsteps in the tunnels only for the noise to abruptly and mysteriously stop. Then an electrician was working at Aldgate one night when he slipped between the tracks, hit the live rail and received a 20,000-volt shock. It could – perhaps should – have killed him, but despite being knocked unconscious by his fall, he survived with minor injuries and made a full recovery.
Nothing particularly paranormal perhaps until the accident investigators interviewed the man’s colleagues and each of them swore that just before his plunge they had seen the half-transparent ghost of an old woman kneeling down beside the electrician and stroking his hair. Whether she was the man’s guardian angel, somehow saving him from a fatal electrocution, or an Angel of Death, malevolently trying to push him through the gap in the tracks, is a matter of opinion.
London Underground’s Strangest Tales is published by Portico, £7.99, www.anovabooks.com