The Widow's Son pub in Bromley-by-Bow is famous for its collection of hot cross buns above the bar. But why are they hanging there? Click to find out.

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 30, 2017

Why does a London pub hang hot cross buns in the bar?

Go to Devons Road in London and you’ll find a pub with hot cross buns hanging above the bar. I know, it’s pretty weird – even for a pub. But a legend has grown up around The Widow’s Son in Bromley-by-Bow. Every year, a sailor arrives on Good Friday and places a hot cross bun in…

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Plenty of theatres boast tales of resident spectres. But few have the same pedigree as the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Who is their famous Man in Grey?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 23, 2017

Is the ghost at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane a good omen?

Theatres attract tales of ghosts and hauntings like few other types of building. The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane is no exception. The current Theatre Royal in Covent Garden dates to 1812. It’s actually the fourth incarnation on the site since 1663. You can even find original 18th-century foundations below ground level. The would-be assassin James Hadfield tried…

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Lonely stretches of roads often host tales of a phantom hitchhiker or two. But does London's Blackwall Tunnel have its own spectral motorcyclist?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 16, 2017

Who is the Phantom Hitchhiker that haunts the Blackwall Tunnel?

Many stretches of lonely road feature a tale or two about a phantom hitchhiker. A driver stops to pick up a stranger, often a young woman, who then vanishes from the back of the car. Sometimes, the driver investigates later, only to discover that their passenger died on the spot (or somewhere nearby) some time earlier….

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Sewers are never a fun place to be. But it's worse if you're worried you might fall prey to the Queen Rat of London. Find out who - and what - she is.

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 9, 2017

Did the Queen Rat of London really live in the sewers?

If you’ve read China Miéville’s King Rat, then you’ll know dark things can stir beneath London. But perhaps it’s not a King Rat. Perhaps it’s a Queen Rat. Only those who venture into the deep, dark places would encounter such a creature. Let me introduce you to the toshers. What does a tosher do? When the River…

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A city as old as London is bound to have its fair share of ghosts and revenants. But who is the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street? Read on to find out!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on March 2, 2017

Who is the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street?

The Bank of England has stood on Threadneedle Street since 1734. With such a long history, you’d expect it, and the area, to be haunted. The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street is a favourite story on ghost walks around the City of London. But is it entirely accurate? Let’s delve into this slice of London…

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Legends tell of a vast treasure beneath Tynemouth Castle & Priory. Did Walter the Bold really find the Wizard's Cave, or does it lie there still?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 23, 2017

Did treasure once lie in the Wizard’s Cave of Tynemouth?

Tynemouth Castle & Priory stand on a lonely promontory intruding into the savage North Sea. But local legends claim a mysterious Wizard’s Cave lies hidden in the cliffs below the ruins. Scholars believe Edwin of Northumbria founded Tynemouth Priory in the early 7th century. And tales abound of ghostly monks loitering among the ruins. But we’re…

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Northumberland features many tales of the fey folk - and the Rothley fairies appear in not one but two stories! But what exactly happens if you cross them?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 16, 2017

Who are the Rothley fairies and what happens if you cross them?

We’ve discussed Northumbrian fairies before, but this time we’re going to explore two tales of the Rothley fairies. The village lies 2 miles north-east of Cambo and 6 miles west of Morpeth. It’s also known for this rather attractive 18th-century folly, Rothley Castle. Incidentally, Rothley is around 14 miles from Brinkburn. Perhaps the Rothley fairies use…

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Do the Brinkburn Bells now ring in Durham, or do they lie at the bottom of the River Coquet? Find out the legends of this quiet corner of Northumberland.

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 9, 2017

What is the legend of the Brinkburn Bells in Northumberland?

According to local legend, the Brinkburn Bells now ring in Durham Cathedral. Or do they? As with any legends, other versions exist that place the bells in the river Coquet. Perhaps the water carries the ringing of bells as it winds its way through Northumberland. Either way, several tales of the Brinkburn Bells resound through…

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Who is the Grey Man of Bellister, whose appearance heralds tragedy? Does he still wander the lonely roads and riverbanks around the ruins in Northumberland?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on February 2, 2017

Who was the Grey Man of Bellister?

Many lonely and remote parts of the UK echo with tales of local spirits. The Grey Man of Bellister is no exception. Fond of a (now) ruined castle and a broken road, the Grey Man wanders in twilight. Yet he’s not a regular presence. Some believe he hasn’t been seen for at least 50 years….

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There are plenty of superstitions involving numbers. But what about numbers in folklore? Read on to find out why 3, 7 and 9 are so important.

Published by Icy Sedgwick on January 26, 2017

Numbers in folklore: Why are 3, 7 and 9 important?

Try searching for numbers in folklore. You’ll find all manner of things about mystical maths and sacred numbers. It seems ancient people loved numbers. In the 6th Century BCE, the Greek Pythagoreans founded a system based on numerology. For them, the first 9 numbers held sacred meanings. 3 represented Harmony since 1 meant Unity, and 2 meant…

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