Wandsworth has a rich history and plenty of ghostly tales to go along with it, from haunted houses and abandoned buildings, to eerie cemeteries and old pubs. This post explores ten haunted places in the borough, and the fascinating (and sometimes terrifying) stories associated with them.
10 Haunted Places in Wandsworth
1. The Ghost From a Victorian Murder Mystery at The Priory
The Priory in Balham is the site of a famous Victorian murder mystery, as well as numerous ghost sightings which are believed to be connected. The notorious murder case involved a British lawyer called Charles Bravo who was fatally poisoned in 1876.
The case made national headlines at the time. The newspaper clipping below, is taken from a London newspaper dated August 1876, which was four months after Charles’ death.
The source of the poison was never found, and the case was never solved. There were several theories offered by different investigators as to what had happened. The housekeeper at The Priory, and Mr Bravo’s wife were both suspects, but no one was ever charged.
Today, the ghost of Charles Bravo is said to haunt The Priory. There have been reports of an apparition of a man, who fits Charles’ description, appearing to terrified visitors as the room turns icy cold.
2. The Ghost of The Bedford Pub
The Bedford Pub was the location of the inquest into the unsolved death of Charles Bravo, and some say it is haunted by Charles himself. Sightings of a shimmering grey figure have been seen in the ballroom, which was once the billiards room, and the place where the inquest was held.
In one incident an entire piano fell off a stage by itself at around midnight after a jazz concert. Some say the event was caused by an angry ghost who didn’t like the music.
3. The Battersea Poltergeist
The Battersea poltergeist was reported to have haunted 63 Wycliffe Road in Battersea in the 1950s. The original house was knocked down a decade later, so no longer exists today, but the story of the poltergeist still lives on. It was recently brought back to life in a BBC podcast series.
The alleged hauntings were said to have included objects moving on their own, strange noises, and furniture being overturned. Some people even claimed to have witnessed the ghost, and communicated with it.
The case received widespread media attention at the time, and remains a topic of interest among paranormal enthusiasts. The newspaper clipping below, about the Battersea poltergeist, was from 1956.
4. The Poltergeist of Eland Road
Although the case of the Battersea poltergeist on Wycliffe Road attracted more media attention, there was also another poltergeist in Battersea, on nearby Eland Road.
The family who lived at the residence in the 1920s, reported unexplained events, including small objects like pennies, potatoes and lumps of coal moving on their own. Eventually an entire chest of drawers was overturned on its own.
The case was investigated by the famous paranormal investigator, Harry Price, who visited the property in 1928, and concluded that it was unclear if the disturbances were the result of a supernatural presence.
5. The Two Ghosts of The Crane Pub
The Crane Pub, located close to The Causeway is the oldest pub in Wandsworth. It is said to be haunted by two ghosts: a small boy wearing knickerbockers who haunts the pub bar, and a lady in the attic who passes through the wall. There have been sightings of bottles jumping off the shelves by themselves.
6. The Black Dog on Wandsworth Road
A ghostly dog that has been spotted on Wandsworth Road, has become something of a local legend. The apparition was first seen at 523 Wandsworth Road where it appeared to pass through a wall, but has also been spotted in the road late at night.
The black dog is believed to have been the pet of the former owners of 523 Wandsworth Road, who was run over many years ago. Despite its fearsome appearance, the black dog is thought to be a friendly ghost, and people who have seen it reported a feeling of calm when it was near.
7. The Grey Lady of Wandsworth Prison
Wandsworth Prison is said to be haunted by an apparition of a woman who appears dressed in grey. The ghost has become known as the “Grey Lady” or “Wandsworth Annie” and is believed to have been a former prisoner who died while incarcerated at the prison.
There are different stories about who the lady might be, with one suggesting she was not a prisoner, but a cook who worked in the prison in the 1870s. The ghost, however, always appears wearing grey, shabby clothing with a veil covering her face, which is consistent with what female prisoners once wore.
8. The Crouching Figure in St Mary’s Churchyard
St Mary’s Church in Putney is haunted by mysterious crouching figure that has been seen in the churchyard late at night. The same apparition has also been seen on Putney Bridge, which is close to the church.
Witnesses have described the apparition as a shadowy figure that seems to be crouching or huddled over. The identity of the ghost is unknown, and it is unclear if it is connected to the church or the surrounding area.
Some have speculated that the apparition could be the spirit of a former resident of Putney, or perhaps even a traveller who met their untimely demise on the bridge. Regardless of its origins, the crouching figure has become a source of mystery and intrigue for those who have encountered it.
9. The Orphan Girl in the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building
The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building was once an orphanage for girls, and is today said to be haunted by the apparition of a young girl. The ghost always appears in Edwardian nightdress, and has been seen walking in the cloisters of the north and south courtyards.
The apparition is believed to be the spirit of Charlotte Jane Bennett who died in a fire in January 1862. She has been seen by workmen, who tried to talk to her when they assumed she was a child from a local school.
10. The Ghost of St Nicholas Churchyard
According to local legend, a ghost haunts a neglected grave in the churchyard of St Nicholas Church in Tooting. It has been spotted in the past sitting on a half buried gravestone that was covered in weeds.
Further Reading About Haunted Places in Wandsworth
I hope you love the books I recommend! Just so you know, these are affiliate links, so I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you buy through the links.
If you are interested in learning more about ghost sightings and strange happenings in Wandsworth, I recommend James Clark’s book “Haunted Wandsworth”.
This post was about Haunted Wandsworth
Thank you for reading my post about haunted places in Wandsworth. If you know anywhere that I’ve missed off the list, please leave me a comment below and let me know.