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Old haunts ghosts love to spook

PUBLISHED: 14:57 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:18 25 August 2010

MYSTERY: Figures can be seen in this recreation of the Hardys’ photo

MYSTERY: Figures can be seen in this recreation of the Hardys' photo

THE CELTS believed spirits returned to earth on Halloween but for some historic pubs in the borough they may never have left. As thousands prepare to celebrate the spooky season this weekend, spare a thought for some of the ghostly characters who inhabit

THE CELTS believed spirits returned to earth on Halloween but for some historic pubs in the borough they may never have left.

As thousands prepare to celebrate the spooky season this weekend, spare a thought for some of the ghostly characters who inhabit the area's watering holes.

The Old Post Office pub in Passey Place, Eltham, has been through a great many changes, and its current landlord, Derek Moore, is certain there are some skeletons left in its closets.

He told the Times: "I only took over in May and I have to admit I regrettably, or maybe not so regrettably, haven't experienced anything thus far, but a building such as this is bound to have its stories."

Previous owners have told of a sinister figure wearing a white shirt rolled up at the elbows who haunts the former sorting office, now used as a store room.

"I have certainly heard rumours of ghosts and goings on here," confirmed Mr Moore.

Another building which owes its spirits to its former use is the Trafalgar Tavern in Park Row, Greenwich.

The current hotel, pub and restaurant is built on the site of an inn called the George, and legend has it one of its tenants is still there.

A man, dressed in Georgian clothing has reportedly been seen drifting by the bar, or at the piano, quietly sipping his pint before leaving through the fire place - where the former entrance used to be located.

Landlord Chris Van Tatenhove said: "I have been here over 10 years, living upstairs, where you are supposed to be able to hear him playing the piano, and I haven't heard anything.

"The television programme Most Haunted made some enquiries about five years back.

"I did an internet search and I couldn't even find anything there which gave a history of the building or suggested a story behind it."

Although the ghostly rumours in pubs refuse to float away, more recent sightings show the ethereal creatures prefer somewhere a little classier.

One of Greenwich's most elegant buildings, the Queen's House in Greenwich Park, was completed for the wife of Charles I.

Henrietta Maria's home was completed in 1635 but it was not until 1966 that a ghost sighting could be proven.

Retired Canadian couple Rev Hardy and Mrs R W Hardy were visiting the house when they took a photograph of the famous tulip staircase.

It was not until they crossed the Atlantic home that they realised they had some unusual company on their visit.

The photograph, developed upon their return to Canada, showed two shrouded figures climbing the apparent empty staircase.

On closer inspection, the figure appears to be ascending the stairs in pursuit of a second and possibly a third figure.

Despite examination by photographic experts no rational explanation has ever been put forward to explain the presence of the figures.

However it seems like not all ghosts like hanging out with royalty. Rumours have surfaced of sightings at Westcombe park train station.

Apparently a Victorian stationmaster just refuses to leave.

What sightings have you had? Call the news desk on 0208 269 7012.

Haunted House Family Fun Day at the Queen's House in Maritime Greenwich, the whole family can enjoy a day of Halloween themed fun on Saturday October 31.

The beautiful venue will be full of ghostly excitement with workshops, story-telling, performance, music and other surprises. Wear a ghoulish costume and you could even win a prize. Contact Greenwich Tourist Information Centre on 0870 608 2000 or tic@greenwich.gov.uk.

A Walk on the Dark Side, October 30 and 31: Greenwich Tour Guides explore the dark side of the history of Greenwich with tales of ghosts, murders and sinister events. Believers and non-believers can hone their ghost hunting skills and find out about some of the spookier residents of the World Heritage Site.This walk is not suitable for those aged under 16. Booking is essential. Mystery Start Point 7.30pm £5.00 Call 020 8244 3013 to book.

Dr Do and Dr Little's Animal Spooktacular

At the O2 you can take part in a new and exciting animal adventure. Join Dr Do and Dr Little in their Animal Spooktacular show, an interactive, educational, family show, full of interesting beasties and creepy creatures until November 1

Price £6 (all classes) and under 2's free. For more information go to http://www.theo2.co.uk/

Plumstead Library Halloween crafts for children, October 30, call 020 8854 1728 for further details.

The Mall, Bexleyheath welcome their special ghoulish face painters on Saturday, October 31, outside the old Woolworths store. Go along and help celebrate this most spooky time of the year.

Charlton House Halloween Ball

Slip on your finest fancy dress costume and dance the night away in the grand old library at Charlton House, London's most haunted Jacobean mansion.

Held in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, the evening includes champagne and canapes, plus fun and partying till the witching hour.

The event starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 31 October. Tickets cost £30 and are available from Charlton House.

Call the box office on 020 8856 3951 for further information.

Clarks at Greenwich Shopping Park, off Bugsby's Way in Charlton, will be hosting some free scary children's activities on Saturday from 12pm to 4pm.

A children's entertainer will occupy kids with ghoulish face painting and spooky balloon creations.

Shops will be transformed into witches, fairies and ghosts and take away monster and creepy crawly balloons.

Halloween at the Harrison Planetarium - Stargazers can head over to the Planetarium in Greenwich for two special Hallowe'en inspired shows, Howling at the Moon and Halloween Skies, that take a look at the night sky and superstitions that are associated with the moon. Dates :31 October-1 November. Online: www.nmm.ac.uk/tickets E-mail: bookings@nmm.ac.uk

Tel: 020 8312 6608.

Candlelit tales for Halloween - October Dreams at The Fan Museum will take you on a voyage back into an age of flickering candlelight and sinister shadows. Not recommended for those of a nervous disposition.

Event starts at 7.30pm, Entry to Museum from 6.30 pm. All seats are £10, which includes VIP Museum Entry from 6.30pm and light refreshments. 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, telephone: 0208-305 1441.

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