Does the ghost of Francis Bacon haunt The Gatehouse pub?

17:00 07 June 2012

Highgate ghost busters: Mickey Gocool & Louise Roche at The Gatehouse home of a famous Highgate Ghost

Highgate ghost busters: Mickey Gocool & Louise Roche at The Gatehouse home of a famous Highgate Ghost

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Ghost hunters in Highgate claim to have made contact with the spirit of the Renaissance philosopher Francis Bacon - in the basement of a pub.

A group of paranormal investigators spent a late night probing the supernatural at the Gatehouse pub, in Hampstead Lane, where he says he made contact with the ghost of the 17th Century scholar.

Mickey Gocool, who led a group of 20 to probe rumoured paranormal activity, said he was in the basement when the group made contact with the spirit.

He said: “There was so much activity in the basement, we felt his presence immediately.

“It was being so active I had to ask the spirit to be quiet. Some of the people I was with asked me how can you say that? But there was so much activity we needed to explore.

“Frances Bacon was a very knowledgeable man, he was aware of spirits through his experiments and I am sure he is aware of what we are doing here, and taking that opportunity to make contact with us.”

The scholar has been linked to a ghost in Highgate before.

He died in Highgate in 1626 after conducting a famous experiment in which he stuffed a chicken with snow to try and prove that ice could preserve food in a similar way to salt.

After stuffing the bird with his bare hands in the freezing cold he caught pneumonia and perished.

Not long after, a ghost of a chicken was glimpsed roaming through Pond Square in the first of many sightings of the phantom fowl.

But while punters regularly swap tales of the ghosts in lurking within the village, this is the first time Bacon’s own spirit is thought to have been glimpsed.

Kate Wichanski, manager of The Gatehouse pub, was among the group who stayed to investigate the spirits on Friday (May 18).

She said: “I was pretty sceptical, but it was creepy.

“We all went down into the cellar and immediately there was a lot of beeping and we heard a lot of noises even though no one else was down there.

“And when we were in the cellar the orbs seemed to be following me around. It was odd because they didn’t seem to be following anyone who didn’t work there.”

Ms Wichanski said she had experienced odd activity she couldn’t explain when in the cellar before.

“There have been times when I have been in the cellar and things have fallen onto the floor that shouldn’t have,” she said.

It seems Highgate’s long history of paranormal activity has taken a new turning.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Police would like to speak to this man (Picture: Met Police)

A predator sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in broad daylight as she waited for a bus on Brixton Road, police said.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
£1.5 billion worth of food is wasted in London every year (Picture: Just Eat It/Peg Leg films)

New London app OLIO lets you share surplus food in your kitchen with neighbours and get delicious cupcakes, salads and dishes in return - almost all for free. London24 spoke to founder Tessa Cook about the app and the ideology behind it.

Monday, July 27, 2015
The illegal rave took place in a building near the A13 in Barking on Saturday night

More than 2,000 party goers descended on a warehouse for an illegal rave which ended with a woman being taken to hospital.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Not fun: Part of the Victoria Line will closed in August and the rest of the line extremely busy

The top part of the Victoria Line will be closed for most of August, with no service between Seven Sisters and Walthamstow Central, and a reduced service on the rest of the line. Here’s everything you need to know about the closure.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Warren White, 14, is missing from Southwark (Picture: Met Police)

Warren White, 14, has not been home since Sunday July 26 and was last seen in Bermondsey.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more
Get up close and personal to this global phenomenon!

Following a sell-out 2014 run, the global phenomenon that is Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is back in London, running at the Dominion Theatre in the heart of the West End until 5th September 2015.

Read more