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

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.

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