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.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Crisis averted! But not until after an animal rescue officer was called in to investigate.

Read more

You always have to look up to everyone else. Literally.

Read more

No, us neither – but best-selling author Patrick Woodhead has.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Crisis averted! But not until after an animal rescue officer was called in to investigate.

Now experts have been called in to help it get back to water.

From the Earth’s elliptical orbit to the scheduling of Christmas, the winter solstice is as scientifically complex as it is culturally significant.

The introduction of the Genomic Medicine Centres is seen a a genetic revolution in the NHS, but why?

TOP Stories

11:08
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was cautioned after a 'disturbance' at Heathrow Airport (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was arrested by armed officers at Heathrow after allegedly being barred from entering a first-class lounge.

The man's hilarious new hobby is correcting people's bridge fallacies one Instagram caption at a time (Picture: Charles Lawley/Instagram)

One hilarious pedant is correcting Instagram users who mistakenly label Tower Bridge as London Bridge - and it’s so gloriously British in its passive-aggressiveness.

A man performed an indecent act at South Woodford Tube station (Picture: Google Streetview/British Transport Police)

An appeal has been launched after a man performed an indecent act in front of a woman on a Central Line Tube train when he got on at South Woodford station.

London Bloggers

Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.