Whittington Hospital: Is this the ghostly image of a boy who died centuries ago?

10:59 23 January 2012

The ghostly image of a young boy

The ghostly image of a young boy's face appears above a vapour trail in the vaults of the Whittington Hospital. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A bolt of light flashes across a corridor, and the illuminated face of a young boy appears out of the darkness.

Ghosthunter Leonard Low captured the spectre on film in 2007. Picture: Polly HancockGhosthunter Leonard Low captured the spectre on film in 2007. Picture: Polly Hancock

This is the mysterious image which ghost hunter Leonard Low says proves that something paranormal lies beneath the Whittington Hospital in Highgate.

The father of two was visiting a friend who was having surgery in the Archway Road hospital when he was told by nurses of "a strange presence" in the 19th Century arches deep underground.

Armed with his camera and accompanied by a curious Whittington administrator, he descended down to the basement to investigate the paranormal tales.

"Nobody had been in this area for years," said the 44-year-old.

"The ground was crystallised like snow.

"We began walking down this long corridor with files all around us. We walked for around five or six paces when we saw something down the corridor moving.

"There was something hovering in front of us and getting closer and closer.

"We saw this trail of light – it was flashing all over the place. Then I saw the ghostly image of the young boy."

Mr Low said he heard reports from nurses of a ghost like figure watching them, prompting him to investigate.

The Whittington hospital is steeped in history, dating back to the 15th Century when a leper colony was founded there.

Mr Low believes the ghostly apparition of a young boy who appeared before him was the spirit of a child called William who lost his life there in these early years.

It was not the first time the father-of-two has felt the presence of those beyond the grave.

When Mr Low was 21 an apparition of his sister in her nightgown appeared to him – a fortnight after she died.

And dozens of people have reported glimpsing ghosts at his 18th Century Scottish tower, Tolbooth, which was used to imprison and torture women during the bloody witch hunts.

Describing the "extraordinary pain" he experiences when in the presence of a ghost, Mr Low said: "I get pins and needles in the back of my head and I find it hard to see.

"It is as if my skin knows there is something there."

The truth of the eerie apparitions within the basement of the Whittington is far from clear, but a spokeswoman for the hospital said they are aware of reports of a ghost lurking there.

The tale of the Whittington ghost is explored in Mr Low’s new book, True Story of the Pittenweem Poltergeist.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "Whittington Health is aware that there have been ghost stories about sightings and feelings in the smallpox hospital over the years. There is no evidence but the tale continues."

Related articles

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

Friday, July 31, 2015
The cuddly toy 'mum' helps Edward to practise clinging and climbing as he would naturally (Photo: ZSL London Zoo)

A baby two-toed sloth is being hand-reared by keepers at ZSL London Zoo - and the pictures and video of him cuddling with his teddy-bear surrogate mum are almost too cute to bear.

Friday, July 31, 2015
Brazil Day in Trafalgar Square is always a colourful event (Picture: Fernando Arroteia)

The Olympic Games are heading to Rio in 2016 (yes, we can’t believe it will be four years since London 2012 either) and the hype is already building. Join thousands in Trafalgar Square to celebrate Brazil Day and get a taste of what the vibrant country has to offer.

Friday, July 31, 2015
Thornton Way in Hampstead Garden Suburb

Two women were attacked and made hostages in their own home in a terrifying raid on their Hampstead Garden Suburb house.

Friday, July 31, 2015
One of the men can be seen with a shotgun

This is the terrifying moment a masked gang armed with a shotgun and crowbars broke into a house in Gidea Park – after pulling up in a Porsche.

Friday, July 31, 2015
A 20-year-old has died after falling down a chimney at Great Cumberland Place, W1 (Picture: Street View)

A 20-year-old man died last night after falling backwards down the chimney of a seven-storey building metres from Marble Arch, police said.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
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