Cross-Dressing Demons, 1873

In 1873, Charlotte Goodhall and her two daughters were enjoying an afternoon in the park, somewhere in North London. It was a sunny day and, being ladies of means, they were being driven in a pony carriage. The sun was shining and the flowers were just beginning to bloom. Suddenly, their peace was shattered: CharlotteContinue reading “Cross-Dressing Demons, 1873”

Pall Mall’s Magic Bed, 1779

Infertility was as large and distressing a problem in the late eighteenth century as it is today. However, the residents of London did not need to fear. Dr James Graham had a treatment available in his clinic, guaranteed to produce happy, bouncing babies who would grow up to be more wonderful ‘in mental as wellContinue reading “Pall Mall’s Magic Bed, 1779”

Mr Havisham’s Disgusting Pub, 1809.

Dirty Dick’s, in Bishopsgate (just opposite Liverpool Street Station), is a fine drinking establishment today. However, this was very much not the case two hundred years ago. Nathaniel Bentley, known as Richard, was a sharp dresser and a successful businessman. The central location of his shop and attached warehouse made him quite a catch onContinue reading “Mr Havisham’s Disgusting Pub, 1809.”

Hygienic Japanese Food, 1884

Kensington was abuzz in the spring of 1884. Fourteen years of campaigning for proper, functioning sewers had paid off! The streets were starting to become a little cleaner as the parishes around the area were investing in employing their own dustmen and waste disposal rather than relying on dubious contractors. Electric street lighting, first introducedContinue reading “Hygienic Japanese Food, 1884”

Soho’s Sleepy Frenchman, 1887

Monsieur Chauffat had come to Soho for business. He was a wine merchant and, knowing London well, had elected to stay at the french hotel on Greek Street, Soho. Like many a visitor to the Uncanny Capital, he wanted to make the most of London’s nightlife and managed to persuade two other hotel guests toContinue reading “Soho’s Sleepy Frenchman, 1887”

Cats in Court, 1878

William Needham was furious. An animal trainer, Professor Moffat, claimed that his beloved dog was, in fact, his own. Moffat claimed that Needham had stolen his valuable performing terrier, Soot, and after being tracked down the deceitful Needham was refusing to return the dog. The whole affair had lasted for nine months. Moffat summoned NeedhamContinue reading “Cats in Court, 1878”

The Jumping Ghost of Peckham

In 1872, Peckham was gripped by a supernatural horror. For the past year, ghosts had been sighted around the Peckham Lanes area. In November 1871, a ghost had broken windows. It had jumped up to the first floor windows of Dulwich College and scared the daughters of the headteacher by throwing peas at their window.Continue reading “The Jumping Ghost of Peckham”