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Forum Home > General Discussion > Haunting of the Freemans Building, 139 Clapham Road, Sw9

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

Background

 Freeman’s Cataloguemoved into 139 Clapham Road in 1937.  In1940 my mum and her friend, Ann were working in Freemans.  It was their first job and both girls were 14years old.  Around lunch time, the air raid sirens went off and the staff descended into the basement shelters.  Freemans took a direct hit and along with a great deal of damage to the building, the basement became a death trap.  The final death toll was 23 – including Ann.

 The waterpipes had shattered in the shelter that Ann was in, and she drowned along with her 22 colleagues.  My mum was in another shelter and was rescued after a couple of hours.

 Haunting

 Over the years the staff have seen a woman dressed in 1940’s style clothes in the building.  The taps in the toilet turnthemselves on and shadowy figures have been seen in the basement.

 In 1970 I applied for summer job at Freemans.  I wentto the interview, but I found that I wasn’t at all comfortable in the building and had to excuse myself and leave.

 I have attached a link to a program called  “Haunted Britain“  at approx. 1.20 seconds into the film, Freeman staff are interviewed about their experiences in the building.  Freeman’s have now moved to new offices in Euston Road and the old building has been converted into luxury flats!! 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsWcPdXooQ0&NR=1



 

 

 

June 29, 2011 at 10:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Scaredy-Cat
Member
Posts: 44

Hi Linda..... Loved this story & very good link!  Thanks!!

July 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

Scaredy-Cat at July 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Hi Linda..... Loved this story & very good link!  Thanks!!

Thanks!  I watched the Bobby MacKay video last night and really enjoyed it.  :)I have downloaded it onto my desktop.   I took a look at Bobby MacKay's website, there is a lot of information about the hauntings.

I have always disliked the Freeman's Building - it's a real eyesore - all dark Edwardian brick.  The newly built "luxury" flats still have the original facade and most of the original brickwork. Basically, the building has just been renovated.  I certainly wouldn't pay 250,000 nicker to live in an apartment block with ghosts that turn on the taps!  It's really a shame that there has never been an investigation in this building. I am sure that these unquiet spirits could be put to rest.

Hope this email finds you well...Enjoy the weekend.  Linda

July 1, 2011 at 4:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Scaredy-Cat
Member
Posts: 44

Hi Linda.. Hope you also had a great weekend!  I agree; I wouldn't pay 250,000 either to live in a building already occupied by ghosts!!!  I found this on the internet: http://www.squireandpartners.com/project.php?p=2007 which details a little bit more about the future plans for the building.  (No mention of ghosts though - Lol).

The building I work in was built in 1865 and used as a workhouse and infirmary and looks eerily similar to the Freemans Building... right down to the clock on the top of the building!!  I've worked here for quite some time now and have heard many, many ghost stories but haven't experienced anything myself... (yet!!).

Really pleased you enjoyed the Bobby Mackey video... it's one of my favourites!! :)

July 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

Scaredy-Cat at July 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Hi Linda.. Hope you also had a great weekend!  I agree; I wouldn't pay 250,000 either to live in a building already occupied by ghosts!!!  I found this on the internet: http://www.squireandpartners.com/project.php?p=2007 which details a little bit more about the future plans for the building.  (No mention of ghosts though - Lol).

The building I work in was built in 1865 and used as a workhouse and infirmary and looks eerily similar to the Freemans Building... right down to the clock on the top of the building!!  I've worked here for quite some time now and have heard many, many ghost stories but haven't experienced anything myself... (yet!!).

Really pleased you enjoyed the Bobby Mackey video... it's one of my favourites!! :)


It seems we are the only two on this site at the moment!  I would love to hear some the of the stories about the building that you work in.  There are quite a few old workhouses/infirmeries still in use and they witnessed untold misery. 

The Strand Union  Workhouse in Cleveland Street has recently been saved from demolition - it was built in the 18th century and is a wonderful looking building - but has a very dark history.  The Strand Union has been empty for years as no developer was interested in converting it into flats.

All the best


Linda

July 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Charles Walker
Site Owner
Posts: 1603

Linda at June 29, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Background

 Freeman’s Cataloguemoved into 139 Clapham Road in 1937.  In1940 my mum and her friend, Ann were working in Freemans.  It was their first job and both girls were 14years old.  Around lunch time, the air raid sirens went off and the staff descended into the basement shelters.  Freemans took a direct hit and along with a great deal of damage to the building, the basement became a death trap.  The final death toll was 23 – including Ann.

 The waterpipes had shattered in the shelter that Ann was in, and she drowned along with her 22 colleagues.  My mum was in another shelter and was rescued after a couple of hours.

 Haunting

 Over the years the staff have seen a woman dressed in 1940’s style clothes in the building.  The taps in the toilet turnthemselves on and shadowy figures have been seen in the basement.

 In 1970 I applied for summer job at Freemans.  I wentto the interview, but I found that I wasn’t at all comfortable in the building and had to excuse myself and leave.

 I have attached a link to a program called  “Haunted Britain“  at approx. 1.20 seconds into the film, Freeman staff are interviewed about their experiences in the building.  Freeman’s have now moved to new offices in Euston Road and the old building has been converted into luxury flats!! 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsWcPdXooQ0&NR=1



 

 

 

Very Interesting link - thanks for that.

July 8, 2011 at 2:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Scaredy-Cat
Member
Posts: 44

Hi Linda.. I was thinking the same, it's been pretty quiet around here lately... Hopefully Charles' recent login message will do the trick!

If you are still interested this is as much as I know/could find out about the history of where I work:

The foundation stone at the new workhouse was finally laid on 11th April, 1865. Two and a half years later, on 12th September 1867, the building was finished at a cost of £41,000. Soon afterwards, inmates were transferred from another workhouse which was demolished soon afterwards. The vacant site was then sold off for the construction of prestige housing.

The impressive main block at the north of the site, was T-shaped in plan. Its frontage was four storeys with a central clock tower. The building was divided into separate sections for male and female inmates by means of iron gates in the corridors. The building employed a system of artificial ventilation.  The projecting wing at the centre of the main block included a large chapel.  An infirmary was located to the south-west of the site, with a lunatics' block to its east.

Other blocks included casual wards, and foul and fever wards at the north-east of the workhouse. In 1880, three acres of land was purchased to the west of the workhouse on which new casual wards were erected in 1885, followed by infirmary pavilions at the south-west.

In 1914, the workhouse was taken over by the War Office and operated as a Hospital accommodating sick and wounded Indian soldiers. In 1921, it reverted to use as a workhouse until 1930 when it became a Municipal Hospital.

A World War II air raid shelter was also discovered a few years ago during refurbishments and made the papers!

I'm just 'waiting' to have my own experience after hearing so many personal accounts and ghost stories about the place... child spirits have been seen and cold spots have also been reported to name just a couple of the things i've heard.  It does get quite creepy when it gets dark - but that's all I can report on - at the moment!!

July 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

Scaredy-Cat at July 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Hi Linda.. I was thinking the same, it's been pretty quiet around here lately... Hopefully Charles' recent login message will do the trick!

If you are still interested this is as much as I know/could find out about the history of where I work:

The foundation stone at the new workhouse was finally laid on 11th April, 1865. Two and a half years later, on 12th September 1867, the building was finished at a cost of £41,000. Soon afterwards, inmates were transferred from another workhouse which was demolished soon afterwards. The vacant site was then sold off for the construction of prestige housing.

The impressive main block at the north of the site, was T-shaped in plan. Its frontage was four storeys with a central clock tower. The building was divided into separate sections for male and female inmates by means of iron gates in the corridors. The building employed a system of artificial ventilation.  The projecting wing at the centre of the main block included a large chapel.  An infirmary was located to the south-west of the site, with a lunatics' block to its east.

Other blocks included casual wards, and foul and fever wards at the north-east of the workhouse. In 1880, three acres of land was purchased to the west of the workhouse on which new casual wards were erected in 1885, followed by infirmary pavilions at the south-west.

In 1914, the workhouse was taken over by the War Office and operated as a Hospital accommodating sick and wounded Indian soldiers. In 1921, it reverted to use as a workhouse until 1930 when it became a Municipal Hospital.

A World War II air raid shelter was also discovered a few years ago during refurbishments and made the papers!

I'm just 'waiting' to have my own experience after hearing so many personal accounts and ghost stories about the place... child spirits have been seen and cold spots have also been reported to name just a couple of the things i've heard.  It does get quite creepy when it gets dark - but that's all I can report on - at the moment!!

Dear Scaredy-Cat,

Thanks so much for this email.   I used to work at a hospital in London - The Maudsley - and I know how creepy these places can be. Your hospital sounds like an interesting place for an investigation - does it have any known "hotspots" of paranormal activity or is it random?  I think that ex-workhouses are particularly notorious for hauntings because of the appalling misery within the walls.

The Maudsley claimed to have a ghost, but in all the years that I worked there I never saw a thing, but I do recall one incident involving an elderly lady who had an severe stroke and couldn't move at all.  I saw this lady everyday and she was always the same - totally nonresponsive - so on this particular morning i walked past her room and I realised immediately that something  was "different" about her and it wasn't anything physical.  I knew that her spirit had left her body (even though she was still breathing) and was looking around.  I thought she wouldn't live much longer and she died that evening.

I also worked in a Georgian house that had been converted into offices.  This house had once belonged to an artist and it was haunted by one of his ex-sitters.  This ghostly woman was seen on a number of occcasions running down the stairs STARK NAKED!   Quite a number of people who worked in the offices had claimed to have seen her.....

All for now,,,,,Linda

Sorry to have taken so long to reply...

August 3, 2011 at 10:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Scaredy-Cat
Member
Posts: 44

Wow that's really interesting Linda.  Thanks!

The main 'hotspots' for the paranormal activity where I work I would say would be where the wards used to be (they have now been moved to another site completley and the building is being renovated - My department is due to move into this block at some point!!!).

I also heard that patients had reported being tended to by a particular 'nurse' but no one fitting the description of this nurse ever worked on the ward!

We also have a room at the end of our corridor which has never been used for patient care, yet this room always seems colder than the rest of the department and there is always a really strong smell of urine in there!  Quite a few of my colleagues have also said they've noticed this.


And just to add... Your story reminded me that I once worked in a care home and there was an elderly lady resident there.  One night i had a dream that she had passed away and when I arrived at work in the morning I was informed that she had passed away that night!  Must admit I found that a little bit freaky!!

:o




August 7, 2011 at 7:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

Hello....Keep me posted about any experiences that you have or hear about at work.    Hope this email finds you well...

:D

August 15, 2011 at 12:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

halley
Member
Posts: 3

Linda, I believe that the Ann that you mention was a relation of mine who was killed in this bombing and as you say the people died of drowning due to burst water pipes. Ann would have been in her mid-eighties now had she lived. Is your mum still alive? Does she have any memories of Ann? I would love to hear them if so.

Unsurprising that there is at least one ghost and a strange feeling in this place. 

May 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

halley at May 18, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Linda, I believe that the Ann that you mention was a relation of mine who was killed in this bombing and as you say the people died of drowning due to burst water pipes. Ann would have been in her mid-eighties now had she lived. Is your mum still alive? Does she have any memories of Ann? I would love to hear them if so.

Unsurprising that there is at least one ghost and a strange feeling in this place. 

Hello Halley,

Thanks for the posting.  My mum is still alive, but she doesn`t really remember much about the Annie. My mum was only 14 at the time and she was extremely traumatised by the event....I do know that Annie lived in Rosendale Road.  Does this ring a bell with you...How are you related to Annie...

Look forward to hearing from you.


Linda


--


May 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

madmexican
Administrator
Posts: 1093

Wow where did this story crop up from?

                         That was a real war time happening,these stories should be treasured and never forgotten. There should be a national instiution where these stories are kept and should be available for the public to read free of charge.


      My Mother was an orphan and was in a convent school type orphanage in London and during the blitz the ccupants just shifted to another location which was haunted to hell by all accounts. She had stories to tell...My Father was in the Royal Navy and took part in all Five invasions on the front line bring troops and tanks to the beach as he was on a Tank landing Craft.


          The most trdgic story for me was and I think about him all the time now and its almost as if he is next to me all the time, was my Uncle..... Captured at Dunkirk after the shambolic attempt to fight back against the Germans my dear old uncle was railroaded to a POW camp in Poland and there he stayed untill 44 when the advancing Russians caused the camps to pack up and they forced marched the POW's towards Berlin. Unfortunatly my uncle fell ill and could not continue the march so he got the old classic bullet to the back of the head job. This was not the story that my family gave me as it happens. I got the truth from the Archives. My family said he was buried in Belgium. Not True,,, I found him in a war cemetry in Berlin. A friend of mine happened to be in Berlin one day and so I asked him to seek out this grave for me, he done this and he said even he was overcome with emotion but I felt a hugh chill go through me as he was there. I think Uncle is with me for finding him and uncovering the truth.


               I have many more of these stories to tell if anyone would like to hear them.

--


May 19, 2012 at 4:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

warchild3
Member
Posts: 38

I know who you are talking about . Was told some of this by mum . I have a pic of him and only wish i had met him. Yes would like you to tell us all some more of the storys. As you know mum dident tell us much.


May 19, 2012 at 9:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

madmexican
Administrator
Posts: 1093

She didn't tell you because she did not darn well know. None of them did. I found this out through good old fashioned research and being fortunate enough to find people to talk to about it.

        Tell you what. Those who are reading in and watching. Who was the biggest mass murderer in the 20th century? Anyone know?

--


May 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tom G

Posts: 481

madmexican at May 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM

She didn't tell you because she did not darn well know. None of them did. I found this out through good old fashioned research and being fortunate enough to find people to talk to about it.

        Tell you what. Those who are reading in and watching. Who was the biggest mass murderer in the 20th century? Anyone know?

I was going to say that I think that  the answer to this question might yet to be discovered :-). But, seriously, the answer is Joseph Stalin. 19 million looks and sounds a pretty bad thing to have on your CV.

If you meant 'serial killer', then I would nominate Chikotilo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Chikatilo

as being Champions League Cup winner  -- but I'd be ignoring the fact that Shipman is believed to have finished off 400 or more old ladies (if I recall correctly). There are bound to be others who are up there with him, in the Death Olympics.

May 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

warchild3
Member
Posts: 38

Sorry Paul but mum did know . She told me how she remembers nan getting Percy,s thing sent home and a letter saying he was killed on the march from the PWC.


May 19, 2012 at 7:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

madmexican
Administrator
Posts: 1093

Yes but it did not even scratch the surface as far as the facts were concerned. I have that documentation you speak of right now. The scarey thing is I can go to his grave and see it now on google earth.


               Yep spot on Tom..... Stalin did a load more than hitler for sure. Some even say 40mill. 7 million Ukrainians died in the winter of 32/33 coz Stalin decided that the crops grown in that region were to be sold to the west.

--


May 19, 2012 at 8:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tom G

Posts: 481

Yeh 19 million was just the figure that died in the labour camps. 40 million sounds like the number that were shoved to the front to fight the Germans, and never came back.

May 19, 2012 at 8:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Linda
Member
Posts: 631

Stalin murdered millions and millions of people.  What sickens me is that very few people seem to know this and always think that Hitler was the worst mass murderer in recent history... Pol Pot must be on the list somewhere.. and that bugger died in bed...

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May 19, 2012 at 9:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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