Georgian Ghosts: An Aristocratic Spectre

A series of violent attacks by pale shrouded figures on lone pedestrians, especially women, was widely reported in the early 19th century. Jacob Middleton uncovers the sham ghosts of Georgian London.

The legendary spring-heeled Jack, shown as a winged monster on the cover of an early 20th century

In the early years of the 19th-century London was haunted by ghosts. However, these seemed not to be the traditional spirits of the supernatural kind, but were apparently flesh and blood ‘ghosts’, who harassed honest citizens and made it dangerous to travel outside alone after dark. Largely forgotten today, for a brief period these apparitions were a feared night-time hazard, who would periodically appear and menace people.

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