Burlington Arcade ghost that sends high-end handbags flying off walls and terrifies tourists
As Halloween approaches, now is a good time to ditch the cynical London act and roll into some good old ghost story.
Because the hauntings of London are, when you talk to true believers, so pervasive that they are almost mundane – everyday boredom, if anything.
One of them is a poltergeist at Burlington Arcade and his name is Percy.
READ MORE: The story of how ‘dead cats falling on their heads’ led the Burlington Arcade in London to get a roof
The first sighting was reported in 1953, when Percy allegedly harmed the Unicorn Leather Company by rearranging a display of handbags and briefcases into a perfect semicircle.
Mark Lord, Head Beadle of Burlington Arcade, knows all there is to know about the Arcade, and has had his own run-ins with Percy, their “most famous” ghost.
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âHe’s based in units 41 and 42,â says Mark.
One day he was chatting with a pair of tourists about Percy and remembers they were there admiring an F-type Jaguar that had been rolled into the arcade at an event.
âI was telling them about ghosts and I said, ‘Percy is the most famous’ and inside the store a purse flew off the back wall, knocked over the screen and then landed.â
The tourists, naturally, panicked, and Mark says he tried to calm them down by saying, “Don’t worry, he’s just one of the ghosts.”
âThe next day I had to go into the store and say ‘I’m so sorry for your display’ and explain what happened,â says Mark.
He said they shrugged their shoulders and said, “Oh, it happens all the time, don’t worry.”
And it looks like Mark isn’t the only one whose life has been made difficult by Percy’s antics.
Mark remembers chatting with a dump truck driver who worked on a construction site near his memories of his childhood at the Arcade.
His grandmother worked there as a housekeeper and he often had to go to work with her when there was no one else to take care of him.
“She used to hit him around the ear and say, ‘Are you going to stop messing things up? I just put this away! âSaid Mark.
“He would have sworn he hadn’t moved it, and then he would have received another blow.”
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