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Althalus

The Ghost of Pond Square

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A ghost, sad, bizarre, and deserving a place in the annals of commercial food-preperation, is associated with Pond Square in London's Highgate. It is the ghost of a half-naked, half-frozen chicken.

The ghost maker in this tale, is no less than the great philosopher Francis Bacon, once lord chancellor of England. In 1626, though, when he was 65 years old, he had convicted of bribery, sentenced to the Tower of London, and fined £40,000. Although later pardoned, Bacon was forbidden to hold public office again. Thus freed from the struggle for worldly powers, he turned his mind to the mysteries of the universe and to the methods man might use to solve them.

He was riding through the streets of Highgate one snowy March day in 1626 when a universal mystery occurred to him. Why was grass that had lain under snow all winter still green and fresh when his carriage wheels exposed it to the air? Did the snow somehow act as a preservative?

Bacon instantly stopped his carriage at Pond Square and ordered his coachman to buy him a chicken from a farm nearby. Next he had the coachman kill the bird, pluck off most of its feathers, and clean oput the abdominal cavity. Then, to the amazement of the small crowd pressing around him, Bacon stooped down and began to stuff the bird with snow. This done, he put it in a sack and filled the sack with more snow.

While he was treating the chicken in this unnatural way, a fit of shivering seized him, and he collapsed on the snow. He was taken to the home of his friend Lord Arundel and died there within a few days.

What happened to Lord Bacon after he died, nobody knows. But the chicken, bound, it seems, to the environs of Pond Square by the sudden outrage that befell it, has been frequently seen there since its death. Stripped of its feathers and shivering, it invariably half runs, and half flaps, always in circles. "It was a big, whitish bird," according to Mrs. John Greenhill who resided at Pond Square during World War II and often saw the chicken on moonlit nights. Aircraftman Terence Long was another witness, also during the war. He was crossing the square one night when he heard the sound of hooves and carriage wheels. He looked around but saw nothing-except a shivering, half-naked chicken flapping pathetically in circles. An Air Raid Precautions fire-watcher came along and told Aircraftman Long that the bird was a habitue of the square. A man had tried to snare it a month or two earlier, he said, but it disappeared into a brick wall.

One January night in 1969 a motorist who was delayed at Pond Square with car trouble noticed a large white bird near a wall. Seeing that most of its feathers had been plucked, and thinking that a gang of youths might have abused the bird, he looked about him before going to the rescue of the poor bird. When he turned back, the bird was gone. A year later, in February, a young man and woman where saying goodnight to each other when a big white bird alighted noiselessly on the ground beside them. It ran twice in a circle and then vanished into the darkness.

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That's got to be the most bizarre account of a haunting I have ever heard of in my perusal of the paranormal. And I've done some perusing.

How weird! wacko.gif

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That is an absolutaly brilliant story , Bizzare but brilliant laugh.gif

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Woa! Psycho chicken!!What a wierd haunting blink.gifblink.gif

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got to be sight to see

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