The Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square
Posted on Tuesday, 25 February, 2014 | 17 comments
Columnist: Ritoban Mukherjee
Hazily described by a fortunate surviving witness as a "hideous monstrosity", the Nameless Being that haunts Berkeley Square is a creature that is said to be overawing beyond the human imagination. Most of those who have dared to spend a night on the accursed fourth floor of 50 Berkeley Square have been met with the most tragic of endings, their lifeless bodies resting silently on the cold room floor, their faces twisted into a bloodcurdling expression of pain and agony...
Knock, knock... House No. 50?
Noted as one of the poshest areas of London, Mayfair serves as the location of a town square built in the mid 18th century. While originally built as a residential area, this town square, named the Berkeley Square, holds only one residential building now while the rest have been converted for commercial purposes. Amidst the antiquated feel of these aristocratic buildings of old England there is but one distinct edifice - house number 50. Infamous as one of the most haunted structures in London, no. 50 is said to be home to a diabolic entity - a cryptid, a poltergeist, or perhaps a demon... no-one actually knows what, which is why it's called "The Nameless Thing".
Eerie legends and Robert Warboys
The ground floor of no. 50 is presently occupied by the Maggs Brothers Antiquarian Booksellers, whose workers, no wonder, are not allowed to step foot on the top floor. You will see why.
The first recorded account of the nameless thing dates back to the 1840s. While nimbly sipping up pegs of alcoholic liquor on an evening at a tavern in London's Holborn district, young noble Robert Warboys was informed of the disturbing legends that circulated around no. 50 of Berkeley Square. Twenty as he was, the rush of youthfulness combined with the intoxicating effect of the hot liquor instigated him to quickly dismiss the stories as "unadulterated poppycock" and he went so far as to accept a challenge for a night's stay in the accursed room of the house. As per the agreement, Warboys appeared before number 50, and after a little debate with the landlord, he was reluctantly allowed a night's stopover at the haunted 2nd floor (or 4th floor, sources differ), provided that he equip himself with a pistol and a candle and that he would pluck the cord in the room ( attached to a bell in the landlord's room ) at the first sign of anything suspicious. At forty-five minutes past midnight the landlord was startled awake by the harsh ringing of the bell followed by gunfire. As he rushed into Warboys' room he caught sight of his lifeless corpse huddled in a corner, eyes bulging out in horror, lips pulled back by his clutched teeth, the pistol smoking in the grip of his hand. Apparently Warboys had shot at the thing, but in vain, for the bullet lay pierced in the opposite wall. Thus Warboys aligned his name with the countless more guests and servants who would fall prey to the terrifying 'thing'.
Trespassing Sailors and Another Murder
Two drunken sailors Robert martin and Edward Blunden were wandering the streets of Berkeley Square on an evening in 1943 when they came by a "To Let" notice hanging from house number 50. With not a penny in their purses, they decided to take advantage of the empty house and broke in through the basement windows. Upon entering they stumbled upon the damp, rat-infested ground floor of the house, and decided to go upstairs. The dry, rat-free 2nd floor immediately caught their attention, and they suited themselves in a warm corner of a comfortable room.
At midnight, the door suddenly gaped open and from outside the room was heard a slow dragging noise. The two alarmed men stood up and came across the most terrifying spectacle of their lives. A creature burst in and plunged upon Blunden, wrapping him up with its tentacles, choking his throat. Martin escaped screaming and soon approached a patrolling police officer, who, although skeptical of his story, followed him to the bewitching house, searching every room including the one in which they had slept, before entering the dark basement where they confronted Blunden's piteous ripped-off cadaver, eyes gaping at an unfathomable horror, neck twisted violently to one side.
Paranormal Investigations and Older Accounts
During the 1920s paranormal researcher Harry Price scrutinized piles of old newspapers, revealing numerous older accounts of the nameless thing. Price speculated that a group of outlaws frequented number 50 in the 1790s where they printed false currency and executed several other illicit activities, producing weird noises to scare away neighbors from their secret base. Long after the members of the gang had been caught and had died however, an 1870s magazine "Notes and Queries" recorded:
"The mystery of Berkeley Square still remains a mystery. The story of the haunted house in Mayfair can be recapitulated in a few words; the house contains at least one room of which the atmosphere is supernaturally fatal to body and mind. A girl saw, heard and felt such horror in it that she went mad, and never recovered sanity enough to tell how or why.
A gentleman (Robert Warboys), a disbeliever in ghosts, dared to sleep in number 50 and was found a corpse in the middle of the floor after frantically ringing for help in vain. Rumour suggests other cases of the same kind, all ending in death, madness, or both as a result of sleeping, or trying to sleep in that room. The very party walls of the house, when touched, are found saturated with electric horror. It is uninhabited save by an elderly man and his wife who act as caretakers; but even these have no access to the room. This is kept locked, the key being in the hands of a mysterious and seemingly nameless person who comes to the house once every six months, locks up the elderly couple in the basement, and then unlocks the room and occupies himself in it for hours."
Price finally concluded that number 50 was home to "a nasty poltergeist".
Naming the Nameless Horror
Descriptions of the nameless being differ from a dark specter with sharp claws to a slimy shapeless monster. While most psychic researchers agree that it is a violent poltergeist, others have speculated that it is a mutated freshwater octopus that somehow entered the London sewer systems and infiltrated the house through the pipelines, feeding mainly on the rat population, but occasionally attacking human victims as well.
Article Copyrightę Ritoban Mukherjee - reproduced with permission.
My name is Ritoban Mukherjee. The paranormal and morbid are my hobbies. I am a student and the author of a spooktacular paranormal and occult blog named All About Occult. Do visit my blog for bloodcurdling articles on morbid mysteries, dark religions, urban legends, aliens, afterlife, haunted locations and parapsychology.