After more than 100 years of modern-day Palmers Green, dripping with requisite potentially spooky Edwardiana, you would have thought that Palmers Green would be groaning with ghosts. But we seem to have just two ghostly sightings to my knowledge.
The first concerns the Fox. In the 1980s and 1990s the back rooms of the Fox (as The Fox Theatre) became home of several theatre companies in succession, including in 1996 the Fact and Fable Theatre Company, whose performance of Pin Money by Malcolm Needs was directed by June Brown, Dot Cotton of Eastenders. It was during another performance in November 1996, according to Gary Boudier his 2002 book, A-Z of Enfield Pubs (part 2), that a Mr Sullivan from Archway felt himself being tapped on the shoulder but turned to find no one there. Bar staff and customers also reported unexplained noises, only some of which were attributable to the effects of alcohol.
The Intimate Theatre also reputedly has its ghost, according to the BBC’s Doomsday Reloaded project of a few years ago, though it’s not much of a story, only a ghostly presence in the auditorium.
You have to go slightly further afield for a proper ghost story, courtesy of Henrietta Cresswell’s Winchmore Hill, Memories of a Lost Village (you can read the book in full on N21.net).
In 1800 a common was enclosed which lay between Vicarsmoor Lane and Dog Kennel Lane, now called Old Green Dragon Lane. It was known as Hagfield or Hagstye field, on account of a witch who infested it on stormy nights with her proper accessories of a broomstick and a black cat! The right-of-way across the common was left as an enclosed footpath. In the sixties there were five stiles in it marking the field boundaries. This is still called Hagfields, and not long ago was strictly avoided after dark. The Clapfield Gates, now Wilson Street, had also a bad name. They were said to be haunted by a black bull.
And here’s another
At the top of Bush Hill is a footpath which avoids the long bend of the high road. It used to pass slightly to the west of its present position and was known as “The Poet’s Walk” or Stoney Alley. It passed under an avenue of limes which met overhead, and on its left was a black and sullen looking pond. Towards the Enfield end there was a high red brick wall, overhung by ancient yew trees, which made it exceedingly dark at the close of the day. It was reputed to be haunted, and few people would go through it after dusk. The ghost was said to be a lady in full bridal costume, who appeared on the top of the wall, gave a piercing and unearthly shriek and vanished. After a time it transpired that a white peacock found the wall under the trees a pleasant roosting place, and when disturbed it uttered its unmelodious cry and flew away.
Further afield, in Green Street, Brimsdown, was the site of the manifestation of the Enfield poltergeist. This really isn’t one for those of a nervous disposition. The story is taken up by London teacher turned Taxi driver Rob in his excellent View from the Window blog – click here. I don’t recommend watching the video clips but it’s up to you…
If you know a Palmers Green spooky story, please tell us!