Eerie East London

Yossarian

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On the "Star of David drawn across a map" - someone once drew a Pentagram across a map of an area of the UK by connecting the location of Little Chefs. You can find "evidence" for anything if you look hard enough for it.


As for London weirdness, it's something of a passion of mine, as for years I laboured over an impossible project - attempting to write a novel tying together personal experience, and a litany of London myths, history and fiction, all based around the idea that, in a city as old as London, all of those things become one and the same; that, in the popular imagination at least, Sherlock Holmes or My Hyde is as real as Jack The Ripper (for example), and that the London of the Imagination is more "real" than the city itself.

It amounted to pages and pages of incomprehensible flowcharts, and little else, but did involve me putting together a small library of reference books on London's history, weird tales, mythology, and plenty besides. Very much down the rabbit hole.


A personal favourite was always the Black Sewer-Swine of Hampstead - enormous black pigs stalking the sewers, their prodigious size explained by their constant diet of waste.
 

Mungoman

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I travelled 12,000 mile from Australia, sat in one of those lovely London parks near St Pancras Station, and, at the base of a tree, not more than three feet from my feet was a Burrin, at least 6,500 years old - I don't think that I would've noticed it except for the familiarity we have with Australian Aboriginal artifacts.

Thank You London.
 

Mythopoeika

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I travelled 12,000 mile from Australia, sat in one of those lovely London parks near St Pancras Station, and, at the base of a tree, not more than three feet from my feet was a Burrin, at least 6,500 years old - I don't think that I would've noticed it except for the familiarity we have with Australian Aboriginal artifacts.

Thank You London.
How did an Australian aboriginal artefact get there?
 

Dick Turpin

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This one is definitely a candidate for the strange people thread, but seeing as this happened in a flat in Bethnal Green (East London) I’ve put it here.

I once lived in a fourth floor flat in which I had some interesting neighbours, including a middle aged lady who I’ll call Jo.

Jo was in her mid-60’s, unmarried, had no children or seemingly any family or friends, in fact in the 3 years she was a neighbour of mine I don’t think that I ever noticed anyone visit her.

One evening I bumped into her as I was coming home from work, we were chatting about this and that, when she asked if I saw them last night, I asked who, and she said why the aliens of course, and that I’d better be careful and watch out for them.

Straight away I realised there was something not quite right about her, so played along promising that I’ll watch out for the aliens in future. Unfortunately for Jo her mental health deteriorated quite rapidly, as a few days later I was leaving for work, when I noticed her standing on the landing outside her front door, striking something within with a broom.

Thinking that she may have had a rat or mouse, I walked over and asked her if she was alright. I could tell she’d been crying and she told me that it got in through the letter box last night but she couldn’t get it out. I asked what and she pointed to a spot just inside the door.

I looked and couldn’t see anything so asked her what I was supposed to be looking for, and she said can you not see the Alien crouching in the corner. There was nothing there of course, but I did walk over to where it was supposed to be, and pretended to pick it up and throw it was over the balcony. Jo was very grateful, but unfortunately that set a precedent, as she started to knock at my front door 2 or 3 times a day asking me to get rid of an alien.

I think it was the family who lived in the flat directly below Jo who contacted the authorities. The men with white coats turned up one afternoon and carted her away, god knows where, and I never saw poor Jo again.
 

IbisNibs

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You are a kind soul Dick Turpin.

The mother of a friend of mine starting having hallucinations of strange men crouching in her apartment. She was developing dementia, and this was complicated by the fact that she was unable to keep track of her medications. It was hard to tell what was dementia and what was an adverse medical reaction. It was very stressful and sad for both of them!
 

Spookdaddy

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Spook, what be this psychogeography of which you speak?...

Bumping a very old query here, but in the intervening time I’ve realised that of all the somewhat complex and conflated psycho-philosophical definitions out there Proust came up with a most succinct and apt description long before anyone even thought up the word 'psychogeography':

...an edifice occupying a space with, so to speak, four dimensions -- the fourth being Time...

Swap out a more general ‘space, for ‘edifice’ and I reckon you’ve got it.

I suppose that in the context of the novel it's not entirely apt: if I recall correctly, it originally refers to one particular building, and the narrator's irresistible flow of childhood memories of it when, as an adult, contemplating other structures.

However, standalone, as a general rule of thumb, it kind of works for me.
 

escargot

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Bumping a very old query here, but in the intervening time I’ve realised that of all the somewhat complex and conflated psycho-philosophical definitions out there Proust came up with a most succinct and apt description long before anyone even thought up the word 'psychogeography':

...an edifice occupying a space with, so to speak, four dimensions -- the fourth being Time...

Swap out a more general ‘space, for ‘edifice’ and I reckon you’ve got it.

I suppose that in the context of the novel it's not entirely apt: if I recall correctly, it originally refers to one particular building, and the narrator's irresistible flow of childhood memories of it when, as an adult, contemplating other structures.

However, standalone, as a general rule of thumb, it kind of works for me.

Yup, makes perfect sense, especially in the context of hauntings. We even have threads on places that make you feel weird and suchlike.
 

Ogdred Weary

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I recall someone sharing an interactive map of London or just East London which highlighted sites of paranormal or weird importance, I thought it was in the this thread? Does anyone know what I'm talking about? It was a few years ago and I think the map and site may have been sponsored by a drinks company though I may have imagined that last detail.
 

Spookdaddy

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I recall someone sharing an interactive map of London or just East London which highlighted sites of paranormal or weird importance, I thought it was in the this thread? Does anyone know what I'm talking about? It was a few years ago and I think the map and site may have been sponsored by a drinks company though I may have imagined that last detail.

The Londonist website has some good maps.

Not exactly interactive, but were you maybe thinking of this one?

Edit: Ah, hold on - was it Grim London?
 

Victory

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This thread was started in October 2009.

The changes to East London since then have been quite extraordinary.
 

Bad Bungle

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The Londonist website has some good maps.
Not exactly interactive, but were you maybe thinking of this one?
Edit: Ah, hold on - was it Grim London?
I've mentioned before that the construction of the Midland Railway Line in the 1860's cut through the Old St. Pancras churchyard. Thomas Hardy helped with the disinternment of graves and the stacking of headstones against an Ash tree (the Hardy Tree), which has since grown around them. I didn't realise until I played with the Grim London map that the construction of the Eurostar terminal at Kings Cross/St. Pancras in 2003 again cut through the same churchyard. Here archaeologists unearthed a coffin containing bones of eight bodies together with those of a four-metre long Pacific Walrus.

https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p08qbzsm/the-walrus-found-in-a-human-grave
 

Yithian

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A little speculation about the name of The Isle of (very few) Dogs:

E3LDaOfWQAMrXWQ.png
 

Victory

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I wonder that the "Bad Fat Man" poster on the back of the bus refers to?
Might it be connected to the Dunlop branding above it?

My preferred theory of how the Isle of Dogs got it;s name is the one about dead dogs washing up on the sandbanks off the shore.

Hunting dogs were likely to be kept elsewhere, and ducks were as common in the Rotherhithe marshlands.
 
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