Ghost of Jack the Ripper. Ten Bells Pub,
One of the more frequently asked questions about the Jack the Ripper murders that we get asked on the tour is "are any of the jack the Ripper murder sites haunted?" The answer to that is, supposedly. The Ten Bells Pub on Commercial Street has changed little since the days of Jack the Ripper, and it most certainly has over the years enjoyed more than its fair share of ghostly activity.
Ten Bells Pub. Commercial Street E1.
Jack the Ripper’s Local.
The Ten Bells Pub is indelibly linked with the legend of Jack the Ripper. Its interior, resplendent with a magnificent tiled wall panel depicting the days when this area was countryside outside the City of London, has hardly changed since the early hours of November 9th 1888, when Mary Kelly, Jack the Ripper’s final victim, left the pub. Her horrifically mutilated body was discovered next morning in Millers Court of Dorset Street on the opposite side of the road from the Ten Bells. Indeed, for many years in the 1970’s and 1980’s the pub was renamed the Jack the Ripper, until, thanks largely to a landlord who was tastefully selling dark red "Ripper Tipple’s", the brewery decided to return it to its original name in 1989.
In the late 1990’s live in staff whose bedrooms were on the upper floors of the building, were complaining of alarming encounters with a ghostly old man dressed in Victorian clothing. They would often be awoken by an uneasy feeling in the dead of night, and turning over, find his phantom form lying beside them on the bed! No sooner would they cry out in shock than the figure would disappear. Staff with no previous knowledge of his ghost would often report seeing him, and their descriptions would always be the same. Nobody had any idea who he was and those who had occasion to live on the premises, learnt to just accept him as the oldest resident.
In June 2000, however, a new landlord took over the pub and decided to clear out the cellar. He found an old metal box hidden away in a corner, and opening it, discovered it contained the personal effects of a man named George Roberts. The items dated from the early 1900’s and with them was a brown leather wallet, inside which was a press cutting of the same period that talked of his having been murdered with an axe in a Swansea Cinema. Further research revealed that a man named George Roberts had indeed kept the pub in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the landlord concluded that it was his ghost whom staff had been encountering.
A tenant who lived on the premises in 2001 would often hear footsteps followed by a faint peal of laughter outside his door, even when he was the only person on the premises. Whenever he went to investigate he would find the corridor outside empty. Going down into the bar to investigate further he would often be pushed hard on the back by an invisible hand.
A psychic was once brought to the pub to see what she could pick up on the premises. Having reached the top floor, she paused outside one of the rooms and refused to go any further. She said that she could sense that something terrible had happened in the room and was almost certain that it involved the brutal death of a baby in the 19th century. Lindsay Siviter, a leading researcher and expert on the Jack the Ripper Crimes, was being shown around the pub a few years later and had been allowed access to the roof space. She noticed some material embedded in the floor behind the water tank and pulling at it found it was a sack tied at the top. Opening it she found it contained a mouldy set of Victorian baby clothes that appeared to have been slashed with a knife. Intriguingly the tank was directly over the room that the psychic had refused to enter.