25 Brook Street. Mayfair. W1.
The Female Entity That Came to Stay
George Frideric Handel was thirty-eight years old when, in the summer of 1723, he moved into the newly built house at what is now 25 Brook Street. He lived there for thirty- six years, and died in the upstairs bedroom in 1759.
In 2000, the upper storeys of the building were leased to the Handel House Trust and on 8th November 2001 “Handel’s spirit was brought back…when the Handel House Museum opened to the public.”
However, during the restoration project, it was reported that a spirit of a very ethereal kind was haunting the building, and, in July 2001, the Handel House Trust went as far as to call upon the services of a local priest, to see if he could lay the ghost that had been seen by at least two people. “We weren’t sure whether having a ghost would attract or deter customers,” commented Martin Egglestone, a trust fundraiser, who twice encountered the apparition in the room where Handel died. In June 2001, he was helping measure up for some curtains when “suddenly the got very thick.” The next moment, a shape that resembled “the imprint on the back of your retina when you close your eyes, having been looking at the sun for too long” appeared before him.
Mr Egglestone described the apparition as being female and slightly higher than him. He observed that “There was no malevolent feeling. It felt like the pressure you get when you brush past someone in the Tube and they are too close to you.”
Staff also reported the strong, lingering scent of perfume hanging in the air of the bedroom. Although Handel lived alone, sharing his home only with his manservant, he was visited here by two sopranos, Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni, who vied with each other to perform in his operas, and Mr Egglestone raised the possibility that the ghost might be one of them.
Interestingly, the upper storeys of 23 next door, which are now part of the museum and used for changing exhibitions, was the home of rock legend Jimi Hendrix, from 1968-9. He also claimed to have seen a ghost on the premises whilst he lived there.
Commenting on the most recent haunting a local priest told the Daily Telegraph “This is a soul who is restless and not at home. I don’t see it as evil or horrible and one should help it to be at peace.”http://haunted-london.com/haunted-houses.html