By John Macklin

The candlestick missed his head by inches


For 50 years, the Albion Hotel, in a narrow street leading from London’s Strand towards Covent Garden, had enjoyed the custom of a small but select clientele ranging from country families visiting the capital to elderly widows who had made the place their home.

The service was attentive but discreet and guests were invariably welcomed by the manager, Edward Tenby and assured that the “desire of everyone at the Albion is for your comfort and wellbeing.”

But in the autumn of 1921 a guest was claimed to have arrived at the Albion who the manager and staff described as “totally unwanted and unwelcome.” They couldn’t wait for the noxious visitor to depart and in the meantime attempted to carry on as usual.

Which in the circumstances was difficult, if not impossible, as the unwelcome guest was claimed to be a poltergeist!

For several months, according to numerous witness, the Albion poltergeist terrorised guests and staff with outbreaks of violence which began one morning in October 1921 when Edward Tenby discovered that one of the maids had not reported for duty.

Knocking on Ethel Mills’ third floor bedroom door the girl was heard sobbing inside. When a woman staff member persuaded her to open the door she found Ethel’s face had been badly bruised and scratched.

The only explanation the made could give was that “something invisible” had attacked her as she lay in bed.

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