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The Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square

Updated: Jan 31

Phantoms have been chasing people down unlit hallways since time immemorial. Something about the sudden darkness convinces the human mind that pursuit is imminent. Usually, the phantoms exist only in our minds, and have no way of harming us.

The case of the Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square proves that, sometimes, that gut instinct to run is right. Number 50 Berkeley Square has earned a dark reputation for horrific deaths. There is a room on the 2nd floor that houses a terrifying apparition which has claimed at least two lives.

50 Berkeley Square – Malice in Mayfair

Illustration of the alleged Haunted House at 50 Berkeley Square.
Damn Nameless Things, they're lowering property value!

Mayfair is an upper class area in London's West End. Berkeley Square was built in the early 18th century and was originally surrounded by private homes. Some of the most famous Britons have made their homes there, like Winston Churchill.

Today, every building has been converted into a commercial lot, save one. Number 50 earned a sinister reputation as a haunted house in the mid 19th century. Once a townhouse, the building now houses a bookshop on the first floor.

The owner of number 50 doesn't allow anyone up onto the upper floors. Mysterious deaths are associated with a specific room on the 2nd floor. Death by terror, perpetrated by an indescribable horror.

Like any good haunted house, there are several versions of the legend of 50 Berkeley Square. In one, the haunting was caused by a young woman who committed suicide by jumping from the attic window. Death was the only way she could escape her abusive uncle's clutches. She now attacks men who dare spend the night.

Alternatively, the ghost is that of a young man who was held captive in the attic. He eventually went mad from the isolation, and now inflicts that madness on those who dare trespass into his demesne.

The true horror lies in the form the phantom takes. Some claim the thing to be a living, breathing, creature. Others believe it to be a demon conjured from the bowels of hell.

The Nameless Thing

The Nameless Thing of 50 Berkeley Square
My name's actually Darren.

Rumors about 50 Berkeley Square were already circulating in 1840. Sir Robert Warboys, 20 at the time, was a student and devout follower of reason. He scoffed at the idea of a haunting, and when dared by a friend, he volunteered to spend the night in the devilish domicile.

Warboys set himself up in a room on the 2nd floor. He had a pistol and a candle with him. Heart set on spending the night to prove his superstitious friends to be fools.

Only 45 minutes had passed when the guard heard the sounds of a panicked struggle coming from the room. He rushed upstairs to find the door locked. The sound of Warboys' pistol firing gave the guard the impetus to kick the door in. He expected to see Warboys struggling with an intruder.

Sir Robert Warboys was curled up in the corner of the room. His pistol lay smoking on the floor next to him. The young man was clearly dead, his face a twisted mask of terror.

The home was sold to Thomas Myers in 1859. He was a recluse, who spent 15 years slowly going insane inside 50 Berkeley Square.

Two years before Myers' death in 1874, Lord George Lyttleton spent a night in the attic. Once again, there was an aristocrat with a firearm spending the night on a dare.

Lyttleton armed himself with a shotgun before entering the attic. At some point during the night, he was accosted by an apparition. Likely not the same creature as witnessed by Sir Warboys, because Lyttleton survived the encounter. He fired his shotgun, and claimed to have hit the phantom.

Seven years later, Mayfair Magazine (not the pornography one) published an article claiming that a maid had gone mad in the attic. She was assigned the attic as her living quarters, but only spent a single night there.

The next morning she was discovered jabbering to herself about incoherent horrors. She was taken to an asylum, where she died within hours. Another victim of the Nameless Thing.

Witness Survives the Nameless Thing

The nameless thing that lives at 50 Berkeley Square
Prepare to get tentacled!

Near the end of the 19th century, two sailors from the HMS Penelope were docked at Portsmouth. Edward Blunden and Robert Martin were looking for cheap accommodation. They heard about the haunted house on Berkeley Square, and thought it might be marked down.

Blunden and Martin were set up in the same room that Warboys had died in. Being rough and tumble sailors, the pair thought they had seen it all. No ghost was going to get the better of them.

One hour after settling in for the night, Edward Blunden woke up to an odd slithering sound. He looked around the dark room, and to his horror he saw a gray shape crawling across the floor.

Blunden alerted Martin and grabbed his pistol. Robert Martin woke up just in time to see the gray thing launch itself at Blunden. He tore frantically at the thing's tentacles, but was unable to free himself.

Martin fled the house. He ran to the police for help, and when they returned to 50 Berkeley Square, they found the room empty. The police officers helped Martin search the house for Edward Blunden.

They found him at the foot of the stairs to the basement. His eyes were bulging, and his mouth locked in a horrified scream. Edward Blunden's neck had been broken, either by a fall down the stairs, or by the Nameless Thing itself.

The Nameless Thing of 50 Berkeley Square hasn't been seen since. Its ability to induce madness, as well as the tentacles are very reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft's creations.