The terrifying Hyde Park trees shaped liked spooky hands where people 'would die if they slept under them' – My London


There are supposedly ghosts in Hyde Park
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With Halloween just around the corner, if all the spirits supposedly come out on October 31, then London is set to be one of the most densely haunted places on Earth given its long history as a major city. There are plenty of spooky streets, hotels and pubs that are said to be visited by spirits but one of London's most famous parks is also rumoured to be a paranormal hotspot.
It's not too hard to imagine when you're walking there on a chilly autumn night that there are things hidden amongst the black shapes of the trees in Hyde Park. Branches of trees can easily look like arms and hands.
It seems the theory that Hyde Park is hounded by ghosts is well known. In his book London Lore, Steve Roud uncovers more than a few unsettling tales about ghosts creeping people out amongst the trees.
READ MORE: The lost Tube station that was supposedly haunted before it became a bank
He tells the story of All 'Button' Mary, a lady who was so named because she had a lot of buttons on her jacket. Apparently she slept under a particular elm tree in the park and, in the morning, declared that a strange voice had been talking to her all night. The voice had told her that the next world was a great place to go and that she ought to be there. Later the same day, she was found dead in the Serpentine.
Elliott O'Donnell who first told the story in his 1932 book Ghosts of London, said the elm tree was haunted by a "grotesque kind of spirit" that "affects people of certain temperaments in a very unpleasant way".
O'Donnell told another scary story of a woman walking in front of him through Hyde Park. She was dressed in grey and "very bedraggled and frayed". He couldn't catch up with her, try as he might, and eventually she wandered towards a tree which had a branch sticking out of it "like a great arm".
When she reached the tree, she apparently turned round and O'Donnell noted that: "The thing that looked at me was not living, it was dead. Long, long dead." O'Donnell ran out of the park in terror. He returned next day to search for the woman, but could not find the tree or anything like it. Then he spoke to an old man who took him to an open space and told him it was where the tree had once stood… about 20 years ago!
"It had a branch that looked like a human arm and hand and fascinated people," the man said. "Fascinated them so much that they used to like to sleep under it and quite a number who tried to do so were found dead in the morning."
The moral of this story of course is don't sleep under a tree in Hyde Park – especially not on Halloween.



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