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Whilst we were in the City, we continued our search for ghouls by walking the short distance from Cornhill to Threadneedle Street and the Bank of England.

Standing outside these imposing metal doors many questions were racing through our minds. What dark secrets lie within? What of the strange, cryptic symbols emblazed on the doors? What time do you open? I’ve got a cheque to pay in.

A door which guards many secrets. Possibly.

The Bank of England houses one of the most famous London ghost stories of all time, that of the Lady in Black (or Black Nun) Sarah Whitehead.

We were confident of catching a glimpse, with us being something of a hit with the ladies and all…

In 1812 Philip Whitehead, a clerk at the bank, was found guilty of forgery and hanged. His sister, Sarah, was not informed of her brother’s execution until one day she turned up at the bank to ask of his whereabouts.

The news left Sarah devastated and she refused to accept his death, opting instead to turn up at the bank every day dressed in funeral attire to ask staff where her brother was. Eventually, the bank got so tired of her daily visits that they offered her a large sum of money to go away and never return.

Does Sarah Whitehead parole these streets, still hopelessly searching for her brother after all these years? Probably not.

 A woman of principles, Sarah kept her promise. However, in death she was not so virtuous.

For several years after she died, late night city workers regularly encountered a lady, dressed in black robes, on Threadneedle Street or by Bank station always asking the same sorrowful question: “Have you seen my brother?”

Predictably, we didn’t see her. Either she was immune to our charms or, more plausibly, she never existed. Either way, our ghost count still stands at a paltry zero.

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