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VIDEO: London's most haunted? Woolwich Arsenal home to 'more than 50 ghosts'
FROM dead officers and child labourers to entombed prostitutes, Woolwich's Royal Arsenal is rumoured to be the home of more than 50 different ghosts.
Ahead of some spooky Halloween tours, we hear tales terrifying enough to make the most hardened soldier run away screaming like a little girl.
Nearly everyone who works at the Royal Arsenal has heard the hysterical laugher and kettle drum playing phantom of Building 41.
But the ghost, believed to be a worker who went insane form mercury poisoning, nearly didn't make it into the Firepower's Halloween tour - until he confronted operations manager Richard Smith-Gore's in typically "attention-craving" style.
He explained: "I was setting one of the alarms in that building and he threw a chair down the stairs at me.
"I thought it was one of our soldiers playing a practical joke so I set the alarms in the building to catch him out.
"But the alarms never triggered. Nobody left that building. Now he's included in the tour."
With its rich history, Mr Smith-Gore estimates there are at least 50 ghosts across the Arsenal site, making it one of London's most haunted places.
Now the Firepower Museum is allowing visitors to tour the haunted areas - though the nature of the ghosts mean there needs to be a separate adults and children's event.
For instance, even gunners are too scared to even enter a basement room where a prostitute was hidden away when the Duke of Wellington arrived to stay at the academy.
Despite promises to let her out again, she was later found dead, nibbled at by rats.
Mr Smith-Gore warned: "To this day, gunners won't go in there, but officers sometimes feel their hair being stroked and there have been instances when buttons have been undone.
"But she won't undo your zip because she doesn't know what it is since they hadn't been invented then.
"If you find your hair's being stroked you're either very rich now or you're going to become so."
Other ghosts have a sense of humour, including Piggy, a young boy who worked in the old gunpowder factory and blew himself up. To this day he is known to pull the hair of young girls.
Or there's the manager who was known for his love of practical jokes and whose office was located in what is now a disabled toilet.
Mr Smith-Gore explained: "Most volunteers have found the disabled toilet on the first floor gets locked overnight with no explanation why."
Other ghosts of the Arsenal
- Lt Carrey, who failed to ensure the safety of Napoleon's son during the Zulu wars and has paced outside the temporary mortuary at Building 55 ever since.
- A soldier who, failing his army officer training and facing bankruptcy, hanged himself in one of the buildings.
- A sergeant who haunts the Old Gatehouse and doesn't like foreigners - standing behind them and breathing down their necks until they leave.
- The soldier who died having never been told to stand down, so never did, and goes wherever his 18 pounder First World War gun goes.
- A factory manager who slit his throat in front of his manager after his brother was killed by one of his own shells. Known to slam doors and push people over.
Find out for yourself
A family tour for children over eight takes place on October 31 at 6pm. A November 2 event at 8pm is for adults only.
Tickets cost £12 for adults and £7 for children, including a bangers and mash supper in a building inhabited by four ghosts.
Visit firepower.org.uk or call 020 8855 7755.
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