The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street

The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street

In this article we will be taking a look at the apparition that is said to haunt The Bank of England – the old lady of Threadneedle Street (also known as The Black Nun).


Philip Whitehead

Successful banker, Philip Whitehead, was a member of the esteemed financial staff in the early 1800’s. His primary job was a privileged position inside the Cashier’s Office which he held until November 1811…

When his luck took a turn for the worse.

Without warning, the successful Philip was charged with forgery by his peers and was sent for trial at the Old Bailey.

Unfortunately, they returned a guilty verdict, and Philip was sentenced to death.


Sarah Whitehead

Several months after Philip’s execution, the bank was surprised to find his sister, Sarah Whitehead, turn up on their doorstep.

When the bank workers realized who she was they decided to spare her feelings and lied – they said he was away on important financial business.

Threadneedle Street Bank

She began to turn up to see her brother every day, but she was met with the same explanation about his absence.

Each time Sarah turned up at the Bank, she was always dressed in the same clothing – a long black dress with a matching black face veil.

Eventually a newer member of staff let the truth slip…and Sarah found out about the fate of her brother.


Breaking Point

Sarah did not take the news well – some say something broke inside her and she was never the same again.

Within days of finding out about her brother’s death, she turned back up at the bank requesting to see him.

Something was very wrong with her stance – she seemed intense and disturbed…and in complete denial.

Whenever she turned up she would cause unease among the bank’s customers. Eventually the Governor of the Bank at that time made the decision to offer her a compromise.

He put together a package that would give her a little money from time to time – an apology for his staff keeping the truth from her.

There was one condition to this deal – she was never allowed in the bank again.

She agreed.


The Ghost

When Sarah eventually died, the bank agreed to pay for her funeral and bury her on the grounds of Threadneedle Street…

This turned out to be a big mistake.

It was as if the deal had been lifted – Sarah’s death had allowed her to return to the bank and continue her search for her brother.

For the next couple of centuries, numerous reports of a strange woman in dark clothes asking random passers-by if they have seen her brother anywhere have been made.

Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London

Sarah’s ghost is also thought to haunt the nearby Threadneedle Street Underground station. There have been countless reports of the apparition of a lady dressed in black by Commuters over the years.

There have also been incidents where Underground workers have heard moans and wails along the platforms, late at night. A few of them have also reported dark feelings of despondency suddenly sweep over them.

If you have any thoughts or opinions about the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.