Carshalton is now a bustling, busy and large village on the outskirts of London, and with a constant stream of traffic, but it’s not always been that way. When night comes, peace and quiet descends and the ghosts of the past come out and visit. Late at night when darkness has fallen, are you brave enough to wander the streets of Sutton, to see if you can spot our most elusive long-term residents.

It was a dark, dark night…



The Grey Lady at St.Philomena’s

There’s reports that both a Taxman and Royal Messenger have been killed on the staircase during the building’s history, and stories about a mysterious Grey Lady and even a Nun at the Water Tower. It’s a building with a rich and varied history, but at this time I don’t know who these people were – or should that be, are. St Philomena’s is now a Catholic school for girls, part of which sits in the old Carshalton House, itself a grand manor house possibly built in the late 1600s, for Edward Carlton.

“I went to school in Carshalton, Surrey – St. Philomena’s which, at that time, still had boarders. The dormitories were in the old part of the school, Carshalton House.

We had the Grey Lady, and most of the boarders had seen her at some time or other. One of my friends in class described how the dumb waiter (which was kept locked for security reasons) started moving at night”

The house sits in impressive grounds:

“It was a large school in some beautiful grounds and there was plenty of places in it that felt spooky so it didn’t take much to get imaginations running wild.”

“The school grounds, which are beautiful, looked ghostly in the dark and I remembered all those school legends about the Grey Lady, and the footman who fell down the stairs in the 1780s or thereabouts, in the days of Sir John Fellowes…”

The Water Tower is an imposing structure built around 300 years ago.

“The ghost of a Nun has been seen here walking about the [water] Tower and whenever I was driven past here as a boy, I would always take a look up just to see if any spectral entity would be looking back — unfortunately it never did!”



A Frozen Traveller at The Greyhound

This old coaching-inn stands on the London to Brighton road and could be up to 500 years old: “The earliest recorded mention of The Greyhound is in 1706, though the inn may have existed anything up to 200 years before that.”

Carshalton has always been a very watery place and for many years, it’s said that spare horses were kept here to assist in pulling coaches and carts out of the mud when they were stuck. The water outside the pub was once referred to as The Horse Pond.

It’s said that one morning in the 1800s, a traveller in a long cloak was found dead on the doorstep of the pub having frozen to death during the night. His ghost still haunts the building and has reportedly been observed in the early hours of the morning grey faced and shivering



Nurse at the War Memorial Hospital

The War Memorial Hospital was built in 1924 and overlooks Carshalton Park. It was built to replace a smaller hospital which was in Rochester Road, down by Carshalton station.

“When I was working there as a community nurse in early 2000’s thought I saw an apparition of a nurse in a long dress standing by the window. It was dusk. It frightened me and I ran down the stairs and out the building only to think I must see someone. I went back into the ward downstairs which was still open at the time and talked to the nurse on duty who said it was a regular occurrence for the night nurses to see ghosts there. Anyone else have any stories? Still believe I saw something.”

The old building has now been converted into flats.


And elsewhere in Sutton borough…


Haunted Carew Manor

Once a former orphanage, the manor is now a school. The ghosts of Queen Elizabeth 1 and Sir Walter Raleigh are said to haunt the grounds. In the 18th century a young girl was reported to be laughing and walking along the corridors. A ghostly Nun was seen in 1972.



Dark Stranger at Nonsuch

Witnesses have reported a phantom lurking near the main south entrance to the park. The figure has been described as being a tall male with ‘a thin face’, and dressed in ‘dark coloured hat and long black overcoat’. 



Bottom-Pincher at The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory in Cheam dates back to the 1500s and reportedly has seven very shy ghosts. There’s a bottom-pinching ghost which appears around Halloween: “He pops up now and again, he pinched one of the ladies bottoms in here on her birthday, he’s quite friendly, and actually quite funny.”



Hope you enjoyed it…

I hope you enjoyed the Halloween Ghost special – just a few local stories, you’re probably best off not reading to your children just before bedtime. What ghostly happenings have you experienced locally? Please let us know in the comments below, and perhaps more long-lost residents will be uncovered…


If you have an interest in old photographs of the area we can strongly recommend contacting the Sutton Archives, though we’d like to make it clear that we are purely a local interest website, not affiliated to Sutton Heritage or Archives. If you can lay claim to any of the images we’ve used here, we’ll be more than happy to credit you. Throughout the blog posts, you’ll spot clickable links that show where some of the info for the stories has come from. None of these stories have been verified, they’re just tidbits we’ve discovered and are sharing here for fun.

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Clare Prior
Clare Prior
11 months ago

Queen Anne’s physician Dr Ratcliffe lived in Carshalton House ( currently St Philomena’s School). He refused to attend her as he considered her a hypochondriac and her messenger from London got fatally pushed down the stairs. It is said his ghost hangs around the staircase.