Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sir Francis Bacon and the Ghost Chicken

Would you consider this a 'poultrygeist?' 

I write about a lot of weird stuff here at Theresa's Haunted History. I've written about so many weird things over the years that I had to add a whole page dedicated to these freaky, strange, and unusual pieces of history. Mummies, people being buried alive (on purpose!), curses...its all here at the Weird History section of the blog. But today, I'm adding a story that is weird even for me! What could be weirder than being haunted by a frozen chicken?

I recently came across this story while reading The Ghosts of London: A Collection of Ghost Stories from the British Capital, by Charles River Editors.

Back in March of 1626, Sir Francis Bacon decided to test out a theory he had been toying with. He believed that meat could be preserved without the use of salt by simply keeping it at a cold temperature. In order to test this out, however, he had to have some meat---and he chose a chicken from a farm near the Highgate area of London. The chicken was plucked and slaughtered, and then Bacon stuffed it full of ice to see if his theory was correct.

Unfortunately, Bacon never got to see the full results of his experiment. During this process, he came down with a cold, which turned into the pneumonia that would take his life on April 9, 1626. That should have been the end of the story. But it wasn't.

Pond Square Stock Photo from Alamy
Visitors to Highgate's Pond Square have been terrorized for centuries by the apparition of a headless, featherless chicken. The bird has been seen running around in circles, flapping its bare wings madly before disappearing from sight. Recent sightings have occurred in 1943, when a man named Terrence Long heard the sounds of what he thought was a phantom carriage, but when he turned around to see where the noise was coming from, he witnessed the chicken, and again in the 1970s when the chicken made its most horrifying appearance ever.

During that time, there was a young couple out on a date in Pond Square. As they sat on a bench, their make out session becoming more and more risque, the chicken carcass allegedly fell (or jumped) from a tree branch above them, right into the middle of their laps. I guess there's no better birth control than a dead, yet sentient, frozen headless chicken falling from the sky. Unfortunately for us, that was the last time the chicken was seen. Perhaps it had fulfilled its purpose?

*If you want MORE weird chicken stories, I've got a blog about a strange chicken from Wayne County, West Virginia! *

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