(Shadowtime Home)


Explore the author's map to discover strange stories from Mitcham and the surrounding areas.



Front Cover


Part 1 - Mitcham:

The Phantom Cyclist
of Mitcham Common
(update to Strange Mitcham)

A Dark Figure on Mitcham Common

Tales from the
Vestry Hall

'Calico Jack': The
Playful Ghost of
Lacks the Drapers

The Faces on the Walls:
Hancock's Cottages

The Haunted Cottages
in Tramway Path

The 'Haunting' of
Hall Place

The Spectral
Soldier of Graham

The Legend of
Mitcham Fair

Remember the Grotto

The Phantom of
the 'Folly'

An Apparition at
Woof & Sabine

Haunted Rooms at
Fry Metals

The Phantom Cat

Mitcham's (not so)
Haunted Mansion

The Kingston Zodiac

The 'Ghost Tree'

Ghostly Gardeners,
Medicinal Plants and
A Magical Tree

The 'Thing'

The Wrath of God

A Ghostly Experience
in Morden Road

Mitcham Clock Tower:
When Time Ran

The Rosier Family

The 'Ball of Fire'

UFO over Mitcham
Common, 2004

UFO over Tooting
  Bec Common, 1990

Part 2 - South of
Mitcham Common:

Carew Manor

The Ghosts of
Beddington Park

Beddington Parish
Church & Churchyard

The Figure in the

Under Beddington

A Spectral Cavalier

Other Information:

Author's website

'Haunted Mitcham' Facebook group:

Facebook group set up
by Geoff Mynn in
January 2015

Heritage maps

Thanks to the
Mitcham Society
and Merton Council
there are some very
nice heritage
maps of Mitcham

Download for free
via this link.

The Mitcham Ghost

Strange Mitcham
(2002): Errata


The 'Thing'

It landed in 1959, in the middle of October, drifting silently down from the sky over Walton Way in full view of Mrs Doris Cox.

For several minutes she watched as a shining metallic sphere grew closer, its descent slowed by a parachute made of thick, khaki-coloured paper. Eventually the 'Thing', as the unusual object was later dubbed, came to rest on Mrs Cox's lawn where its size was estimated to be a little larger than a football. Closer examination revealed the legend 'Z000242' marked on its aluminium casing. But what was it?

The Space Age

By the end of the 1950s the world had awoken to the possibility of space travel. Just two years earlier the Russians had ushered in the Space Age by launching the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. The following month, a dog named Laika became the first terrestrial life-form to enter our planet's orbit. Suddenly we no longer seemed isolated from the rest of the cosmos. More disturbing for many was the idea that, if humans could send objects out into space, why couldn't someone or something out there send a probe our way?

Above: Replica of the Russian Sputnik satellite. (NASA)

Man has an innate fear of the unknown and science-fiction films playing on this fear were already big business. Indeed, the classic film The Thing from Another World, in which a hostile extraterrestrial entity is encountered in Antarctica, had been made not many years before, in 1951. Perhaps whomever christened Mitcham's mysterious visitor had this film in mind when he or she chose the name. Fortunately for Mitcham there turned out to be a more prosaic explanation.

Somebody telephoned the Meteorological Office and a spokesman there replied that the sphere was 'part of a hydrogen-filled radio-sonde balloon'. These balloons were designed to collect weather information which was recorded in a black bakelite cylinder approximately 10 inches long and 6 inches in diameter contained inside the aluminium globe. Unfortunately, however, Mitcham's 'Thing' - which had broken into two on landing - proved to be empty. The cylinder was missing and the Met spokesman stated that a 5s. reward was on offer for its return.

The newspaper report of this incident does not state whether the missing cylinder was ever recovered.

[Source: 'The Thing that came from the sky', The News, 23 Oct 1959, p.4.]

© James Clark. All rights reserved. Should you wish to refer to material presented here you are most welcome to quote a short excerpt (of no more than one or two paragraphs) provided you give full attribution and supply a link back to this website. Use of longer excerpts will require the author's prior written permission - by all means feel free to ask! But please DO NOT steal my work by copying great chunks and posting them in their entirety without permission. Thank you.

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