Recently we did a short editorial project. This brief required us to create an editorial illustration to accompany a piece of writing. As part of the brief we were asked to select a piece of writing to focus on.
I chose the Strange tale of the Aldgate Station Ghost!
An electrician once fell onto the lines at Aldgate station in London. Instead of dying from the incredible shock he’d been hit with, he was fine. His co-workers saw why…
There are endless stories of ghosts haunting the London Underground but one of the most ‘electrifying’ tales of supernatural activity has to be the strange case of Aldgate and the suspicious spectral old lady who made a shocking appearance in the twentieth century.
Built on the site of a plague pit that was the final resting place for an estimated thousand victims of the Bubonic Plague in 1665, Aldgate Station was opened in 1876. Almost as soon as the trains began rolling in and out, the stories of spooky shenanigans began. A popular early tale relates to Tube staff being able to hear ghostly footsteps in the tunnels only for the noise to abruptly and mysteriously stop. Then an electrician was working at Aldgate one night when he slipped between the tracks, hit the live rail and received a 20,000-volt shock. It could – perhaps should – have killed him, but despite being knocked unconscious by his fall, he survived with minor injuries and made a full recovery.
Nothing particularly paranormal perhaps until the accident investigators interviewed the man’s colleagues and each of them swore that just before his plunge they had seen the half-transparent ghost of an old woman kneeling down beside the electrician and stroking his hair. Whether she was the man’s guardian angel, somehow saving him from a fatal electrocution, or an Angel of Death, malevolently trying to push him through the gap in the tracks, is a matter of opinion.
I found this great little gif! Sadly couldn’t find who made it 😦 I love stuff like this though and I love the contrast between the colourful pops and black and white.
As I explored this piece of text I was really fascinated by the plague pit found underneath the station. I thought this could be a fun idea to mess around with and decided to mix ink drawing and collage. Ive created my skeleton pieces by cutting tube maps, tying in the theme of London Underground being haunted. I kept the ink drawing of the station pretty simple just using black ink and fine liner for the final details. I chose to leave the recognisable underground sign in colour to match the colourful underground skeletons.