Haunted Roads: The Story Of London's Number 7 Phantom Bus

A phantom bus was once the cause of many freak accidents on a road in West London.

Many mysterious phenomena have been recorded in England. For this reason, this country is considered the most mystical . After all, it was here that many residents encountered a large number of different kinds of ghosts.

And these phantoms are not always the ghosts of people. In Cambridge Gardens (Ladbroke Grove), eyewitnesses appeared who began to notice the ghost of a red double-decker bus. This phantom was mainly encountered by drivers and frightened them very much. They began to compose stories and legends about this ghost. Commuters within the area began to fear that if they ever encountered the ghost bus, they might meet a terrible fate.

London's Number 7 Phantom Bus History

The very first witness claimed to have seen a car driving along an empty road when suddenly, a strange bus appeared. The driver of the car got scared, abruptly swerved his vehicle, and hit a pillar. He was killed on impact. After the incident, the bus immediately disappeared. This happened in 1934.

Then, the phantom bus started appearing more frequently. Many witnesses were claiming that the bus was driving without a driver.  As recent events show, a vehicle with no driver leads to disasters . And it was always moving in the oncoming lane at a very high speed. The result was always the same. Any unfortunate driver who encountered the oncoming speeding phantom bus would try and steer clear of it and end up crashing into something. In most cases, people were dying on the spot .

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Comments Given By The Victim Of The Ghostly London Bus

One of the victims was lucky enough to survive. Later he was taken to the police station. He said, "I turned around the corner, and saw the bus moving! The headlights were shining, both floors were lit, and there was no one inside, neither the driver nor the passengers! I, of course, turned the steering wheel, drove out onto the sidewalk, and slightly hooked on the fence. And the bus immediately disappeared."

The driver who made such a statement to the local authorities of North Kensington in London, of course, could have been drunk, or hallucinated, or fell asleep at the wheel, and later tried to shift his blame onto the English ghost bus. But can this be said about the hundreds of drivers who experienced the same mysterious red double-decker bus rushing towards them?

The Main Features Of The Ghost Bus Number 7

The logo of a well-known company was drawn on red bus number 7. When accidents became more frequent, this company changed its name and logo so that people would no longer have any suspicions about it.

The ghost was suddenly appearing in the same place all the time. This intersection where the sightings occurred was already known to be dangerous, and with the advent of the high-speed ghost bus, it became even more terrifying. The testimonies of all the witnesses continued to be the same: the driver and passengers were absent, and the brand and color of the bus were the same. Also, the time of appearance of this ghost always coincided. This phantom bus usually appeared at 1:15 AM and would always disappear without a trace. The only evidence that suggested the driverless bus made an appearance were the accidents that continued to occur.

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Where Is The Phantom Bus Now?

Because of all these casualties and the widespread rumors, the police simply couldn't stand by. Detailed interrogations of all eyewitnesses began. They found out that locals saw this ghost on the road and even at the depot. However, after a few minutes, it would always disappear. This phenomenon was observed by many people, so it could not be attributed to the insanity of individual witnesses.

Since then, residents have nicknamed the ghost bus the 'night knight'. The residents of the area began to claim that the ghost chose its victim deliberately. Also, London authorities were never able to gather any hard evidence of the mysterious bus that was causing panic among drivers. For this reason, they decided to improve the visibility of the intersection between St. Mark's Road and Cambridge Garden by widening the road a few meters. In addition, it was decided to repair the road in this mystical place. Soon after that, the bus stopped appearing, and the number of deaths decreased. But still, to this day, many drivers try to avoid this haunted road.

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London's Phantom Double-Decker Bus

phantom bus london

Night buses aren't generally scary places: they might be full of guilt, or tinged with embarrassment, but they're not really frightening.

Not so, the phantom Number 7, haunting the roads around Cambridge Gardens in Ladbroke Grove, west London.

Last seen as recently as 1990 ( 1990! ), the spooky apparition first came to fame in the 1930s, when it caused a significant road accident.

Late one night, a motorist driving along Cambridge Gardens suddenly swerved for no apparent reason. Sources differ as to what happened next.

phantom bus london

Some say his car hit a wall and burst into flames , killing the unfortunate soul inside. It was at the inquest into his death that witnesses came forward, saying they'd seen a ghostly, unlit, driverless bus speeding down the centre of the road and that had caused the chap to crash.

Another version of events has the driver escaping — unhurt — and giving an eyewitness account: he told the police a bright red Number 7 double-decker had been hurtling towards him, forcing him off the road. In this account, the bus's lights are on, but there's no driver or passengers at home... spooky.

The authorities set out to find this rogue vehicle, but found no buses scheduled in that area, or the surrounding streets at all.

(Night buses were first introduced in London in 1913, but they were few and far between in the 1930s.)

phantom bus london

Then more accidents started happening. Always at the same time (1.15am) and always at the same place on Cambridge Gardens.

Eyewitness accounts were remarkably similar: a speeding double-decker had forced a car off the road; when the startled drivers turned around to see the out-of-control, driverless bus, there was nothing there.

Whatever it was had vanished without trace.

Check out our video on London's weirdest ghost stories, which features the phantom double-decker:

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The Strange Tale of London’s Phantom Number 7 Bus That Ran Drivers Off the Road

Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends. Full profile

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The London ghost bus that causes drivers to crash their cars in the middle of the night

A number 7 bus isn't always what it seems in West London

  • 17:00, 24 JUL 2021

phantom bus london

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Most of us living in London have embarrassingly got on the wrong bus at some point, occasionally waking up in the wrong area of town.

One bus you must be particularly careful with though is the Number 7 bus between Oxford Circus and East Acton, because at night you will not be faced with drunk teenagers and exhausted workers but instead a ghostly, driverless apparition.

Since the 1930s, the Number 7 bus has had a spooky reputation and a phantom version of the bus is rumoured to haunt West London .

READ MORE: The eerie story behind the ghost that haunts Ickenham London Underground station

Cambridge Gardens

The rumours began after a devastating road accident.

The story goes that late one night a motorist driving along Cambridge Gardens in Ladbroke Grove suddenly swerved for no apparent reason.

The car then crashed into the nearby wall and burst into flames. Many believe that accident was caused by a driverless bus that appeared on the road at 1.15am.

Accounts vary about what happened to the driver of the car. Some people think the driver died when the car crashed but others have said the driver later appeared and gave some spooky evidence to police officers.

At the inquest into the supposed driver's death witnesses came forward, saying they'd seen a ghostly, unlit, driverless bus speeding down the centre of the road.

This same bus has now been spotted again and again at the crash site on Cambridge Gardens.

But strangely the bus has only been seen at 1.15am and never at any other time.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: A cyclist rides around a London bus on Oxford Street on July 18, 2021 in London, England. On Monday, England will drop nearly all remaining pandemic-era social restrictions, such as those requiring distancing and size limits on gatherings. The move pits its vaccination programme against a more virulent Delta variant that has led to the UK's highest number of daily new infections since January. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Some say the driver actually survived and escaped the crash unhurt. The lucky driver then gave an eyewitness account to the police , explaining a Number 7 double-decker had been hurtling towards him and forced him off the road.

The terrified account added that the bus had its lights switched off and there was no driver or passengers.

The authorities set out to find this rogue vehicle, but found no buses scheduled in that area, or the surrounding streets at all.

At the time there were only a handful of night buses but still the phantom vehicle evaded the police.

Shockingly, more accidents started happening - and even more strangely they always occurred at the same time (1.15am) and always at the same place on Cambridge Gardens.

Eyewitness accounts always reflect the same story. They all say a speeding double-decker had forced a car off the road.

The bus always seems to move in the oncoming lane at a very high speed and the consequences of the ghostly sight are always the same.

Any unfortunate driver who encountered the oncoming speeding phantom bus would try and steer clear of it and end up crashing into something.

When the startled drivers turned around to see the out-of-control, driverless bus, there was nothing there.

To add to the horror, the crashes all seemed to take place in the same spot as the original 1934 crash.

The last sighting of the bus was in 1990, but who knows whether the bus will return again.

Do you think you've seen the ghostly bus? Tell us in the comments here .

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