Samuel Pepys lived in two different houses on the street and he seems to have left his soul in the first, number 12. Weary workers walking down the street have noticed a shadowy face behind the upstairs window where he used to sit when composing his diaries, and those courageous enough to investigate have reported him to be looking from his study out onto the street, smiling in ghostly contentment.
Pepys’s ghost has a charming neighbour at number 14; a young woman who, during winter months, occasionally peers from her window with a coquettish smirk. She is thought to be a model of the painter William Etty, who worked in this building during the 1840s, it has been suggested that the phantom may be Mme Rachel, a model with whom Etty chanced to be infatuated shortly before he died. When her beauty captivates a gentleman’s gaze, Mme Rachel turns her head in bashful elusion and slowly vanishes.