Over a hundred and fifty years ago a carpet-bag with grisly contents was discovered on Waterloo Bridge in London. Who it was and who left it there remains a mystery till this day.
Originally it was called the Strand Bridge and it opened in 1817. It spanned the Thames between Westminster and Blackfriars, however before it was finished its name had been changed to Waterloo Bridge.
On October 10, 1857 a version of the following story ran in all the local London newspapers.
Yesterday (Friday) morning was discovered, on one of the buttresses of Waterloo-bridge, the mangled remains of the body of a person who had been most barbarously murdered.
Author Elliott O'Donnell wrote about the hauntings experienced at Waterloo Bridge afterwards.
Waterloo Bridge was well known to be haunted at times. Spectral figures were rumoured to be encountered on it in the dead of night and seen leaping from them into the Thames. Suicides from both those bridges were almost nightly occurrences in the early 1890s.
On the morning of October 9, 1857 a carpet-bag was discovered on one of the abutments of the bridge. No one except the toll-keeper had any evidence to offer. The identity of the murdered man was never known, and the crime was assigned to the category of unsolved mysteries.
Soon after the finding of the remains the bridge was rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a headless man, who was habited like a sailor. He appeared several nights in succession just above the abutments where the remains had been found. It was thought to be the ghost of the murdered man who the police believed was a foreign sailor.
Source - Hampshire Telegraph and Naval Chronicles Oct 10, 1857
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer