St Thomas’s Church, Regent Street
St Thomas’s Regent Street is now demolished and the parish amalgamated with those of St Peter’s, Great Windmill Street and the St Anne’s Church, Soho. The church received the following mention by Elliott O’Donnell (27 February 1872 – 8 May 1965) in his Haunted Churches (1939).
Considering its comparative modernity one would hardly suspect St. Thomas’s church, Regent Street, of harbouring anything in the nature of a ghost, and yet at one time, according to information supplied by The Daily Chronicle in 1921, it was undoubtedly haunted.
According to that paper, the Rev. Clarence May, an assistant priest at St. Thomas’s, on entering the church one morning, to say Mass, saw a man in a black cassock, apparently a priest, kneeling before the altar. Thinking that he might be a priest formerly associated with the church, Mr. May was not particularly surprised. Presently the kneeling man rose, left the church and, passing in front of the high altar, disappeared from view. Supposing that the stranger had gone to the sacristy, Mr. May, upon reaching it himself directly afterwards, was astonished to find that he was not there. The door was locked, as usual, and the key hidden in its customary place, but of the strange priest there was not a sign.
It then struck Mr. May that although his own footsteps on the floor of the chancel were distinctly audible, the stranger’s made no sound whatever; and this peculiarity, in conjunction with the stranger’s quite inexplicable disappearance, caused Mr. May to realise that what he had just witnessed was a super-physical phenomenon. Apparently, Mr. May was never able to ascertain the identity of the phantom, though, from what he was told, he concluded that it was most probably the spirit of a former rector who had died some twenty years previously. He did ascertain, on reliable authority, that at least three times within the past twenty years a phantom priest had been seen in the church. Therefore, it is fairly evident that St. Thomas’s in Regent Street is, at any rate, periodically haunted.