The Davos of Ghost Hunting

The Standard, London hotel

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Bompas & Parr hosted The Davos of Ghost Hunting at The Standard, London hotel in celebration of Ghost Stories of Tripadvisor publication launch. From 28th October, cocktails appeared on the Double Standard menu from the world’s best deceased bartenders (contacted by noted medium Carrie Kirkpatrick).

For Halloween 2020, Bompas & Parr published Ghost Stories of Tripadvisor, the first collection of online reviews detailing haunted hotels. The publication, dedicated to all who work in hospitality, is by turns horrific, unseemly and comic.

Raising London’s spirits

Across Halloween the Double Standard bar at The Standard, London hotel featured specially concocted drinks, made to the specification of the world’s best deceased bartenders:
- Jerry Thomas (1830-1885)
- Ada Coleman (1875-1966)
- Ernest Gantt, aka Don the Beachcomber (1907-1989) who created the infamous Zombie cocktail,

Each bartender was contacted by noted medium, Carrie Kirkpatrick, who sought the unwritten concoctions that they took to their grave with them. These were interpreted by Eder Neto, The Standard’s Head of Bars, and developed for the guests' experienced palates.

The Spectral Return
Tanqueray London dry gin, lemon, hellfire bitters and blackberry

Flame of Hades
Opal nera grappa, coffee liqueur, Wray and Nephew overproof rum  

Persephone’s Choice
Veuve Clicquot, lustre, strawberry syrup

The Davos of Ghost Hunting – launch by candlelight

A candlelit summit of legendary ghost hunters and experts was hosted at The Standard, London hotel’s Library Lounge on Wednesday 28th October to launch the volume.The evening featured readings from Ghost Stories of Tripadvisor and a panel discussion with:

-Roger Clarke – critic, author of A Natural History of Ghosts and youngest ever member of the Society for Psychical Research

-Viktor Wynd – impresario, collector, owner of The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities

-Marie Wesson – co-founder and paranormal investigator of UK Ghosts Hunts

-Linda Rodriguez McRobbie – writer and journalist

-Graham Dickson – actor, improviser and writer

All attendees received a chilled glass of Veuve Clicquot on arrival, which our medium, Carrie Kirkpatrick said is one of the ingredients favoured by Ada Coleman in her prime. 

Elli Jafari, General Manager at The Standard Hotels comments, ‘Though the atmosphere at The Standard gives you goosebumps, happily the hotel is not haunted.’

The most haunted century

Belief in ghosts is growing. A MORI poll in 1950 pegged belief in ghosts at 10%. The 2007 Survey on Beliefs placed belief at almost 40% with 36% claiming to have seen a ghost.

With everything that’s happened in 2020 perhaps belief is creeping higher still? Both social and medical sciences have long correlated stressful conditions with upturn in reported supernatural experiences.  Stuart Vyse, a psychologist and author writes in his book Superstition: A Very Short Introduction that, ‘The main purpose of everyday superstition is to give a sense of control in circumstances where it is lacking.’ Writing a hotel review is certainly a form of exercising control over what might have happened on your night away.

Maybe there are just more ghosts? Though the human population is greater than it has ever been, currently pegged at 7.8bn as of March 2020, the number of dead people is far larger and continues to grow. In January of this year the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) published an article estimating 108bn have ever been born so far on the planet. So if people stick around to haunt hotel rooms, there should be ever-more opportunities to see a ghost. In many ways the publication can be seen as your manual for organising a private haunting at a hotel this Halloween.

The publication – a five-star spooking

The publication is available in a limited-edition hardback (wipe-clean!) with just 25 copies printed (£25) and 200 first editions of the softback edition (£6). Both are purchasable from the studio’s website and should be read beneath the covers with phone torch and hot breath.