The Girl On The Train: A Supernatural Warning — Haunted Places

Tony Walker
10 min readFeb 7

This version is taken from the 2022 lovely hardback Watkins edition of English Folktales, edited by Neil Philip with a foreward by Neil Gaiman.

Hare says he got this story about Dr Watson from Mrs T. which he wrote down in his journal on April 29, 1879 while in London.

The original story is from volumes 4–6 of Hare’s autobiography which you can read for free thanks to Gutenberg here:

The Girl on The Train


“April 29, 1879, London.-I have heard again the curious story of Sir T. Watson from Mrs. T., to whom he told it himself, so will write it down.

“Sir Thomas Watson, better known as Dr. Watson, was a well-known physician. During the last years of his life he was in failing health, and only saw patients at his own house, but till then he went about in England wherever he was sent for. One day he was summoned to attend an urgent case at Oxenholme in Cumberland. There was only one carriage in the train which went through to Oxenholme, and in a compartment of that carriage he took his seat. He tipped the guard, and said he should be glad to be alone if he could.

“The train at Euston was already in motion, when a young lady came running down the platform, with a porter laden with her hand-bags and cloaks. The man just contrived to open the carriage door, push the young lady in, throw in her things after her, and the train was off. The young lady, a very pretty, pleasing young lady, took the seat opposite Dr. Watson. Being a polite, gallant old gentleman, very soon Dr. Watson began to make himself agreeable: ‘What beautiful effects of cloud there were. How picturesque Harrow church steeple looked through the morning haze,’ &c. &c., and the young lady responded pleasantly. At last, as their acquaintance advanced, Dr. Watson said, ‘And are you travelling far?’ ‘Oh yes,’ said the young lady, ‘very far, I am going to Oxenholme in Cumberland.’ ‘How singular,’ said Dr. Watson, ‘for that is just where I am going myself. I wonder if you happen to know Lady D. who lives near Oxenholme.’ ‘Yes,’ said the young lady, ‘I know Lady D. very well.’ ‘And

Tony Walker