A recent story in The Daily Star tells of how the late rock star David Bowie claimed he was haunted by the ghost of his father for a week after he died – a haunting that manifested itself via a mysterious telephone call every day at exactly the same time. It should come as no surprise that the brilliant and eccentric star had many other ghostly encounters – including one with a musician who could have been the David Bowie of his time. Let’s take a look at the ghosts of David Bowie, starting with his father.
“David confided in me that the telephone rang at 5.30pm every day for a week just after his father died, on 5 August 1969. He said nobody ever answered when he said ‘Hello’, and he was convinced that it was his dad, letting him know that everything was okay.”
John ‘Cambo’ Cambridge lived with Bowie at Haddon Hall (a large house in Beckenham that Bowie and his friends lived in during the late sixties), played drums on Bowie’s first hit record ‘Space Oddity’, was best man when Bowie married Angela Barnett in 1970, introduced Bowie to future Spider from Mars Mick Ronson and was there when Bowie’s dad Haywood ‘John’ Jones passed away at the age of 56. While Cambridge had no ghostly encounters there, he says producer Tony Visconti was convinced it was haunted.
“On the other hand, what I like my music to do to me is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.”
― David Bowie
Glenn Hughes, a bassist and singer in Deep Purple, told Far Out magazine that Bowie believed the pool at his L.A. home was haunted pool … and Hughes had an experience there that may have convinced him too.
“He felt the devil was in the pool. The wind was howling, [and the pool started to] bubble like a Jacuzzi […] I swear to you I have a pool, and I have never seen it bubble before. That pool was fucking bubbling.”
In the same article, Hughes claims Bowie feared Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who dabbled in the occult and lived in Aleister Crowley’s Bolskine House, and protected himself from demonic attacks conjured Page by collecting everything that could be used against him in a spell -- including his own urine, nail-clippings and hair.
“Bowie complained about the diet of rabbit and potatoes. More troubling, according to his collaborators on Low Brian Eno and Tony Visconti, were visitations by a ghost, and a bedroom Bowie refused to sleep in, believing it was haunted. By Chopin, perhaps?”
Slipped Disc tells of Bowie recording his “Pin Ups” album at Strawberry Studios, which was formerly Château d’Hérouville, an 18th century château near Paris where it was alleged that composer Frederic Chopin conducted his secret love affair with writer George Sand. Other bands who recorded there included Pink Floyd, Iggy Pop, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull and Elton John, who named his 1972 album Honky Château in its honor. But only Bowie and his collaborators reported any supernatural encounters at Château d’Hérouville.
“Bowie travelled straight into the heart of psychic darkness, lost in his own world.”
Glenn Hughes was convinced there was a paranormal air about David Bowie. Friend John Cambridge was pretty sure Bowie was having some kind of ghostly encounter after his father died.
The Thin White Duke certainly had a connection to something beyond the normal. What it was we may never know.