THE wind flitting through the trees of the Queen of the suburbs carries whispers of ghosts passed down over generations.

The rumours centre on the woodland of the historic road Hanger Lane, now a busy main road running from the North Circular through to Gunnersbury Avenue.

The Old English word hangra means a steeply wooded slope. But according to legend, it is the highwaymen hanged on Hanger Hill which gives it its name.

The forest opposite Catholic school St Augustine’s Priory is believed to be inhabited by not only squirrels but also more ghoulish creatures.

Claims over the years have included a white figure spotted just as the winter dusk sets in, with footprints found in one direction but never coming back.

Boarders at St Augustine’s long ago would speak of the ghosts of the highwaymen haunting the land opposite.

More recently schoolgirls have claimed how the forest had a strange air after dark, with footprints leading to nowhere and suddenly evaporating.

“We used to go into the forest after hockey practice in the winter as a shortcut home as it was so cold," said former pupil Michaela Moss.

“Sometimes we would run through because we had heard rumours of the highway ghost. I never saw it, but we all believed it was there.”

If you go for a walk in the woods this Halloween, be sure to not close your eyes.