Door Knocker From 54 Berners Street, London
Door knocker


Berners Street Hoax


Door Knocker


Causes unwanted visitors, service providers and deliveries to arrive




Fixing it on a door

Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection




The Berners Street Hoax was caused by Theodore Hook in which he made a bet with a friend saying he could make any house in London into the most talked about address in a week. He did this by sending thousands of letters under the name of Mrs.Tottenham, who lived in 54 Berners Street requesting services, visitors, and assistance. On the morning of 27 November, 1810, a chimney sweep arrived at 54 Berners Street to sweep the chimneys of the house. The maid who answered the door said that the house did not ask for such service, and then another chimney sweeper came offering the same service, repeating until a total of twelve chimney sweeps came to the house in one day.

Then a fleet of carts came carrying a large delivery of coal, followed by a series of cakemakers delivering large wedding cakes, then a group of doctors, surgeons, lawyer, vicars and priests, saying they were summoned due to a dying person in the house. Then fishmongers, shoemakers, hatmakers, haberdashers ,butchers, undergraduates along with a delivery of a dozen pianos came. Later a delivery of an organ showed up, followed by  dignitaries  including The Duke of York, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Govenor of the Bank of England, The Lord Mayor of the City of London, The Duke of Gloucester and The Chairman of the East India Company.

This series of visitors and deliveries continued until the evening while Thomas Hook and his friends watched from the building opposite 54 Berners Street. This door knocker absorbed the knock of every person who came to 54 Berners Street that day which then became an artifact capable of attracting visitors.

Effects Edit

Each successive knock attracts more people to the chosen doorway. Pamphleteers, charity advocates, gutter removers, firemen, delivery drivers and various other service providers all keep showing up to give services the homeowner never applied for.

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