With Halloween taking place just a short time ago, many people descended on the capital for some spooky fun and to attend one of the many events which take place on 31st October.
London is supposedly full of haunted places which thrill-seekers can visit at any time during the year, not just on Halloween, so if you like to be scared senseless, and love nothing more than a fright to get your adrenaline pumping then head down to the capital city and check out these ghoulish and ghostly places:-
Tower of London
Not only is the Tower of London a world heritage site and one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions but it also has a long history of beheadings, hangings and tortures. Unsurprisingly then, perhaps that the Tower is considered one of the most haunted places in the whole of the UK, not just London. Famously used as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries, a number of the unfortunate people held here were executed on the hill to the north of the Tower.
Ghosts supposedly seen here include Queen Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded on Tower Green in 1536 at the word of her husband Henry VIII, the missing Princes in the Tower who were allegedly murdered by their uncle Richard III and the White Lady who reportedly leaves a lingering smell of perfume after her visits.
The chances of seeing a ghost is quite unlikely, perhaps because of the sheer number of people who visit each day but if you are keen to visit then the Tower of London is located next to Tower Bridge and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-5.30pm and Sunday-Monday from 10am-5.30pm. These times do occasionally vary depending on the time of year, so it is always advisable to check the Tower’s website before making a visit.
If you visit Highgate cemetery during the day you can appreciate the stunning Gothic architecture, admire the extravagant monuments put in place to commemorate those buried here, appreciate the plants and wildlife and even try and spot the burial places of some of the cemetery’s more well known inhabitants including Karl Marx and Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. By night however, the cemetery takes on another appearance altogether and has been the location for many a ghost story including the famous story of a man whose car had broken down near to the cemetery; he claimed that he had seen red eyes glaring at him through the cemetery’s gates.
Certainly not a place for the faint-hearted if you visit after hours, the cemetery is located on Swain’s Lane in North London. You are free to walk around certain parts of the cemetery at your leisure whilst other parts are by guided tour only. It is very accessible by public transport; if you were staying in one of the hotels near Bayswater Station, for example, you would only be 20 minutes away by tube.
If you want to add an extra element of macabre to your visit to the capital then why not book an overnight stay in Clink Hostels. Here you can sleep in one of seven original prison cells, which still retain authentic features such as heavy doors and barred windows. It stands next to a 19th century courthouse and is located on King’s Cross Road.
50 Berkeley Square
50 Berkeley Square is currently the home of antiquarian book dealers, Maggs Bros but during the 19th century there were a number of unexplained deaths which took place at the townhouse including that of a young woman who reportedly committed suicide by throwing herself from the top floor window. Her spirit is now said to haunt the house, and was in fact claimed to be responsible for the number of deaths which are associated with the property.
Generally you can only gain access to the house if you take part in one of the many popular ghost tours in the city; however you may simply want to stand outside and see whether you can see the spirit haunting her attic window. If you stay in one of the many hotels near Bayswater Station then the house would be within walking distance.
Now a pub, The Grenadier was originally built in 1720 as the Officers Mess for the First Royal Regiment of Foot Guards. Said to be a favourite with local soldiers, it became a public house in 1818 and is said to be named after a young Grenadier, known as Cedric by locals, who was supposedly viciously beaten to death by his comrades after it was discovered he was cheating at a game of cards. Although no one knows exactly when this murder took place, there have been regular spooky goings on including chairs inexplicably moving and footsteps and rattling sounds being heard in empty rooms which are attributed to the ghost of Cedric. Claims have been made by patrons, guests and staff alike and visitors to the pub made an attempt to pay off Cedric’s debt by attaching money to the ceiling, which is now completely covered in transatlantic money.
Located in Belgrave Square, the pub is open Monday-Sunday from 12pm to 11pm.
The Ten Bells Pub
In 1888, Jack the Ripper lured a girl called Annie Chapman out of the Ten Bells Pub. Although her body was later discovered on Hanbury Street nearby she is said to have returned to Ten Bells Pub where she regularly spooks patrons and staff by causing items to move by themselves, or creating sudden gusts of wind through the pub.
You can visit the pub as part of a dedicated Jack the Ripper tour or, alternatively, visit independently and enjoy a drink whilst keeping an eye out for any mysterious occurrences. It is located in Spitalfields at the corner of Commercial Street and Fournier Street.