Millions of tourists head to London every year, eager to see some of the world’s most famous landmarks and attractions. However, you’d assume not many of them head to the British capital in search of ghosts and creepy haunted houses.
With a history that goes back more than 2,000 years, London is laced with haunted houses, each with their own spooky story to tell, and guests at Hotel Grand Royale London Hyde Park are well placed to drop by yet remain a safe distance away when things get a bit too paranormal.
These are some of the most haunted highlights…
Tower of London
Address: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London, EC3N 4AB
Nearest Tube Station: Tower Hill (Circle, District)
Between 1110 and 1952, the Tower of London was used as a prison for people particularly disliked by the royal family. Prisoners in the tower were usually beheaded, but not even death seems to have ended their time here.
Voices and apparitions have long been reported by visitors and employees at the tower and a large number of ghosts – including those of Guy Fawkes, Lady Jane Grey and Henry VI – are all believed to dwell within the tower walls.
Arguably the most famous ghost residing at the Tower of London is that of Anne Boleyn – one of King Henry VIII’s wives who also lost her head. Some say the spirit of Boleyn still stalks the tower with her severed head tucked beneath her arm, while others claim to have spotted her from the courtyard, staring out of the window.
Address: Cowcross Street, London
Usually, there’s nothing too spine-chilling about London’s network of Underground stations, but Farringdon, on the Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines, is one exception.
In 1758, 12-year old Anne Naylor was murdered by her employer at a London workhouse and her body was dumped where the station now stands. Some say you can hear her screams as the last train leaves the platform.
Address: 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London, E9 6JQ
Nearest Tube Station: Hackney Central Overground
This house – built in 1535 – is open to the public under the National Trust and it is home to several ghosts, maybe even ghost dogs, with reports of people hearing hounds wailing in the night.
Some think these are the spirits of the canines that once belonged to wool merchant John Machell, who lived here between 1550 and 1558. Today, any dogs that enter the house become rigid and transfixed by something on the stairs.
Sutton House is also home to a ghost of the ‘White Lady’, who died giving birth to twins in 1574. Her apparition, in a blue dress, has been spotted hovering around the old building.
50 Berkeley Square
Address: Berkeley Square, Mayfair
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park (Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria)
Built in the early 1700s, this four-floor brick townhouse was once the home of British Prime Minister George Canning, but by the late 19th century, it came to be known as ‘the most haunted house in London’.
The attic of 50 Berkeley Square is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young woman who committed suicide by throwing herself from the top floor window, following abuse from her uncle. It is said that her spirit can frighten people to death by taking the form of a brown mist.
There are two reported deaths to have occurred after people stayed overnight in the room. In 1879, a maid stayed the night and became mad, before dying in an insane asylum the next day. Eight years later, a sailor from the HMS Penelope stayed overnight and was found dead in the morning after tripping as he ran from the house. From what? Who knows?
Until 2015, it was the headquarters of antique book dealers Maggs Bros. You can look at it from the street for free and Walks of London provides great self-guided tours with plenty of historical commentary of the address.
The Viaduct Tavern
Address: 126 Newgate St, London EC1A 7AA
Nearest Tube Station: St. Paul’s (Central)
This Holborn-based pub was built in 1875 on the foundations of an old prison, with the old cells used as the pub’s cellar.
As such, the pub’s staff are understandably shy about heading into the cellar at night, with reports of lights turning themselves off, locked doors that are easy to open from the other side, spooky noises and one instance in 1999 where two electricians saw a heavy rolled-up carpet get lifted into the air before suddenly it thumped to the floor.
Address: Windsor, SL4 1NJ
Nearest Rail Station: Windsor & Eton Riverside / Windsor & Eton Central
You’d think that Queen Elizabeth II – with all her wealth and power – would prefer to live somewhere a little less…haunted.
The place where the current Queen likes to call home has its fair share of paranormal activity with the spirits of Tudor King Henry VIII, mad King George III and Queen Victoria reportedly roaming the halls.