London is steeped in centuries of history, so it’s no surprise that there are creepy nooks and crannies dotted all over the city, each with their own ghastly tales to tell. We’ve scoured the city and the history books to bring you our guide to the most haunted London hotspots. From pubs and street corners to palaces, tube stations and more, these ghostly spots are sure to get you in the spooky mood this Halloween season.
Top of the most haunted list has to be the Tower of London. From 1100 – 1952, the Tower was an iconic prison, incarcerating spies, conspirators, mob bosses and traitors to the crown, with many prisoners meeting their end by beheading. Over the centuries, visitors and Tower employees alike have reported hearing whispered voices and spotting creepy apparitions as they wander the Tower grounds. Some figures said to haunt the Tower are Guy Fawkes, Lady Jane Grey and Henry VI, but the most famous is the unfortunate wife of Henry VIII – Anne Boleyn. Head to the courtyard and look up to the room where she was held before her execution, it’s said she can appear with her head tucked under her arms.
Between plague pits underneath Aldgate Station and WWII air raid accidents at Bethnal Green, there are plenty of stories of London’s haunted tube stations. One of the more spine-chilling stories is that of Anne Naylor in Farringdon Station. It’s been reported that you can hear her screams as the last train leaves the platform. It’s been said that 12-year old Anne was murdered by her employer at a London workhouse in 1758 and her body was dumped where the station now stands.
Speaking of plague pits, the London Tombs were build on the site of a mass grave for victims of the plague. It’s been reported by staff members that dark shadows appear around the building when there’s no one standing near. Even more creepy is resident ghost Emily. She’s frequently spotted in the Tombs, so much so that tourists have complained about a female actor standing in the background “staring at them during the performance”…
The unidentified serial killer, Jack the Ripper committed (at least) five brutal murders in London’s Whitechapel area between August and November 1888. All through Whitechapel, you can find paranormal activity on or near the sites of these horrific murder scenes. A glowing woman lying in the gutter has been reported on Durward Street where Mary Ann Nichols was found, the headless phantom of Annie Chapman haunted Hanbury Street, Catherine Eddow’s mutilated body appeared on Mitre Square and Lizzie Stride’s cries have been heard on Berner Street.
One of the country’s most popular attractions, Hampton Court was famously the residence of Tudor King Henry VIII and is also famously considered one of the country’s most haunted spots. It’s believed the spirits of Henry’s doomed wives Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard stalk the hallways, alongside the ghost of Henry himself. The most permanent ghost of Hampton Court is Sibell Penn, known as “The Lady in Grey”. A nurse to Prince Edward, Sibel died in 1562 and after her remains were disturbed in the 19th century, visitors and employees at Hampton Court reported hearing a spinning wheel behind one of the walls. During a renovation, the wall was removed and a secret room with an old spinning wheel in it was found. It’s believed that Sibel used this room while she was employed at the court.
Considered one of the most haunted houses in London, the legend of 50 Berkeley Square begins with the haunted attic. It’s believed that a young girl committed suicide there after being abused by an uncle. After this, residents reported paranormal activity and at least two deaths have been attributed to these hauntings. Mr Myers bought the house after being left at the alter by his fiancée. Consumed by grief, he locked himself in the attic room until his death, when he was found still dressed in his wedding suit. As the house fell into disrepair and the haunted legend grew, the house was taken over by a new family. During this time, a maid who was cleaning the attic room was found screaming and sent to an asylum where she died the next day. That night, the fiancé of one of the female residents slept in the same room. After 30 minutes of going to bed, people in the house heard screams followed by a gunshot. After forcing their way into the room, the man was found dead with his face twisted in terror. He was pronounced “dead of fright”.
The ancient church of All Hallows By the Tower has a long history with the city of London with famous christenings and weddings taking place here as well as the location where Samuel Pepys surveyed the smouldering remains after the Great Fire of London. In 1920, a choirmaster and two choirboys reported seeing an old woman dressed in black watching their rehearsal and the sound of cats scratching at the church doors. After their practice finished, they could not find any trace of the woman nor the cats, and upon leaving, discovered that the door was still locked from the inside. It’s believed that the old woman was the former choir mistress who used to feed stray cats near the church grounds.
Not only can you find Jack the Ripper’s victims haunting the streets in Whitechapel, but the Ten Bells Pub will be forever linked to the Jack the Ripper story. It’s believed that two of Jack the Ripper’s victims used to frequent the pub and on the anniversary of Annie Chapman’s death on 8 September 1888, some people have reported feeling cold hands touching them on the shoulder and pint glasses moving across the table on their own.
You’ve got to feel for Queen Elizabeth, not only does she have plenty of royal duties and appearances to make, she also has to share her home with a number of royal apparitions. Windsor Castle has its fair share of paranormal activity with the spirits of Tudor King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Mad King George III and Queen Victoria reportedly roaming the halls. Even Queen Elizabeth I pays a visit to Windsor Castle’s residents; becoming even more active during times of war. Elizabeth II’s father George VI claimed to have seen Elizabeth I’s spirit on eight consecutive nights at the start of WWII.
A ghost tour of London wouldn’t be complete without a mention of one of the many centuries-old cemeteries dotted around the city. Highgate Cemetery is a particular hotbed of strange occurrences. It’s alleged that a 7 foot tall phantom with a top hat and glowing red eyes terrorises passers-by in the dead of night, the most recent encounter being in the 90’s when a man who’s car broke down next to the cemetery saw a tall floating figure with red eyes going from grave to grave. A second ghoul of Highgate Cemetery is an insane old woman who doesn’t know she’s dead and will approach people asking if they’ve seen her dead daughter. Finally, you may spot a mysterious figure staring off into the distance. However, if you approach the figure, it will disappear immediately and reappear within seconds, about 10 yards away, still staring off into space.
April 13, 2018 by Megan Hills
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