The spooky, eerie, and downright creepy, take center stage in October as interest in the paranormal peaks for Halloween-time. If visitors are not too nervous to leave their London hotels, it’s a good time to explore the spookier side of London.
Here are 23 spooky spots in London to get you started:
- Tower of London – The claim is that this is the most haunted place in England, perhaps not a surprise as so many people lost their heads here. Literally. Do you think it’s true that the White Lady haunts the White Tower? And it’s said that the spirits of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey (both wives of Henry the VIII) are said to haunt the Tower as well.
- The Bank of London – The location on Threadneedle Street is said to be occupied as a ghost named the Bank Nun. The story has it that the woman is the sister of a man hung for bank forgery. After the hanging she would make daily visits to the bank, always dressed in a long black dress and veil. She was eventually given a settlement for her promise never to return. She kept that promise during her lifetime. Not so after her death.
- Theatre Royal Drury Lane – I’m sure this oldest working theater in London has staged a mystery or two, so perhaps some of the lurking ghosts here are former actors from those performances. Sightings include The Man in grey, who appears in a powdered wig and white shirt, pantomimist Joseph Grimaldi, and clown Dan Leno. It’s said that other ghosts lurk in the shadows.
- Theatre Royal, Haymarket: Witness the ghostly presence of the “Man in Grey,” a well-dressed figure who haunts the theatre. Embrace the historical ambiance and the haunting tales that linger within its walls.
- Highgate Cemetery – You’d expect a cemetery to be haunted, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Dwelling among the Gothic mausoleums and tombs are a number of spirits including the Highgate vampire and an elderly woman looking for the children she murdered.
- Covent Garden Tube Station – Paranormal sightings at this tube station include the Screaming Spectre, a 13-year old hat maker, and the ghost of an actor who was stabbed near the Adelphi Theatre.
- Handel’s House Museum – Composer George Frederic Handel lived in this house and died in an upstairs bedroom. It’s said that a ghost of a woman has been seen in that bedroom, and that she leaves behind a lingering trace of her perfume.
- Ten Bells Pub – Jack the Ripper’s last victim was a patron at the pub the night she was murdered, giving this place a creepy vibe based on its history alone. Pub staff have reported seeing an elderly man, dressed in Victorian clothes, making random appearances around the place. It’s believed that the gentleman is a former owner of the pub who was murdered.
- Hampton Court Palace – Wander through the halls of this Tudor palace, where the ghostly figure of Catherine Howard, the ill-fated fifth wife of Henry VIII, is rumored to make her presence known, forever trapped in a tragic tale.
- The Viaduct Tavern – Located in the heart of the city, this Victorian pub conceals dark secrets beneath its cheerful facade. Encounter the specter of a former landlady and experience unexplained disturbances in this eerie drinking establishment.
- Spaniards Inn – Explore this 16th-century pub, rumored to be haunted by the ghost of notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. Feel the hair-raising chill as you sip your ale in the presence of spectral tales.
- Cross Bones Graveyard – This graveyard in Southwark has been a burial ground for London’s outcasts. Said to be haunted by the spirits of paupers and prostitutes, this eerie site offers a glimpse into the city’s forgotten past.
- Old Operating Theatre Museum – Ascend to the attic of St. Thomas’ Church and step into the world of Victorian surgical horrors. Uncover the gruesome practices of the past and witness the spirits of bygone patients that still linger.
- The Flask – Delve into the depths of this 17th-century pub, haunted by the spirit of a Spanish barmaid named Florrie. Encounter chilling encounters and inexplicable occurrences as you dine in this eerie establishment.
- The Ragged School Museum: Enter the former Dr. Barnardo’s Victorian school, where the echoes of innocent children can still be heard. Uncover the ghostly stories that haunt this educational relic.
- The Clink Prison Museum: Delve into the depths of one of London’s oldest prisons. Encounter the tormented spirits of former inmates as you navigate the dark corridors of this haunting historical site.
- St. Pancras Old Church: Stand amidst the ancient gravestones of St. Pancras Old Churchyard and witness the ghostly apparitions that are said to wander this historic burial ground. A spine-tingling encounter awaits.
- The Grenadier: Step into this eerie pub, said to be haunted by a young soldier who met a tragic end. Feel a shiver down your spine as you revel in the chilling atmosphere of this haunted tavern.
- The Royal London Hospital: Explore the haunting halls of this former asylum turned hospital. Encounter the ghostly apparitions of former patients and experience the lingering energy of a bygone era.
- Sutton House: Tour this Tudor manor and encounter the spectral sightings that have been reported over the centuries. Be prepared for ghostly encounters that will leave you questioning reality.
- The Hand & Shears: Quench your thirst in this centuries-old pub, where the presence of a spectral shepherdess has been reported. Feel the ghostly vibes as you sip on your pint in this atmospheric haunt.
- The Flask Walk: Stroll down Flask Walk and listen to tales of ghostly encounters and mysterious apparitions. This quaint street hides chilling stories within its historic facade.
- Epping Forest: Venture into the depths of Epping Forest, a mysterious woodland with a history steeped in legend. Experience the eerie ambiance and discover the ghostly tales that echo through the trees.
If you don’t want to tackle the spooky spots in London on your own, there are various walking tours that combine history with a visit to haunted sites. Sightings have been recorded at all times of the year, not just October, but there’s just something extra special about visiting during Halloween time.
My recommendation: Learn the history, visit the site, let your imagine run wild. Then decide what you choose to believe!
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