Whether you love it or hate it, Halloween is steadily creeping up on us and for those who love to dip their toes into the macabre, there are plenty of spooky places to visit right here in London that will keep even the scariest ghouls occupied.
Living in a city so steeped in history as London, we are surrounded every day by reminders of the cities past. If you want to get up close and personal with the city’s gruesome past there are a whole host of haunted houses, curiosity collections and terrifying tours. Take a look at our tips on the best spooky places to visit in London this Halloween.
The Ten Bells Pub – Spitalfields
The Ten Bells pub is a grade II listed building and has been in its current location since 1752. The pub has been linked to the infamous Jack the Ripper with two of his victims rumoured to frequent this alehouse. Annie Chapman is said to have drunk here the night she was murdered, and Mary Kelly supposedly drank here and picked up clients outside.
The pub has changed very little over the years, its interior still decorated in original Victorian tiles and murals it is no wonder staff have reported ghostly goings-on in this East London landmark.
Why not stop by for a gin this October, and keep your eyes peeled for the other kind of spirit.
Tower of London – Tower Hill
The Tower of London is unsurprisingly one of the most haunted places in London. Dating back to 1066 the Tower of London has been the location for many high profile executions, including Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, William Hastings, and Lady Jane Grey. As well as the executions many more people were imprisoned within the walls of the Tower, many of whom would meet their ends before finding freedom.
This location is said to be haunted by several past residents for example, the ‘Princes in the Tower’ the sons of King Edward IV, who vanished after their father’s death. They were locked in the tower by their uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester who shortly after declared the boys illegitimate and took the thrown himself. The princes were never seen again and are believed to have been murdered, the spirits of the two boys are said to have been seen holding hands in the White Tower.
Other notable ghosts include Anne Boleyn in the Chapel of St Peter, the ‘white woman’ in the White Tower and even the ghosts of exotic animals that were kept at the Tower of London in Tudor times.
Highgate Cemetary – Highgate
Highgate Cemetery is famous for its beautiful mausoleums and statues and is the final resting place for many well-known individuals including Karl Marx, Michael Faraday and Henry Moore.
Many people have reported seeing ghosts in the cemetery, however in the 70’s during a period of vandalism and grave desecration there began talk of a Vampire stalking the cemetery. The media frenzy lead to a mob of people ‘hunting’ the vampire to flood into the cemetery in an attempt to locate the monster. The vampire was never found.
Tours of the cemetery run all year round but are particularly popular around Halloween. Take a stroll along the intricately design avenues, or if you are feeling brave go underground to the Terrace Catacombs and keep an eye out for supernatural creatures that may call the cemetery home.
Old Operating Theatre Museum – London Bridge
Not only does the Old Operating Theatre have a fascinating history, it unsurprisingly has its own share of ghosts. The museum offers you an incredible look into the history of surgery before anaesthetics and antiseptics. The theatre is the oldest surviving operating theatre in Europe and now holds various events including mock surgeries where you get to watch from the very same seats medical students would have occupied all those years ago.
With displays of specimens, instruments and the old herb garret to visit you are sure to have a screaming good time at the Old Operating Theatre.
These are just a few places that are sure to leave a shiver down your spine this October, whatever you do for Halloween we hope you have a ghoulishly good time.