With a 2,000 year history and some rather gruesome goings on, London understandably has more than its fair share of hauntings. From the well-known ghouls who convene at the Tower of London, to the lesser known spectres of the Underground, almost every building has a story to tell.
So, should you find yourselves alone at night in any of the following places, you may want to pick up the pace!
Highgate Cemetery is a well-known resting place for many famous deceased persons, from politicians to playwrights, and actors to scientists. Located in Highgate, the cemetery has been in operation since 1839.
Besides having such famous people buried within the cemetery, the site has long been known for its ghosts. Probably the most famous spook is the ‘Highgate Vampire’, who oddly enough, isn’t really a vampire, per se. He is described as being 7 foot tall with piecing, hypnotic eyes. There have been several dozen sightings and encounters since the late 1960s.
Reportedly, the ghost of an insane old lady has been seen racing across the gravestones, with her long, gray hair flowing behind her. A dark shrouded figure has been seen standing still and staring into space. When it is approached, it vanishes then reappears a short distance away, still staring…its gaze transfixed.
Greenwich Foot Tunnel
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel crosses the River Thames, linking Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs. Designed by Sir Alexander Binnie for the London County Council, the tunnel was opened in 1902.
Nowadays, finding yourself alone in the tunnel is quite unsettling. At 370 metres long, it is quite extensive, and can be extremely claustrophobic. The echoes created by the footsteps of fellow walkers can make the experience rather unsettling.
Few have reported sightings of spectral figures dressed in Victorian clothing, seemingly on their way out for the day to Greenwich.
Hampton Court Palace
The staff at Hampton Court Palace are rather used to ghostly tales, as the half Tudor/half Baroque palace in South West London had had its fair share of unfortunate residents! The most famous sighting is of the ill-fated Katherine Howard; the fifth wife of Henry VIII. Katherine is believed to frequent the gallery, where she was dragged screaming to her rooms under house arrest, after allegations of her adultery began to circulate.
There have also been sightings of a ‘Grey Lady’, who is said to be the ghost of Dame Sybil Penn – a servant to four Tudor monarchs.
The Ten Bells
Once called ‘Jack the Ripper’, this pub in Spitalfields simply cannot get away from its former, gory namesake. The public house has been linked to the horrific murders of Jack the Ripper, and some accounts link two of its victims to the building; Annie Chapman was said to have drunk here on the night of her murder and Mary Jane Kelly had picked up clientele from the street outside.
Memorabilia relating to the gruesome case has been displayed in the bar over the years and in 1996, the landlord claimed that the pub had been taken over by the ghost of Annie Chapman. Poltergeist activity and inexplicable gusts of wind have been recorded by staff.
Tower of London
With a vast history spanning almost a millennium, the Tower of London has earned the distinguished reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the country, let alone London.
From Anne Boleyn, Margaret Pole and Thomas Becket to the poor Princes in the Tower, the fortress has an illustrious history spattered with grisly murders, ruthless executions and supernatural mysteries.
If you happen to visit the Tower over the Halloween period, the Yeoman Warders conduct tours revealing the ghostly and sometimes ghastly past of the premises!