London — By Rita on February 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Filed under: Attractions, Halloween, Haunted, top-feature

Visit Haunted London

Tower of London is haunted

Want to get spooked?  How about a trip into the annals of London’s dark past where peering into history might just give you a chance to come face to face with it – as in visiting legendary haunts in which ghosts can be found.

At least according to some folks anyway.

While a tour is certainly one way to dig up a few ghosts in the city, it’s not hard to walk around and discover a few places on your own that will also raise a few hairs. Some of London’s spookiest stories are brought to life however, on a London Ghost Walk tour with author and London ghost expert Richard Jones’ offering stories and a first-hand look at some of the city’s dark alleyways and quarters.

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Not for the faint of heart, here are a few of our recommendations from his spooky tour.

The Tower of London (map): Said to be the most haunted place in England.  The tower was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and it has been a landmark in the city since that time and playing host to a number of well-known guests who entered, but didn’t leave – at least not alive.  For example, the White Tower is the oldest of the buildings and by most folk’s standards, the most forbidding.  It’s said to be haunted by the “White Lady.”

There’s also the Bloody Tower, another of the more haunted spots within the complex.  The story goes that Edward IV’s two sons haunt the tower after disappearing when their uncle ascended the throne as Richard III.  The boys disappeared in the late 1400s and were never found, but bones were discovered, presumably their remains, in 1674.  Stories detail ghostly sightings of the two children dressed in white nightgowns walking around the tower.

Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, both who were married to King Henry the VIII are said to haunt the Tower too.  Particularly near a memorial on Tower Green, which serves as a gruesome reminder of all those who were executed in this place over the centuries.

Sutton House, 2 – 4 Homerton High Street (map):  Sutton House was built in 1535 during Henry VIII’s reign and belonged to one of his Privy Councillors.   Still standing in Tudor style, it offers grand staircases, carved fireplaces and several ghosts wandering around.  Unseen dogs are also heard howling from the house at times.  Folks who enter the house often comment on drops in temperature as well as doors opening with no human assistance.

Handel’s House Museum, 25 Brook Street, MayFair (map): Moving into the house at the age of 38, George Frederic Handel live there from 1723 to 1759 when he died in the upstairs bedroom.  A ghost has been seen in the room where Handel died, that of a woman who is also said to leave behind a lingering scent of perfume.

Horniman Museum, London Road, Forest Hill (map): This was the home of Victorian tea trader Frederick Horniman who collected specimens and artifacts from around the world bringing them back to his home to show locals.  The house was torn down in the late 1800s and rebuilt – opening again in 1901.  Rumor is that both a man and woman dressed from the 1920s haunt the terrace at the rear of the museum, to the side of the conservatory, acting as if they’re attending a party.

Ten Bells Pub, Commercial Street (map): Linked with the legend of Jack the Ripper, it was here that his final victim left the pub in 1888.  At the time the pub was located in what was still the countryside of London.  The following morning her body was found on the opposite side of the road from the pub.  Staff living at the pub have reported seeing an old man dressed in Victorian clothes, presumable a former owner who had been murdered.

The Georgian House Hotel, St. George’s Drive (map):  Dating back to the 1800s, there are several ghosts said to haunt this hotel mostly seen in the staff rooms, kitchen and a top floor bedroom.  Many folks have also noted seeing the ghost of several children on the top floors, but rumor is that a housekeeper saw them once and ask them to stay away from the common areas so as not to scare the guests.

The Bank of London, Threadneedle Street (map):  The bank has a ghost known as the Bank Nun.  She is said to be the sister of a man who was charged with forgery at the bank and hung in 1812.  After she found out her brother’s fate she came to the bank every day wearing a long black dress and black veil over her face and head and asking about her brother.  In 1818 the bank gave her a sum of money and asked her never to return.  Since her death she has apparently not kept her promise.

The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street (map):  A man known as The Man in Grey haunts this, the oldest working theater, in London.  The first theater on this site was built in 1663. In addition to the Man in Grey who is known as a limping apparition in a powdered wig and white shirt, there are also other ghosts lurking in the shadows; Joseph Grimaldi known for the pantomime tradition and Dan Leno a clown from the late 1800s, to name a few.

Highgate Cemetery, Swains Lane, Highgate (map):  Well known for its occult past, this cemetery offers a look at some amazing Victorian Gothic mausoleums, tombs and gravestones and is home to the Highgate vampire.  Other sightings of ghosts are also an old woman said to be looking for the children she murdered years ago and a meditative figure who seems to stare into space ignoring those around him.

The Haunted Covent Garden Tube Station: Taking a ride on the London Underground can be a daunting task, especially when the station is haunted.  At Covent Garden station there is the ghost of an actor who was stabbed near the Adelphi Theatre in 1897 or there is also the Screaming Spectre, the ghost of a murdered 13-year-old trainee hat maker from 1758.

Photo credit:  Courtesy of VisitEngland

Related places:
  1. A
    Tower of London
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  2. B
    Sutton House
    , , , , ,
  3. C
    Handel House Museum
    25 Brook Street, London, London, W1K 4HB, United Kingdom
  4. D
    Horniman Museum & Gardens
  5. E
    Ten Bells
  6. F
    Georgian House Hotel
    35-39 St. Georges Drive, London, SW1V 4DG, gb
  7. G
    Bank of England
    Threadneedle Street, london, London, United Kingdom
  8. H
    Theatre Royal Drury Lane
    Catherine St London WC2B, UK
  9. I
    Highgate Cemetery
    , , , , ,
Tags: Attractions, Halloween, Haunted, top-feature


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