From the ghost of infamous street thief, robber and murder Dick Turpin to the Royal Theatre’s famous Man in Grey, it’s little wonder that London is often thought of as one of the most haunted cities in Europe.
It’s easy to feel spooked while wandering the city considering the frequency of ghost sightings and things get even worse after discovering the twisted fates that some of London’s resident ghosts met before their deaths.
Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, exploring these spooky hotspots will make for a memorable night; next time you’re craving a horror flick, ditch it for some real life spooks and check out London’s most haunted locations.
The Flask, Highgate
Now a Fuller’s pub, the Flask has been around London since 1663, so it should come as no surprise that it’s seen some dark times. During a late night dinner here, pub-goers may stumble upon the ghost of a man in a Cavalier uniform or the figure of an old barmaid who supposedly hanged herself in the pub’s basement. Take heed of a sudden temperature drop and swaying lamp lights, as regulars say those are the sure signs of a spirit has entering the room. Whether or not the rumours are true, the Flask has plenty of stories to tell: highwayman Dick Turpin supposedly evaded capture here by hiding in the pub’s stables, while customers have included William Hogarth and Karl Marx.
77 Highgate West Hill, N6 6BU, theflaskhighgate.com
Greenwich foot tunnel
This tunnel, opened in 1902, runs under the river Thames and connects Greenwich to the the Isle of Dogs. Walking down its damp and narrow path will already leave you feeling uneasy, even without the ghosts of a Victorian man and woman strolling over from the other side. While no one knows exactly who this couple are, they’re spotted frequently late at night. Supposedly, their footsteps can be heard bouncing down the leaking walls of the tunnel.
Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, SE10 9HT
Liverpool Street station
If the fact that a plague pit containing 30 suspected plague victims was discovered underneath Liverpool Street Station doesn’t scare you, then perhaps spotting the Liverpool Street Station ghost will. Workers have complained about the ghost of a man in overalls appearing on the eastbound central line platform during closing hours, seemingly waiting for a train that never comes.
Liverpool St, EC2M 7QH
50 Berkeley Square, Mayfair
This brick house was dubbed as London’s most haunted house in the twentieth century both because of its deranged ex-tenant and resident female ghost. Both stories are fascinating and haunting, in all senses. The young woman allegedly threw herself from the top floor after being abused by her uncle and sometimes appears as a brown mist, while longstanding tenant Mr. Myers, a Boo Radley type who locked himself in this house until he passed away, is also believed to haunt the premises. Apparently Myers went mad after he was rejected by his fiancée and let the house crumble around him. He died in 1874 and it’s said a maid who slept one night in the attic room was found the next day so deeply distressed that she died the next day in an asylum.
50 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 5BA
Room 333 at the Langham Hotel, Marylebone
If there’s one spot to avoid in London, it’s the third floor of the Langham Hotel, particularly room 333. Sure, there’s an eerie relation to the satanic 666, but it’s the several ghosts spotted haunting the room that are sure to cause the real fright. It’s not just paranormal geeks that believe in this hotel room’s horrors, either: the late BBC announcer James Alexander Gordon also claimed that he saw the spectre while staying overnight in the room.
1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, W1B 1JA, langhamhotels.com
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
If you ever get a whiff of lavender while watching a show at the Theatre Royal, pick up your stuff and run, because it means that a ghost is in your presence. Spirits, like the Man in Grey or the ghost of Joseph Grimaldi, have sometimes been spotted backstage by actors, directors and stagehands.
Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF, reallyusefultheatres.co.uk
If you’re searching for concrete evidence that a place is haunted, look no further than Queen’s House. It is most famously known for a photo taken on its tulip staircase in which seems to show two semi-corporeal beings, contrary to the photographer’s insistence that he was alone when snapping the picture.
Romney Rd, Greenwich, SE10 9NF, rmg.co.uk
Right before the opening of the Handel House Museum in 2001, the trust board ordered a Roman Catholic priest to carry out an exorcism for a ghost spotted by two fundraisers. Believed to be the ghost of the famous composer George Frideric Handel himself, the apparition was apparently also spotted by guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who lived next door in the 1960s.
25 Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HB, handelhendrix.org
In 1970, after several spooky sightings of a strange man by locals in the cemetery, magician Seán Manchester declared a vampire hunt on the night of Friday 13 in hopes of finding (and killing) the man. Of course, no vampire was ever found, but that hasn’t stopped others from claiming that there is still some kind of paranormal activity occurring in the graveyard.
Swain’s Ln, Highgate, N6 6PJ, highgatecemetery.org
Several ghosts call the Heath home, such as a small, sad girl on High Street or the spirit of Dick Turpin at the Spaniard’s Inn. Both have been giving visitors the creeps for years, making Hampstead Heath London’s favourite Halloween location and a definite place to check out after the sun goes down.