London is a city with a rich cultural and architectural history, but within this history exists endless tales of murder, torture, ghosts and ghouls. At Free Tours of London we love nothing more than a good old fashioned ghost story and with Halloween fast approaching, we have put together five of the capitals spooky hotspots. We've offered a great write up on each of the spots below as well as providing an interactive map for you to find these haunts yourself:
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey
This was once the home of King Henry VIII, and is apparently home to a number of Royal-related ghouls. The spirit of the notorious King is said still to exist here, along with one of his six wives, Catherine Howard.
Howard, who was married to Henry for less than two years before she was beheaded on the grounds of treason for committing adultery, is said to be found in what has become known as the “haunted gallery”. It is said she can be heard screaming, where she was apparently dragged through once she had been put under house arrest after being found guilt of committing adultery.
Hampton Court Palace is rich with ghosts and another said to exist is the ghost of Dame Sybil Penn who was servant to four different Tudor Monarchs during her life. It is said that when the nearby church in Hampton was rebuilt inn 1829 Sybil’s tomb was moved, thus releasing the ghost of the former servant. She has become known as the Grey Lady.
Eastbury Manor House, Barking
Built in the 1500s, Eastbury Manor house can be found in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Between being built and the 1900s the manor became almost derelict, with only the East wing remaining habitable.
The Elizabethan manor has reportedly seen a number of paranormal activities over the years which would send a chill down the spine of anyone unlucky enough to encounter them.
Apparitions of a women and a young girl have been spotted thought the house along with unexplained doors banging and footsteps walking up and down the creaky old buildings floorboards.
50 Berkeley Square, Mayfair
This address became known as the “most haunted house in London” during the 19th century. Many of the creepy tales from this Mayfair home have originated in its attic room.
The most common tale focuses on the room being haunted by the spirit of a young girl who committed suicide by jumping from the top floor windows into the street, It is believed that she is capable of frightening people to death, and there is plenty of tales to support the claim.
Said to appear either a brown mist or a white figure, and is thought to be responsible for a number of deaths during the 1800s. One from 1879, reported in Mayfair Magazine said a maid had stayed the night in the attic room, the following day she was believed to have gone mad. A day later she died in an asylum.
Another story from 1887 says that sailors from HMS Penelope stayed a night in the house. By morning one sailor was found dead having tripped whilst fleeing the house from something he had seen.
The Clink Prison, Southwark
The prison is one of Britain's oldest and the oldest in London. Dating back to 1144, its cells have housed some of London's most gruesome characters and failed assassinations such as the gunpowder plot and Babington plot.
Due to those housed within, and the fact that the prison existed during the medieval period, some of the most skin crawlingly horrific torture methods were used at the Clink.
There have been a number of reports surrounding the Clinks ghostly spotting. One includes a woman playing with the chains she is shackled in, whilst others include the sound of smashing glass, the clinking of the prisons iron bars (thats possibly where the name comes from) and a shadowy figure spotted pacing quickly around the Bishops room.
Charlton House, Greenwich
Charlton House is one of the finest examples of preserved Jacobean architecture in London and has a rich history of aristocratic ownership, as well as a rich history in ghostly figures.
Many of the buildings ghost tales resolve around the horrific focus of dead children. One regularly spotted ghost is that of a grey lady walking through the gardens holding what appears to be a dead baby. During a restoration project the mummified body of a child believed to have been that of a servant was found behind an old fireplace.
Staff members have also reported belongings going missing and then finding them much later in different rooms. Staff will reportedly refuse to go into the buildings attic alone because of the oppressive feelings the room gives them.
If you love your ghost hunting or just enjoy a good scare then we recommend you visit these fright-filled addresses. If you have encountered any paranormal goings on whilst visiting them please do not hesitate to leave a comment below and tell us all about it.