From haunted pubs, hotels and theatres, to underground stations, and even bridges and tunnels, it seems like everywhere you turn in London, there’s bound to be some kind of frightening story (or perhaps even a ghostly apparition) lurking behind each and every corner.
But out of all the terrifying ghost stories London has to offer, these five in particular will certainly make you think twice before walking alone down a dark London alley at night:
If you were to ask any London historian or ghost hunter where the most haunted location in London would be, they would immediately respond with “50 Berkeley Square.” (And even just saying the words “50 Berkeley” is bound to make any Londoner from the area shake in their little London booties!)
Over the years there have been countless tales of several different ghosts haunting the location…so much so that no one was ever willing to sign a lease on the house because of its infamy, and as a result it remained empty for many years.
Nevertheless, passerbys would also report seeing strange flashing lights from the windows, or screams coming from inside the house. One time, someone reported hearing the sound of a body being dragged down the staircase, and on other occasions visitors reported the eerie feeling that someone was standing behind them, watching them…
But out of all the eerie tales surrounding the house, none are as frightening as the story of two sailors who broke into the home one night, only to be awoken by the sound of heavy footsteps on the staircase, followed by heavy bangs on the doors. Then, a strange, shapeless brown mass slowly began to fill the room…and although one of the sailors managed to escape, the other was later found dead and impaled on one of the railings outside.
Gone are the days when clowns used to bring smiles to the faces of children (thanks, Stephen King). But to make the sight of clowns even more freaky, there’s one that is said to haunt London’s famous Theatre Royal Drury Lane – and it’s believed to be the ghost of Joseph Grimaldi, also known as “the father of the modern clown.”
Before his death, Grimaldi had apparently requested for his head to be severed from his body prior to his burial; (an act that was supposedly carried out). Strangely enough since his death, Grimaldi’s floating face (painted in his classic white clown make-up) has been seen in the theatre’s boxes and watching performances over the shoulders of the audience members sitting right in front of him. (…Almost makes you think twice before purchasing that next Drury Lane theatre ticket, doesn’t it?)
From the ghost of Arbella Stuart (who was murdered after marrying Lady Jane Grey’s nephew) to Anne Boleyn, the Tower of London has no shortage of disturbing ghost stories; but the mysterious white lady ghost who waves at children (and only children) from the White Tower is the creepiest tale of all.
Not much is known about how she died, or even who she was, but to the children who spotted her waving at them in the opposite building, her existence is just a little too real…
Out of all the haunted places in “Haunted Hampstead,” The Spaniards Inn is hands-down the creepiest of them all…and that’s all thanks to the ghost of Dick Turpin (AKA the “English Highwayman”).
Turpin was the son of the pub’s landlord during the 18th century, and often used the building as a hideout. Hundreds of years after his death, his shadowy figure has been spotted in the pub’s upstairs rooms, but sometimes his ghost wanders downstairs to tug on the sleeves of the pub regulars as well.
Over the years there’s also been reports of a sudden drop in temperature in the rooms, the sounds of “invisible” footsteps, and even unexplained movements of objects or the mysterious shaking of beds. Some women staying in the pub overnight have reported some type of “sinister” force visiting their bedrooms, and then snuggling up against them while they lay in bed…
Not just limited to Turpin, his beloved horse (Black Bess) is also believed to haunt the pub’s car park, although both spirits can often be heard riding around the Heath to this very day…
If seeing a ghost wasn’t spooky enough, imagine having a long conversation with one. Well that’s exactly what’s happened to several unfortunate travellers commuting through the Blackwall Tunnel over the years…
On several occasions, drivers (especially motorcyclists) reported entering Blackwall Tunnel from its southern entrance and seeing a man with long black hair and motorcycle gear hitchhiking on the side of the road. After pulling over and offering him a lift, he then jumps into their car (or on the back of their motorcycle), and starts telling them how he’s about to meet his girlfriend nearby – and sometimes even gives a specific address. Then as soon as the vehicle passes through the tunnel, the passenger mysteriously disappears.
But out of all the reported cases of conversing with this “phantom” hitchhiker, none are as creepy as the case of one motorcyclist in 1972. After becoming alarmed when his passenger mysteriously disappeared off the back of his motorcycle, he decided to head to the address the hitchhiker had given him. Once arriving at the house and speaking with the resident, he was told that a boy matching his description did in fact once live at the house, but had been killed in a tragic motorcycle accident years before…
Are you brave enough to hear even more frightening tales of London’s many ghost stories? Join us on our Free Ghost Tour every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; (more info here).
Visit 3 Royal Palaces as we walk together from the Big Ben to Buckingham Palace.
Schedule: Every Day
Start Time: 10.00 + 11.00 Fri-Sun
Duration: 3 hours