With Halloween come and gone some of us are still clinging onto the hope that a scare is right around the corner. Little did you know, London is a hotbed for electromagnetic activity with ghosts walking the cobbled streets and riding the underground tube.
Here’s our pick of the best-haunted places to visit in London, unless you’re scared?
Liverpool Street Station
Have you ever stopped to think on your daily commute about just what was disturbed when the tunnels were dug?
This popular station was opened in February 1874 and is used by thousands of commuters every day. During the time of its construction, there were reports of workers seeing a young woman walking through the tunnels, her name: Rebecca Griffiths. Over the course of the building, the sightings became more frequent and soon enough the workers could hear her piercing screams echoing through the tunnels.
Rumour has it, that she was a patient at the Star of Bethlehem Asylum (Beldam Royal Hospital), home to some of London’s most mentally unstable women and some of the world’s worst torture and abuse horror stories. Her illness? A compulsive need to hold onto a particular coin.
Buried under the tracks of Liverpool streets tube rail with her gold coin that she held dear. Until a station member dug her up, stole the coin and tossed her aside. She wakes at the dead of night in search for it and stops at nothing to get it. So, if you find yourself at the station, with no one around but the mice at your feet, and you hear a coin drop… run!
Rebecca is not the only ghost who rides the rails, reports say that the station was built on a mass burial site, with over three thousand skeletons dug up in 2015. If that isn’t bad enough a plague pit was found during the dig with over 30 decomposed bodies. Staff at the station have said to see strange bodily outlines on the CCTV cameras, and passengers have reported sightings of a man in overalls pacing the eastbound central line platform. Who is he? No one has yet to identify him, yet.
Next up is the historic Viaduct tavern. Behind the impressive floral display and architecture is a truly terrifying and haunting past.
The Viaduct was built in the bustling district of Holborn,1869. This ‘Gin Palace’ was supposedly built on the site of Newgate Prison (1700 – 1853). With living conditions being so dire during this time the prison inmates were forced to sleep on the floor along with many others in the same room. Diseases spread like wildfire, inmates turned on each other and if their sickness didn’t kill them off, hanging from the gallows would.
The hangings at the Tyburn gallows would begin at the stroke of eight, every Monday morning. The church bells would sound, summoning the public to watch in the tens of thousands as each inmate took their last breath. These deaths were such a spectacle that a pub across from the Viaduct offered an ‘execution breakfast’… nothing says breakfast quite like watching a man’s neck snap.
Have no fear, those inmates get their revenge on those who ridiculed them and made them into a spectacle. Every Monday morning as the church bell chimes eight, their ghosts rise from the ground below, not to inflict pain but to fill those around them with the same sense of terror and suffering they felt on the days leading up to their deaths. The Viaduct Tavern staff member, Mike J., tells The Voice of London “its a gut-wrenching feeling”. Ten minutes will go by and a harmonious crack echoes through the streets, described by Mike J., as “standing on fallen twigs in a forest”. The closer you get to the large entrance doors of the tavern the louder the pleas and screams of the damned can be heard ringing through the walls.
The Theatre Royal
Beware of the things that go bump in the night, or should I say in the wings. Ghosts have long plagued Drury Lane’s famous Theatre Royal, from visions of long-dead performers to shadowy presences lingering in the wings.
One of those ghostly presences is none other than murderous Charles Macklin, with a tendency to kill co-workers over wig arguments he is not a presence you’d like to run through during a performance.
However, not all that haunts the theatre are murderous psychopaths.
The theatre was refurbished back in 1840, during this time a man was found dead behind a crumbling wall, with a knife through his chest. Many theories have arisen around his identity but he goes by the name ‘Man in Grey’, known for his curly white wig, 18th Century hat and floor-length grey cloke. During rehearsals, actors have claimed to see the famous ‘Man in Grey’, walking along the row of seats and through the walls on the fourth row of the Upper Circle. On the contrary to what most people think it is a good omen as seeing him usually means the show will go on to be a success, a ghost with great taste.
The London Dungeons
The floors creak and doors fly open as you walk down the winding pathways through one of London’s most popular tourist attraction. You would hardly believe the amount of blood that has been spilt on the floors where it was built.
The early hours of the morning are said to be peak time for guests, unwanted guests that is. A figure dressed in all black can be seen wandering the halls, some say it’s Jack the Ripper and the recreation of his murders in the dungeons lures him in, attracted to watching his killings all over again.
As you continue your way down the path through the ‘Mortuary area’, there stands an operating table where two men are operating on a body while a third man stands watching. If you see the phantom third man, make no sudden movements and carry on as if it were part of the scene. Whatever you do DON’T tell anyone you have seen him or you will never be rid of him and his hauntings.
Other hauntings include staff such as Charles B., walking into the break room, “I saw my breath coming up in a mist in front of me and heard a faint sound of children singing Ring-a-ring-o-roses and then they vanished into thin air,” he tells Voice of London, leaving nothing but hairs on end.
Are you willing to visit these haunted sites? Who knows what may happen when dealing with the dead.
Here is where you can find these terrifying locations:
We asked you, the public, exactly how you feel about what London has to offer in this scare fest. Do you believe in ghosts? While most said yes we know there are some out there who don’t, so we challenge YOU to go out and get your spook on.
Words: Victoria Locke | Subbing: Ruby Naldrett