London is about 2,000 years old. During that time, the city streets have seen a lot of incredible, breathtaking, and bizarre things, not to mention some downright scary ones. Jack the Ripper, the Great Fire, the Plague – all of these historical moments have left their strange legacies on the city. It goes without saying that a city like London would have some skeletons in its closet.
So to help you plan your hallowing, we’re counting down the most haunted places in London. If you can visit all five and live to tell the tale, well, you’re much braver than us!
The Tower of London
Stories from the tower blend history, legend, and just plain fantasy. What we know for certain is that several of Britain’s key historical figures really did lose their lives here, including Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Thomas More, and (most likely) King Edward V. The Tower has since become known as one of the most haunted places in Britain and more than ten individual ghosts are claimed to have been spotted there, including Queen Anne Boleyn herself.
Hampton Court Palace
In Victorian times, the owners of Hampton Court Palace looked for new ways to spread interest in Britain’s history. One of the ways they managed to sell tickets was by releasing reports of ghost sightings to the public. It was claimed that two of Henry VIII’s wives – Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard – both haunt the palace, as well as Sybil Penn, a servant to four of the Tudor Monarchs. More recently, security at the Palace caught CCTV footage of a mysterious figure opening and shutting fire doors in the palace.
This famous theatre on Drury Lane is recognised as one of the world’s most haunted. Supposedly, it is haunted by the ghosts of two different clowns and the mysterious Man in Grey. Dozens of theatre performers testify to having seen the mysterious figures. Who exactly they are, and how they died, however, remains quite the mystery. What is certain is that the stage has seen enough fantastic productions to keep any ghost interested for a few hundred years.
It was a cool evening in July when theatre manager Jai Sepple noticed that one of the chairs in the Brookside Theatre hall was askew. Thinking this unusual – after all, the cleanup for the day’s performance had already been done – he checked the CCTV footage of the hall to check whether anyone had been in.
What he saw there changed his mind about the paranormal. The cameras had caught several specks of light whizzing around the hall, before the chair and nearby table moved completely of their own accord. Spooky stuff. One wonders whether the spirits had heard they were being outsold by the Theatre Royal.
The ghost of Bruce Castle is shrouded in both history and mystery. What we know for certain is that famous historian Henry Hare bought and moved into the house sometime in the late 17th century along with his wife Constantia. What happens next is a confusion of historical fact and legend.
It’s said that spurned by jealousy over an affair, Constantia grew enraged and was locked up by her husband in one of the highest rooms in the house. It was from here that she threw herself from a window holding her child in her arms. It’s said that on November 3rd every year – the day of Constantia’s death – it’s possible to see her ghost haunting the grounds.
For more fascinating ways to explore Britain’s unique heritage and culture, take a look at our small group tours. They’re an exciting (and totally unscary!) addition to your next visit.