London is an ancient city that today, plays a pivotal role for the UK and even the entire world. It is flooded with tourists who travel far and wide to experience the rich history that can be found on every street corner in the great city. It also happens to be flooded with ghosts! Here are where you can find the most haunted places in London.
7. Old Operating Theater
Macabre history is seemingly hidden all throughout the city of London. One of the most inconspicuous of the locations on this list exists in the attic of an early eighteenth-century church shadowed by the famed Shard. Here lies the oldest surviving operating theater in Europe, part of the former St. Thomas Hospital.
Given that the theater existed before both anesthetic and antiseptic at a time where knowledge of the human body was slowly being discovered, plenty of people met their end within the theater. Many deaths and the suffering of those who desperately sought medical treatment played out within London’s Old Operating Theater.
Some reports of an elderly woman’s ghost, clad completely in black, have been made within the operating theater. She is often reported to be sobbing and crying and is thought to either be grieving the death of a loved one or possibly her own death within the theater. Another woman who roams through the theater wearing a glowing white dress has also been reported, though her origins are not known.
6. Greenwich Foot Tunnel
Running deep under the ground of East London is a tunnel connecting Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs. Passing beneath the River Thames, this walkway stretches 370 meters. A convenient walk for pedestrians, yet one that might send shivers down your spine.
Many who have taken the Greenwich Foot Tunnel during the dead of night have claimed to sight a pair of ghostly people, whose origins remain a mystery. These apparitions are thought to be a romantic couple. The male and female spirits are dressed in Victorian-era garb and typically holding hands as they stroll down the tunnel, before disappearing into thin air. Many have also reported feeling a general uneasiness as if they are being watched while passing through the tunnel, hearing disembodied voices and even footsteps around them.
5. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is one of the truly important religious sites within the city of London. The Abbey is an impressive gothic built church lying just to the West of the Palace of Westminster. It has been a popular location for the coronation and even burial of many British royals.
With a history spanning over 1000 years and many noteworthy people buried within the grounds of Westminster Abbey, there is no surprise to learn that this is one of the most haunted buildings in London. Many people visit Westminster Abbey each year, eager to learn the history of the building and experience the beauty of the icon. Some of these visitors have claimed to capture sight of a floating shadow resembling a monk. Many believe this ghostly monk to be Father Benedictus. Another spirit thought to be haunting the Abbey is that of an unnamed soldier who has also been sighted within the church. Strangely, others have claimed to see a statue, that of Daniel Pulteney, moving. He is often described as being able to flick through the stone book he has been fused to hold.
4. Viaduct Tavern
The next spooky, haunted location on this list brings us to a lavishly decorated pub that has sat within the heart of London since 1869. The Viaduct Tavern is the last remaining example of a true Gin Palace within London. Although this historic spot doesn’t look overly sinister at first glance it is what is located underneath the pub, which is truly chilling. Here, lies a series of old prison cells cloaked in mystery.
A notorious old jail, known as the Old Newgate Prison, once stood directly across the street from the Viaduct Tavern. This was paired with an area where public executions were undertaken, making the Viaduct Tavern a popular place to watch the sick spectacle. Yet another prison, known as the Old Giltspurt Street Compter, was also located in the area of this small pub. This prison was demolished in the 1850s and may have been positioned in the same exact location as the tavern. Many believe that the tavern could have been built over the top of this old prison, possibly explaining the cells.
These cells are certainly believed to be one of the most haunted parts of the pub. A previous owner claimed to be down in the cellar one day when all of the lights suddenly went out. He was then confronted by a whisper in his ear which stated: “it’s just you and me down here now.” The upstairs rooms are also thought to be haunted, with some interactions with a poltergeist having been reported.
3. Ten Bells Pub
Another of London’s oldest and most iconic pubs makes it on to this list as being an extremely haunted place in London. The Ten Bells Pub has stood within Whitechapel since at least the 1740s. Although the pub remains a popular watering hole today, it is best known for its links to the notorious Jack the Ripper case.
During the late 1800s when London was gripped by terror in the wake of a series of murders resulting in the vicious mutilation of female prostitutes, the Ten Bells Pub remained open for business. It was a known hangout for a number of the Ripper’s victims, with some of them being sighted nights or hours before their bodies were found dead on the streets. Many have speculated that the Ripper himself may have also frequented the pub to observe those who he would have targeted.
Several spirits are thought to dwell within the Ten Bells Pub. One of these is thought to be Annie Chapman, a victim of the Ripper. While others have also claimed to encounter that of a Victorian-era landlord, a very young infant and even an illusive poltergeist.
2. Highgate Cemetery
The Highgate Cemetery is quite literally the setting out of a horror movie, having been used in filming for 1972’s ‘Tales From The Crypt.’ However, this cemetery has its own real-life ghastly history and stories to tell, which would rival any Hollywood made horror flick.
Built-in 1839, the Highgate Cemetery has had plenty of time to accumulate a vast amount of graves. At its prime, the cemetery was a beautiful resting place, yet it sadly fell into disrepair by the 1960s. It was around this time that reports of the dead rising at night and a vampire lurking around the premises killing and mutilating animals started to pop up.
While the legends of the Highgate Vampire are certainly the best known surrounding Highgate Cemetery, there are some eerie ghost stories attached to this epic place of burial. Some say that a crazed elderly lady roams the cemetery at night. She is apparently in search of her children who she is rumored to have murdered during her life. Others have seen a hooded grey figure that tends to disappear quickly after being sighted. Stories of a Hat Man, ghostly cyclist and a Woman in White all exist about the cemetery and the nearby Swains Lane, which runs directly past Highgate.
1. Tower of London
To cap off this list is none other than the Tower of London, considered by many to be the most haunted place in London. Parts of this fortress, namely the White Tower, were built by William the Conqueror and date back to 1078. Many know the Tower for today holding the crown jewels, but it also has a rich history filled with battles, murder, torture, imprisonment and even executions. This blood-filled past has solidified many hauntings within the Tower of London.
Perhaps the best-known ghost story of the Tower of London is that of former Queen Anne Boleyn. Anne was arrested and executed in one of the tower’s courtyards in 1536 for treason. Ever since her death, many people have claimed to sight her apparition near the White Tower, either clutching at her severed head or missing it completely.
‘The Princes of Tower’ is another popular ghost story, which may have some historical backing. Many have claimed to see two, young boys cowering together as if to hide, within the White Tower. These are believed to be young Princes murdered and hidden within the walls of the tower by their jealous Uncle, who wanted to claim the throne for himself. This story gained a lot of weight in 1674 when the skeletons of two young boys were actually found sealed off within the castle walls.
Other spirits include the Countess of Salisbury whose wails can be heard on the anniversary of her execution at the castle, as well as countless other spirits. These include exotic animals, kings, soldiers, guards and even those imprisoned and tortured within the castle.
Know of any other haunted locations in London? I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!