The Ten Bells Pub, London
The Ten Bells Pub is an iconic destination, that remains important to the darkest moment in East London’s history. It has even continually served the public since the mid 18th century. The Ten Bells gets its name from mirroring how many bells the Christ Church across the road held in its tower. Records indicate that the establishment was named the Eight Bells Alehouse in 1755 and received a name change in 1788 to the Ten Bells, right around the time the church upgraded their bell system.
Just as it remains today, the pub was an extremely popular watering hole in the East End of London during the 1800s. The Ten Bells gained fame during this time for its popularity, though this was to eventually turn to infamy for its association with London’s best known serial killer. At least two (though likely more) of Jack the Ripper’s victims were said to have an association with the Ten Bells Pub. Annie Chapman was supposedly sighted drinking at the pub around 5 am, shortly before the time of her murder. Mary Kelly is also said to have frequented the pub and was well known for using the pavement just out front of the Ten Bells as a place to attract clients as a prostitute.
The history of this iconic neighborhood pub has made it a point of interest for many people. It has even managed to gain interest within the paranormal community for supposedly containing a number of spirits.
Ghosts of the Ten Bells Pub
Having such close ties to the Jack the Ripper case makes this one of London’s spookiest pubs and it seems only fitting that one of the killer’s victims should haunt the Ten Bells. The spirit of Annie Chapman has supposedly been sighted within the pub. She is thought to sit in the exact location she had her final drink before her tragic murder. Further, some have claimed that she is responsible for breaking glasses and stealing from unsuspecting guests.
Despite the Ten Bells Pub being best known for its ties to the infamous Jack the Ripper case, it also has a long history outside of these murders. Not surprisingly, the pub is also said to hold other spirits from these times. Perhaps the most active and commonly sighted spirit within the pub is that of an older man, many have described as wearing Victorian-era clothing. He is generally sighted in the upper floors of the pub, where staff were once able to live on site. Previous tenants would report hearing footsteps and laugher outside of their room when no one was around, some were even pushed down the stairs when they went to investigate. This spirit was even known to sneak into beds during the night to the fright of unsuspecting staff members. It is believed that this man might have been a former landlord to the building who was possibly murdered.
Another story of interest within the Ten Bells relates to that of a mysterious baby who was possibly murdered within the building. In more recent times a psychic was brought in to help explain some of the paranormal phenomena occurring. Supposedly, this psychic refused to enter one of the top rooms of the pub. She was unable to explain quite why, but suggested that something terrible had transpired there relating to the death of a baby sometime in the 19th century.
Years after the psychic incident, a leading Jack the Ripper researcher was allowed to tour around the pub. She was also granted rooftop access to the building where she would discover something very unsettling. It was here she found a sack that had been deposited in a gap between the floor and a water tank. Upon pulling the sack out and opening it, she found it filled with moldy Victorian era baby clothes. On closer inspection, they appeared to have been slashed with a knife. Although not much can be concluded from this find, it is interesting to note that the sack was located directly on top of the room where the psychic refused to enter. This leaves many lingering questions about the possible murder of a baby within the Ten Bells Pub.
Visiting the Haunted Ten Bells Pub, London
The Ten Bells Pub is open daily to the public and remains a popular spot for those in Whitechapel, London to stop for a drink. It is also a point of interest made in most of the Jack the Ripper tours which operate throughout the area.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll likely find interest in the other haunted places in London.
Thanks for reading!