Maybe you are looking for ideas of things to do around Hallowe’en or you might just be interested in London’s haunted history. There are a number of things to do or places you can eat which have stories of paranormal activity. Here are my top 7 haunted London activities….
1. The Viaduct Tavern, 126 Newgate Street EC1A 7AA
The Viaduct Tavern Opened in 1869 and is the the last surviving Victorian gin palace in the City of London. The basement is said to contain prison cells from Newgate Prison or Giltspur Street Compter. It is in these cells that several accounts of paranormal activity have been reported. Members of staff have experienced unusual and unwelcome activity in the apparently haunted cellars. Noises of pain have been heard here and it seems staff are not too keen on going down there on their own at night.
During the 1990s, a pub manager was in the cellar one morning. The doors unexpectedly slammed shut and the cellar was plunged into darkness. He could not manage to open the door. His wife heard him calling for her and she found the doors opened easily and were unlocked. An electrician also claimed to have felt tapping on his shoulder as he was working in the cellar and witnessed a rolled up carpet lift into the air.
The pub serves some tasty toasties and freshly made sausage rolls. So why not pop in for lunch and then take a 5 minute walk to Cock Lane, home to another haunted London story…
2. Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane, EC1A 9BU
When, William Kent’s wife died giving birth, he fell for her sister, Fanny. They were not allowed to get married or live together but they moved to a property in Cock Lane regardless. The property was rented out by a gentleman named Mr Parsons. Kent became friends with him, lent him money and later confided in him that he and Fanny were not married.
Before long, ghostly sightings, knocking and scratching sounds were reported, thought to be from Kent’s first wife. Parsons stopped repaying his debt to Kent and, in turn, he instructed a solicitor to reclaim the money owed. The couple moved away from Cock Lane and shortly after, Fanny died from what was thought to be smallpox. However, suspicion mounted as to whether she had been poisoned by Kent as he had gained a decent inheritance from her. Once Kent had recovered the money from Parsons, the scratching and knocking sounds were once again heard. It was suggested that Fanny herself had returned to Cock Lane to accuse Kent of her murder. Parsons began making money by holding seances which attracted many Londoners and this is how the story of Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane was born…
As later events unfolded, it was believed that the ghost story was a hoax, with Parson’s daughter fabricating events to protect him from prison.
3. The Ten Bells Pub, E1 6LY
The Ten Bells Pub is probably most famous for its links to the Jack the Ripper murders. The pub was a popular drinking haunt of prostitutes around that time and where Annie Chapman, one of the victims, had been drinking the night she was murdered. She was found around the back of 29 Hanbury Street which was just around the corner from here. The pub dates back to the 1750s and since the murder of Annie Chapman, many sightings of paranormal activity have been reported here from both staff and visitors.
4. Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
The Tower of London is the UK’s most popular attraction. It was founded in 1066 and built as a fortress. It was once a Royal palace with apartments but even though it wasn’t intended to be a prison, it later became one. The Tower of London housed people considered to be a threat to security. The ghost of Guy Fawkes is said to be here. It was also the place where Anne Boleyn was executed whose ghost is said to walk with her head tucked beneath her arm in the Bloody Tower. General entrance fees are currently around £25 per adult. However, twilight tours are also available at a slightly higher cost, if you prefer to have a private tour in the dark… Check the website for details.
Step onto the gloomy 1960’s Necrobus heading to Trafalgar Scare, Notting Hell and Earls Corpse for 75 minutes of theatrical, spooky storytelling and comedy… The bus took us through the streets of London and stories of ghosts, murder and death were told along the way . Stories included how a bad smell in the luggage department in 1927 at Charing Cross Mainline Station, turned out to be that of a dismembered body found in a trunk. At one point, everyone was made to abandon the bus and taken down a backstreet in the dark, to Cross Bones Graveyard. This was a burial ground for hundreds of medieval sex workers and paupers in one of London’s poorest areas.
6. Clink Museum, SE1 9DG
The Clink Prison Museum is known to have paranormal activity and ghostly sightings. Inside it is dimly lit, with eery sounds of prisoners pain and torture. Come along to learn about some of the gruesome things that took place here and view exhibits such as torture devices.
If you wish to have a truly scary haunted London experience, then you may wish to consider booking a place on one of the ghost hunting experiences. These take place here regularly. Vigils and seances are carried out during the night. Various methods such as ouija boards are used to contact spirits within the walls. Have a look at the ghost hunting experience link for further information.
7. The Old Operating Theatre Museum SE1 9RY
An insight into surgery pre-anaesthetic and pre-antiseptic at Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre. Paranormal activity has been reported including a lady that roams in a white glowing dress. A member of staff also claims there was a loud noise coming from the garret. When she entered, every drawer and door was open. This museum costs £6.50 to enter and is a great way to spend an hour learning about operations dating back to 1822. There is plenty to do in the local area too if you wish to combine it with lunch or another activity.
As well as haunted London ‘things to do’ ,you may wish to look at some other activities. Click on the following links for recommended activities, restaurants and places to stay in London…