London is a truly modern European city, with a sophisticated public transport network, rich cultural heritage, and so many trendy nightspots to choose from. But beneath its cool façade, London also has a dark side.
If you’re in the city this Halloween here are some of London’s spookiest spots.
The London Dungeon
Photo: Donna Rutherford
While it might seem like an obvious choice, there’s no reason to pass up the opportunity to visit this most famous of London’s attractions, where the past really does come alive in terrifying detail. Skilled actors in full period costumes lead you through a labyrinth of London’s goriest historical events, including the Plague, the Great Fire of London, and other more gruesome tales. There’s also special events in October, including séances, special late openings (adults only!) and more. See http://www.thedungeons.com/london/en/ for details.
Jack the Ripper Tours
The story of London’s most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper, is still regarded as one of the most famously unsolved crimes of modern times. Thought to be a member of high society, Jack would stalk his victims and then slay them in the most brutal ways imaginable. Get up close and personal with this gory bit of local history on the Jack the Ripper walking tours. Most of them begin at the Whitechapel Tube station, before going to Durward Street, where the body of prostitute Polly Nichols, the Ripper’s first victim, was found. Plenty of great East London landmarks are on the route, including Spitalfields market and Brick Lane market on Sundays. It’s advisable to go later in the evening when the streets are quieter, and it’s easier to imagine the cramped cobbled streets being unchanged since Victorian days.
The Tower of London
Photo: Michael Ash
Built in 1066, the Tower of London served as a prison, torture chamber and location of the executioner’s chopping block. This prison was not for the everyday thief however; the Tower was meant for punishing those accused of treason, and its residents included monarchs and other high-borns as well as commoners. Today you can enjoy a special Tower Twilight tour led by the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) and take in some of the gruesome tales and spooky sights which make this location an unmissable gory treat. See more at http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/WhatsOn/TowerTwilightTours
City of London Cemetery
Photo: Nick Garrod
Located in the North East of the city, this cemetery and crematorium is one of the largest in Europe, and is designated Grade 1 on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens. The cemetery is also interesting because it has been in continuous use since its opening, and the social attitude towards the afterlife is reflected in the way the cemetery is laid out, ranging from Victorian to contemporary. As well as being a great place for a gothic picnic, the cemetery also has its share of ghostly phenomena – since the 1970s, there have been many sightings of an eerie orange glow emanating from one of the tombstones in the western section of the cemetery. Despite many investigations, no-one has ever found a rational explanation for this – there are no light sources outside the graveyard that could account for thisspooky phenomenon.
After all the jitters a nice scrumptious dinner and drinks awaits you at the Corinthia Hotel.