London for Ghost Hunters: Five Haunted Locations
The city of London is steeped in history, so it’s no surprise that there are tales of spooky spectres appearing – and disappearing – in locations throughout the capital. Here are details of just five supposedly haunted places that you can visit on a ghost hunting expedition in London – if you’re feeling brave enough!
The Tower of London
This historic royal palace and former prison is reputed to be one of London’s most haunted locations.
Famous figures reported to have made posthumous appearances at the Tower of London include Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Guy Fawkes, and Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York – the young brothers known as the Princes in the Tower, who disappeared in the late fifteenth century and are believed to have been murdered.
One of the most active phantoms at the Tower of London, however, is the ghost of Arbella Stuart, the cousin of James I of England. Initially held under house arrest for marrying without the King’s consent, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London following a failed attempt to escape and flee the country with her husband. She died in 1615 in what is now referred to as The Queen’s House, on Tower Green, allegedly after becoming ill and refusing to eat. Visitors staying in the house have reported many ghostly goings-on, particularly in the Lennox Room.
Situated in the City of London, close to Aldgate tube station, Mitre Square is now lined with modern office buildings. However, this small London square was one of the sites used by Jack the Ripper, the notorious Victorian serial killer, during his reign of terror in the capital in the late 1880s.
The body of Catherine Eddowes was found lying in the south-west corner of Mitre Square in the early hours of 30 September 1888. Elizabeth Stride’s corpse had been discovered approximately 45 minutes earlier in Dutfield’s Yard, just off Berner Street – or, as it is now known, Henriques Street – just five minutes’ walk from Mitre Square. This was the only night on which Jack the Ripper is believed to have murdered two women and is often referred to by Ripperologists as ‘the double event’.
Catherine Eddowes’ body has since been reported to have been seen, lying in a gutter in the cobbled square, on or close to the anniversary of her murder.
The Bank of England
The Bank of England’s headquarters has been situated on Threadneedle Street in the City of London since 1734. The area around this famous building is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of Sarah Whitehead, the sister of a former bank employee. Legend has it that Philip Whitehead was hanged in 1812 after being found guilty of forgery, but well-meaning friends kept the news of his execution from his sister. When she eventually discovered the truth, she could not accept it and began visiting the bank every day to ask for Philip. Some say that she wanders along Threadneedle Street looking for her brother to this day.
A ghost believed by some to be that of Sarah Whitehead – who was nicknamed ‘the Black Nun’ by Bank of England staff as she always dressed in black – has also occasionally been seen at the nearby Bank Underground Station.
The Clink Prison Museum
Believed to be one of the oldest prisons in England, The Clink was in use as a jail between the twelfth and the late eighteenth centuries. The Clink Prison Museum is situated on the original site of this famous prison.
If you’re interested in the darker side of England’s history, this popular London tourist attraction is the perfect place to go. Conditions in The Clink were notoriously grim and you can even see examples of torture equipment in the museum. With such a grisly past, it’s hardly surprising that The Clink is reputed to have more than its fair share of spirits and a number of tour operators provide visitors with the opportunity to spend a night ghost hunting there.
Visitors to the Clink Prison Museum have reported many different types of potentially paranormal phenomena but one of the most common sightings is of a woman sitting in a corner playing with some metal chains.
If you’re spending New Year’s Eve in London, head to Westminster Bridge just before midnight and you could have a spine-tingling experience that you’ll never forget. According to local legend, a ghost hurls himself off the bridge into the icy waters below as the bells begin to ring in the New Year. Some even claim that it’s the ghost of Jack the Ripper.
The spectral man isn’t the only ghost associated with Westminster Bridge either. Allegedly, a boat carrying three people is sometimes seen going under the bridge but never emerges from the other side.
If you haven’t satisfied your appetite for the paranormal after visiting these scary London locations though, don’t worry. There are plenty more haunted places you can visit in the capital and you’ll find a wide range of companies providing ghost tours of this fascinating city.