Ghouls and goblins and ghosts – oh my!
Fall is upon us and Halloween is right around the corner. Whether you are a paranormal enthusiast or you’re simply curious about the haunted history of London, the ancient, bustling city offers plenty of spots for a hair-raising experience. And, even if you don’t believe in ghosts or paranormal sightings, visiting these spooky venues will still be a fun and memorable experience.
Enjoy our list of the top haunted places in London and pencil in a few during your fall adventures abroad… if you dare!
50 Berkeley Square
50 Berkeley Square, London WIJ 6AF, UK
Inconspicuously nestled among a row of townhomes in Mayfair, 50 Berkeley Square is often touted as the most haunted house in London! According to legend, the attic of the four-story complex is haunted by a young girl that committed suicide there by throwing herself from the top-floor window. The house has been occupied since the 1800’s by an eclectic variety of tenants, from high-end socialites like British Prime Minister George Canning to ‘Mr. Myers’, a curious recluse. Many former tenants reported seeing either a brown or white figure at various points, and one even shot at a curious apparition. Several other stories exist about residents going mad or seeing the supernatural, which is why this ancient legend remains at the top of the list of haunted places in London.
The Langham Hotel
1C Portland Place, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA, UK
Lucky number 3? Definitely not so lucky at The Langham Hotel. This post hotel has hosted some of London’s greatest literary legends, like Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar Wilde. However, the hotel is more known for its legendary ghost. The nameless figure allegedly takes the form of a scholarly doctor donning Victorian evening wear. The man allegedly murdered his wife and then commited suicide while the pair were honeymooning in Room 333. And yes, before you ask, Room 333 is available for overnight stays and is the most popular room in the hotel, which attracts curious guests from across the globe.
The Savoy Hotel
Strand, London WC2R 0EZ, UK
Even London’s most upscale hotels aren’t immune to haunted guests. Take The Savoy Hotel, which has a longstanding reputation as one of London’s premier accommodations. The posh guest list and lavish amenities aren’t a match for ghosts, which are rumored to inhabit the fifth floor of the hotel. Guests often report hearing an eerie rumbling from a mysterious lift or screams from a young girl. The mischief maiden in question is a nameless young girl that allegedly died in the hotel. Her spirit remains and taunts current hotel guests. To experience this paranormal encounter for yourself, simply make a reservation and request the fifth floor.
77 Highgate W Hill, Highgate, London N6 6BU, UK
The Flask dates back to the 1600’s when Highgate was just a small, sleepy village. True to its heritage, the pub has maintained much of the original structure, with authentic horseboxes, shutters, and glass panels, which provide a certain rustic charm. Of course, a pub with this much history is bound to have a few hauntings, and The Flask is no exception. The pub has several recurring ghosts, including a Spanish barmaid who hanged herself in the pub’s cellar and a gentleman in a Cavalier uniform who is occasionally spotted perusing the main bar room. The ancient architecture and rich history make The Flask a ‘must’ for thirsty ghost hunters.
The Bow Bells
116 Bow Road, London E3 3AA, UK
Few pubs can boast an on-site seance, but The Bow Bells proudly boasts their haunted claim to fame. A seemingly harmless prankster, the alleged ghost was felt among bar staff and visitors through the 60’s and 70’s and had a peculiar habit of flushing the toilet in the women’s restroom. In 1974, a ceremony was performed to rid the bar of the ghost once and for all, but the seance didn’t quite go as planned. During the ceremony, the toilet door swung open with such force that it completely smashed the pane of glass in the door. No since ceremonies have been attempted, and the pranks and unusual presence remains to this day.
The Rising Sun
44-46 Ebury Bridge Road, Belgravia, London SW1W 8PZ, UK
If you’re seeking a true ‘goosebumps’ pub experience, look no farther than The Rising Sun. This local watering hole started experiencing supernatural events in the 1980’s and the odd occurrences continue to this day. The trouble began when two barmaids, who lived above the pub at the time, began to report a mysterious presence at the end of their beds. These hidden spirits would slowly remove the bed sheets in the middle of the night as the ladies slept! And, in the 1990’s, the pub proprietor experienced an ice-cold hand run down her back when she was in the shower, though the room was completely empty. The touchy-feely ghosts are attributed to a gang of ‘body snatchers’ that ran rampant in the early 19th century.
Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JF, UK
The Phantom of the Opera is far from a myth at this haunted, historic performance venue. Theatre Royal dates back to the 1600’s and was once London’s most celebrated theatre, which hosted renowned artists from across the globe. The haunted history dates back to the 1800’s when performers began seeing a “Man in Grey”, who was rumored to be the ghost of a knife-stabbed man whose remains were discovered in a hidden passage within the theatre. Other resident ghosts include the spirits of famous actors that have passed through the venue, like Charles Macklin and Joseph Grimaldi. Unlike many other haunted spots in London, Theatre Royal has fully embraced their paranormal activity and a ghost sighting is seen as a good luck charm to modern day performers. Grab a ticket to a show and come feel the spirits for yourself!
Swain’s Lane, Highgate, London N6 6PJ, UK
Do you believe in ghosts? How about vampires? Seekers of supernatural sightings will certainly want to schedule a visit to Highgate Cemetery, a well-known haunted hot spot. Located eerily close to Hampstead Heath, another spooky spot on our list, Highgate Cemetery was built in the 1830’s and served as the final resting place for prominent Victorian socialites. However, more than 100 years later, the cemetery began being plagued by reports of paranormal activity, including vampire sightings. In fact, a group of locals even held a vampire hunt in the 1970’s to rid the cemetery of spirits, though nothing was ever found. Peruse the grounds and decide for yourself… if you dare.
Hampstead, London, UK
Situated just north of the bustling streets of downtown London lies Hampstead, a sleepy, affluent neighborhood. Though this now prominent area is home to more millionaires per capita than any other area of London, don’t let the fancy facades fool you. Hampstead rose to fame with mentions in timeless horror fiction, like Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The hair-raising ‘heath’ at the heart of the neighborhood is noted in several haunting scenes and is home to several famous phantoms, like the ghostly horseman. In fact, Hampstead Heath is such a well-known haunted attraction that visitors can schedule a guided ghost tour for the full heroine history.
Tower of London
St. Katharine’s & Wrapping, London EC3N 4AB, London, UK
With almost 1,000 years of history, the Tower of London has seen its fair share of paranormal activity. Now regarded as one of the most haunted places in London, this historic tower attracts thousands of visitors each year. Thomas Beckett is the first ghost that made an appearance and is supposedly the reason that the tower was originally constructed. Another ghost, Arabella Stuart, was a member of the royal family via a disapproved marriage and spent the better part of her life locked in the tower after a failed escape attempt. Queen Ann Boleyn is arguably the tower’s most famous ghost. The second wife of King Henry VIII, Anne was arrested and held as prisoner in the famous tower prior to her execution in 1536. Feel these ancient, tortured spirits first-hand by touring London’s most famous tower.
London Ghost Tour
020 8530 8443
If scouting out multiple haunted locations is on your London bucket list, snag tickets to the famed London Ghost Walk. This guided ghost tour is led by London’s leading paranormal expert, author, and public broadcaster Richard Jones. With more than 30 years of experience in exploring London’s daunting dark side, Richard is positioned as the area’s top authority on all things ghostly. The tour begins at Covent Garden Station and explores haunted hotspots like London’s Haunted Medieval Palace, the city’s “Sinister Arch”, and many more. Several tours are available that all explore different parts of the city, but book in advance as these guided experiences tend to sell out quickly, especially in the fall.