Halloween: London’s Spine-tingling Secrets
Halloween gets more popular every year—in the two weeks leading up to the 31st, expect to see costumed denizens and lots of adverts for scary London attractions. Most of them are tourist traps. Instead, for a real Halloween experience, go to places rooted in history, where London’s dark past is unearthed. So, before getting ready for the next big season, try out a few of these:
The Ten Bells:
A rather typical quaint Shoreditch pub? Guess again—this 2 century long-running bar has a tangled history with Jack the Ripper, Spitalfield’s most infamous resident. Two of the murdered women frequented the Ten Bells, and rumours of ghost sightings are frequent. So if you pop in for a pint, be on the lookout.
Ghost Tours at Hampton Court:
This storied, sprawling castle has seen more than its fair share of tragedy—from the execution of two of Henry VIII’s wives to even its original owner, Cardinal Wolsey. These excellent tours give a detailed look into the spirits still said to haunt the halls. Look out for Catherine Howard, sometimes seen dashing through the upper hallway, desperately trying to escape her impending execution.
Terrifying Tales at Shakespeare’s Globe
Shakespeare was the master of a good ghost story, and so it makes sense to come to his Globe Theatre to listen to spine-tingling yarns from all around the world. Storyteller Vanessa Woolf will captivate young and young at heart alike for true Halloween tales.
Sat 27 October, 11:00 AM
Any city with London’s history is bound to have a few restless souls, and most are set to hang out around the cemeteries. The larger more well-trod grounds in Hyde Park and Highgate are beautiful and sad, but for a truly creepy experience, try and get in on one of the catacomb tours at West Norwood Cemetery. It’s not open to the public but Friends of Norwood Cemetery conduct tours occasionally, so it’s worth contacting them.
For something a little more subtle but also real, wander through Epping Forest when the sun starts going down—people have been reporting ghost sightings for centuries. That could be because it’s where Dick Turpin attacked his victims–or the countless battles held here over the years. Maybe you’ll just go for a wander in quiet woods, but this might be the closest you get to a real ghost all season.