Thanks to a history marked by grisly beheadings, tragic plagues and notorious serial killers, London, England, is home to a variety of famously haunted places. But here are some of its lesser-known spooky spots.
The Old Bailey courthouse, located on the site of the former Newgate Prison, is said to be haunted by the criminals who were imprisoned and executed there, including Victorian murderer Amelia Dyer. The Old Bailey Insight Tour includes access to a decrepit prison cell and stories about the public hangings that attracted large crowds of spectators.
Designed for 17th-century Queen Consort Anne of Denmark, the Queen’s House museum is known for its Tulip Stairs, a spiral staircase where Canadian tourists photographed several robed apparitions in 1966. More recent phenomena include a sighting of a figure travelling through a wall in the house.
Bethnal Green Underground Station was the site of London’s worst civilian disaster during the Second World War when an air raid test caused locals to stampede into the Tube station, killing 173 people. To this day, commuters report hearing women and children—who made up more than three-quarters of the victims—screaming.
A photograph taken in 2012 at the West End Dominion Theatre supposedly shows the ghost of a young pub employee. It’s believed to be Eleanor Cooper, who died in the 1814 London Beer Flood disaster that sent more than 1 million litres of beer through the area. Theatregoers also report hearing a child’s giggles in the building.
The Flask pub in Highgate, part of which dates back to the 1660s, has two resident ghosts: a Spanish barmaid and a cavalier. And, its Committee Room is allegedly where grave robbers dropped a body off from the nearby cemetery for one of the first autopsies ever performed.
A tour of St Bride’s Church takes visitors through its 2,000-year history. During an excavation of the site in the 1950s, thousands of human remains, many of them from victims of the 1665 Great Plague of London, were discovered in the sealed off crypt. A guided tour allows visitors into the charnel house in the crypt to see the bone collections.
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In honour of National Novel Writing Month this November, an annual event where participants attempt to write a manuscript in 30 days, consider taking a literary-inspired vacation to Jamaica, England or Cuba to learn about Ian Fleming, Jane Austen or Ernest Hemingway.
Take a Narrowboat Trip Along England’s Canals
In this photo essay, WestJet Magazine's Design Director Steve Collins recounts his recent trip home to explore the tranquil waters of England’s canals, about two and a half hours from London. He and his wife cruise The Stourport Ring, a 119-km loop, making stops along the way.