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This Halloween, prepare to be scared by the City of London. Throughout the capital, you'll find more spooky sights than any other city on Earth. Here are some of the top scare sites, just a short walk from our hotels.
Once known as the Jack the Ripper, this Spitalfields pub can't get away from its gory history. Some accounts of the Ripper story link two of his victims, Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly, to the pub. Annie Chapman may have drunk at the pub shortly before she was murdered; and it has been suggested that the pavement outside of the pub was where Mary Kelly picked up clients as a prostitute.
It's no wonder, therefore, that The Ten Bells is haunted by the ghost of the mutilated Annie Chapman. If that's not spooky enough, the pub also has a long recorded history of poltergeist activity.
This infamous address has been dubbed the most haunted house in London since the 1900s. They say that the attic is haunted by the tortured spirit of a young woman who committed suicide there. She threw herself from the top floor window after abuse from her evil uncle.
Stay overnight at your peril, for the ghost has a vengeful and murderous nature. In 1879, a maid went mad after spending the night in the house, dying in an insane asylum the very next day.
8 years later, a sailor tripped and fell to his death after fleeing in terror from an "unknown horror" residing in the house.
Now the headquarters of Maggs Bros. bookseller, the house was built in the early 1700s by the architect William Kent. It has had a curious mix of owners throughout the years, including the mysterious ‘Mr. Myers’. After being jilted by his fiancé, Mr Myers became a bitter recluse, known to wander the corridors of the house at night.
The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is reportedly the most haunted theatre in the world. But the thespians that tread the boards at the Theatre Royal are always pleased to encounter an apparition. According to tradition, seeing one of the Theatre's many ghosts is a sign of good luck for an actor or production.
As the oldest theatre site in London still in use, the Theatre Royal is home to a whole cast of apparitions. The mortal remains of the notorious Man in Grey ghost were found within a bricked-up passage, deep in the bowels of the theatre in 1848. Little is known about the unhappy fate of this spirit who is now a frequent sight in the theatre. The Theatre Royal is also home to the ghost of notorious actor Charles Maklin, who once killed a man in an argument over a wig.
Have you heard the howling haunting of Hackney? The eerie baying of hounds at night comes from Sutton House, and belonged to wool merchant John Machell (resident 1550-1558). In addition to the spectral hounds, Sutton House is haunted by The White Lady, rumoured to be a woman named Frances who tragically died giving birth to twins in 1574.
Her apparition can be seen hovering around the old building. During renovations of the building in the 1990s, a student is said to have woke to see a lady in a blue dress hovering over him.
Some of the most haunted places in London are also popular landmarks. With over 500 years of history, Hampton Court has been the stage for the deaths of Henry VIII’s wives. It's no surprise that visitors have experienced many hauntings throughout the years.
Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII has given the Haunted Gallery its chilling name. She can be seen dressed in white and floating down the gallery towards the door of the Royal Pew. As she reaches it, she turns back and screams until passing through the door.
Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, also haunts Hampton Court Palace. She has been seen walking the cobbled grounds of Clock Court. On the anniversary of the birth of her son Edward, she is said to ascend the stairs leading to the Silver Stick Gallery, dressed in a white robe and carrying a candle.
When the church of Hampton Court Palace was pulled down, the remains of The Lady in Grey were disturbed. Roused from her eternal slumber, the spirit returned to her original rooms to attend her spinning wheel. Over the years, many people have heard the sound of that lonely spinning wheel, as The Lady in Grey, unable to rest, continues her work until the end of time.
It would be remiss of us to put together a list of the most haunted places in London and not include the infamous Bloody Tower, which can be seen from the windows of our very own hotel. Look closely and you may see the White Lady looking back at you...
From 1100 to 1952, The Tower of London was a prison for people particularly disliked by the Royal Family. Prisoners here were usually beheaded in the most grisly and public fashion. But it seems that even this did not release the unfortunate souls from their imprisonment.
Perhaps most famous of all hauntings at The Tower of London is the ghost of Anne Boleyn, the beheaded wife of king and serial husband, Henry VIII. Many who claim to have seen Boleyn’s spirit say she walks with her head tucked beneath her arm. Others have spotted her from the courtyard, staring out the window of the room in which she was held captive by her maniacal husband.
The ghosts of other historical figures include Guy Fawkes, Lady Jane Grey, and Henry VI have also been sighted. Less famous prisoners have also gained notoriety in the afterlife for their refusal to leave the scene of their suffering. If you stand on the threshold of St John's Chapel, you will smell the perfume of the White Tower's White Lady, who can be seen above you, through the windows of the tower.