Review of London Ghost Tours

This is a comparison post of the best London ghost tours, the dark side of London tours, and haunted bus tours, including our pay-what-you-like London ghost tour.

 


 


GHOST TOURS

The following are traditional ghost tours that bring London’s haunted history to life. Each runs for 2-2.5 hours and costs approximately £12-£20 per person.

Free Tours by Foot is the only company to offer a pay-what-you-like ghost tour, which takes you near London Bridge to learn about the city’s darker history.

 



Free Tours By Foot

Take a walk on one of our London ghost tours, through the sinister past of the Dark Side of London, all the more unsettling because it is true!  Join Free Tours By Foot on a walk through London’s most fascinating dark heritage as we explore the most disturbing and haunting tales of the Old City.

Wander through the ancient “Smooth field,” site of countless grisly executions, and connect with Sherlock Holmes at a medieval hospital.

Winding through dark lanes, as you approach London Bridge you’ll hear the grim origins of many medieval nursery rhymes, and enter the City to visit a skull-festooned church that holds the remains of the woman who brought the Black Plague to England.

A walk down “disgraceful Cheapside’ will lead you to a tale of cannibalism and canine haunting before you continue on to the Old Bailey Courthouse, the site of countless executions and the trial of a Victorian serial killer 100 times more prolific than Jack the Ripper!

A visit to Cock Lane will uncover the adulterous scandal behind a series of murders, hauntings, and seances in Georgian London, and we will finish our tour at the largest ‘Plague Pit’ in England – only discovered in 2003.

This tour, guided by a professional storyteller and scholar of dark heritage, is a must for anyone who wants to get off the beaten track and learn about the macabre tales that this ancient city has to offer. You’ll never look at London the same way!

Sites and Topics we cover on the Dark Side of London Tour:

  • The Screaming Spectre of Farringdon Station
  • Bart’s Pathology Museum
  • The Old Victorian Operating Theatre
  • St. Bartholomew the Great – The most haunted church in the world
  • Smithfield Meat Market and Bloody Mary
  • William Wallace and Guy Fawkes – Hung, Drawn and Quartered
  • The Old Bailey Courthouse and public executions
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Grim History of Surgery – “The Butchering Art”
  • Body Snatchers and Resurrection Men
  • Charterhouse Square and Plague Doctors
  • Amelia Dyer – the Angel Maker
Tour information

Reservations: Click here to reserve.

Where: The tour departs from outside FARRINGDON STATION. Meet your guide outside of Farringdon Underground Station. Meet your guide in front of the main station entrance/exit between the new and old stations.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

When:  View our Calendar

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.  For more tips on saving money when visiting London, check out our blog posts for London on a budget.


MEET THE STREET

Meet the Street offers a 2-hour Ghastly Ghosts Walking Tour, which aims to share London’s haunted history with visitors from around the world. The tour begins at the Tower of London and concludes at St. Paul’s, stopping at several sites in the City of London along the way.

Though it promises to send chills down your spine, this tour is much more humorous than scary, as the guides do an excellent job of lightening the mood when the subject matter becomes too grim. And for those less interested in learning about London’s folklore, don’t worry! There is a lot of historical facts shared throughout the tour as well!  

See their full range of London tours.

Reviews of Ghastly Ghosts Walking Tour

Meet the Street maintains an excellent reputation on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide, averaging 5 out of 5 stars for all of their tours (read the reviews). However, their Ghastly Ghosts Walking Tour is especially highly reputed.


NEW EUROPE TOURS

This particular tour lasts 2.5 hours and requires a prepaid reservation costing £14 per person. Though tales of Jack the Ripper are included on this tour, it also features many different ghost stories.

Like some of the other tours included on this list, the Grim Reaper Tour is probably funnier than it is scary. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to get spooked while walking around the dark streets of the East End. 

Reviews of The Grim Reaper Tour 

Sandeman’s Grim Reaper Tour is one of their most popular tours, averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews). Guests are largely very complimentary of the tour and the guides, most of whom are described as entertaining and knowledgeable.

Many reviewers also seem to enjoy the history that is weaved into each ghost story as well. As this tour covers much of the history of Jack the Ripper, it is important to consider the overlap when deciding whether or not to do both the Grim Reaper and Jack the Ripper Tours. 


BEST TOURS

Unlike most of the other tours which take place near the Tower of London and the East End, this tour visits area around Green Park and St. James’s Palace. Tours take place every weekend at 19:00n (7 pm)and start just outside of Green Park Station.

A valid Zone 1 Travelcard or Oyster Card is required as the tour uses the Underground. As is the case with many other tours, this one features several spooky stories but is more comical than frightening. 

  • London Ghost Walk
    • Adults (age 13+) £13 / Children (age 3-12) £10
    • Friday and Saturday at 7 pm
    • More info or to book.

Reviews of the London Ghost Walk

Though Best Tours generally receives very positive reviews, their London Ghost Walk is a bit more mixed, averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews).

Most of those who rated them poorly did so because their tour was canceled rather than because the tour was bad in and of itself. However, to avoid this issue, simply confirm with the company that they have enough guests signed up for whichever night you prefer to ensure that it will definitely run.

Those who did actually attend the tour seem mostly satisfied, describing it as entertaining and informative, though not particularly scary. 


INSIDER LONDON

Similar to their Death and Debauchery Tour, the Famous Ghosts and Infamous Murders Tour by Insider London is a slightly spookier version that focuses on the city’s haunted past. The tour begins outside of Tottenham Court Road Tube Station and lasts approximately 2 hours.

You will visit one of London’s narrowest alleyways, a former plague pit, and leper hospital, and a tunnel so haunted that their guides are scared of walking down it. This is one of the scarier ghost tours in London, so if you’re looking for a fright, Insider London might be the company for you! 

  • Famous Ghosts and Infamous Murders 

Reviews of Insider London

Guests seem exceedingly happy with the Famous Ghosts and Infamous Murders Tour, describing it as “fascinating and (at times) terrifying” and “highly professional, and offer great entertainment and value for money”. In fact, there are no reviews that rate the tour at less than 4 stars. TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars.

 


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HAUNTED BUS TOURS

GHOST BUS TOURS

Ghost Bus Tours is the only company currently offering a haunted bus tour of the city. Though (very) slightly more expensive than the walking tours and not quite as long, the Ghost Bus Tour allows you to see a much larger area of the city.  

Described as a comedy horror show, the Ghost Bus Tours lead a 75-minute scary sightseeing tour around the city. You will begin just off Trafalgar Square and continue to the West End, south of the river, and through central London. Guides are dressed as creepy conductors and do a great job of adding a lot of humor to this spooky ride.

However, perhaps the most exciting part of this tour is the bus itself! The Necropolis Bus is midnight black and used to be part of a private fleet of funeral buses that were used until all but one (the Ghost Bus) was destroyed in a fire in 1967. 

 


 

  • Ghost Bus Tour 
    • Adults (ages 16-59) £23
    • Children (ages 6-15) £15
    • Children (ages 5 and under)  Free
    • Seniors (ages 60+), Military with ID, Student (with ID ages 16-25) £17
    • Departs nightly at 6 pm, 7:30 pm, and 9 pm 
    • More information or to book.

Reviews of Ghost Bus Tours 

Most people seem to find the Ghost Bus Tour extremely entertaining and fun, with the tour averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews). Reviewers love the bus’s spooky decor and the conductor’s wacky personality.

Though a few seem disappointed that it wasn’t scary, it is important to remember that it isn’t advertised as such! This is a comedy horror show that aims to make you laugh above anything else.

However, overall it receives very positive reviews from guests who encourage others to not “just think about it…..DO IT!” TripAdvisor Rating: 4 stars. 

 


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DARK SIDE OF LONDON

Dark Side of London Tours usually refrain from telling stories of the supernatural and instead focus on the city’s darker history. Tales of murder, debauchery, crime, and brutality are rife throughout each of these tours — all of which are aimed at mature audiences.

Murder Mile Tours and Insider London offer tours that are very similar in style and price, costing £15 per person. City Wonders also covers a similar part of the city but is significantly more expensive at £30 per person. However, their reviews are extremely positive with many guests raving about their experiences. 


INSIDER LONDON

The Death and Debauchery Tour offered by Insider London is another popular option for those looking to learn about London’s darker history. The tour begins near Oxford Street and takes you through Central London.  

One of the great things about Insider London is that you never have to worry about the tour being canceled due to too few people signing up. Their tours run regardless, so if you’re the only person to book a spot, you will be able to enjoy a very intimate tour experience rather than having it canceled all together! An Oyster or TravelCard is required as the tour uses the Underground. 

Reviews of Insider London

Insider London has really excellent reviews for all of their tours, but their Death and Debauchery Tour is especially well rated, averaging a perfect 5 out of 5 stars on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide.

One of the most popular sites on this tour is the “Ghost Station,” which can be seen very briefly from the window of a moving train. Guests seem especially impressed with the guides, who do a fantastic job of illuminating the scarier side of London.  One visitor even described the tour as one of the best (if not THE best) they have ever been on. You really can’t do better than that! TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars. 


CITY WONDERS

Like the others, the 2-hour Criminals and Legends of London Tour by City Wonders is a history tour that focuses on murder and debauchery. The tour takes place in the City of London, venturing toward Liverpool Street and the East End, before concluding at Spitalfields Market.

City Wonders ensures that there are never more than 15 people on a tour, so you can attend knowing it will be an intimate experience. Don’t forget your walking shoes as this tour is face-paced and covers a lot of distance! 

  • Criminals and Legends of London 

Reviews of City Wonders

Like all of their other tours, Criminals and Legends of London by City Wonders is very highly rated. Guests describe the experience as entertaining and informative. Their guides are especially well-liked for being so accommodating and knowledgeable. Some found the pace to be a bit too fast, however most seem happy to learn and see so much in just 2 hours.  


MURDER MILE TOURS

Murder Mile Tours offer just one tour: Soho’s Infamous Murders Walking Tour. However, though their offerings may be limited, Murder Mile Tours is hugely popular with visitors to learn more about London’s seedy history. Guides are described as “performers of black comedy” 

Reviews of Murder Mile Tours 

Described as “gruesome and great,” visitors seem to absolutely love the Infamous Murders Walking Tour offered by Murder Mile Tours. Several people comment on the impressive enthusiasm and knowledge of their guides, as well as the fascinating route itself. In fact, as of May 2017, there are no reviews that fall below 4 stars! Some reviewers even admit that they had low expectations for the tour, but were completely blown away by the end. TripAdvisor Rating: 5 stars. 

 


Other Dark Side of London Tours

East End Tours –  They offer a Sweeney Todd: The Dark Side of London, which takes you on a journey to find London’s most notorious gangsters, Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Along the way, you will learn all about the gangsters, shootouts, nightclubs, and murders that took place in the 1960s in London. 

 


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SPOOKY ATTRACTIONS 

The London Bridge Experience & Tombs and The London Dungeon are two popular attractions that bring London’s darkest history to life with intricate sets, enthusiastic actors, and lots of scare tactics. Of the two, London Bridge Experience & Tombs is regarded as more terrifying.

However, both successfully frighten people of all ages. The London Dungeon is a fair bit more expensive, starting at $30 per person rather than the $20 per person for the London Bridge Experience & Tombs. Yet, the former maintains a better rating on TripAdvisor and has several reviewers who comment on its excellent value. 


LONDON BRIDGE EXPERIENCE & TOMBS

The London Bridge Experience and Tombs is a spooky attraction that uses professional actors and intricate sets to showcase London’s gruesome history. The London Bridge Experience lasts approximately 60 minutes and spans 2,000 years of history. After braving the horrors of the Experience, you are then led to the Tombs where you are meant to face your worst fears including evil clowns and nesting spiders. This attraction has won UK’s Scariest Attraction for 8 years in a row and the Top Horror Attraction in the World. 
 

 

  • London Bridge Experience and Tombs 

Reviews of London Bridge Experience and Tombs

Reading through the reviews, it seems that guests either love or hate the London Bridge Experience and Tombs, with a 3.5 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and a slightly better 4 out of 5 stars on Get our Guide (read the reviews). For many, the attraction is both hilarious and terrifying, while also incorporating lots of interesting British history. Others found it to be overly cheesy and to rely too heavily on cheap scare tactics. However, the general consensus is that you will enjoy it as long as you enter with an enthusiastic attitude! TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5 stars. 

 


THE LONDON DUNGEON 

The London Dungeon is a unique, interactive attraction in which you are guided through several different shows by professional actors who aim to make you laugh and scream in equal measure. Each show brings to life a different moment in British history, with the entire productions spanning 1,000 years of history. There are a total of 19 live interactive shows, 20 actors, and 2 creep underground rides. The entire experience lasts approximately 1.5 hours and is conveniently located next to the London Eye. Guests who are 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 
 

 

Reviews of The London Dungeon

As one guest describes it, “it was so tacky, but so much fun!” Don’t expect to be seriously scared during this attraction. The London Dungeon is a fun and interactive way to see history come alive while having a few laughs along the way. Some were disappointed with the long lines and overcrowding, however that largely speaks volumes about the popularity of this attraction. The staff has received several compliments for their enthusiasm and quality of acting.  This attraction averages just over 4 out of 5 stars on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews).

 

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