Given the age of the city, it's not surprising that London is one of the most haunted locations in the world.
If you're into spooky stories, dark history, or ghost hunting then London has a plethora of options for you to read about and visit!
- Underground Stations
- Palaces and Castles
- Haunted Districts
- Execution Sites
- The Most Haunted House in London
- The Dark Side of London Ghost Tour
Haunted London Underground Stations
The London Underground transports millions of visitors every year, and the trains travel enough miles to circumnavigate the globe over and over…and over again!
Legend has it that the London Underground network plays host to a number of ghosts – spirits doomed to haunt the tube lines for all eternity.
Here are just some of the station aid to be the most haunted. For a full list, check out our blog post HERE.
Covent Garden Station
Actor William Terriss trod the boards of Covent Garden’s numerous theatres and was murdered at the nearby Adelphi Theatre.
His ghost has routinely been spotted at the station and identified by those who were later shown pictures of the actor after reporting their encounter with a ghostly figure.
At the height of the Blitz, a tragedy took place at Bank Station when, on the 11th of January 1941, a bomb fell from German aircraft into the station before exploding, killing 50 and injuring over 50 more.
It is said that the cries and moans of those killed can still be heard by those using the station at quiet times.
The second haunting is said to be the ghost of a woman named Sarah Whitehead.
In the 19th century, Sarah’s brother – a worker at the Bank of England – was arrested for fraud and forgery, and once found guilty, executed.
The death of her brother sent Sarah mad and for decades she would come to the Bank of England dressed entirely in black, asking after her brother.
Although Sarah died over a century ago, a wandering woman dressed in black has been reported weeping through the station by commuters and workers alike.
It is said that Aldgate Station was built on top of a plague pit which was in use during the devastating plague of 1665.
Strange sounds and mysterious moving objects have often been reported here.
The most engaging example of the haunting took place when an electrician at the station was electrocuted – but did not die, despite the fatal voltage passing through his body.
Colleagues who had been watching claimed that shortly before his electrocution, the ghostly transparent image of a woman was seen stroking his hair…
King's Cross Station
In 1987, Kings Cross Station was the site of a devastating fire that killed 31 people.
But it was decades later in the 1990s when the ghost of a crying young woman was reported wandering the tunnels of the station.
The figure is heard screaming and crying as she runs past surprised commuters – even passing through them – before she disappears.
Haunted London Parks
Many people claim to have had ghostly encounters in London's parks, and the Royal Parks (the office that looks after the parks) themselves even acknowledge the hauntings!
Here are some of the spookiest...
St. James's Park
There have been claims of ghosts in St. James's Park dating back to the early 1800s.
The most commonly seen figure is that of a ghostly woman, who is sometimes reported as headless.
Coldstream guards from the nearby Wellington Barracks wrote sworn statements to London newspapers in 1804 that they had witnessed the figure.
In the 20th century, a man driving his car past the park crashed into a lamppost.
He claimed he had swerved to avoid hitting a woman who had appeared in front of him before vanishing.
The recorded statements of the Coldstream Guards were used as evidence in the driver's defense at his public trial!
Green Park is said to be home to one of the more unusual spirits in London: a figure with the body of a woman but the head of a pig who walks between the trees at night.
Reportedly, ghostly music can be heard in the park on particularly quiet nights, well after dark...
In 1877 a group of startled locals was shocked to see a phantom carriage, pulled by four horses, doing laps in the park before disappearing.
The story got much traction that visitors began travelling to the park at night hoping to see the spirit.
Some claimed the ghostly figure of King George IV could be seen inside the carriage!
The Hampstead area was a very popular hangout for highwaymen who had no problem murdering as well as robbing the wealthy as they travelled in their carriages in and out of London.
This association with bloody deeds makes Hampstead one of London's most haunted neighbourhoods and the Heath is no exception. The ghost of a woman dressed in period clothing is often seen - both at night and during the day.
The Heath is also said to be home to galloping ghostly horses who will charge at people before vanishing into thin air.
Haunted London Palaces and Castles
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court is said to be home to a number of spirits, but two of the most well known are former Queens of England: Jane Seymour and Katherine Howard.
Jane Seymour gave birth to her son Edward at Hampton Court Palace in October of 1537, but tragically, she would die just a few days later.
Her silent spirit is said to be seen wandering the halls, looking for her baby boy.
Katherine Howard was arrested at Hampton Court Palace before being taken to the Tower of London to face trial and execution.
Her husband, King Henry VIII was at Hampton Court, and, at the time of her arrest, he was in his private chapel.
Katherine was able to break free from her captors and run screaming toward her husband - sure she could convince him to let her live.
Her guards caught up with her before she could reach him, but her screaming spectre is still said to run toward the chapel, looking for absolution that will never come.
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace was the site of a royal scandal in 1810 when the Duke of Cumberland (son of King George III) awoke to find himself being struck in the head.
An alarm was raised and one of his valets rushed to the scene.
His other valet, Joseph Sellis, was MIA and eventually found in his chambers with the door locked - and his head nearly severed from his body.
Covered in blood, it appeared the man had committed suicide.
An inquest was held as many people believed Cumberland had murdered the man, then staged an attack and apparent suicide.
Many believed Sellis could not have cut his own throat so deeply, and rumours abounded that the Duke had been having an affair with his valet's wife.
Although cleared of charges, the stain on Cumberland's reputation never cleared and the sad figure of his valet, covered in shimmering silver blood, is still seen floating through the halls of the Palace.
The Tower of London
At nearly 1,000 years old, the Tower of London has played host to the final moments of countless people and is said to be home to a number of spirits.
The most well-known of all is that of Queen Anne Boleyn.
Executed here by beheading in 1536, Anne is seen walking the Green near her site of execution, cradling her severed head in her hands.
Haunted London Pubs
The Viaduct Tavern
One of London's surviving gin palaces, the Viaduct Tavern is a popular locale for ghost hunters owing to the prison cells still located in the basement underneath the pub.
Cellar doors are said to slam shut, a rolled-up carpet was seen floating through the bar room, and the lights near the prison cells turn on and off of their own volition.
The Ten Bells
The Ten Bells is a notorious London pub as it is said to be the local boozer of one of the city's most notorious figures: Jack the Ripper.
Not only is Jack said to have been a patron of the pub, one of his victims, Annie Chapman, is said to haunt the bar.
The staff has claimed to see her figure as well as watching tables slide on their own and chairs fly across the seating area.
To learn more about this pub, come on our Jack the Ripper Tour!
The Rising Sun
Next to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, the Rising Sun was a popular drinking spot for grave robbers who were known to drug and kill pub patrons in order to provide enough bodies to pay their bills.
The pub is said to be haunted by some of those unfortunate souls who knock things off the bar and make noise climbing up and down the stairs.
A hidden London gem, the Grenadier has had a resident ghost for decades now.
Said to be the spirit of a young soldier who was bludgeoned to death by his comrades after failing to pay his gambling debts, the spirit is heard walking up and down the stairs, as well as sighing in the cellar.
Guests feel cold spots and ghostly chills throughout the bar.
If you visit, you will notice a lot of money taped to the ceiling - an effort by visitors to pay off the soldier's gambling debts in an effort to bring rest to his troubled spirit.
The Spaniards Inn
Located in Hampstead (making a number of appearances in this post!), the Spaniards Inn has been greeting visitors for over 500 years.
The pub is said to be named after two Spanish brothers who moved to the area and fought a duel over the same woman.
The ghost of the brother who lost said duel is said to roam the rooms of the Inn.
The pub is also said to be home to the ghost of notorious highway robber Dick Turpin, who is seen primarily on the first floor.
The ground floor is home to the spirit of Black Dick, a moneylender who was run over by a carriage just outside the pub.
He is said to often tug on the sleeves of patrons so hold onto your pints!
Haunted London Districts
London is home to 33 separate districts (32 boroughs and the City of London - sound Masonic?), with a history dating back centuries.
Some of these areas see more ghostly activity than others, however. Find out which London locations are the most haunted below...
The City of London
Home not only to haunted locations mentioned on our list already - The Tower of London, Smithfield Market, and Bank/Monument Station - the City of London boasts many other spirits.
The centre of Roman London, ghostly soldiers are seen marching near the Guildhall, and cloaked figures can be spotted in ruined churchyards like St. Dunstan-in-the-East.
A black dog has been reported for decades, plodding along the route of the former walls of Newgate Prison, before disappearing into the air.
Numerous spirits are said to haunt the aisles of St. Bartholomew-the-Great and it's reported that parts of the city have been built on top of medieval plague pits and the souls of the departed will not rest as London continues to grow on top of them.
The actor William Terriss, mentioned above, is seen not only at Covent Garden station but also near the Adelphi Theatre, where he was murdered, on Maiden Lane.
The Royal Opera House is said to be haunted, with staff claiming items are thrown at them while they are working.
And Seven Dials has been the location for countless spectre-sightings going back centuries.
There had long been rumours of treasure buried under the crossroads and any drunken, foolish men were run over by carriages here while digging for the treasure at night.
Their ghosts are still said to be here, hoping to one day find their fortunes.
The Theatre Royal also has numerous resident ghosts, said to be the spirits of those who perished during Victorian fires or World War II bombings.
Hampstead Heath was mentioned above, and the rest of the neighbourhood is no less haunted.
Considering the cemetery here was the location of Dracula, it may not surprise you to hear that shadowy figures have been seen walking among the tombstones.
Ghost children are said to peer out of windows on the cobbled streets, the spirits of highwaymen appear from the darkness on the edges of the Heath, and floating lanterns with no holder travel down the quiet alleyways in the dead of the night.
London Execution Sites
If trauma helps create ghosts and hauntings, then these London locations should be full of restless spirits.
For a comprehensive list of sites check out our blog post HERE.
Although the Tower of London was a notorious prison and execution site, in truth, very few people were actually executed within the walls of the fortress.
For most, their final moments would play out just around the corner on top of Tower Hill - a nice, public space where people could come to watch the executions.
Tower Hill saw thousands of deaths by beheading, hanging, and burning at the stake.
Today a plaque commemorates the spot where so many lost their lives, and some say that their spirits still linger behind.
Tyburn was London's busiest execution site and was famous for what was known as the Tybyrn Tree.
This three-sided gallows was capable of hanging 24 people at a single time.
Victims were usually processed through the streets of the city in an open cart before facing their death on the edge of town in what is now Marble Arch.
Medieval London’s primary execution site, Smithfield primarily saw the execution of heretics - particularly during the reign of Queen Mary I.
William Wallace was also executed here for treason and his ghost is said to be seen on the anniversary of his death. Find out more in our blog post HERE.
Haunted London Cemeteries
What's a list of haunted locations without a cemetery?
Highgate Cemetery is home to one of London's most famous spooks: The Highgate Vampire! A tall dark figure, he glides through the cemetery at night.
Reportedly, his presence is marked with a rapid drop in temperature and can occasionally cause watches and clocks to stop!
He has bright red eyes and it's advised that you don't may eye contact when he tries to look at you.
Learn more about Highgate Cemetery in our post.
City of London Cemetery
The City of London cemetery has played host to dozens of paranormal sightings throughout the years.
Since the mid-70s there have been continued reports of a bright orange light coming out from one of the tombstones.
Cemetery workers have tried to find the source of the light to explain these sightings but have not been able to pinpoint where it comes from.
Hyde Park Pet Cemetery
One of the most charming cemeteries in London, the Hyde Park Pet Cemetery has its own share of reported hauntings.
It's located in Kensington Gardens, right at the start of our self-guided walk.
The cemetery dates back to the 19th century and since then there have been repeated sightings of animals prowling the headstones, apparently still looking for their owners.
This one is sadder than it is scary!
The Most Haunted House in London
Berkeley Square is located in the affluent area of London known as Mayfair and is even where Queen Elizabeth II was born!
But just across the little park in the centre of the square sits Number 50: said to be the most haunted house in all of London.
The house was built in the 1740s and rumours of hauntings began in the late 19th century.
A number of spirits are said to haunt the building and numerous strange events have happened inside...
The attic is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young woman who killed herself by jumping out of the top-floor window.
She appears sometimes as herself but other times as a brown mist and she reportedly is capable of literally scaring people to death.
From 1859 until the 1870s a man named Thomas Myers lived at the house and became a recluse. He reportedly locked himself inside and went mad until he died in 1874.
During his time there he let the house run to ruin, and after his death stories of hauntings inside began to rapidly spread.
Lord Lyttleton is known to have spent a night at the house on a dare shortly after Thomas Myers died inside.
He brought his shotgun and actually used it during the night, shooting at an apparition that was floating toward him.
In the morning neither a bullet nor a reasonable explanation for the apparition could be found.
It's alleged that many people have mysteriously died inside the house.
In 1879 a magazine article claimed a maid working in the attic room became trapped and went mad, dying in an asylum the following day.
A nobleman was said to have been literally paralysed with fear after spending. night in the attic, and he never regained the power of speech to be able to tell what he had witnessed.
And a woman died after she tripped while running out of the house after seeing a ghost in 1887.
No ghostly happenings have been reported since the 1930s, however, and the current occupants say they have never experienced anything supernatural. For now, anyway...