London has been a thriving city for thousands of years, with the many centuries seeing the development of culturally and historically significant buildings and places that have eventually become celebrated landmarks. Of course over the years people have lived and died in these notable places, with some locations becoming known for the many deaths that occurred inside them. Whatever their reputation, one thing is for sure; there are a whole host of spooky places in London that tourists flock to every day.
Where: The Tower of London, a medieval castle that was used as a prison for centuries. EC3N
Who: As the building was used as a prison and often an execution location, it comes as no surprise that the landmark is haunted by a plethora of ghosts! Most famously, Anne Boleyn, who is buried at the towers chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, is said to haunt the white tower. Anne is said to walk around carrying her disembodied head under one arm. The tower is also said to be haunted by Prince Edward and Richard, two young royals who were murdered in the tower on the orders of Richard III. The Princes are often seen strolling hand in hand through the tower. Other sightings include Lady Jane Grey, Henry VII, Anne Askew, Guy Fawkes and the occasional spirit of an attacking bear of two!
When: Anne Boleyn is the most regularly spotted of the ghosts and is said to often spook night guards. The two young princes are also often heard running in the tower. Lady Jane Grey seems to only turn up on the anniversary of her death.
Why: There have been over 2000 prisoners held in the tower. Many prisoners were tortured to death in the white tower. Also, the tower was used as a menagerie for the exotic animals that many monarchs like to keep. This many indeed explain the many strange bear sightings.
Spooky Rating: 10/10 run far, far away! There have been thousands of violent acts at the Tower, with gruesome methods of torture and an overly used guillotine for beheading. Gallons upon gallons of blood has been spilled in the Tower of London, so much so that it will probably never wash clean. In the Tower, there will be many spirits seriously ticked off about their murder, not to mention grizzly bears that were locked up against there wills.
Where: The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, EC2R. The Black Nun is also said to pop below the ground to Bank underground station.
Who: Sarah Whitehead, the sister of a banker who was charged and executed for forgery. Sarah appears dressed in black and wearing a veil.
When: Sarah has been seen on countless occasions over the decades. On most occasions she is seen wandering around Threadneedle street outside the The Bank of England, often stopping to ask passersby if they have seen her brother. On other occasions Sarah has been seen in Bank underground station and at times walking in an enclosed garden (in which she was buried.)
Why: Sarah was kept away whilst her brother was executed, so she kept returning to the bank until one day a brash clerk told her that her brother was dead. This sent Sarah into emotional turmoil and, refusing to accept the news, she returned to the bank every day for the rest of her life to look for her sibling. Sarah was given considerable sums of money by the bank and was buried behind the bank in a private courtyard,
Spooky Rating: 4/10 – Just a lonely lost soul. Poor Sarah is nothing to be afraid of and has never shown any malice to those who have encountered her.
Where: Westminster Abbey, Westminster, SW1P
Who: There are supposedly two ghosts that haunt the Abbey, the ghost of monk Father Benedictus as well as an infantry soldier from the First World War.
When: The first report of Father Benedictus’ ghost appearing at the Abbey was around 1900. In 1932 two tourists claimed to have held a conversation with the monk, who they said was very polite. Benedictus tends to appear at around 5-6pm at night (perhaps a time of evening prayer?) The soldier ghost is less predictable with his timings and far less social than Father Benedictus. The unnamed soldier appears next to The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and bows his head in respect. a World War One memorial for the remains of an ‘Unknown British Soldier’ found in a makeshift grave in France.
Why: A Church in some way or another has existed on the site for around 1000 years, so it is not surprising that the place has some ghosts! Father Benedictus is said to be the spirit of a monk who was murdered by thieves during the reign of Henry VIII. His violent and untimely exit is possibly the reason why his spirit is trapped within the Abbey. The soldier, however, is slightly more mysterious. The remains of the Unknown Warrior
Spooky Rating: 4/10 – not quite a reign of terror. Neither of the lost souls haunting Westminster Abbey seem to be malicious. The unknown solider is respectful in his mourning and Father Benedictus seems frankly quite chatty!