London as a city dates back across the centuries and many buildings that are now hotels were residential housing long before they were open for public use. Some spirits linger in hotels as they are built on the site of their former homes. However some people have passed on whilst staying in hotel rooms, leaving a spiritual imprint of themselves within the building and, more often than not, the room they died in itself. One thing seems to be common among the ghosts that haunt London hotels; they all seem to prefer to haunt the classier joints! Posh ghosts indeed!
The Murderous Doctor at The Langham
Where: The third floor and more specifically Room 333 at the 5* Langham Hotel, Portland Place, W1B
Who: There have been several reported ghost sightings at the Langham which include a German Price who jumped to his death out of a Fourth Floor Window prior to the First World War, the ghost of Emperor Napoleon III and the ghost of a butler who is often seen wandering the corridors of the third floor. However the most largely reported ghost seems to reside in room 333 of the Langham and is said to be a Victorian Doctor who murdered his wife and then killed himself whilst the pair were honeymooning at the hotel.
When: The lost soul of the Victorian doctor has been several occasions but was most notably spotted in October of 1973 by BBC journalist, James Alexander Gordon who woke up to see the ghost staring at him. On asking the ghoul who he was and what he wanted, he started to approach Alexander Gordon with vacant eyes and outstretched arms. The Journalist then fled the room! Since then, there have been many reports of a ghostly presence in room 333, with some even saying that they woke up to a “someone” shaking the bed!
Why: The Langham is a very old building dating back to 1865. Many rich and influential historical figures frequented the hotel and even died there. In the case of the ghostly Victorian, he murdered his wife in room 333 as well as taking his own in the same room. Their bloody exit from the world of the living has obviously left a spiritual imprint on the room.
Spooky Rating: The gruesome dead doctor is said to only appear around the month of October, so at any other month of the year the Langham would get a 7/10 for the general spooky goings on in the building. However when the murderous doctor is residence I would say 10/10 – run far far away! He seems to be one seriously ticked off medic!
Two Children and an Old Man at the Georgian House Hotel
Where: Georgian House Hotel, a 4* hotel on St George’s Drive, SW1V. Usually the hauntings take place on the top floors of the hotel, but ghostly goings on have been reported in many areas of the building.
Who: The most commonly spotted spirits are that of a curious old man and two young children.
When: in 1991 a staff member stayed the night in one of the rooms and woke up to find an old man sitting watching her at the foot of the bed. Then man then reportedly got up and left with no explanation. In the morning the staff member was angry at the hotel manager as she thought he had given out a spare key to the room. The manager informed her that there is no spare key, she had the only copy.
On various other occasions guests have complained of noisy children in the floors above them who were apparently running down the corridors, giggling and banging doors. On reporting the issue to reception staff, it is often the case that there are no children staying in the hotel at all. The current hotel manager, Serena, claims to have seen the children and she assured them that they were welcome to play on the upper floors.
Why: before the Georgian House Hotel, the building is said to have been apartments, although there is no record of who lived in them. It is likely that the ghosts haunting the hotel are former residents of the building.
Spooky Rating: 5/10 – they might make you jump! There is no doubt that ghostly spirits exist in the Georgian House Hotel, and seeing or hearing them may well make you jump! However there is no evidence that the ghosts are anything other than friendly or simply curious.
Lillie Langtry at The Cadogan Hotel
Where: The Cadogan Hotel – a 5* hotel in Knightsbridge, SW1X
Who: Actress Lillie Langtry. Lillie used to live in a building that was annexed as part of the hotel. When the building became open to residents, Lillie still kept her original bedroom where she was said to have seduced the future King Edward VII.
When: Lillie usually appears around Christmas time in the restaurant area of the hotel. It is said that Lillie prefers to show herself during quieter moments at the hotel and tends to shy away from crowds.
Why: Whilst Lillie died in Monaco, it is not unusual for spirits to return to haunt their former homes, even if they moved some years before their death. This may well be the case with Lillie, perhaps the Cadogan was where her spirit feels the most comfortable. Or perhaps she has unfinished business at the hotel…
Spooky rating: 3/10 – A slight chill. As ghosts go, Lillie seems to be quite shy and only ever appears in quiet areas and at specific times of the year. Also there has never been any evidence to suggest that Lillie wishes to interact with the living.