Pubs have existed, in some form or another, since the Roman times. Be it through drunken pub brawls or louts collapsing after one too many, plenty of people have met their maker in a London pub. Jack the Ripper himself was known to linger in pubs waiting for his drunken victims to stagger out. Many of Jack’s victims were found mutilated outside pub doorsteps.
Some pubs are notoriously haunted, sometimes by people who passed at the premises or by people who felt akin to the building. Samuel Pepys once famously described pubs as the “heart of England,” so it is no surprise that some spirits have chosen their living haunts as a place to haunt!
Where: The Ten Bells, Shoreditch, E1
Who: Supposedly the ghost of Annie Chapman, a victim of Jack the Rippers. Annie’s poltergeist is rumoured to haunt the pub following reports of gusts of wind and objects moving of their own accord. Annie is also said to haunt Hanbury Street, the street next to the Ten Bells.
When: There have been countless reports of Paranormal activity in the pub, by both landlords, pub workers and members of the public.
Why: Jack the Ripper supposedly brutally murdered Annie Chapman after she spent the night drinking in the The Ten Bells. It is said that Jack appeared at the pub and beckoned Annie outside. Her body was found mutilated on the nearby Hanbury Street.
Spooky Rating: 3/10 A slight chill. Whilst Annie was brutally murdered, there does not seem to be any malice in her hauntings. Also, Annie has not been seen in corporeal form which is far more spooky than an unseen poltergeist moving a pint glass. Try harder Annie!
The Phantom Flusher at The Bow Bells
Where: The Bow Bells, Bow Road, E3 (specifically the female toilets!)
Who: A mystery toilet flushing spirit! A toilet loitering phantom is said to flush the chains in the ladies loos whilst they are sitting on the toilet seat.
When: The ghost has been felt by many over the years. In 1974 an unsuccessful séance was held to rid the pub of the phantom. As the spirit was asked to make itself known, the toilet door swung open with such force that it smashed a pane of glass in the door. Since the 70’s and up until the present day, the phantom can still be “felt” as it continues to flush the loo on unexpecting ladies bottoms.
Why: Nobody at The Bow Bells is quite sure who exactly the phantom flusher is or why they want to disturb unsuspecting bums.
Spooky Rating: 5/10 – It will make you jump! The Phantom Flusher has never appeared in corporeal form and is seemingly just a whimsical prankster. However, the unexpected flush of a loo whilst your bottom is on the seat is probably enough to make anyone jump. Also the slamming of the toilet door whilst the spirit was being contacted by a medium may well suggest that the ghost is stubborn and being asked to leave made it angry. Possibly one to watch out for.
Where: Rising Sun, Cloth Fair, EC1
Who: A creepy presence that watches and touches people.
When: In the late 1980’s two barmaids who also lived at the pub reported a presence that would sit at the end of their beds as they slept and slowly remove the bed sheets. Also, in the 90’s, the landlady of the pub felt an ice-cold hand run down her back as she was in the shower. She turned around to see who had joined her but found no one there.
Why: The pub is near to St Batholomew’s Hospital and it is said that in the early 19th Century the pub was frequented by a gang body snatchers.
Spooky Rating: 9/10 – I would say hide under your covers…but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for the snatchers, who will whip them off you. I wouldn’t want to mess with this poltergeist or poltergeists.