Haunting London Ghost Stories Revealed

Due to its violent history, London is now the epicentre for countless ghost encounters. From the shadowy corners of old pubs to the grand theatres and beyond, our spooky ghost stories will leave you looking over your shoulder the next time you’re in London.

So, let’s honour the capital of England as a hotbed for paranormal activity by exploring the top haunted London stories ever reported!

Top 8 Haunted London Ghost Stories

1. The residents of Theatre Royal Drury Lane

One of London’s oldest theatres, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is said to be home to many ghosts. In fact, some people say it’s the most haunted building in the world.

According to the stories, the most famous ghost is the man in grey. He is often seen by actors and audience members in the fourth row of the Upper Circle between the hours of ten and six. He is said to wear an 18th-century hat, wig, and cloak.

Other honourable ghost mentions at this location:

  • The severed head of the clown, Joseph Grimaldi.
  • The troubled actor Charles Macklin – believed to have murdered a colleague over a wig.
  • The “Helping Hand” ghost.

2. The mysterious Lady Jane Grey at the Tower of London

Have you ever heard of the “Nine Day Queen,” with the shortest reign in British history?

Jane Grey inherited the crown from her cousin Edward VI on 9 July 1553. Yet, just nine days later, she was dethroned and imprisoned by her cousin, the Catholic Mary Tudor. Not even a year later, on 12 February 1554, she was executed because she represented a threat to Mary I’s throne. She was only 17.

It’s believed that Lady Jane’s ghost is among the many ghosts haunting the Tower of London as many different sightings have been reported over the years, usually around the anniversary of her execution. Her presence has been described as a sad and sorrowful reminder of her tragic destiny and untimely demise.

3. Anne Boleyn’s eternal presence at the Tower of London

Another young woman who has an everlasting presence at the White Tower is Anne Boleyn.

Her ghost is a common topic of conversation for haunted London stories enthusiasts, as she has been seen in several different locations. The tower is her place of death, which is why it’s believed she haunts it.

One famous sighting was in 1864. During his night duty, a guard watching the courtyard where Anne Boleyn was beheaded noticed a woman’s figure floating towards him. Believing her to be real, he attempted to stab her with his bayonet. When the blade passed through her, he fainted from shock.

Accused of neglecting his duties, he was brought to a court martial. However, the case was dismissed when another person, General Dundas, testified to having also seen Anne’s ghost that same night.

4. Greenwich’s Queen’s House and its ghostly apparition

Like the Tower of London, the Queen’s House in Greenwich is another of London’s most haunted places. Some of the more spooky stories surrounding the property involve sightings of a woman gliding down the stairs.

Most people believe this ghost to be Queen Henrietta Maria, but some argue it could be a maid stuck in the house, forever repeating her daily chores. Visitors report feeling sudden chills and seeing fleeting glimpses of a royal figure in the corners of their eyes.

5. The screaming spectre at London’s Underground Stations

According to the local lore, the London Underground Tube Station is home to many spirits, such as the infamous “screaming spectre.”

The Bank station, in particular, is associated with a spooky story about the ghost of Sarah Whitehead. She is known as the “Black Nun,” haunting the underground station in search of her brother who worked at the Bank of England and died in disgrace. Commuters often report hearing whispers and seeing her mournful figure.

6. The haunting tales from the Ten Bells Pub

The Ten Bells pub is infamously connected to the gruesome tales of Jack the Ripper. Beyond its historical significance, the pub is rumoured to be haunted by Jack’s victims. Visitors and staff members often report mysterious figures and inexplicable sounds that linger long after closing hours.

7. Liverpool Street’s forgotten plague pits

Beneath the busy Liverpool Street Station lie mass graves for victims of the bubonic plague, also known as the black death.

These pits are rumoured to be the cause of unexplained phenomena in the area, as many workers and travellers report hearing creepy sounds. Because so many people died in such a short time during the black death, the authorities resorted to creating mass graves across the city—discovered much later.

8. The creepy tales from Bethnal Green’s Haunted Past

Like the Bank Station, the Bethnal Green Tube Station is another famously haunted place that was used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War. Most haunted London stories at this station originate from the tragic March 3, 1943 event.

On that night, as air raid sirens sounded, a massive crowd of people rushed into the shelter. Unfortunately, panic ensued after someone tripped on the stairs, leading to a horrific crash that resulted in the deaths of 173 people, many of whom were women and children.

The ghosts of those who died in the Bethnal Green underground station are said to haunt the location to this day.

The Haunted Pubs of London

London’s haunted pubs are as much a part of its ghost stories as any old castle or dark alley. In fact, when it comes to haunted London, they often fight for the creepiest tale of the city. Each pub has its own story, usually rooted deep in the Victorian era or even earlier.

So, if you want to experience this spooky side of London, visit some of its haunted pubs. We recommend:

  • The Ten Bells, Spitalfields
  • The Grenadier, Belgravia
  • Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
  • Viaduct Tavern, St Paul’s
  • The World’s End, Camden

The Ghost Club: Pioneers of Paranormal Investigations

Founded in 1862, the club dedicated to London’s ghosts is the world’s oldest paranormal organization. It was initially started by Cambridge academics and included many notable members like Charles Dickens.

The club’s members have been instrumental in investigating many of London’s most haunted places, such as the Adelphi Theatre and Newgate Prison. They have documented encounters with apparitions such as the famed “White Lady” and the less-known but equally chilling “Hat Maker” of the Blackwall Tunnel.

FAQs

Are London’s ghost stories based on real events?

While many ghost stories are born from legends and folklore, some have foundations in real events. All the ghost stories we decided to include in this article are based on real-life incidents that hold a lot of significance to the city and its people.

How can one visit these haunted places?

To visit some of the haunted places in London, you can book a guided ghost tour, which will take you through historic sites. The only thing you need to remember is to be prepared: learn how to do a foolproof paranormal investigation and pack your ghost-hunting equipment.

What is the oldest haunted pub in London?

London’s oldest haunted pub is believed to be The Spaniards Inn, built in 1585. Its most famous ghost is probably that of Dick Turpin.

Final Thoughts

Are you a believer or someone who enjoys demystifying famous ghost stories around the world? Let’s see if you can stay sceptic in London. As one facility member at Number 10 recalls:

“I’m the kind of person who is sceptical of this kind of thing without some kind of evidence. Except that it happened to me! I can’t explain it…[]…I’ve met the Lady in White!”

If you’re a fan of creepy stories like the floating head of a modern clown in the city’s theatre or have a spot for the heartwrenching historical events that have left a mark on the land where they’ve taken place, London is a very good place to explore your interest. The city’s rich history and cultural heritage have made it a rich patchwork of the supernatural.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!