Ghost Hunting In London: A Ghost–Hunter’s Guide

Ghost-hunting London

By now, you probably don’t need any introduction to ghost hunting. London is a popular destination for seasoned paranormal enthusiasts because of all the haunted happenings that are reported around the city.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about ghost hunts in the UK’s most haunted city, including the most popular and spooky haunted locations and how to prepare for a ghost hunt in London.

The Haunted History of London

London is known for many things – iconic red double-decker buses, the royal family, and Trafalgar Square. But, it is also popular amongst ghost hunters for all the paranormal activity reported in the city.

But, why is London filled to the brim with ghosts?

London has a rich, turbulent and often tragic history. The city has been around for almost two millennia (1,977 years to be exact) and it has seen hundreds of battles, deaths, and executions.

Some of the most noteworthy battles and deaths that have resulted in lingering spirits are:

  • Executions and deaths at the Tower of London.
  • The Great Fire of London that nearly destroyed the entire city.
  • The bubonic plague, including the Great Plague of 1665. Victims were dropped in mass graves called “plague pits”.
  • The Blitz during WWII when London was heavily bombed.
  • Jack the Ripper murders, particularly in East London.

There are plenty of historic buildings dotted around the city, and many of these are reported to come alive (with the undead) at night. It is thanks to the preservation of the city’s architecture and history that London is home to so many paranormal events.

Where Can I Go Ghost Hunting in London?

London is home to dozens of haunted places. If you have time, you can set out on a ghost tour to explore most of them. But, if you are in the city for a short time only, here are some of the top haunted locations in London that are worth a visit.

Liverpool Street Station

It is rumoured that Liverpool Street Station was constructed on an ancient burial ground of plague and murder victims. Whether that’s true or not is still up to debate, but what is true is the amount of ghostly sightings reported at this tube station.

One spirit is rumoured to walk around the station platform, shrieking into the darkness. This female spirit was said to have been a patient at the old Bethlehem Royal Hospital, and after her death, she was buried without her prized possession – a small coin. Now she haunts the tunnels, crying out and looking for the person who stole her coin.

The Tower of London

The Tower of London has been around for 900 years. During that time, it has been home to torture, murder… and not too unexpectedly… plenty of ghosts.

As explained by Authentic Vacations: “Like other places with a past filled with skulduggery and fear, the Tower is said to be haunted. Most of the ghosts are unfortunate souls who met an untimely – and many times unjust – death.

Here are some of the most frequently seen ghosts in this haunted building:

  • Arbella Stuart: While alive, Arbella had the potential to succeed Queen Elizabeth I. After marrying William Seymour, she was considered a threat to the crown and placed under house arrest while William was sent to the tower. Arbella planned to get her husband released, but as she was fleeing to France, she was recognised and sent to the Tower where she died in 1615.
  • Anne Boleyn: The wife of King Henry VIII was arrested and executed at the Tower in 1536. She is one of the most persistent ghosts, haunting the site of her execution. People report seeing her headless body walk through the halls.
  • The white lady: She has no name, but this female spectre haunts the White Tower. She has been seen standing at a window, waving to children. If you don’t see her, you’ll smell her sweet perfume in St. John’s Chapel.
  • Guy Fawkes: After his plot to assassinate James I was discovered in 1605, Guy Fawkes was sent to the Tower and tortured mercilessly. You can still hear his painful screams in the White Tower dungeons.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh: Sir Walter was imprisoned three times. He spent a total of 13 years in the Bloody Tower and was executed by beheading in 1603 outside of Westminster. After his death, Sir Walter returned to the site of his imprisonment.

Clink Prison

Clink Prison was opened back in 1144. This prison housed some of the worst prisoners of the time, but the prison itself was also a brutal place, known for torture and murder. The guards had no sympathy (or, some would argue, humanity), inflicting pain on the inmates.

If you visit Clink Prison for a ghost hunt, you’ll hear the disembodied screams of prisoners no longer there, as well as crying and doors slamming.

Langham Hotel

The Langham Hotel may be a 5-star luxury hotel, but it is also one of the most haunted locations in London.

This hotel started welcoming guests in 1865, and today it is considered London’s most haunted hotel.

Here are some of the paranormal events that ghost hunters can expect:

  • Room 333: You probably don’t want to reserve this room, as it’s the most haunted one in the whole hotel. It is said that a doctor brutally murdered his wife here before committing suicide, and continues to haunt the room.
  • Balls of light: A BBC journalist stayed in the Langham in 1974, and reported seeing a ball of light that slowly transformed into the upper body of a man.
  • Napoleon III: Many celebrities stayed at this luxury hotel, including Napoleon III during his exile. Apparently, he loved it so much that he continues to haunt the hotel – specifically the basement.

Highgate Cemetery

It should come as no surprise that cemeteries are some of the most haunted places in the world. Highgate Cemetery is the burial place of many famous people (including Karl Marx!) and today it is haunted by a myriad of spirits.

There are rumours of the Highgate vampire, unseen creatures knocking down visitors, and spirits with glowing red eyes.

Things to Know About Ghost Hunting in London

  • Always make sure you have permission to conduct a ghost hunt, especially if it is after hours or at a private location.
  • Prioritise your own safety – wear comfortable clothing, pack a torch, and always make sure someone knows where you are.
  • Be respectful of haunted locations, especially if it is a historic site.
  • It is well worth joining an organised ghost hunt event or tour, such as a ghost walk or overnight ghost hunt.
  • Remember to document all your experiences! Even if you don’t have any fancy ghost-hunting equipment, you can still keep a notepad and pen handy and write down what you see, hear, smell and feel.
  • Before going on a ghost hunt, make sure to research the history and lore surrounding the location.
  • This is an odd tip – but London weather can be unpredictable. If your ghost hunt is outside, consider going another day if the weather turns bad, or plan accordingly for changes in the weather.

FAQs

Are there popular UK ghost-hunting locations besides London?

Yes! In the South West of England, you’ll find terrifying haunted locations, like the Ram Inn in Gloucestershire and the Woodchester Mansion in Cotswolds. The West Midlands is also a region known for paranormal activity. Here you can find plenty of haunted happenings at places like Dudley Castle, the Station Hotel and Drakelow Tunnels.

Can ghost hunting in London reveal lesser-known city history?

Definitely! Parts of the city, like the Tower of London and Highgate Cemetery, have a well-documented history. When you take a ghost walk in the city or go ghost hunting at less popular locations, you will uncover intriguing aspects of the city’s history that are not always covered by the mainstream narrative.

Wrapping Up

There are plenty of ghost hunts in London because of the city’s turbulent and lengthy history. You can opt for organised events, or do your own research and uncover some haunted places by yourself.

Remember to be brave and always expect the unexpected – some ghosts are harmless, but you never know when you might wake a vindictive spirit from its eternal slumber!

Sources

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!