The 5 scariest places in Central London
Carve the pumpkin, dress up the house for Halloween, embrace your inner child and wrap yourself in scary outfits (for inspiration, give a shout to Heidi Klum, the celebrity that means serious business when it comes to her spine-chilling fancy dress costumes).
London has the reputation of being the most hunted capital in the world for scariest palces. Since the Romans founded the first settlement, the city had passed through centuries of demolitions, tragic events (such as the brutal political’s murders of the Tower of London) and frighting moments for its citizens (think about the tragic victims of the world’s most infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper).
The various stories that happened into the maze of London streets have created an intricated net of legends and through the years thousands of residents have witnessed spooky apparitions and phantoms floating in London streets.
Basically, in London, you are always 5 minutes away from a Costa or a ghost.
We will guide you today thought the 5 top scariest properties in London.
1 – THE GIRL OF KINGS CROSS STATION
London Tube is famous for its ghosts stories and almost every station and line is hunted by phantom trains or the spirits of those who perished there.
One of the spookiest stories is set in Kings Cross Station. Since 1988 the ghost of a young woman with long brown hair and modern clothing is spotted walking through the corridors of the station.
The lady is said to scream loudly with arms outstretched and when commuters try to approach to comfort her, she disappears into thin air. More creepily, people have heard her sobs when the platforms are empty, and others have smelled smoke curling out from underneath the escalators.
She is believed to be one of the victims of the infamous Kings Cross fire of 1987, the day when someone carelessly dropped a match on an escalator lighting a fire that killed 31 people. Today, the terrible memories of the fire still linger on in the form of the crying girl.
2 – THE GHOST OF THE HOTEL
Stephen King wrote:
“Hotel rooms are just naturally creepy places. … I mean, how many people have slept in that bed before you? How many of them were sick? So how many were losing their minds? Therefore, how many were perhaps thinking about reading a few final verses from the Bible in the drawer of the nightstand beside them and then hanging themselves in the closet beside the TV?”
He was right.
Hotels are impregnated with the stories of thousands of visitors every year and hold their secrets. Not surprisingly, hotels are also some of the most hunted places. For your spooky and lavish Halloween in London, we suggest the Langham Hotel and to book room number 333… if the reception will no dissuade you.
The Langham Hotel is located in Marylebone facing towards Regent’s Park.
Its patrons included Napoleon III, Mark Twain Oscar Wile, Antonin Dvorák and Arturo Toscanini. The architecture is inspired by the Florentine style and we highly recommend to dine at the fine restaurant, lavishly decorated with marble and flowers. The hotel also boasts the spirits of:
- A German prince who jumped out of a fourth-floor window (described by BBC announcer, the late Ray Moore, as “beefy, with cropped hair, sporting a military-style jacket that buttoned up to the neck.” Frequently observed in the early morning hours walking through doors. Rated most active ghost at the Langham, with a particular penchant for Room 333.)
- The spirit of a doctor who murdered his wife then killed himself while on their honeymoon. (Manifests as a silver-haired Victorian gentleman with cloak and cravat and, like all ghosts, has blank, staring eyes. Spotted in 1973 by BBC announcer James Alexander Gordon while he slumbered in Room 333. Only makes appearances in October.)
- A man with a gaping wound on his face. (Tends to stick to the hallways.)
- Emperor Napoleon III, who lived at the Langham during his last days in exile. (Now prefers the basement.)
- A ghost who has a thing for tipping guests out of bed while they’re sleeping. (Once shook the bed in Room 333 with such enthusiasm that the occupant fled the hotel in the middle of the night.)
- A butler saw wandering the corridors in his holey socks.
- A footman in pale blue livery and powdered wig. (Spotted by, you guessed it, BBC staff. Presence often accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature.)
Room 333 seems to be the most active room, a favorite spot for the doctor and the prince who perished there.
3 – 50 BERKELEY SQUARE
Nestled in Mayfair, these gorgeous building is now headquarters of Maggs Bros. bookseller.
The attic of the building has a famous occupier: the spirit of a young lady who committed suicide, throwing herself from the top floor windows after being abused by her uncle. Her spirit is not at rest and it’s reported that she fancies taking the form of a brown mist to frighten people to death.
According to the legend, three people faced the fatal moment whilst staying in the attic and died because of the tormented spirit:
- In 1872, Lord Lyttleton spend one night in the attic. The silence of the night was broken when he fired his shotgun to something. The next morning he was found dead but his cartridges disappeared.
- In 1897 a maid stayed overnight in the attic, became mad and died in an insane asylum the next day.
- In 1887, sailors from the HMS Penelope stayed overnight but one of them was found dead in the morning. Apparently, he lost his balance whilst running away from a mysterious presence.
4 – THE GHOST IN THE MUSEUM
The Handel House Museum is based in Mayfair, in 25 Brook Street, and is dedicated to the works of George Frederic Handel, the German-born baroque composer who lived here from 1723 until his death in 1759.
The staff has reported the presence of the ghost of a lady, leaving behind her a strong line of perfume. She is believed to be one of the only two women known to have visited the housein all palces. While Handel lived there were two fiery sopranos, Faustina Bordoni or Francesca Cuzzoni. Who viewed to perform in his operas.
The Handel House Trust has contacted a Roman Catholic priest who carried out the ritual in the bedroom where the composer died and the ghost has been seen, to avoid visitors to be frightened.
5 – THE RESIDENTS OF THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
The Royal Albert Hall’s scary line might have started with its creation. It stands on the site of Gore House the former home of Marguerite. Instead of Countess of Blessington (1789-1849). Whose extravagant lifestyle led to her bankruptcy causing her to abandon England for Paris. Therefore where she died in poverty.
After having been transformed into a disastrous flamboyant restaurant. In the Royal Commissioners for the Great Exhibition purchased the property. So demolished the house and built the Albert Hall, in commemoration of Prince Albert on the site.
The Hall has a good group of ghosts in places not leaving the theatre during night and day…
The first is Henry Willis ‘Father Willis’ who designed the 150-ton organ. That with an impressive 9,000 pipes was the largest ever when built. His ghost, dressed in Victorian clothing has been seen wandering around the Hall at night.
The other specters are more controversial and are based upon a local tradition. So that Gore House was temporarily used as a brothel prior to its demolition. Each November, two “Ladies of the night,” dressed in Victorian costume. Which are said to roam along the upper gallery level and are seen walking into one of the toilets?
Their arms are linked and they remain oblivious to any comment made by those who encounter them. Indeed, as one employee at the Hall put it, “it is as though they are walking in their time, not ours.”