Halloween is here! And that’s a great thing because London is an old city, full of spooky stories and ghostly locations. But there are plenty of places which call themselves ‘haunted’ which are about as spooky as an empty packet of crisps blowing in the wind.
We can tell you where to find spectres, witches, and ghoulish frights. We’ll make sure you get the spookiest Halloween experience in town.
So let London Tailored Tours lead you down a dark alley and give you a fright…
The Spooky Staircase Spectre: Queen’s House
The Queen’s House, Greenwich, Romney Road, London Se10 9NF
Open Daily 10am-5pm (free admission)
The Queen’s House was built in the 1600s in the beautiful Royal Borough of Greenwich. One of the most exquisite features – and most photographed – in the house is the Tulip Staircase. (Trivia time: it was the first geometric self-supporting staircase in Britain.)
Despite its beauty, perhaps there is something sinister afoot. In 1966 a visiting Canadian tourist took a photo of the stairs. Many visitors to the Queen’s House had done this before, and many would do so in the future. Yet, when the couple went home and developed the film, they discovered something very odd. There appeared to be an image of some sort of spectre gliding up the stairs. No one has been able pinpoint who this mysterious figure may be, but many figures have been seen haunting the house ever since.
Want to find out more? Book our Greenwich Getaway tour and our expert guide will lead you to the Tulip Staircase – and, hopefully you’ll get a nasty fright.
Or, they could just show you the other secrets of Greenwich.
The Spooky Theatre: Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal, Catherine St, London WC2B 5JF
It’s known to everyone in the business as the most haunted theatre in London – and rightly so.
In 2014, the actor Clive Carter experienced a brush with the paranormal
in his Theatre Royal dressing room. As he discussed the ghosts of the theatre with a fellow cast member, the TV began to flicker through the channels. Almost as if the ghosts were sending him a message…
Some of the most famous ghosts are Regency-era comedian Joseph Grimaldi and a fearsome figure known as the Man in Grey. It is said that if you smell lavender in the auditorium while watching a show, it may be time to make a quick dash out with your coat!
The Spooky Graveyard: Highgate Cemetery
Swain's Lane, London N6 6PJ
London is full of spooky cemeteries, but Highgate is its best-known – and it’s probably the most famous graveyard in the world.
It’s so big that it’s divided into two: the West Cemetery is a literal monument to death, and is only accessible by guided tour. The East Cemetery is where you you can wander freely. And that’s because you’ll want to see so many of the graves: George Eliot, Karl Marx, Jean Simmons, Douglas Adams and George Michael are all buried here.
It generally closes at dusk, but while the cemetery regularly holds special after-dark events, there is a wealth of creepy locations in the graves buried deep in its woods…
Open March to October, Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm
November to February, Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Satuday & Sunday 11am – 4pm
(Adults £4, children free
Monday – Friday booking is essential
Saturday & Sunday tours run throughout the day from 11am – 4 pm, every half hour (no booking required)
Adults £12, children £6 (access to East Cemetery included)
The West Cemetery is where you’ll find iconic locations like the Terrace catacombs, the Egyptian Avenue, and the Chapel. It’s funeral architecture at its most fabulous, but it will also give you that deliciously spooky Victorian atmosphere. I’d say that even a creepy Victorian doll would beg to be taken home rather than left here after dark…
Tour Guide Tip: On All Saints’ Eve (the day after Halloween) the cemetery is open after dark for people to light candles and remember the dead – book here.
The Spooky Museum: Barts Pathology Museum
Barts Pathology Museum
Robin Brook Centre, 3rd floor, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West
Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE
Barts Pathology Museum is an incredible place, housed in a curious corner of St Bartholomew’s Hospital at West Smithfield. It’s a beautiful Victorian temple of metal and glass, home to over 5,000 medical specimens of the human body throughout history.
It’s not open to the public because it’s still used as a resource for medical students, but they host the most incredible ghoulish events, from taxidermy to cake decorating classes, all themed around the human body.
Tour Guide Tip: Because the medical specimens on display are human remains, no photography is allowed. But, if you go to one of their art afternoons, you can draw anything that captures your imagination. Or inspires your nightmares…
The Spooky Bookshop: Treadwell’s Books
33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS
This shop on Store Street looks like most of London’s many lovely bookshops. But it’s part of a spooky experience – and not just because, after a moment of browsing, the sales assistant will ask ‘are you part of our community?’
Well, that’s because Treadwell’s is an occult shop.
It’s actually London’s best-known occult emporium, despite the fact that it only opened in 2003. Here you can make like Harry Potter and buy your spell books, and your pagan supplies (sadly no owls though). You can even have a lesson in tarot reading, or take part in magical workshops here. In other words, it’s where you can explore your spooky side for real.
Have we given you that deliciously creepy feeling? Enjoy your favourite spooky places to visit in London, and have a happily horrible Halloween…
Enjoy the best of what London has to offer on your own private sightseeing tour with London Tailored Tours.
Let us know how we can give you intriguing experiences in London, drawing from London’s long and exciting (not to say gruesome) history.