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The London Fiver: Spooky Edition – Five of the Creepiest Places in London You Can Visit

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As Halloween approaches, our thoughts turn to the dark and macabre. Cemeteries become spookier, old houses creak louder, and the fall air is a bit chillier. London, of course, is not without its places to give you a fright. Whether a tourist attraction or a naturally creepy location, London is full of its own spooky places to visit, even when it isn’t Halloween. Do you dare recommend scarier places in the comments? Mwahahaha!

1. Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Opened in 1902 as a means for dock workers to get to the Isle of Dogs from the opposite side of the Thames, the Greenwich Foot Tunnel runs 50 feet deep and a distance of 1,217 feet. It’s possibly the look of the tunnel itself that makes it seem so creepy. It’s a stark place with hospital-white painted bricks, eerie yellow lights, and no decorations or anything to make it appear more comforting. Since it’s classified as a public highway, it’s kept open 24 hours a day, which can make it seem very spooky at night. However, during the day, it’s a great way to get from Greenwich to Canary Wharf, and is certainly worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood and like it when the hairs on your neck stand on end.

2. The London Dungeon

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Possibly the most touristy of the tourist traps on this list, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting. London is a city with a very gory history, and the Dungeon brings these years of horrors to life with a bit of gallows humour to make it not so scary. Plenty of London’s worst moments are on display for visitors to see, including the Black Death, Jack the Ripper, and even fictional horrors such as Sweeney Todd. Once simply a museum dedicated to the darkest events from the city’s past, now it is a much more interactive experience with actors putting on a darkly comic show.

3. Hunterian Museum (Royal College of Surgeons)

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Created from the collection of 18th Century surgeon John Hunter, the Hunterian Museum shows that some of the creepiest things are inside your own body. The museum has a great collection of anatomical pieces and oddities, including the skeleton of the “Irish Giant”, Charles Byrne. Another piece on display are the Evelyn Tables, a collection of tables that were one used as a teaching tool and made by removing the veins from a corpse and stretching them out over the table. Numerous other surgical teaching tools on display are sure to send a shiver down your spine.

4. Highgate Cemetery

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Like something out of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, Highgate Cemetery is a place of gothic beauty that quickly becomes scary once the sun sets. Opened in 1839 and is one of the “Magnificent Seven” of London cemeteries built during the period to alleviate overcrowding in parish churches, it is a Grade I registered place. The statuary in the cemetery is absolutely gorgeous, from angels and cherubs to the tombs known as the Circle of Lebanon and Egyptian Avenue. Some of the tombstones and monuments, however, have not fared well with age and are in a state of decay that adds to the place’s spookiness. The cemetery also has its share of famous “residents” worth visiting, including Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, and Henry Gray, the author of Gray’s Anatomy. People often visit at night in hopes of seeing one of the cemetery’s ghosts and there was once an urban legend of the Highgate Vampire who haunted the place.

5. The Tower of London

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If you were not a friend of the crown, the Tower of London was once a very scary place. Dungeons at the Tower still keep their instruments of torture on display for individuals, showing them the very gruesome fates that fell upon traitors to the crown. The Tower also saw its share of famous prisoners over the years, such as Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the infamous Guy Fawkes, who was taken here for “questioning” following the Gunpowder Plot. It also has its share of ghosts, prisoners of the Tower who met particularly gruesome ends. One of the most well-known are “The Princes in the Tower”, King Edward V and his brother, Richard, Duke of York, who were imprisoned there by their uncle, King Richard III, and reportedly murdered so that the elder Richard could take the throne. With deep dungeons, ghosts, and a history of blood, The Tower is perhaps the creepiest place to visit in London.

What’s the creepiest place you’ve ever visited in London?

John Rabon
Author: John Rabon

John is a regular writer for Anglotopia and its sister websites. He is currently engaged in finding a way to move books slightly to the left without the embarrassment of being walked in on by Eddie Izzard. For any comments, questions, or complaints, please contact the Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's haircut.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Having walked through the Greenwich foot tunnel, I can attest that it is rather creepy. Especially when you’re down there completely alone.

  2. Having spent many a night in the Tower of London I think that place is creepy after dark. My uncle was Yeoman Warder and lived there with my aunt and he had many creepy tales to tell

    • Creepier still was the ticket seller who was very hateful to my daughter & I. She could not have hated Americans more & this was right after 9/11. She gave me an earful & hope she is not still working there.

      • What she puts out comes back 3-fold: her dislike for Americans will only deny her the benefit of having a few of us for her friends, probably when she most could use one. Don’t let the memory of her unfriendliness taint your own memories of London: I’m sure you have happier ones of your visit to dwell on! 🙂

  3. One of the creepiest places I’ve been in the Sir John Soane’s house museum. It’s a house frozen in time from the late 18th to early 19th centuries. It’s a little dark, creaky and lots of weird things to look at.

  4. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is the most terrifying place I visited during my stay in London a few months ago. Lots of creepy medical tools and the history behind the operating theatre makes you want to never go back to that place. It’s near the Burroughs market, quite a neighborhood! Hah! 🙂

  5. I’ve been to the London Dungeon and was totally unimpressed, even bored before I was even halfway through(YMMV, of course). I have an active imagination and can be spooked quite easily in the right environment, but with as busy as the London Dungeon is and as bright and noisy as it is, all I saw were wax figures set up in what’s supposed to be a macabre tableau. They’re immobile figures, not doing anything. There’s no particular attempt on the Dungeon’s behalf to set much of an atmosphere beyond a sound effects CD (IIRC) playing over the speakers, and maybe some lighting in a few areas, but it’s nothing that makes it truly spooky. Had a very fake-y, contrived feel.

    Their Jack the Ripper section is not for those with a weak stomach. At all. Can’t handle looking at a realistic-looking disembowelment? You definitely want to skip that part. I have a strong stomach (working as a vet tech, you need one), but the London Dungeon managed to come up with a sight that made me feel a bit nauseous. I can only imagine what it must have been like for others in the crowd. I found the whole thing incredibly tacky and over-the-top and very disrespectful toward the Ripper’s victims.

    The London Fire section is very rushed (literally). When I was done, I wanted my ticket money and the hour-ish I’d spent inside back.

    • Totally agree with you. So not worth the money or the time spent in the endless line to get in.

  6. I have visited a lot of creepy places in London, but the creepiest of them all were probably the murdersites of Jack the Ripper. Taking the Ripperwalk at night, in the dark, with a guide who could create the perfect atmosphere…

  7. Highgate was on my list, but unfortunately I did not have time to go there. I’ll see if I can work it in when I go back in April.

    I got seriously creeped out in the Chamber of Horrors in Madame Tussaud’s on my visit in 1983. They had a street mockup like Whitechapel in 1888 with a Ripper victim. It covered the entire hallway, and for a second, I felt as though I were really there. Brrr!

  8. Creepy beyond belief is the debtor’s prison cells in the basement of Viaduct Tavern. If you time it right, they will escort you down to see. The cells are 3′ square. Google it!

  9. I took a Jack the Ripper walking tour in the late ’80s, before the East End was gentrified. That was truly creepy. Can’t agree with Brad about the Soames House–it is one of my favorite museums anywhere. But maybe I am a little bit of a ghoul because I found the Hunterian Museum too fascinating to be creepy.

  10. I have never made into the Greenwich tunnel but happy to see what it looks like in there. I swear I will make it to Highgate Cemetery one of these trips but I am so afraid someone will follow me home. 🙁

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