It goes without saying that a city like London is filled with ghosts, but the devil’s in the detail. Allow us to fill you in on some horrific histories, give you the willies, and yet still provide you with fiendishly good food and drink inspiration. Who you gonna call? (No, no not them. SquareMeal, obvz).
The Coach and Horses, Mayfair (above)
This Bruton Street old-timer was built in the 1770s so has had plenty of time to collect all sorts of ghouls and rumours along the way. Case in point: a horse-drawn coach with a headless driver has been spotted outside, rumbling past at full-tilt and utterly disregarding the traffic rules. Naughty.
Bleeding Heart, Farringdon (above)
In the 17th century, the both ravishing and loaded Lady Elizabeth Hatton was the toast of Ye Olde London Towne – the Diana of her time, if you will. During a ball on the site where Bleeding Heart now stands, she was whisked off into the night by a gentleman with a clawed right hand. Elizabeth was found torn limb from limb in the yard the following morning. Think on that while you’re tucking into the steak.
The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping (above and below)
Located on the Thames, nowadays this is a lovely spot for a bevvy with a view. In the 17th century, however, this view was of a slow, water-y death, as convicted criminals were tied to a post in the river and left as the tide came in (below). The infamous Judge Jeffrey would come to watch his sentences being carried out here and is said to still haunt the area.
Grenadier, Knightsbridge (below)
This secluded old pub is a beautiful, quintessentially English slice of London and definitely a solid bet for impressing visiting friends and family. It’s also a good choice for scaring the knickers off them: a young grenadier was beaten to death here in the 18th century for cheating at cards (bear that in mind when playing family games this Christmas). It is believed this untimely death must have occurred during September, as this is when most paranormal activity is reported to occur.
The Ten Bells, Spitalfields (below)
Keep your wits about you at The Ten Bells: Jack’s back. On 9 November 1888, Mary Kelly left the pub, only to be found mutilated and most definitely dead on the opposite side of the street the next morning. Kelly was Jack the Ripper’s final victim. Ghostly figures, terrified psychics and laughter in the middle of the night have all been reported here. Bottoms up!
The Volunteer, Regent’s Park
During the war, this site was a centre for signing up recruits (the clue’s in the name), but in 1645 a fire destroyed a previous structure at the same address. The family living there were all killed, one of whom now haunts The Volunteer’s cellar. We hear the ghost isn’t inclined to help connect a fresh barrel of IPA, even when asked nicely.
This article was published 24 October 2017