Raise your spirits... haunted pubs in London
London certainly has a dark history full of plague, executions, murder and cruel prisons, so it only makes sense that there are a few ghosts hanging around. With Halloween just around the corner, why not spend the night at one of the city's many haunted pubs where you can raise a toast to the resident ghost?
Here are our top tips for a supernatural sup:
Crash! What was that??? It must be the poltergeist at the Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street up to his old tricks again. Once a Victorian gin palace, this pub is opposite the Old Bailey, where the infamous historic Newgate prison once stood. Public hangings took place outside on Newgate Street, and even the cellars of the pub itself were once part of a debtors' prison - it is said that some of the staff won't go down there alone...
The Grenadier, Belgravia, is supposed to be haunted by a young 18th century soldier murdered for cheating at cards. Known as Cedric by locals, pub customers have pinned bank notes to the ceiling in an attempt to repay the ghost's dishonest prize money. Sadly the young man still stomps and moans down in the cellar where he died and sends chills down the spines of customers and shakes their chairs in the bar.
Head north to Highgate where highwayman Dick Turpin himself allegedly still visits his father’s former establishment, the Spaniards Inn. As well as Dick's horse, Black Bess, who has been heard in the car park, the premises is also home to a woman in white in the garden, and a Spaniard who was killed in a duel.
Also in Highgate, the Flask has two resident spooks: a Cavalier soldier often seen propping up the bar and walking through pillars, and a young barmaid who tragically committed suicide in the pub after discovering that her love for the married pub's owner was unrequited.
The Marlborough Head, Mayfair, is said to be haunted by several criminals who were amongst the thousands executed at nearby Tyburn between the 12th and 18th century. It's thought that the pub would have been patronised not only by the public turning out to watch the execution, but by the convicted themselves who were permitted a final drink on their way to the gallows.
In East London, the Rising Sun on Cloth Fair, was once a popular haunt (sorry) of body snatchers... due to the pub's close proximity to St Bartholomew's Hospital, it is said that they would drug and murder unlucky patrons and then sell their bodies to the doctors to practice their surgical skills
And while you're out east, here's one more eerie establishment for you to try out: the Ten Bells, Whitechapel. Famous for being frequented by several of Jack the Ripper’s victims, and perhaps the mystery man himself, this pub is said to have serious bad vibes... the upstairs is apparently haunted by George Roberts, the pub's Victorian landlord who was gruesomely murdered, and when psychics were called in to investigate the sound of a crying baby they refused to enter the room!
Have you been to any of these pubs? Did you see anything spooky? Leave a comment and let us know!