London is scary. And we’re not just talking about rush hour on the tube. Millions of people have lived and died here, so it's no wonder there are more ghost stories than free parking spaces.
And with Halloween creeping up on us, we've come up with a few unique ideas to get you freaked out.
By the way, sleepless nights aren't just for Halloween. You can enjoy these activities all year long!
1. Wait for the tube that will never come
Abandoned places are just about the creepiest you can get. In London, you don’t have to look very far. They’re just below your feet.
There are at least 40 deserted tube stations in London. If you’re super keen, there’s even an app to help you find them.
Some you can visit, some will remain ‘empty’ until the end of time.
Aldwych is a good one. It was a bomb shelter during both world wars. It’s also where Atonement, V for Vendetta, and the Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ video was filmed.
This station is on the site of an old theatre. Some have spotted the ghost of an actress treading the boards at night.
2. Spend a few hours with silent company
What's scarier, an abandoned place or a graveyard?
Well, at Highgate Cemetery, you can have both.
At first, it was dead popular, the place to be buried. But as time passed, Highgate became overgrown and neglected…
...Until the 1970’s, when it came back to life.
The Hammer Horror production company started using Highgate Cemetery as a backdrop for their films. The most well known was ‘Taste the Blood of Dracula’, starring Christopher Lee.
Speaking of Vampires, have you heard of the Highgate Vampire?
In 1969, a man named David Farrant had the completely normal idea to stay overnight at the graveyard.
He claimed to have seen a tall, grey figure haunting the grounds. More and more sightings were reported, and by the early 1970’s, the media was saturated with stories of a resident Vampire.
Despite several hunts and superstitious rituals, the Vampire was never discovered. Probably because Vampires don't exist.
You can visit this gothic graveyard where Karl Marx and other influential figures are buried. Guided tours take place on the West side, and you can visit the Terrace Catacombs if you’re feeling brave.
3. Explore underground caves
The Chislehurst Caves are both a mystery and a secret.
Were they created by the Druids, Romans, or were they built in the 13th century?
Is it true that this was once a place of child sacrifice, terrified priests and paranormal activity?
No one really knows, but that's what makes them intruiging.
In the years following WW2, a prize was offered to anyone who was brave enough to spend a night in the caves.
They stopped the challenge in 1985, when a man named Dave Duker dislocated his shoulder in the middle of the night. When they asked him what had happened, he couldn't remember anything at all...
You can visit the Chislehurst Caves on a guided tour. If you could, would you stay there overnight?
4. Visit an ancient prison
London used to be a bit of a criminal’s playground. If you’ve read anything by Charles Dickens, you might know what we mean.
So what did they do with these law-breakers?
They threw them into The Clink, of course!
Once upon a time, this small jail was one of the World’s most notorious prisons. In fact, it might just be the oldest in England. The Clink has been recreated to look just like it did before. You can visit, but it might be a little more gimmicky than creepy.
Better yet is the Tower of London. This 11th century fortress is an absoulte must-see.
Think Tudors, torture and public executions. In fact, the Tower of London was used as a jail until the 1950’s, and some say that there are still prisoners trapped within its walls...
5. Head to a morbid museum
The Old Operating Theatre
If you’re nervous about your next dental appointment, you should visit The Old Operating Theatre near London Bridge. Let’s just say that we’re lucky to live in an age where anaesthetic is a thing.
Many events take place here, from mock demonstrations, to weekly talks and film nights. Check out the agenda to find out more.
The Museum of Witchcraft
Visit The Museum of Witchcraft for an insight into the occult.
This magical museum is casting its spell in London for a short time only.
It’s normally hosted in Cornwall, but you can find it at The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities (more on this later). It runs from the 3rd of November 2017 until the 28th of February 2018.
6. Step into a time capsule at Dennis Severs' House
10 rooms. Different eras. Lingering voices. Shadows. Half-eaten meals.
What on earth did I just experience? Was that a dream or a hallucination?
That’s what you’ll be thinking when you leave Dennis Severs' House.
The tour is in absolute silence. It's best not to disturb the 18th century family that might still be living there...
7. Attend a weird and wonderful event
Do you like Edgar Allen Poe, Absinthe and decadent literature? You'll love The Last Tuesday Society.
It was founded in 1873, and is now London's longest running literature lecture series.
The Last Tuesday Society hosts a range of extraordinary events. Jazz nights, masked balls and cocktail workshops are common, but it doesn't stop there. Check out the events page to find out more.
Sip on a spooky drink at The Last Tuesday Bar, then head downstairs to The Viktor Wynd's Museum of Curiosities. You won't believe your eyes...
A Curious Invitation and Antique Beat are also worth checking out.
This October, they've joined together to host the London Month of the Dead. Many tickets have sold out, but check out the calendar to see what you can still attend.
8. Freak yourself out at the theatre
The Woman in Black is one of the scariest theatre experiences of all time. Trust me.
It’s so successful, that it’s been running sell-out shows for 25 years.
Book tickets in advance - it sells out pretty fast.