- 1 London Haunted Hotels
- 2 Haunted London Underground Stations
- 3 Haunted London Pubs
- 4 Haunted London Ghost Tours and Ghost Walks
London Haunted Hotels
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The Langham Hotel, Portland Place, London W1B
The Langham is a luxury hotel stay in the heart of England’s capital city. It was built in 1865 and was always intended to be grand. Stories of it being haunted go back a long way. They particularly focus around Room 333 (I wonder whether this being half the number of the Beast has anything to do with it?).
The Langham was used by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and many of the ghosts were spotted by journalists.
The ghosts at the Langham include a silver haired Victorian chap with a cravat, wearing an opera cloak who reportedly has staring eyes with a blank expression. He was spotted in Room 333. He is supposed to have killed his wife in this room then committed suicide.
A poltergeist style ghost who tips and rocks beds in room 333. This might be the same apparition that appeared as a ball of light which turned into a man with the lower half of his legs missing as if he was standing on a previous floor level. This is actually not uncommon in ghostly sightings, who may actually come from a previous building or the same building before it was remodelled.
In the same room
There is also a German prince who killed himself before World War I by jumping out of a fourth floor window. He hangs around in Room 333 too. He wears Prussian style military uniforms with a jacket buttoned up to the neck. He’s described as well-built with very short hair. This man is seen standing at fourth floor windows.
A ghost with a gaping wound in his face is seen in the halls.
Napoleon III, emperor of France haunts the basements.
The ghost of a butler who is seen wandering the hallways in his socks, which apparently have holes in them.
There is another ghost and you know he’s there when the temperature drops. He comes from a long time ago and his dress seems to predate the building of the Langham so he may belong to a previous building on this site. He wears a powdered wig and is a footman in the livery of some lord or other.
Staff won’t sleep in the room, and most won’t visit for longer than they have to, some even shunning the third floor completely. Room 333 is often inexplicably colder than surrounding rooms. Some years ago now, we were auditioning to be the hosts of a TV series on ghosts that never got made. However, I did get a free trip to the Langham. The medium I was working with at the time, Claire, got all sorts of strong psychic impressions from the room. She was very down to earth normally, a farmer’s wife and if there wasn’t anything going on she’d tell you. Her view was that Room 333 had some kind of psychic vortex and it was the energy from this vortex that allowed the ghosts to manifest.
In 2014 members of the England Cricket Team stayed at the hotel. A bowler, Stuart Broad said he couldn’t sleep because the room was so hot, then all the taps turned themselves on. He switched on the light and the taps went off, and when he switched the light off again, the taps came on. That’s when he changed rooms.
Georgian House Hotel, St George’s Drive, SW1V
Georgian House is more reasonably priced than the Langham. It was built as a private house in 1851. It became a hotel in 1950 and is still owned and run by the descendants of the man who built it. Stories are only reported since 1989 or so and the stories focus on ghosts entering the rooms of guests, sometimes sitting on their beds. There are reports of children running around the hotel shouting and making a noise. This happens when there are no living children in the hotel at all, so it can’t be them! The most commonly seen ghost is a curious old man. He’s the one who comes into your room and sits at the foot of your bed, watching you while you sleep. He’s said to wear a pin-striped suit. Rooms 10 and 12 are said to be the most haunted ones.
There are icy blasts of air, sounds of laughter and talking when there is no one there, and the sound of footsteps walking away, or weirder still, walking towards you, and when nobody turns up, you have a right to be scared.
The hotel is handy for Victoria Station. We used to stay here when we were running ghost tours around the UK some years ago. It’s a nice hotel with good service, though the stairs are steep. Sadly, I can’t report any ghosts personally from here, but I think that may be to do with the frequent comings and goings.
Grange Blooms Hotel, 7 Montague Street, London WC1B 5BP
This hotel is in origin a gentleman’s townhouse built in the 1700s. One of the ghosts who is said to roam the rooms and corridors is Dr John Cumming who was an eccentric minister of the church who was obsessed with the apocalypse and believed he’d see it during his own lifetime. He’s now dead, but maybe he’s hanging still hanging round because he doesn’t want to miss the end of the world.
His ghost is most often seen in the lounge area of the hotel and is said to be seen reading his Bible.
The Cadogan Hotel, Knightsbridge, London SW1X
This luxurious and famous hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of the actress Lillie Langtree. Lillie had a dalliance with King Edward VII when he was still a prince and the room they would meet in for their amorous activities is still there in the hotel. However, when she lived there it wasn’t part of the hotel, the Cadogan grew to take it over in later years. Lillie is said to show herself at Christmas time in the restaurant area. She didn’t actually die at the Cadogan; she died in Monaco in 1929.
One visitor to the Cadogan saw an aura of light in the air shaped in human form. It spooked him so much he went to punch it, and on his violence, it whooshed its way through the wall and disappeared.
The Savoy Hotel
The Savoy is again another luxury hotel, and its name is in fact used in British speech as a by-word for swanky glitz. Mrs Thatcher, before she died, actually lived at the Savoy as a resident and I am only waiting until her ghost pops up there. Interestingly the Savoy also has a ghostly elevator. This can be seen from Room 502 along with the ghost of a girl who used to operate it and who died in the hotel.
Haunted London Underground Stations
There’s no reason to not get your fill of ghosts when you’re travelling round London, because some of the underground railway stations are haunted too!
Liverpool Street Station
The Eastbound Central Line Platform has the ghost of a man in white overalls. He’s even been spotted on CCTV and in 2000, when the figure was seen on camera a station employee went down to check the man was all right. While he went down to search for the man his colleague was watching via CCTV. He saw the man in white overalls standing beside his friend, but the railwayman clearly couldn’t see him. He came back to say there was no one there but his colleague insisted there was so he went back and only found a pair of white overalls on a bench – a pair that weren’t there previously. The London Paranormal Site
Covent Garden Station
Since the station first opened its doors, there have been stories of a tall man in a hat and a cloak wandering the corridors after dark. It has terrified some tube workers so much that they requested a move to a less haunted underground station, and frankly, we don’t blame them.
This charming character is reportedly the actor William Terriss, who was murdered in 1897. Before his untimely demise, he used to frequent the bakery that once stood on the site of Covent Garden station, and now stalks the corridors instead. Whether he’s looking to avenge his death, or is simply angry at his lack of cronuts (we feel you, Will), his apparition makes for a chilling sight.
On quiet nights, bloodcurdling screams can be heard around Farringdon, echoing up and down the corridors. Reports of these terrifying sounds are remarkably frequent throughout the years, so it looks like this phenomenon isn’t dying out any time soon.
They aren’t due to delays on the Hammersmith & City line, however. The screaming is rumoured to be the work of Anne Naylor, an apprentice hat maker who was murdered by her employer in 1758 (imagine if that’s how The Apprentice ended each week…). Why did she choose to haunt Farringdon though? The station sits on the spot where her body was unceremoniously dumped, and as a result the ‘Screaming Spectre’ frequents the station to this day.
Since the 19th century, there have been sightings of a sinister figure in black stalking the passages of Bank station. A putrid smell wafting throughout the station is also commonly reported, as well as a pervading sense of sadness. That could just be because of the morning commute though…
The smell can be explained by the fact that Bank station was built on top of a mass grave – are you sensing a theme yet? As for the sinister figure, she’s known as the Black Nun. She’s said to walk the tunnels and mourn her executed brother, who worked at the old bank which gave the station its name.
Bethnal Green Station
There have been some ghostly goings on out in the East End, and there’s a truly sad history behind them. Workers at Bethnal Green station have heard children sobbing, women screaming, and the general sound of panic. Usually, this starts quietly and then rises to the sound of a cacophony, leaving anyone who hears it understandably terrified.
It can all be traced back to a dark night in March 1943. As one of the deepest stations in East London, Bethnal Green was doubling as an air raid shelter when the Luftwaffe circled for an attack. Hearing sirens, residents streamed down the steps into the supposed safety of the station. Tragedy struck when an anti-aircraft gun went off nearby, and started a panicked rush which led to a stampede. 173 people died in the ensuing crush, and the screams still echo around Bethnal Green today.
Elephant and Castle Station
If you’re afraid of the supernatural, might we suggest avoiding the Bakerloo line from now on? In the pantheon of haunted underground stations, Elephant & Castle makes a strong case to top the list. The station is no stranger to odd tapping noises, footsteps made by invisible people, and doors being thrown open without warning. But the most chilling tale has to be that of a young woman who is seen boarding trains, but never appears to leave them.
Unlike the others on this list, there are no suggested explanations for the ghostly woman and her everlasting Oyster card. To our mind, that just makes it even creepier.
British Musuem Station (closed)
Ok, so no trains have been through the abandoned British Museum station in over eighty years. However, the sheer malevolence of its resident ghost means that this is a truly terrifying haunted underground stop. Many people believe that the long-abandoned British Museum tunnels are haunted by the ghost of the Egyptian god Amun-ra. He’s no Casper the friendly ghost, either; people have blamed him for the disappearance of two women from neighbouring Holborn station in 1935.
The rumour goes that there’s a secret tunnel connecting the Egyptian room at the British Museum to Holborn. Logic suggests that the ghost of Amun-ra has been using this tunnel to travel to Holborn and snatch tube passengers to take back to his lair. Since Secret London HQ is in Holborn, this one has us a little more worried than the rest!
King’s Cross Station
A modern young woman with long brown hair wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The woman is heard screaming and crying, with her arms outstretched. However when passers by come to comfort her, she disappears
When: in 1998 a man spotted the distressed lady and went to comfort her. On approaching her, he said he passed through her. Since then others have reported spotting the distressed girl whilst others have reported smelling smoke in the underground tunnels in the spot where the girl was first seen.
Why: in 1987 there was a horrific and devastating fire in the Kings Cross underground that killed 31 people. It is possible that the young lady was one of the victims who tried to escape from the fire.
Haunted London Pubs
2. The Flask
77 Highgate W Hill, Camden, London N6 6BU
The George, Temple
Another Cavalier has been repeatedly seen in the basement of this pub opposite the Royal Courts of Justice. Although the current building — complete with black and white timber frontage — dates back only as far as the 1930s, its foundations are much older, explaining the association. The most publicised sighting of this unknown cavalier came in the 70s when painters and decorators were carrying out refurbishment work. After seeing the figure, fleeing upstairs and explaining this to the landlord, he told them: “I shouldn’t worry about him… my wife sees him all the time”.
The George, 213 Strand, WC2R 1AP
The Old Bull & Bush, Golders Green
A farmhouse was built on the site of this Hampstead Heath-side pub in 1645 and it gained a licence to sell ale in 1721. For centuries there has been local talk of it being haunted, with strange bangs and bumps being heard and a shrouded Victorian-style figure seen wandering through it. A potential explanation was uncovered during refurbishment in the 1980s: behind one of the cellar walls, a skeleton was found surrounded by Victorian surgical equipment. The skeleton has now been buried, but the haunting is said to remain. Though it’s highly unfounded, the discovery led to claims at the time that the body could be that of Jack The Ripper, who — the story goes — was in hiding in the cellar when the wall was built.
The Old Bull & Bush, North End Way, NW3 7HE
The Grenadier, Belgravia
The building that now houses this delightfully quaint-looking pub just off Hyde Park Corner roundabout dates back to 1720. It was originally built to house the First Royal Regiment Of Foot Guards, later known as the Grenadier Guards, for the heroism they showed fighting off the French Grenadiers at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. While the upper floors of the building were used as an Officer’s Mess and frequented by King George IV, the cellar was used as a place to drink and gamble for the lower ranking soldiers. The story goes that one of these soldiers — now affectionately known as Cedric — was caught cheating at cards by his comrades. His punishment was a beating so aggressive that he died and many believe he still haunts the pub to this day. The timing of his death is not known, but it’s believed that it happened in September; it’s in this month each year that the haunting is most severe. Many objects in the pub have been said to either disappear or move without explanation, while others have reported long-lasting icy chills. Both drinkers and landlords have heard footsteps wandering around empty rooms, and pained moans coming from the cellar. In one particular instance it is said that a chief superintendent from New Scotland Yard was having a drink in the pub when he noticed smoke start to waft around him. As he reached into the smoke, he was seen to shout in pain and pull his hand back quickly revealing a burn from an invisible cigarette. The pub’s ceiling is covered with money notes, put there by visitors hoping to rid the ghost by paying off Cedric’s cards debt. It doesn’t seem to have worked.
This historic pub is widely regarded as the most haunted in London. Located in Belgravia in a secluded side street, this atmospheric Old Tavern was once the officer’s mess for the Duke of Wellington’s Grenadier Guards. The Duke of Wellington himself has reportedly drank here.
During its time as an officers mess, the cellar was used as a gambling den for common soldiers, and it was here where the death of a young soldier believed to be haunting The Grenadier occurred. He was caught cheating in a game of cards, and therefore took a heavy beating by his fellow soldiers, consequently dying from his injuries. It’s believed he died in September as this is when the paranormal activity in the pub picks up.
Several customers have reported witnessing the misty outline of a figure walking across the room, vanishing suddenly. Poltergeist activity has also been reported, with objects being moved over night, only to appear in different places the morning after. Staff and customers have also witnessed chairs rattling and moving on their own. Sudden unexplained cold spots are often felt, footsteps are often heard coming from an empty upstairs, and staff have also reported hearing groaning voices coming from the cellar.
Also, a film crew on location pictured what looked like the head of a soldier, looking back at them through the pub window.
The Grenadier, 18 Wilton Row, SW1X 7NR
The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead
Spirits come in triple measures at this pub by the Heath, which was immortalised in Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers. The first is Dick Turpin, infamous for highway robbery, whose father was the pub’s landlord for much of the 18th century. His spirit is said to roam the upstairs rooms, causing intermittent bangs and clangs. Downstairs, a moneylender by the name of Black Dick, who was run over by a horse and cart outside the pub, presides over the bar area and has frequently been felt pulling on the sleeves of drinkers. Outside, Dick Turpin’s faithful horse — affectionately known as Black Bess — apparently haunts the car park, with neighs and hooves having been heard by many over the years.
Dating back to 1585, this listed building was once under the landlordship of the father of the famous highwayman, Dick Turpin. It is believed Dick spent a lot of time at the inn, either hiding out, or keeping an eye on the road for potential coaches to rob.
The name of the inn is thought to have come from two of it’s previous owners, Francesco Porero and Juan Porero. According to beliefs, Juan and Francesco fell in love with the same woman, and fought a duel over her. Juan was killed and is buried near the inn. It is his ghost that still haunts the pub to this day.
There are also reportedly two more ghosts that haunt the Spaniard’s Inn. One is a woman in white, who has been seen many times in the garden, and the other is none other than Dick Turpin himself. He is reputedly seen on the road outside the inn, and also heard in the upstairs rooms.
The Spaniard’s Inn, Spaniards Road, NW3 7JJ
The Viaduct Tavern, St Paul’s
This Fuller’s pub opposite the Old Bailey dates back to 1875 and occupies the site of a former jail. Indeed, there are still a number of cells visible in the basement. It was previously a thriving gin palace, and is the last example of one that remains within the City boundaries. Aside from knocks, footsteps and the odd shiver, two particular stories cement its haunted reputation. In 1996, a manager was tidying the cellar when the door suddenly slammed shut and the lights went out. After feeling his way to the door, he found that no matter how hard he tried, it refused to open. Hearing his cries for help, his wife came and opened the door, claiming it was unlocked and easy to open. On another occasion in 1999, two electricians were working in one of the pub’s upstairs rooms. They had rolled the carpet up to get to the floorboards when one worker felt a couple of taps on his shoulder; shortly afterwards, both men apparently saw the rolled-up carpet lifted and then heavily dropped back onto the floor.
The Viaduct Tavern, 126 Newgate Street, EC1A 7AA
The Volunteer, Baker Street
This pub close to Regent’s Park is so-named as it was a recruiting station during the war, but its haunted history goes much further back. It is built on the site of a large 17th century house which belonged to the wealthy Neville family. When it caught fire in 1654, it burned to the ground taking the entire family with it. In the past 50 or so years, there have been many reported sightings of a well-dressed man in surcoat and breeches wandering through the pub’s cellar — believed to be former man of the house, Rupert Neville. Footsteps have also been heard, and on occasion the pub’s lights have mysteriously flickered on and off. The pub’s cellar is believed to be the original one that was built for the house, the only part of it which remains after the fire.
The Volunteer, 247 Baker Street, NW1 6XE
The Morpeth Arms, Westminster, London
Under this grade II listed pub is a corridor of holding cells, which were used to hold prisoners ready for deportation to the colonies. They were usually held here in solitary confinement for 6 months, living in basic squaller, which led to an outbreak of scurvy and cholera. It is believed the pub is haunted by a prisoner who is thought to of committed suicide rather than be sent to the other side of the world. There are also reports of another spirit who died in the tunnels after escaping Millbank Prison.
Within the main bar area there have been many customers complaining of their drinks being knocked out of their hands by an unseen force. Bottles and glasses have also smashed to the floor when no-one is near them.
The Old Queen’s Head, Islington, Lonodn
Dating back to the early 19th century, this well known music venue not only entices world class bands and DJ’s, it also has a reputation of being a venue that ghosts often frequent. Sir Walter Raleigh is thought to be connected to The Old Queen’s Head in some way, most likely down to him either owning the inn at one time, or a regular customer.
The pub is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young a girl and a woman. Many people have heard the sound of running footsteps upstairs, believed to be those of the young girl. Staff have reported hearing the running footsteps ahead of them as they make their way up the stairs. People have also reported hearing the young girl crying, and have also witnessed her slam doors.
The ghost of a woman has also been seen, apparently wearing Tudor clothing, and mostly on the first Sunday of the month.
Haunted London Ghost Tours and Ghost Walks