In cities that are as old as London you can expect all manner of myths and legends from the history books, with many of them featuring ghoulish and horrific stories which will make the blood curdle. In the modern day of course, tourists love to relive the scenes of gruesome tales and in London there are a huge range of tourist activities which will more than meet your creepy expectations.
London is a great hub for anyone who is visiting Europe and you can get cheap flights here from a huge range of destinations, check out JustFly.com for the lowest prices available. Once you get to London and you are ready for some dark tourism, here are some of the scariest and most macabre things which you will find to do throughout the city.
Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities
This place really is a ‘little shop of horrors’ and you can find it on 11 Mare Street in Dalston. Once you are inside you will be shown towards a strange cabinet door which opens up into a world of weird and curious artifacts. There is all manner of gothic and gruesome bits and pieces here from taxidermy exhibitions to witch-themed ceramics and double-headed teddy bears. If you are lucky you may even be in town for one of their well known horror events which takes place after hours. Entry is £5 and it is open until 10pm.
The Cross Bones Graveyard
The legend goes that in 1996, in the middle of winter, a vision of a Shamanic woman approached the writer John Constable and led him to a place which she said was the ancient pauper’s burial ground. The ‘Goose’ as she called herself, in fact led constable to the Redcross Way, which had recently been excavated to make way for the Jubilee railway line. This was the first brush with fame which this graveyard had, and in the following years we learned more and more about the people buried here, medieval sex workers, paupers, slaves and convicted prisoners are all laying deep in the Cross Bones church yard. These sex women were often known as the Winchester Geese, perhaps Constable really did see one of them. You can find the graveyard on Redcross Way close to London Bridge tube station, entry is free and it is open 24/7.
Saint Bartholemew’s Pathhology Hospital Museum
This is one of the oldest hospitals in the country and it houses over 5,000 medical specimens. If you want to see some of these gory pieces then you can visit if you make an appointment first. The hospital is full of human remains, many of which have suffered chronic illnesses and diseases, as well as a huge collection of autopsied body parts including all the good stuff like skulls, organs and limbs.
Sweeney Todd Tour
The tale of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of the most gruesome which has befallen the city of London, a man who posed as a barber whilst in fact living out his carnivorous fantasies, killing and mutilating bodies before stuffing them into meat pies and selling to the unsuspecting British public. If you take a Sweeney Todd tour here in London then you will be taken down to Fleet Street, to the site of the infamous barber shop and even Mrs Lovett’s pie shop. This area of London is not just famed for the Demon Barber, there are also links here to the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, as well as ghost tales from throughout the ages.
Another cemetery trip to add to your list is Highgate, a beautifully designed victorian cemetery which houses some very notable figures. The East Cemetery is where the likes of George Eliot and Karl Marx lay, and on the West Cemetery you will find ornate headstones and mausoleums of thousands more who have perished. There is more than meets the eye here at Highgate too as there are very strong rumors of a vampire which lives here. Vampire writer Sean Manchester claims that he chased said vampire until it turned into a giant spider before Manchester plunged a stake through its heart. In spite of this account there have been more claims made about the vampire here, maybe you’ll be the one to spot it. The cemetery costs £4 to visit and it is open Mon – Fri from 10am-5pm and 11-5 on weekends. Visit this cemetery at your own risk!
Next time you go to London, why not have a look into some of the more freakish, gothic and macabre activities?