London. Victorian London. Jack the Ripper. Sweeney Todd. See where we’re going?
London shortly before the turn of the 20th Century must have been a frightening place to be, and even to this day there are some fairly eerie attractions for people who take delight in horrific thrills. Here are some of the best:
1. Halloween at the London Dungeon
For the Children, the most recommended event would be the brand-new Halloween at the London Dungeon, which features a “Halloween Forest” complete with cackling witches. There is also a certain amount of educational value in this attraction, as there is also a 17th Century Courtroom, which retells courtroom dramas of the time where many men and women were executed for being witches, often innocently– thank goodness our legal system is a bit more fair today! It’s suitable for all ages except the really young ones.
2. Imagining the Impossible
Held by the British Library on October 31st, Imagining the Impossible is an Illustrated Talk by Gordon Rutter, Head of the Charles Fort Institute who will be presenting Images of Spirit Photography taken between the 1860’s and 1930’s, which was apparently all the rage back then, capturing the minds of the (gullible?) public and even the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle. Were all the photographs and recorded paranormal experiences phony? You decide.
3. The Halloween of Cross Bones XI
Now in its 11th iteration, The Halloween of Cross Bones XI is a series of (often humorous) poems and songs penned by local writer John Constable which became so popular that beginning in 1998 there a yearly is festival held in the cellars of the Hop Exchange Building. After the main performance, the event concludes with a procession to the Cross Bones Graveyard (where prostitutes and all sorts of outcasts in London’s society were buried) held in candle light.
4. Medieval Banquet
Wait, a Halloween Horror Themed feast? That’s right. Taking place on the 31st October at the Historic Cellars of the St. Katharine Dock, is a Halloween Themed night with a full gourmet meal and a ghostly and unique re-enactment of the life of King Henry VIII, a man most famous for having six wives, two of which he had executed. Participators are welcome to come in costumes to get into the mood. The night concludes with, rather bizarrely, a disco. Tickets are rather expensive at €60 per head, but it should be well-worth going to.
5. Silent Cinema
No, it’s not a place where movies are played on mute. The concept is simple: Viewers are given noise-cancelling, wireless headphones so that they aren’t disrupted by popcorn, ringtones, and other whispering cinema-goers. Even if you visit the toilet during the showing, you’ll still be able to hear what’s going on. Right now the scheme is on a trial basis, with the first showing being a (predictably) scary movie on October 31st at the five-star Andaz Hotel. Why wasn’t this thought of years ago?
Haunted Hotels in London
- Hotel London Elizabeth – 3-Star Hotel in Bayswater
- Georgian House Hotel – 3-Star Hotel near Victoria Station
- The Langham Hotel – 5-star Hotel near Regent’s Park
Photo of The London Dungeons Halloween Festival MuLan