Home to Jack the Ripper, the world's first serial killer, London is bound to have a few spirits hanging around. Thanks to kings like Henry Vlll--who could not stop killing his wives--the city's history is pretty bloody. But kings were not the only ones performing dastardly deeds, and London's haunted houses have the history to prove it. Whether you choose to go alone or with a tour group, beware of ghosts.
London Ghost Walk with Richard Jones
Richard Jones wrote six books on walking tours of London, including "Walking Haunted London." Jones guides a 90-minute ghost walk on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. The tour visits what Jones proclaims are the "most haunted houses in London." The infamous haunted mansion at 50 Berkeley Square is one of the stops. An authority on the city and its history, Jones' storytelling is the highlight of the tour. As of 2010, the walk cost 7.5 pounds ($10.75)--prices vary slightly depending on the exchange rate. If you dare to do the walk on your own, Jones makes his walking tours' itinerary available on line for free. Due to the subject matter, it's best not to bring children under 12.
Discovery Tours and Events Ltd. P.O. Box 53131 London E18 1UW 020 8530-8443 Walksoflondon.co.uk
The Dracula Walk
This is a haunted house tour with a twist---one of the residences belonged to Dracula. The Highgate vampire tour takes you to the vampire's haunted digs, along with other haunted houses in the neighbourhood. The tour's proximity to historical Highgate cemetery makes this adventure all the more terrifying. Try to book a tour led by Dr. John Pope-de-Locksley. He claims ancestry with both Dracula and Jack the Ripper. All guides dress in Victorian garb for an authentic feel. The vampire tour does not have regular dates--booking at least two days in advance is required. The tour cost 9 pounds ($13), as of 2010. The tour originates at the Green Park underground station. Children under 12 are advised not to participate.
London Horror Tours P.O. Box 42031 London E59XT 020 8806 8321 Londonhorrortours.co.uk
The Blood and Tears Walk
Former Shakespearean actor Declan McHugh began leading this two-hour walk in 1999. The tour visits some of London's most haunted houses and neighbourhoods, including the residence of a leading Jack the Ripper suspect. McHugh also covers other characters, like the famous Victorian serial killer Sweeney Todd. Walks take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. and Fridays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The tour cost 8 pounds ($11.50) as of May 2010. McHugh insists on punctuality and latecomers are not permitted to participate in that evening's walk. Online reservations are recommended for this tour, but not required. McHugh does not allow children under 12. The walk begins at the Barbican Underground Station.
The Blood and Tears Walk Aldergate Street London EC1A 4JA 44 7905 746733 Shockinglondon.com
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