In a city with such a dark and sordid history as London, it should come as no surprise that there are one or two spectral remnants of the city’s darker past lingering in the back street and alley ways. This is a city that has seen mass death caused by disease and war as well as being the playground of several mass murderers including the infamous Jack the Ripper cases. But it is not only the dark and disused corners of the city that harbour spectres from the past, many of the buildings in use today have some link with the events of the past, this seems to be especially true of many of the older hostelries and drinking houses of the city.
The Grenadier: Belgravia Square, Hyde Park Corner
The Grenadier is said to be one of the most haunted public houses in all of London. This was once the drinking venue of choice for soldiers of the Duke of Wellington’s regiment. The place is still full of military and regimental paraphernalia. The ghost that is said to haunt this building is believed to be the spirit of an officer who unfortunately was caught cheating in a game of cards, his punishment was death by flogging. Each September, around the anniversary of his death the paranormal activity in the pub escalates quite noticeably.
The Old Queen’s Head: Islington
This old public house was rebuilt in 1829 and is believed to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl. No one knows why she remains in the place, but every month, on the first Sunday, you can clearly hear her running up the stairs in the pub, the crinolines of her skirts rustling as she races up the staircase.
The Black Cap; Camden High Street
This is a public house with a long history, licensed for the sale and consumption of alcohol since 1751. Back then the brew of choice was a concoction created by a local woman, believed to be a witch. The brew itself was said to be incredibly potent and somehow when drinking with her, people in her company were said to disappear, never to be seen again. The witch herself had a less that savoury history, with her parents having been hanged for the ritual murder of a young girl, the charges against them citing black magic. It is not certain who the spirits here are, but it is assumed that they are the victims who disappeared without trace.
Town of Ramsgate Public House: Wapping
The spirit that haunts this pub is well known, this is the ghost of George Geoffreys London’s famous ‘Hanging Judge’ so called because of his ruthless and unforgiving sentencing of criminals. Geoffreys was attempting to flee London when he was captured, disguised as a sailor. He was arrested on the pub’s steps which lead down to the River Thames. It would appear that this is where his spirit remains trapped as even the London river police have reported sightings of his on the steps.