The London Ghost Bus is a London tour unlike any other. The ‘Orrible Omnibus’ will take you on a blood curdling tour around the less savoury parts of the city, where the dark and sinister past still haunts the streets and people are careful who they speak to for fear they disappear before their very eyes. A team of actors work the tour and it is promised to be the scariest tour of London Town available. This is a tour that reveals all of the skeletons in the city’s closets and brings out its deepest darkest secrets.
The Ancient and Venerable Necropolis Bus Company
Back in the 19th Century there was actually a funeral bus service. The buses were colloquially known as ‘carcass coaches’ and they would transport the deceased, the pall bearers and up to fifty mourners to the burial place. The chief mourner would take on the job of being the bus conductor and the bus was equipped with a special horn or whistle to alert the population that there was a funeral in transit and that they should get out of the way. This siren was a prompt for gentlemen to remove their hats and bow their heads in respect for the deceased.
These services rang right up until 1967, when the fleet of buses were almost destroyed in fire at the depot. One bus was spared and remained untouched in storage for almost 40 years, and this is the vehicle, restored and back on the roads in which the tour is carried out. This historic vehicle is painted in midnight black, seating is in the style of a railway carriage where mourners could view the coffin and pay their last respects, lamps and curtains are fitted just as they were in the past.
The curtains served two purposes, if a body was stored in the bus overnight the curtains would be closed to prevent the deceased’s sprit from catching sight of its reflection in the windows, making it become trapped on earth, and secondly they served to keep the corpse cool during the summer, limiting the progression of decomposition and the horrible smells associated with it.
The ghost bus takes you on a trip around the city and includes a journey south of the river as well as taking in the eerier sites of the West End. Passengers are collected close to Trafalgar Square, and passengers wanting to travel should check availability and book rather than just turn up and expect to take the ride. The ghost bus is also available for private functions and tours.
The London Ghost Bus Tours are not suitable for young children and children under the age of 15 should be accompanied by an adult at all times. The tour last for an hour and 15 minutes and runs non stop; travellers should be aware that there are no toilet facilities available onboard. Unfortunately due to the age and design of the bus there is no wheelchair access at all.