London’s Creepiest True Halloween Tales
London’s Creepiest True Halloween Tales
However, you hardly need to take on a horror movie marathon to celebrate Halloween – the capital has a long track record of ghost sightings, mysterious murders, strange disappearances and many more spooky occurrences. Check out some of the creepiest real-life stories that haunt London’s past!The scariest time of the year is upon us! This month, London offers plenty of opportunities to get in the Halloween mood, from costume parties to classic horror movie screenings, interactive experiences and terrifying tours.
The eerie Enfield poltergeist
The alleged poltergeist hauntings in Enfield became so famous that the events were turned into the movie The Conjuring 2. The true story behind the blockbuster is just as creepy: in 1977, the Hodgson family started reporting strange activities around their house in Enfield, north London. This included heavy furniture moving on its own, unexplained sounds and voices, sudden temperature drops and objects being thrown across the house.
Most of the supernatural activity seemed to centre on one of the children, Janet. Some people even reported hearing the young girl speaking in different voices, including that of a ghost allegedly named Bill. And here’s the most disturbing part: there were accounts of a man named Bill who had died in the house before the Hodgsons moved in. Bill supposedly died of a haemorrhage in the living room, a detail that Janet seemed to know… but no one could explain how Janet knew about Bill’s death.
Several paranormal investigators visited the house while it was allegedly haunted, with some of them believing that it was a genuine poltergeist and others believing that it was a hoax. A few people suggested that the Hodgson family did experience some real supernatural activity, but Janet faked and exaggerated some of it in order to gain even more media attention. However, the Enfield poltergeist is said to have suddenly stopped in 1979, and the mystery of whether the ghost was real remains unsolved.
The mysterious disappearance of Lord Lucan
The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, sparked decades’ worth of speculation. Lord Lucan was a wealthy London peer accused of bludgeoning his family’s nanny to death in November 1974. After killing the nanny in the basement of the family home in Belgravia, Lucan also attacked his estranged wife, who managed to escape and run to a nearby pub asking for help. Lady Lucan identified her husband as the assailant, but by the time the police started investigating the case, Lord Lucan had vanished without a trace. He was last seen a few hours after the murder and the following morning his car was spotted miles from the crime scene. The car was covered in blood and it had a lead pipe in its boot. However, Lucan himself was nowhere to be found.
Lucan had moved out of the family home in 1973 after his marriage broke down. He and his wife had been engaged in a fierce custody battle over their children. It is believed that Lucan actually meant to kill his wife to gain custody of the children but mistakenly attacked the nanny instead. To this day, many speculate about what happened to Lord Lucan – some believe that he committed suicide shortly after the murder, others that he fled the country and lived in anonymity for decades, while others claim that Lucan never committed the crime at all and went into hiding following the accusations. His actual fate, however, might never be known.
The horrors in 50 Berkeley Square
The house on 50 Berkeley Square, in Mayfair, is allegedly the most haunted house in London. It was built in the affluent neighbourhood in the late 18th century, but it wasn’t until the 1860s that the house started to develop its sinister reputation. In 1859, a man named Mr Myers moved into the site – rumours said that he lived as a recluse and was gradually going mad. The house’s condition began to deteriorate and tales began to surface about people who allegedly saw apparitions so terrifying they went mad or died of fright.
Legend has it that, in 1879, a maid who stayed in the house’s attic room for a night supposedly went mad and was taken to an asylum, where she died the following day. A few years later, in 1887, it was claimed that two sailors spent a night in the house, but the next morning one of them was found dead and the other claimed that the ghost of Mr Myers had attacked them.
Apart from the ghost of Mr Myers and the brown apparition, the house was also said to feature the spirit of a young woman who, according to legend, committed suicide on the top floor to escape an abusive uncle. Her ghost haunted the house for years after her death. The ghostly activity around the place seems to have stopped in more recent years, but the fearsome reputation of 50 Berkeley Square lives on.
With so many chilling events in London’s history, perhaps this year you can celebrate Halloween with a custom walking tour through some of the city’s most frightening locations!
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