London is steeped in history with so many tales, myths and legends taking place in England’s capital in years gone by. Among the buildings with more than enough tales for a lifetime are the pubs and taverns, many of which still stand after hundreds of years of business.
Here at Nights Gone Wild we love a creepy story or two just as much as we love a pint or two, so thats why we have put together this list of 5 pubs with the spookiest of stories awaiting inside. Halloween is just around the corner…for the ultimate scare, dive into the Underworld of our London Halloween Bar Crawls.
The Grenadier, Belgravia, SW1X 7NR
Situated just off Hyde park, the spooky watering hole was built in 1720. Originally erected for the First Royal Regiment of Foot Guards. The building housed soldiers of various ranks and the lowest ranking of them would generally drink and gamble in the cellar.
The tale behind the Grenadier’s ghost concerns a soldier named Cedric. During a game of cards, Cedric was found to be cheating by a number of his fellow soldiers. Upon discovering this, he was beaten so severely that he died.
Cedric is said to haunt the now pub, with footsteps heard in spare rooms, screams in the cellar and often a cold chill can be felt sweeping through the building. One particularly creepy tale involves a Scotland Yard superintendent.
Whilst having a drink in the pub, it is said he noticed that smoke began to appear all around him. He reached out into the smoke at which point other drinkers heard him shout in pain. As the smoke faded and he retracted his had it became clear he had gained a cigarette burn on his hand from within the smoke.
The Queens Head, Islington, N1 8LN
This boozer has a rich history, and is said to be one of the favoured drinkeries of one of Britain’s greatest ever explorers Sir Walter Raleigh. The Queens Head is said to be haunted by two ghosts, a woman and a young girl.
Over the years there has been many reports of ghoulish behaviour, often seen or heard by staff. The two ghosts who are said to be dressed in clothes from the Tudor period, can be heard running up and down corridors or ahead of staff whilst the walk up stairs.
It is also claimed that people have spotted the figure resembling the girl crying in the corner of rooms and one staff member recalls seeing the girl slamming a door in the pub.
The Old Bull & Bush, Golders Green, NW3 7HE
This haunted boozer dates back as far as the 1600’s and for a number of centuries locals have been convinced of the pubs supernatural behaviour, with tales of unexplained loud knocking and banging rattling around its rooms.
In more recent times sightings of a cloaked man dressed in what appears to be clothes from the Victorian period has been seen pacing around the pub. Not until the 1980s did a possible explanation for this present itself.
During renovation work a skeleton was discovered behind a wall in the pubs cellar, which was surrounded by surgical equipment. Whilst there is no conclusive proof, it is believed by some that the skeleton is that of infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, who many thought carried surgical supplies to murder his victims with.
This would suggest that the ghost inside the building is that of Jack the Ripper, and despite the fact that the skeleton was reburied, it hasn’t stopped the Whitechapel Murderer’s ghost wandering the pubs hallway’s.
The Black Cap, Camden, NW1 7JY
A pub made famous for its links to the dark arts, it is said the pubs first landlady (in the 1700s) was in fact a witch. She was known by locals to create strange potions form time-to-time and developed an obviously unwelcome reputation of killing previous lovers.
She was thought to be from a family of seemingly pure evil as her parents were both hanged for killing children by using black magic.
Rumours suggest that the spirit of the witch of the Black Cap still lives on in the Camden pub. Reports say that every Sunday morning unexplainable shadows appear in the windows of the boozer, but are impossible to capture on camera, suggesting the witch is still working beyond the dead.
The Morpeth Arms, Westminster, SW1P 4RW
This cracking grade II listed pub used to have a very unconventional neighbour. Milbank Prison, which was active during the 1800s, was mostly used to hold convicts who were soon to be shipped out to colonial prisons such as Australia.
The pub had some involvement in the prison, and some prisoners were held in cells below the pub itself. Its whilst convicts were held here that the pubs ghost originates. A prisoner is said to have died below the pub, and that the spirit of the deceased prisoner can be seen wandering the Westminster drinkery’s cellar.
If these tales of ghosts, ghouls and pubs has wet your appetite for the supernatural or even simply for a pint, then why not try out our London Pub Crawl or perhaps our Free Jack the Ripper Tour.