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Top 10 Scary London Urban Legends

10. The Corpse Train
Back in the early 1900s at the dawn of the age of the London Underground, back when escalators were wooden and trains were creepier, there was a decidedly scary rumor going around. A lot of people swear that there used to be a special train that transported corpses from the Royal London Hospital in White Chapel to morgues in the city. This makes a lot of sense as it would have not only been quicker, but it also spared Victorian era Londoner's exposure to sickness and disease…the plague might not have been rife, but other nasties were. Adding substance to the legend of the corpse train, a lot of people swear there is a bricked up tunnel at the white chapel, saying it is the old entrance to the corpse train route. On top of that, there is abandoned station nearby called St Mary’s, on White Chapel Road. Anyway, a lot of people think the lost souls on board the corpse train still haunt white chapel station. White chapel, man It was a spooky area! It was also the stomping ground of old Jack the Ripper!

9. Spring-Heeled Jack
Do we like a leaping demon? No, we do not. Say it with me now! This beasty was an urban legend back in Victorian Era London. Why they needed urban legends when they had legit killers and nasty sicknesses, I do not know… but hey… those Victorians needed to get their rocks off somehow. Reports of Spring Heeled Jack popped up in 1837 amid a spate of weird attacks around Clapham Common. Mary Stevens was walking to Lavender Hill through the park when a figure leaped out at her. He kissed her and ripped her clothes off with claws. Mary described him as cold and clammy. The girls scream caused the man like creature to spring away.

The next day, a man fitting the attacker's description was seen jumping in front of a carriage, causing it to crash. He then reportedly escaped by jumping over a 9ft wall whilst laughing – garnering him the name Spring Heeled Jack in the media. The light-footed devil was officially recognized by the Lord Mayor of London on the 9th January 1838. Further sightings and reports cropped up in newspapers, including a much-publicised attack on 19th February 1838 on two women. One described him as vomiting blue and white flames, while his eyes resembled red balls of fire. My favorite is this 1867 illustration of the devil! The devil seemed to move from London up to the North West of England; he was last spotted in Liverpool in 1904.

8 . The Crying Girl at Kings Cross
This is a sad tale indeed, but some say Kings Cross Station is haunted by the spirit of a crying young woman. On the evening of the 18th November in 1987, there was a truly horrifying fire on the Piccadilly line escalator at Kings Cross railway station. At this time, the escalator was made of wood, and the grease under the contraption made it a fire hazard waiting to ignite, and ignite it did. A match was dropped down the side of the escalator, spreading a major blaze that burned so hot the ticket office floor melted and collapsed. 31 people brutally died in the blaze, with a further 100 injured. Those who died did so horribly. They say that a traumatic death is ghost maker, and 31 people certainly had just that. One spirit that has been regularly spotted in the area of the station where the fire blazed is a young crying woman. In 1998 a man spotted a distressed woman crying into her hands. When he went to ask her if she was okay, he passed straight through her. This is just one of many sightings of the crying girl – with some saying they have seen a woman with long brown hair screaming with her arms outstretched, and when they go to assist her, she isn’t there. I’ve been through that area of the building several times, there is a little memorial to the victims. I have never seen the ghost, but I have to admit there is a stomach-wrenching sadness that fills me every time I walk down that corridor.

7. The Phantom Bus
Around Cambridge Gardens in Ladbroke Grove, there is a rouge number 7 bus that haunts the streets at 1.15 am. A night bus! Hands up all the night bus worriers of London town. Urgh for a long time there was no late night tube, so the night bus was the only way to get home and they’re pretty savage places to be 1am. Anyway, I digress….. the only savage in this story is the phantom bus! The otherworldly apparition came about in 1930 when it caused a nasty accident. A driver was motoring down the road when he swerved to avoid something on coming. The man then crashed his car into a wall and died as his car burst into flames. Eyewitnesses say they saw a bright red London double-decker bus with the number 7 on it hurtling down the road, with the dead driver swerving out if its path. Police investigated but they found no scheduled bus at that time of night, and the area didn’t have a number 7 bus on its route at all. More accidents happened in the same spot with remarkably similar eyewitnesses accounts – same red number 7 bus, same out of control careering down the road.

6. Sir Francis Bacon and a Half-plucked Chicken
This won't is the last time Highgate is mentioned on this list. The ghost of famous English Philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon, is said to haunt Pond Square in Highgate, North London… but his ghost is accompanied by a chicken. Bacon died after catching pneumonia as he tried to stuff a chicken with snow in the street in order to experiment with freezing as a way of preserving meat. The events of the 17th century clearly had an impact on the area and many people have reported seeing bacon and foul running amok around pond square. Most famously, a couple in the 1970s were snogging on a bench when their kissing sesh was disturbed by a rogue chicken that seemed to disappear into a wall.


5. The Headless Ghost of Tower Green
Tower Green is within the Tower of London…and, to be honest, the ghosts of the Tower of London could make up the entire ten-point list, so I am going to keep it simple with a lesser known ghost of the castle, Lady Margaret Pole, the 8th Countess of Salisbury. It seems her son offended King Henry the 8th, but he was out of the country so he exacted his revenge on his mother instead. Lady Pole was 70 years old at the time, which was ancient for Tudors! On her execution day, she refused to lay her head upon the block, so the executioner swung his ax at where she stood, striking her shoulder instead. She ran around screaming and pouring blood until the executioner finally caught her. It took 11 blows to finally finish her off and is one of the towers most gruesome murders. It is said that on the anniversary of her death, May the 27th 1541, her ghosts run around screaming around the area, enacting her last moments on earth.

4. The Spirits of Epping Forest
Oooh, Epping Forest. You wouldn’t catch me there alone at night. The forest is haunted by such a large number of spooks, it is hard to pick just one! One of the more famous ghosts is highwayman Dick Turpin, who used to use the forest as a base for his illicit activities. The ghost of the criminal, eventually hanged for his years of wrongdoing, presented himself to ghost hunter Yvette Fielding in an area he used to hide out in the forest. In the 1960s, there were reports of ghostly figures emerging from a pond in the forest near Lindsey Street, others say a pond deeper in the forest draws in potential suicide victims as it was once the scene of a murder-suicide between two young lovers over 300 years ago. Another spirit is said to draw cars up a road on a hill just outside the forest.

3. 50 Berkeley Square
50 Berkeley Square is supposed to be the most haunted house in Britain, let alone London! The home dates back the late 18th century and has a very haunted attic! It is said that a young woman threw herself out of the attic window after being abused by her uncle for years. Her spirit is said to take the form of a brown mist and is capable of scaring people to death. Between 1859 and the early 1870s, a recluse called Mr. Myers lived and died in the house as he went slowly mad. People who have stayed at the property, including Lord Lyttleton, have claimed to have seen ghosts aplenty. Lyttleton even shot at one! The house was a particular focal point in the late 1800s when Mayfair Magazine ran a piece about a maid who went mad and died after working at the house and stories of two sailors dying at the house emerged. The property is currently the oldest unaltered building in London and, with private owners, little is known about the latest hauntings.

2. The Most Haunted Theatre In London
The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is the Oldest theatre in London, as well as the most haunted. The theatre has been in the same spot since the 16th Century but has burned down twice. Theatres are highly emotional places and are regularly the center of hauntings. Drury Lane has a whole bunch of ghosts, including a mysterious man in gray, famous clown, Joseph Grimaldi, Pantomime Dame Dan Leno and some say madame Tussauds sits in the aisles cradling a waxwork head. I worked in London Theatre and a number of my friends at the theatre-royal Drury lane experienced the man in grey first hand. Seeing him on the opening night of a new show is supposed to be good luck, and she reportedly appeared on the first night of Miss Saigon, one of the most successful musicals to run on the West End and Broadway. The man in grey LOVES the theatre and is said to regularly shush noisy patrons. The ghost of the clown is less helpful, he is said to kick actors on stage.

1. Highgate Vampire
The Highgate vampire is one of the most popular and credible London urban legends. Practically everyone who lives or has lived in the city knows about it. The Highgate vampire caused a media stir in the 1970s when there was a slew of supernatural activity in Highgate cemetery in London. The legend started on a cold December night when occult lovers spent the night in the cemetery and glimpsed a grey figure. Since then, a specter has been seen stalking the graveyard at night. The story goes that the occult lovers awoke a sleeping spirit of a Romanian Vampire. The Vampire was a medieval nobleman who practiced dark magic in medieval times and his body was brought to England in a coffin in the early 18th century and buried in Highgate Cemeteries. The story and sightings led to mass media coverage and mobs of vampire hunters swarming the gates of the graveyard. It seems the ghostly apparition may live on, the so-called vampire was last spotted in 2016 and was possibly caught on camera in 2012.

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