Nature Travel

London || Haunted Hampstead

I mentioned yesterday in my “10 Things” post that I really wanted Sam and I to do a haunted walking tour of London and/or a Jack the Ripper tour on Saturday. Something thematic to get us into the spooky Halloween mood. Unfortunately, I left it far too late and everything had already been booked solid. But my heart was still set on a haunted walking tour regardless. 

It’s a little known fact that during Sam’s time at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, I wasn’t sitting at home twiddling my thumbs whilst he was giving his finest on stage. Oh no. I got a job giving ghost tours in Stratford. Nothing makes you acclimatise to a new town more than having to memorise an hour’s worth of monologue/facts about the region. I would say my ghost tours were more fact than story. Some people want their tour guide to be super spooky and in character and scare them. I went for the more clinical approach of being the straight-man and letting the fairly awesome (and gruesome) stories talk for themselves.

So I can back myself to give a ghost tour. But I didn’t have the research in front of me. So I started looking for haunted London apps that would tell you ghost stories based on your location on a map. And there are a few apps out there that fit that brief, but don’t waste your money. They are rubbish. In fact, this whole experience has inspired me to make my own haunted London app. I just don’t know where to start. 

London is massive, and I also wanted us to enjoy the gorgeous Autumnal sun that was shining this weekend, so I started us out in my favourite part of London: Highgate Village and Hampstead Heath. If money was no object, this is where I would live without thinking twice. After a wander around the Heath and a picnic lunch in the sunshine, we made our way towards the village and I regaled Sam with ghost stories about The Spaniards Inn (pub), The Flask (pub) and the Highgate Cemetery vampire amongst many, many other. 

By the time we wrapped in North London, the sun was just starting to set (yes, at around 4 pm) so we then popped into town and walked through much of East London, with ghost tales and DumDum donuts to keep us going. This half of the day heavily consisted of Jack the Ripper stories. I loved walking by the proper Jack the Ripper tours and standing a short distance away from them as I gave Sam my own rendition. 

After that it was home time for dinner, snuggles and scary films. All in all, we walked about 7 miles so all the little Mars bars I ate were well deserved!

My favourite things that we stumbled across during the day were: William Wallace’s death site and memorial as well as the gravestone for the poet, William Blake. 
wood path
Gorgeous Heath path.
walking in the woods
on the walk
bag
dog swimming in pond`
Lovely puppies going for swims.
car in the drained pond
Park management was draining parts of the pond for renovation and this car was found at the bottom of the boating pond. Who knows how long it was there!
sitting
kenwood house
This is Kenwood House. It’s where Julia Roberts is filming her period film in “Notting Hill”.
 
playing fetch
the gatehouse
The Old Tollhouse that used to be part of the boundary of Highgate Village.

the spanairds inn
An extremely old and extremely haunted pub.

reflections
the flask
The Flask, another one of London’s oldest and most haunted pubs.
in highgate
church in highgate
cemetery entrance sign
highgate cemetary
pumpkins and vintage car
The most perfect Autumn scene!
william blake's grave
pennies on blake grave
sam

We couldn’t have had a more deliciously Autumnal day! What does your ideal fall day look like?

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  • This is picture perfect! I never knew The Spaniard is haunted?? We need to re-visit!

    • It is, it is! Apparently it was a favourite safe house for highwayman Dick Turpin. (Ghost 1) and also a barmaid hung herself out of unrequited loved with a married man hundreds of years ago and she haunts the garden. (Ghost 2) x

  • I want to help with the app! It can have all kinds of amazing stories about shit that happened in London near wherever you are standing. Once that is a success we branch out to Paris, Rome, New York. Next stop: world domination

    • Yes! That’s exactly the kind of map that I want to make, with both a text and audio version of the stories. Haha though there might be limited interest in haunted apps. x

  • What a fun day! They have a walking tour here that shares ghost stories around town that I really want to check out.

  • Alice Young

    You used to be a ghost tour guide, that’s so cool! It’s a shame all the ghost tours were booked up but doing your own one actually sounds just as fun – you can go where you want then aha! You’ve made me want to book one now though, they sound fun.

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

    • Ha, the tour guide can really make of break a tour. If you get one that’s a bit half-hearted of nonplussed about the whole thing it can ruin the experience. It’s always cheesy, but usually still fun! x

  • You should totally make a haunted London app!! I love that idea!!

  • I always love Hampstead / Highgate. And the graveyards do look pretty spooky this time of year! xxx

  • Great post! I just saved it!

  • I loved giving tours when I was in St Andrews but I wasn’t much for telling stories – we have so many ‘curses’ and all but I was also more factual!x