With history going back thousands of years, it’s no surprise London has its fair share of horror stories. Wars, criminals, torture, executions, plague, fire - you name it, the capital has seen it. And now you can relive it all thanks to our gorgeously gruesome guide to London’s horrifying historical attractions.
The London Dungeon
This is a full-on production of 1,000 years of the capital’s murky past. There are 18 interactive shows, 20 actors and heaps of special effects to make this a scary and darkly funny look at London’s criminal history. You’ll meet a host of sinister characters including Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd, Guy Fawkes and some of London’s best and most prolific torturers.
Tower of London
Today it is one of Britain’s most visited historic sites. But over it’s 1000-year history it has been a Mint, a menagerie, a palace and an infamous prison. On the top floor of the White Tower is a Block and Axe traditionally believed to be the one used at the last public beheading on Tower Hill in 1747. The Basement of the White Tower is believed to be the site of the torture and interrogation of prisoners such as Guy Fawkes and the Jesuit Priest John Gerard.
Clink Prison Museum
This Southwark museum is built on the original site of the Clink Prison - one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons. It was home to a motley crew of drunks, criminals and harlots. On your visit you’ll hear lots of scandalous stories and gossip with some torture thrown in too for good measure.
The London Bridge Experience & London Tombs offers a double dose of history and horror. You’ll be led through the dark history of London's most famous bridge including Roman soldiers, giant rats and enthusiastic executioners. Then you’ll be plunged into the London Tombs for a darkly comic and thrilling experience cheerfully described as “the bowels of hell”. Prepare to meet nesting spiders, maniac butchers and evil clowns.
Museum of London
London has a long history of division and disaster. Travel through prehistoric, Roman and medieval London and see how it became a divided city home to pleasure seekers and Puritans. There was plenty of death and disaster too, from royal executions, to the black plague in 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666.
Jack The Ripper Mystery Walk
In 1888 the world's most famous serial killer stalked the grimy streets of Whitechapel East London looking for prostitutes to kill with surgical precision. Now you can visit the actual murder sites and see photos of his victims and the top suspects. Guide Paul Mansfield has made four TV documentaries on the subject.
Old Operating Theatre
This operating theatre was built in the 1800s adjoining St Thomas’ Hospital. Students would come here and watch operations performed live and without any anaesthetics for the patients other than opiates and alcohol. But you won’t be obliged to watch people having anything sawn off with nothing more than a whisky to get them through. Thankfully the theatre was no longer used once antiseptic surgery was invented.