Confession time: I’m a bit of a wimp.
And by “a bit”? I mean a lot.
For example: remember that time I went to watch The Woman in Black?
Remember how I spent half the show with my eyes closed, looking down at the floor and very nearly left in the interval?
So when I got an invite to join a Ghost Walking tour in London my initial reaction was: LOL NO.
But then I started thinking…
See, I really like walking tours.
I’ve done several of them (like this one and this other one), and have always really enjoyed them. I think they’re an amazing way to see the city, as well as learning about the more quirky aspects of it’s history.
So was I really gonna wimp out of discovering more of London’s shadowy past, just because I was scared of bumping into a couple of ghosts?
No. No I was not.
Some of you might remember Best LDN Walks, as I’ve been on a couple of their tours previously.
In fact, the Ghost Tour is actually a mashup of Lantern’s London Bridge Ghost Tour and Best LDN’s Naughty London tour (read my review here!), so I’d already heard some of the facts before.
But a lot of them were new to me, and it was also super interesting to think about things I already knew from a whole other perspective.
It’s basically a fantastic insight into the dirtier side of London. The sex, drugs, alcohol, blood and gory side of it.
The tour guides are super well-informed but are so enthusiastic about everything, that you inevitably soak up the info just by how fun they make it (which is always the best way to learn no?)
We started the night with wine and nibbles at the Boot and Flogger pub, before heading to our first hunting ground of the night: the Cross Bones graveyard.
Cross Bones was an unconsecrated burial ground for prostitutes way, way back many centuries ago.
It’s fascinating because people still visit it and leave tokens for the ghosts on the railings. Ribbons, soft toys, notes…
Jacqui, who ran the tour, also brought a load of spiritual gadgety things with her, so we could try and get in contact with the ghosts.
We got absolutely no response until we offered them some wine. At which point they started moving around.
So we left them some wine. Obviously.
(Because drunk spirits are happy spirits…)
Slightly creeped out, we moved on to the George Inn (one of my faves!).
It’s one of the oldest pubs in London, and used to be visited by everyone from Dickens to Shakespeare. It’s said that the old landlady still haunts it…
Next, we hit up the Old Operating Theatre, the very first ever in all the world.
No anaesthetic, no hygiene and homeless people used to get paid to go in and have their legs chopped off. Lovely.
(It’s also where the vibrator was first invented. Just, y’know. Fun fact.)
Southwark Cathedral was next: it was first established as a convent by a woman called Mary Overs.
Her Dad and Boyfriend both died so she decided to become a nun. (Seems a bit dramatic but hey, who am I to judge?). Her soul is said to still haunt the area.
Then we went past the Clink Prison (dating back about 800 years and haunted by a priest and a little girl. *shiver*), the Anchor Tavern (haunted by the dog from Pirates of the Caribbean), and finished up at Cardinal’s Cap Alley.
Those of you who read my post about the Sex, Drugs and Sausage Rolls tour might remember this place.
It’s a little street on the South Bank where a cardinal once got caught with his pants down and had to run away so accidentally dropped his cap.
Yep. Still one of my favourite London facts.
I’m soooo glad I dismissed my wimpy fears and went to this.
It’s not scary at all, just really really fascinating.
Jacqui really knows her stuff about ghosts, and it was fantastically spooky to hear of people still seeming to feel these ghosts around them, even now.
So yeah. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a great London Ghost Tour!
We also pulled this face. You’re welcome.
*I was a guest of Lantern Ghost Tours and Best LDN Walks.
As always, if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t blog it! :)
**Photo of the wine donation taken by Charlie who is a babe.