Last Updated on September 22, 2023

London has a dark and gruesome history which makes it a great place to find scary things to do.

From the haunted Tower of London to walking around Highgate Cemetry, we’ve curated a list of frightful and adrenaline-pumping activities to do in the city.

Read our list of haunted locations, scary attractions, spooky underground locations and lots more.

Prepare to face your deepest fears as we uncover the 10 scariest things to do in London.

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling but frightening adventure? Let’s begin!

Visit the Tower of London

During it’s 900 year history, The Tower of London has picked up the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the city.

Reportedly, there are 13 ghosts that haunt the location including the restless spirits of Anne Boleyn and the two young princes.

Anne Bolelyn the ill-fated second wife of King Henry VIII, was famously executed at the Tower in 1536. Since her death, Anne’s ghost is said to haunt the Tower’s Chapel Royal, where she reportedly walks the corridors carrying her severed head. She is said to be one of the most persistant and most frequently sighted ghosts at the Tower.

In 1483, the young princes, Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, were held captive in the Tower and were never seen again. Many believe they were murdered as part of a plot to secure the throne for their uncle, Richard III. Over the years, numerous ghostly sightings of the princes have been reported, with some claiming to see the apparitions of the two young princes holding hands and looking lost in the Tower’s halls.

Although you can’t embark on a ghost tour at Tower of London, if you’re interested in ghosts, it’s well worth visiting the Tower and asking one of the Beefeaters to tell you more.

Embark on a Chilling Jack the Ripper Tour

This Jack the Ripper walking tour takes you through the streets of Whitechapel, where Jack the Ripper, one of the world’s most notorious serial killers, operated during the late 19th century.

His gruesome crimes and mysterious identity have captivated the public’s imagination for over a century.

Led by a knowledgeable guide, the tour takes you to the actual locations where Jack the Ripper committed his murders. Walk the dimly lit alleyways and narrow streets that were once hunting grounds of this infamous killer. Hear detailed accounts of the murders and subsequent investigations.

In additon, discover the theories surrounding the identity of the killer and learn about the grim conditions and social issues that plagued the East End during that era.

Another highlight of the tour is a visit to the infamous Ten Bells pub, where some of the victims were known to have frequented. As you discover evidence and learn about what happened, you’re invited to form your own conclusions about Jack the Ripper’s identity.

There are plenty of Jack the Ripper tours to choose from. Check out another option below:

Head Back in Time at the London Dungeon

Located near the South Bank of the River Thames, The London Dungeon is a fun, scary and sometimes laugh out loud immersive journey through 1000 years of London’s history. Step inside and find yourself transported back in time to some of the most notorious periods in London’s past, including the plague-ridden streets of the 17th century and the shadowy world of Jack the Ripper.

Walk into different sets with live actors who use story telling and theatre combined with audience participation to bring the past to life. Meet a variety of characters, from infamous criminals to torturers. Be prepared for unexpected jumps, eerie encounters, and heart-pounding moments which will keep you at the edge of your seat. There are also 2 rides to enjoy as part of the experience.

The London Dungeon is not just about scares; it’s also an educational. Delve into the darker chapters of London’s history and learn about events and places including the Great Fire of London, the Gunpowder Plot, and the infamous Bloody Tower.

 

Tour the West Cemetry at Highgate Cemetry


Photo: A Sleeping Angel at Highgate Cemetry

The hauntingly beautiful Highgate Cemetery in North London is an atmospheric burial ground well known for its ghostly sightings and eerie ambiance.

The Cemetery is divided into two sections: the East Cemetery, which can be visited independently, and the West Cemetery, which requires a guided tour.

The East Cemetery is adorned with ornate Victorian gravestones and tombs. Walk along atmospheric pathways and discover the final resting places of famous individuals, including authors, artists, and politicians. Famous graves including the philospher and politician, Karl Marx.

To truly immerse yourself in the mystique of Highgate Cemetery, a tour of the West Cemetry is a must. A knowledgeable guide gives fascinating insights into the cemetery’s history, its most well-known residents, legends and ghostly tales from the past.

One highlight of the tour is the Egyptian Avenue. Descend into an underground passage adorned with Egyptian-style motifs and lined with impressive tombs. In addition, The Circle of Lebanon, a circular arrangement of tombs and towering, ancient ceder trees is also impressive.

Highgate Cemetery’s reputation for paranormal activity and ghostly encounters attracts many ghost hunters . Over the years, there have been many reported sightings of apparitions and unexplained phenomena within the cemetery’s boundaries.

See the Torture Devices at the Clink Prison Museum

The Clink Prison Museum in Southwark offers a glimpse into the often gruesome history of London’s oldest and most notorious prison, known as “The Clink.”

The Clink Prison operated from the 12th to the 18th century and gained a fearsome reputation for its brutal and oppressive conditions. The museum stands on the site of the original prisons. Visitors can step back in time and learn about the horrors that prisoners endured.

Inside, historical exhibits and displays bring to life the grim realities of prison life of medieval and Tudor London.

One of the most gruesome highlights of the museum is its collection of replica torture devices. These instruments, were used to extract confessions or inflict pain upon prisoners. They include the infamous rack, the scavenger’s daughter, and various implements designed for punishment and intimidation. Seeing these devices up close provides a chilling reminder of the brutal practices employed in the past.

The Clink is a small museum and takes around an hour to explore but it’s well worth it if you want to explore the darker side of London’s history.

Ghost Walk

Being an old and historic city, London is one of the most haunted cities in the world. Therefore, it’s a brilliant city to embark on a ghost walk and there are plenty to choose from. A guide will take you through London’s streets, taking you to London’s most haunted locations and imparting information about London’s eeriest ghosts.

From touring haunted pubs to jumping on a ghost bus, there are plenty of ghost walks and or tours in the city to choose from. To help we’ve written a full article detailing the best ghost tours in the captial. 

Ghostly options include a free walking ghost tour, a serial killer tour and a trip on a boat.

Walk Through The Greenwich Foot Tunnel

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel crosses underneath the River Thames in East London. It links Greenwich on the south bank with Millwall on the north and is free to walk through.

4000 people walk through everyday so it can be quite busy. It may not seem scary when there are lots of people walking through at the same time as you. However, after sunset, the tunnel is dimly lit and feels quite creepy regardless. If you ever happen to find yourself alone when walking through, which can happen, it doesn’t help to learn that it’s one of the most haunted places in London. There have been sightings of the ghost of a young girl and a Victorian Couple.

Explore an Abandoned London Underground Station

There’s not many more creepy places than an abandoned London underground station. The best thing is you can explore some disused stations on a Hidden London tour.

Run by the London Transport Musuem, on a tour, visitors access hidden stations that are typically off-limits to the public. They include stations that have been closed to passengers for years. You’ll have the chance to explore platforms, tunnels, and areas that are no longer in use, giving a unique perspective on the underground network.

It’s a great way to discover a different side of London’s history, Step back in time and see historic posters, signage and vintage tiles in a long-disused tunnel, or stand where history was made during the Second World War. Guides tell you about the events that shaped London’s transport network and share people’s incredible stories.

Explore Nunhead Cemetry

Nunhead Cemetery South London, is a Victorian cemetery that  was consecrated in 1840. It was one of the “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries established around the outskirts of London to alleviate overcrowding in existing city burial grounds.

The cemetery’s overgrown pathways, ivy-covered gravestones and untouched nature create an evocative atmosphere that transports visitors back in time.

The cemetry is said to be haunted by apparitions and is a haven for ghost hunters and enthusiasts. Reported ghost sitings include William Daniel Jenkins – a clerk at the Bank of England who was over 6’7” tall. Other apparitions include women in Victorian dress and the ghosts of children.

The friends of Nunhead Cemetry run free guided tours which are not necessariy ghost related but tell about the history of the burial ground.

London Bridge Experience

London Bridge Experience and Tombs combine history, horror, and immersive storytelling to take you on a scary journey through the dark past of London Bridge.

Led by engaging actors, learn about London Bridge’s construction, its significance through the centuries, and the important events that happened here. Be prepared for sudden surprises and heart-pounding moments.

After the London Bridge Experience, you have the option to continue the journey into the depths of The London Tombs. 

The Tombs are said to be haunted, and as you explore their eerie corridors and tunnels, you’ll encounter some terrifying characters. From disturbed spirits to ancient curses, the tombs test your courage and immerse you in a world of fear

Detailed sets, special effects, and skilled actors create a truly terrifying experience. Expect jump scares as you navigate the twisted paths of the haunted catacombs.

Break Out from a Scary Escape Room


There are plenty of scary escape room experiences to try out in London. Here are a few to try:

Saw – Try your wits against the Jigsaw Killer, the main antagonist from the film Saw. (Located in America Square – near Fenchurch Street Station).

The Haunted Toy Store – can you solve the mysteries of this spooky abandoned toy store where there’s weird noises, strange happenings and children go missing. (Located in Spitalfields)

Sweeney Todd – Go undercover at Mrs Lovett’s pie shop and discover the secret ingredient that makes all pies so special. (Located in Oxford St)

 

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