We all know the English capital; the Tower Bridge, the enormous ferris wheel London Eye, the iconic Houses of Parliament and of course the humble home of the Queen, Buckingham Palace. The city has an incredibly rich history, and contrary to its lovely atmosphere today has also known a dark past. If you were able to time-travel back about two to three hundred years ago, you’d experience the very different atmosphere in the city; especially after dark… Serial killers, mad men, horrible diseases such as the plague, hangmen, torturers, people involved in dark businesses behind locked doors… Anything goes, as far as the gloomy history for the famous capital. Are you fascinated with these sort of things and would you like to experience a darker side of London? Then you’ve found the right place; the following places might be worth a visit on your next trip.
The London Dungeon
Travel back in time and experience how it was to live in London from the past. An appointment with the torturer, a visit to the plague doctor or standing trial for the merciless judge? The London Dungeon will put you in your place! With more than 10 different rooms en 20 scare actors you’ll never feel safe… are you ready to visit this horrible place?
Jack the Ripper tour
There are few people that haven’t heard of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. In 1888 he was responsible for the atrocious murder of five women – to date, people still haven’t figured out who Jack the Ripper (which was the name people gave him) really was and what his motives were. During the Jack the Ripper tour you’ll stay up to date with horrifying images through a handheld device called the RipperVision, and the guides leading you to the different murder locations are brilliant at bringing the story to life. Not for the faint hearted!
The Huntarian museum
Do you secretly have a fascination for weird things in preservative jars? The Huntarian museum is anything but boring; from deformed skulls to jars with misshapen embryo’s, a skeleton of one of the biggest men in history to a dissected mummy foot. Are you looking for a more alternative museum to spend your afternoon? You know where to go… (Edit: currently, the museum is closed for a rebuilding project)
The London Hospital museum
Speaking of Jack the Ripper: fancy seeing the knife he used on his victims? The London Hospital museum claims it is part of its collection; decide for yourself whether it is genuine. What’s more, visitors can admire a life size construction of how the skeleton of John Merrick (also known as the Elephant Man) looked like. Next to that, there are more than enough other strange and eerie objects in the collection of the museum, definitely worth a visit (but maybe skip lunch beforehand…)
The Tower of London
The Tower of London was not built as a prison. Yet ever since its construction as a fortress and royal residence, people have been imprisoned here – over the centuries, the Tower became a symbol of state authority and an object of fear. You can still visit rooms that were used to torture and imprison people. Not a massive amount of people were tortured here (it is often exaggerated), but the descriptions and devices are creepy enough. It is hard to imagine that things like the rack and the scavenger’s daughter (which was the opposite of the rack) were actually used on people in the past…
Done with all the horror but feeling like a more light-hearted day out in London? Visit one of the many colourful markets!
Have you ever been to one of these places?