The streets of East London will be full of zombies, witches and ghosts this weekend. But, amongst the make-up, wigs and fake blood could be beings of a more supernatural nature. As I am a firm believer in ghosts I decided to do some research on a couple of the haunted places in East London.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most iconic buildings in the East End and is also one of the most haunted buildings in England. With such a rich history of British monarchy and execution the tower is sure to have many tales to tell and I wanted to find out more about the ghosts said to roam the grounds.
The spirit of King Henry VI is said to appear on the anniversary of his murder on 21st May 1471. On the strike of midnight his ghost paces around the Wakefield Tower before disappearing for another year. The White Tower is haunted by the so-called “White Lady” whose perfume can be smelt in the area. She has also been known to wave from windows to children visiting the tower.
It is well known that many souls were executed in the grounds of the Tower of London and several, including Anne Boleyn are thought to return to the place of their death. The most active of these spirits is that of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. She was executed on 27th May 1541 at the order of King Henry VIII. It is reported that her execution is played out on every anniversary coupled with loud screams.
Bow Bells, Bow Road
This pub which dates back to 1869 has a long history of paranormal activity. Landlords and regulars alike have reported strange goings on. The spirit thought to reside at Bow Bells presents as a fine mist rising from the floor in the bar area. The most activity though appears to occur in the toilets where the playful phantom has a habit of flushing the toilet when in use.
Back in 1974 one landlord held a séance in the hope of getting rid of the ghost for good. A toilet door reportedly swung open so violently that the pane of glass inside shattered. The ghost remains in Bow Bells and subsequent landlords and drinkers have had to learn to live with the spooky presence.
The Bow Bells is definitely worth a visit but you may get more spirit than you bargained for!
Sutton House – Homerton High Street
Built in 1535 by Sir Ralph Sadleir this house has seen many changes throughout the year. It has been home to merchants, clergy and silk-weavers. Due to neglect in the 1980’s the building suffered t the hands of squatters and vandals. It was restored in the early 1990’s and is now in the ownership of the National Trust.
The house is ablaze with ghostly events which include doors opening of their own accord, objects being thrown across the room and sudden drops in temperature. One of the ghosts thought to haunt the house is that of the White Lady, thought to Francis Machell who died during childbirth in 1574. Her husband, John Machell owned dogs and they are thought to still roam the house at night. Witnesses claim to hear dogs wailing coming from the empty house in the dead of night.