Moving to London is an exciting undertaking, yet it can easily tread the fine line between thrilling and thriller. Searching for jobs, tying up loose ends at home, researching and booking an international moving company, packing, saying goodbye to loved ones, figuring out how/where to rent apartments, learning where to shop, see a doctor, and so on and so forth comprise a few of many logistics that can make an international relocation hellish. Relocation companies like London Relocation without a doubt are a tremendous help getting you situated into your new London life, and the other blog authors and I constantly dispense relocation advice (we have an exhaustive supply of moving tips in our archives here, so please do make use of our “Search” tool to find the keywords most relevant to your questions, and check out my category, “Weekend Warrior Saturday: What You Can do Today to Prepare for Your London Move”). The more you can make the unseen a known factor, the less scary the process will be.
That being said, there are certainly presences that might only scare you more should they manifest as something visible. As a city dating back millennia, this place is like one big giant burial mound, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding so many of its deaths has instilled a rather widespread belief in the otherworldy. After relocating to London, it’s inevitable that you’ll hear some local or other’s account of the places that raise the hair at the back of their necks. I’ve listed several haunted London pubs in particular these last few days, so let’s bring this series home with the end of our apparition alphabet:
Sutton Arms – 6 Carthusian Street, EC1M. This little establishment is graced by the presence of a smiling red-haired ghost affectionately known as Charlie. He apparently likes to sit in the corner quietly, yet has been known to also mingle among patrons.
The Viaduct Tavern – 126 Newgate Street, EC1A. This once-Victorian gin palace stands opposite the Old Bailey and itself was once the site of a debtors prison. Incorporated into its cellar are five jail cells, so this basement has witnessed much poltergeist activity, including the manager getting locked in and a worker getting tapped on the shoulder just before a roll of carpeting was lifted and dropped by an unseen presence.
The Volunteer – 245-247 Baker Street, NW1. Standing on the site of a 17th century mansion once owned by the much-feared Neville family, this pub still shares the original home’s cellars. The mansion had burned down, and, ever since, the ghost of Richard Neville has been reported to still walk about these cellars in his breeches, stockings, and surcoat.
Ye Olde Cock Tavern – 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y. Yes, as in the Fleet Street where the Demon Barber, Sweeney Todd, gave his clean, close shaves…mwah-ha-ha-haaaaa… This ultra narrow, squished-between-buildings pub is said to be haunted by Oliver Goldsmith, a writer who is buried out back behind the pub. A member of bar staff taking the trash out the back door reported that she saw his disembodied head floating in front of her and above the very spot of his grave. WoooooOOOOoooo…
Whispers in your ear, a cold hand at your shoulder, the things that wail and go bump in the night…they won’t be the lies and insincere gestures of landlords or lettings agents nor the sounds of shoddy plumbing or an unsafe neighbourhood outside your apartment as long as you have a Relocation agent at your service. So, before you move, get settled in, and finally kick back to enjoy a frosty witch’s brew at one of these local haunts, who you gonna call? London Relocation!