If you’re moving to London from the US this month—or have already arrived—and are as into Halloween as I and a lot of other American expats here are, you might be wondering if it’s celebrated. Well, it certainly is, but not to the same extent as back home. Last week I listed off some Halloween events coming up, and if attending one of those parties, you’ll find that the locals don’t quite grasp our American way of dressing up in costume as anything from politicians to Saturday Night Live characters to abstract concepts like “chick magnet” or “Freudian slip.” What they do embrace, however, is the spooky—you can dress as anything, really, as long as you’re splattered in blood!—and there’s really no better place than here for getting your freak-out on.
And not just at Halloween but any time of year! This place is haunted as hell! Yesterday, I commenced my list of famously haunted pubs, so let’s continue, shall we?
The Flask Tavern – 14 Flask Walk, Hampstead, NW3. A female spirit haunts this premises, but her identity is unknown. It’s speculated she might be a former maidservant who committed suicide after a love affair gone wrong or perhaps connected to the mysterious bullet that’s lodged in one of the pub’s walls. Either way, she signals her presence with drops in temperature, swaying lights, and moving glasses.
The George – 213 Strand, WC2R. The Tudor facade of this 1930s establishment might seem to trick you into believing it’s an older building, but the truth is that its foundation really does date back to the 17th century. A smiling man in Cavalier dress is said to dwell in its cellar.
The Grenadier Pub – 18 Wilton Row, Belgrave Square, SW1. This pub is world-famous for its spectre, an 18th century guards officer who was beaten to death for cheating at cards. Witnesses claim he’s now the cause of poltergeist activity and the mysterious appearance of cigar smoke.
John Snow Pub – 39 Broadwick Street, W1F. John Snow himself was a doctor who traced the source of a mid-1800s cholera outbreak to a pump that stood outside this site. The ghost haunting the pub, however, is unknown; he sits in the corner and scowls at modern-day patrons.
The London Stone – 109 Cannon Street, EC4. This one isn’t so much about rumored spooks as a deliberate attempt to freak you out with its ghostly and Gothic atmosphere, including coffin-shaped blackboards, fake bookshelves, and a menu of seven deadly sin cocktails. The pub is named for the nearby Roman stone that is thought to have been the original city center, from which the Romans measured all distances.
The interiors of apartment rentals can be just as scary if you go to just any lettings agency for help. Lettings agents work for the landlords, so they’ll do whatever to seal the deal. Relocation agents, in sharp contrast, work for you, so they’re highly selective and will show you only the best that’s out there. Maybe your Relocation agent can’t promise your new apartment doesn’t have a resident ghost of its own, but he/she certainly won’t let any fears of the unknown haunt you before or after your international relocation where the property market is concerned. 🙂