Investigate your own "X Files". Don't just read about the ghosts, UFOs and strange stories of Britain. Visit the sites yourself. If you are travelling on business, make the most of the opportunity to combine work with adventure, as a ghost hunter or paranormal investigator.
The hauntings and strange tales of London fill volumes, and not even residents of London could reasonably be expected to visit every site. I shall save the reader time by recommending sites because they have particularly interesting stories, or because there is actually something interesting to see. I shall of course include the sites that are likely to be on every visitor's itinerary.
Hampton Court Palace's most notable spirits are the unfortunate wives of Henry VIII. Catherine Howard (Katherine Howard) is sometimes seen in the Haunted Gallery. Usually, however, it is just her screams that are heard. Jane Seymour walks from the Queen's Apartments to the Silver Stick Gallery, carrying a taper. The ghost of Mistress Penn, foster mother of Edward VI, has been seen in her former apartments in the south-west wing. In 1917, a policeman saw a group of ten ghosts at the main gate. The palace has other ghostly but usually unidentified inhabitants, some of them apparently connected with skeletons occasionally found during alterations or maintenance. The Old Court House at Hampton Court is haunted by Christopher Wren, architect of St. Paul's Cathedral, and by the spirit of a seventeenth-century page.
Kensington Palace , once the residence of Princess Diana (technically Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales), is haunted by the ghost of George II, who may speak with a German accent.
St. James's Palace , the city residence of Prince Charles, is haunted by Sellis, a valet who took his own life after trying to kill the Duke of Cumberland. He believed that his master had seduced his daughter.
The Tower of London is probably the world's most famous haunted place. With or without her head, Anne Boleyn (Ann Boleyn) is seen in the White Tower. She is also seen in the Tower church, St. Peter-ad-Vincula, where she is interred. Her other haunts include Tower Green and the King's House.
The young princes, whose mysterious deaths enabled their uncle to become Richard III, haunt the Bloody Tower.
The Martin Tower has a number of hauntings. Ghosts include that of Lord Northumberland, alleged conspirator of Mary Queen of Scots, who was mysteriously shot dead while a prisoner. A strange floating cylinder, apparently filled with blue and white liquid, has been seen, and a phantom bear haunts the area near the Jewel Room.
Another of Henry VIII's victims who haunts the Tower is Lady Salisbury, who died an agonising death as a result of her struggles and an incompetent headsman. Of slightly later vintage is another woman who lost her head, Lady Jane Grey. Her reign lasted only a few days, but her spectre may still be seen. Less famous or unidentified phantoms have also been encountered.
Supernatural beings that you will definitely see are the Tower ravens. Disaster befalls anyone who harms them, and their very presence protect s the Tower. For that reason, some of them sometimes have their wings clipped, so that there will never be a time when there are no ravens at the tower.
The Unknown Warrior of the First World War is interred in Westminster Abbey , and his spectre is sometimes encountered. The deanery is haunted by John Bradshaw, who condemned his king, Charles I. The cloisters are the haunt of Father Benedictus, who died in the reign of Henry VIII. He floats above the ground, probably because the floor has been lowered.
No visit is complete without a visit to a haunted London pub. Haunted pubs of London
include The Spaniards , at Hampstead heath, haunted by the highwayman Dick Turpin and
even by his horse, Black Bess. The Grenadier , a Knightsbridge pub, is haunted by an
officer who was fatally beaten after being accused of cheating at cards.