17 Historic & Haunted Pubs for a Spooky London Pub Crawl (Plus 2 Crypt Cafes)

View of the bar inside the Ten Bells Pub

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Someone once told me that any UK pub worth its salt will have a haunting or two. Certainly British pubs love to have a bit of history – in fact, if you look most of them up, they will have a ‘history’ section on their website. The history geek in me loves and appreciates this. But it is true that an awful lot of them claim to have some links to the supernatural. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good haunted pub? So during our most recent stay in the city, we made it our mission to hunt down as many haunted pubs in London as we could.

Yes, for you dear readers, we went on a bit of a weeklong pub crawl of London. Interspersed, of course, with lots of other dark and creepy sites and activities.

But we also love grisly histories. Which is why we haven’t just included London pubs sporting a ghost story or two. We’ve also included pubs with ties to London’s seedy history, be it Jack the Ripper, the Krays or even the plague.

However, while we love a spooky pub crawl in theory, we’re not actually huge drinkers (there was a bit of day drinking and a lot of ginger ale). So we couldn’t help but add two of London’s creepy crypt cafes!

Next time you’re in London and find yourself looking for something spooky to do, definitely check out at least one of these pubs. From gangsters and serial killers to haunted basements and hanging nooses, there’s something here for everyone. And hey, even if you don’t see a ghost, you can always try out some traditional British food! If that’s your thing.

There are 17 pubs on this list; please do not go to all of them in one night and have a pint in every single one. In other words, please drink responsibly. We’re not your caretakers, we’re just here to provide spooky historical fun facts! If you choose to do a pub crawl in London, do so at your own risk and pace!

If you’d rather do a pub crawl with a fun group of people, then we recommend checking out a London pub tour! And if, like us, you’re currently unable to go out drinking in London, then for the time being you can experience London’s haunted history from the comfort of your own home!

Be aware: drinking age in the UK is 18, however in some circumstances younger people can have one drink if accompanied by an adult and having a full meal!

Also, we apologise for some of these photos, but English weather does what it wants. Does the grey help set the mood?

Looking for more inspiration during your stay? We’ve got even more suggestions for dark and unusual things to do in London, recommendations for dark history walking tours of London, a guide to London’s street art scene and a story about our visit to the Old Operating Theatre!

1. The Lord Morpeth

The Lord Morpeth in London, featuring street art of Sylvia Pankhurst of the suffragette movement

To be honest, this isn’t the most sinister of ones to be starting off with. But just to ease you in with a bit of history and politics…

The Lord Morpeth was the favoured pub of Sylvia Pankhurst and the suffragettes. And while not strictly dark history, it was certainly a darker time.

In case you live under a rock and you don’t know who Sylvia Pankhurst is, her mother, Emmeline Pankhurst, was sort of the figurehead of the women’s rights movement in the UK. And eventually that mantle fell to Sylvia. You can learn more about the suffragettes in the film Suffragette. But know that the film really whitewashes over the struggle of women of colour and lesbians, despite many being involved with the suffragettes from the beginning.

I kind of prefer Sylvia, though, because it turns out that Emmeline was weirdly conservative about some things. For example, when Sylvia got pregnant with her son, Richard Pankhurst, her mother disowned her because she refused to marry the father, Silvio Corio.

Outside the pub is a stunning street art piece of Sylvia. Our photo isn’t the best because we arrived at the pub after dark!

Location: 402 Old Ford Rd, Bow, London E3 5NR
Nearest Tube Station: Mile End OR Bow Road
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:00 to 23:00; Friday – Saturday 11:00 to 01:00

2. The Carpenters Arms

The Carpenters Arms pub in London

The Carpenters Arms was a Kray pub. As in, it was owned by the Kray family. Although nothing explicitly bad happened here on record (like being shot in the head), merely being owned by the Krays is enough to give it a sinister history. I’m sure more than one member of a rival gang, or even of their criminal organisation ‘The Firm’ was roughed up on the premises. It’s said that they liked the pub specifically because it only had one entrance, which meant they could keep an eye on anyone who entered. Not psychotic at all!

You may also recognise the pub from its minor roles in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Hobbs & Shaw. Which does kind of lead me to believe that Jason Statham might hang out there in his free time. But don’t quote me on that!

If you’re looking to learn more about the Krays and the gangster history of London, check out the gangster walking tour with actor Vas Blackwood (he played Rory Breaker in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).

Location: 73 Cheshire St, London E2 6EG
Nearest Tube Station: Shoreditch High Street OR Bethnal Green Overground Station NOT Bethnal Green Underground Station
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 16:00 to 23:30; Friday 15:00 to 00:00; Saturday 12:00 to 00:00; Sunday 12:00 to 22:30

3. The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells pub in London

The Ten Bells pub in Whitechapel is often associated with Jack the Ripper, although there is no evidence the Ripper himself ever drank there (particularly as we still don’t actually know who he was). However, the bar was certainly frequented by each of Jack the Ripper’s victims (and yes, likely Jack the Ripper himself).

Walking into the pub is like walking back in time as the owners have worked hard to keep and maintain original fixtures and decor. It’s a bit of an odd one inside as far as modern pubs go, since there isn’t much seating room, at least not downstairs. But it’s great for busy nights out as there’s plenty of standing room without having to spill out onto a busy street.

The pub is also popular on Sunday afternoons, as many people pop in after checking out Spitalfields, one of London’s top Sunday markets.

Find out more out more on a Jack the Ripper walking tour!

Location: 84 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LY
Nearest Tube Station: Aldgate East
Opening Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 12:00 to 00:00; Thursday – Saturday 12:00 to 01:00

4. The Blind Beggar

The Blind Beggar, perfect for a pub crawl of London

The Blind Beggar is an old pub, full of history – though not all of it is all that dark. However, two particularly notable things happened at the Blind Beggar that have warranted its inclusion on this list.

First, in the early 20th century, a group of pickpockets who hung around the neighborhood were called The Blind Beggar pickpockets. And in 1904 a member of the gang, a man known only by the name of “Bulldog” Wallace, stabbed a man in the eye with an umbrella while inside the pub. Which, if you ask me, is a fairly ironic place to stab him given the pub’s name.

But the Blind Beggar is perhaps most infamous for being the pub where Ronnie Kray shot George Cornell, a member of a rival gang, in 1966. The story is that Cornell had called Ronnie a ‘fat poof’ a few days prior, which understandably upset Ronnie. This would have upset anyone, but Cornell frequently mocked both the twins, and Ronnie had clearly had enough. Plus, Ronnie was known to be not only a ruthless gangster but a tad unhinged, so you know eventually he was bound to snap. As soon as Ronnie learned that Cornell was at the Blind Beggar that day, he rushed over, strode in and shot him right in the head.

However, the pub does little to capitalise on these brutal stories as the pub’s publican, David Dobson, hopes it will be known for other things. In particular, he claims to have the finest collection of Japanese carp in the East End!

Book a gangster tour of London

Location: 139 Leman St, Whitechapel, London E1 8EY
Nearest Tube Station: Aldgate East
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:00 to 23:00; Friday & Saturday 11:00 to 00:00

5. The Brown Bear

The Brown Bear pub in London

If you watch Ripper Street, you’ll definitely recognise this pub! Just as it is in the show, the Brown Bear is still directly across from the Leman Street police station. Leman street was heavily involved in the Ripper investigation as it lies in the centre of where many of the bodies of both confirmed Ripper victims and suspected Ripper victims were found. In fact, right around the corner from the pub is the Jack the Ripper Museum.

However, the Brown Bear wasn’t just the pub of choice for Leman Street’s finest during their darkest hour. It also has connections to London’s gangster scene.

The feud between George Cornell and the Krays (specifically Ronnie) is believed to have started following a fist fight outside of the Brown Bear – a fight that Cornell reportedly won, which led to him mocking the twins publicly… which ultimately led to his death.

But that’s not all!

Okay, to be fair, this last link is more tenuous…

As a popular watering hole to members of the Kray twins’ organization ‘The Firm’, the Brown Bear is also where Tony and Chris Lambrianou (and possibly others) began their own London pub crawl the night that Jack McVitie, another Kray victim and former member of ‘The Firm,’ was murdered. A murder, incidentally, for which they later became accessories after disposing of the body.

Book a gangster tour or Jack the Ripper tour

Location: 337 Whitechapel Rd, Shadwell, London E1 1BU
Nearest Tube Station: Whitechapel
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 11:00 to 23:00; Thursday – Friday 11:00 to 00:00; Satuday – Sunday 12:00 to 23:00 (no food served)

RELATED: Best Dark History TV Series

6. The Prospect of Whitby

The Prospect of Whitby pub in London

Today it is the Prospect of Whitby, but this pub was once known as ‘The Devil’s Tavern’ on account of one of its most notorious patrons, Judge Jeffreys. Judge Jeffreys, more famously known as ‘The Hanging Judge,’ was responsible for sentencing hundreds of men to death by hanging following the failed Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.

There is even a noose still hanging from the pub window as a reminder of the judge!

Additionally, the pub has ties to shipping piracy and smuggling as this whole area of London was a smuggling haven.

Location: 57 Wapping Wall, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 3SH
Nearest Tube Station: Wapping
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:00 to 23:30; Friday – Saturday 12:00 to 00:00; Sunday: 12:00 to 22:30

7. Town of Ramsgate

It’s hard to believe now, given the rather pleasant crowd that turns up for their weekly quiz night, but the Town of Ramsgate was once the pub of choice for vagabonds, sailors and pirates (who may also have loved quiz night – we’ll never know).

Just around the side of the pub are a set of stairs leading into the Thames. Though they seem out of place now, these were once execution docks where pirates were sent to their death. The patrons of the Town of Ramsgate would cheer as fellow pirates were hanged by short nooses. Why short ones? Because it took longer and therefore they suffered!

At low tide, you can still see the chains where they shackled the pirates waiting their turn.

In 1688, just outside of the pub (or possibly in it; accounts differ) Judge Jeffreys was spotted and attacked by an angry mob. He was likely heading home from his favourite pub, The Prospect of Whitby, just down the road. (Even today, the pubs maintain a biting, though somewhat friendly rivalry.)

From the Town of Ramsgate, Judge Jeffreys was taken to the Tower of London where he eventually died of kidney complications due to excessive drinking. I’m sure people would rather have seem him hanged, though.

In December 1787, Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian, of the HMS Bounty, were said to have had their last drinks at the pub before their infamous voyage. The HMS Bounty, of course, is the subject of the real life Mutiny on the Bounty incident of 1789. A novel and several film versions have been made about the event, each with its own faults and praises.

Location: 62 Wapping High St, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2PN
Nearest Tube Station: Wapping
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 12:00 to 23:00; Friday – Sunday 12:00 to 00:00

8. Turner’s Old Star

Turner's Old Star pub in London

The first day we walked by Turner’s Old Star, I read over the plaque about the original publican, James Turner, drawn in by the phrase ‘Turner’s secret life.’ Apparently he was a bit of a philanderer. “Ugh, how boring.” I said.

The next day, as we walked by again and I said absentmindedly to Jeremy, “Make sure if we pass by any plaques, we read them to see if anything dark or interesting happened.”

“You mean like that one?” Jeremy pointed to the other sign on Turner’s Old Star.

Plaque reads: "Site of Witchcraft, Lydia Rogers found guilty of allowing the Devil to draw blood from her hand to form an evil pack. Confessed her crimes to a minster. 1658"

As it turns out, the pub also has a history of witchcraft.

In a city like London, you really never know where you’re going to run into dark history!

Location: 14 Watts St, Wapping, London E1W 2QG
Nearest Tube Station: Wapping
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 12:00 to 23:30; Saturday 11:00 to late; Sunday 11:00 to evening (according to their website)

9. The Anchor Bankside

The Anchor Bankside pub in London

Just south of the Thames, you’ll find the Anchor Bankside. There is some dispute over when this pub was established. Official records state 1822, but the belief is it has been around much longer. After all, rumour has it that Shakespeare was fond of the Anchor (bonus: an awesome street art piece of Shakespeare by one of our faves, akajimmyc, is just around the corner).

But you want dark history, right?

Well, it is also believed that Samuel Pepys watched in horror as London burned during the Great Fire of London in 1666. Of course, other records state that the land beneath was used for plague pits in the early 1600s.

In 1850, the “Austrian Butcher,” Julius Jacob von Haynau, was seen drinking at this pub and chased down the street and viciously attacked by a mob. As his name suggests, though, he kind of deserved it. He did manage to escape and it became known as an international incident that threatened British and Austrian relations.

Last but definitely not least, the pub is also said to be haunted by a ghost dog and the ghosts of small children. The dog was once the loyal four legged friend of a man attacked by a gang while drinking one night. The dog jumped in to protect him, but was tragically taken by one of the men who slammed his tail in a door to cut it off before killing him. He now haunts the pub and is said to howl in sorrow over his lost owner – and tail.

The other ghosts are said to be of several children who died nearby to the Anchor Bankside while mudlarking. Patrons have reported seeing muddy footprints appear at random throughout the pub.

Pub or no pub, until 1822, the Clink Prison was also located just around the corner until 1780, which was notoriously horrific. The point is, it’s old, and it’s London – something dark and sinister definitely went on here. So remember: the next time you’re enjoying a pint at the Anchor, you might be drinking on the bodies of the dead.

Location: 34 Park St, London SE1 9EF
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11:00 to 23:00; Sunday 12:00 to 22:30

Interested in a unique London pub tour? Why not check these out:
2-Hour Historic Pub Tour
Jack the Ripper Happy Hour Tasting Tour
Seven Deadly Sins Pub Tour

10. Morpeth Arms

The Morpeth Arms makes for an interesting stop on any London pub crawl

Beneath this relatively standard British pub are some of the largest remnants of the demolished Millbank Prison. Millbank Prison was so severely affected during the cholera outbreak of 1854 that scientist John Snow came in to investigate. He used the prison as a testing ground for his hypothesis that the disease was spread through water – not air. So, essentially, every time you take a drink of tap water in the area, and you don’t get cholera, you have not only John Snow to thank, but some of London’s most violent criminals.

Today, several of the prison cells still exist in the basement of the Morpeth Arms. Although this London pub isn’t officially haunted, bar staff have reported serious feelings of unease while in the cells, as well as items going missing or being moved. In fact, this became so commonplace that video surveillance was installed to watch the basement. You can sometimes catch it while at the bar.

Staff used to take people down to the cells if they were around particularly late or early, but sadly they stopped doing so a few years ago for health and safety reasons.

However, don’t despair: there’s another dark side to the Morpeth Arms. On the second floor is the Spying Room, where patrons can look out at MI6 and ‘spy on the spies.’

As it is their local (as the Brits say), many MI6 employees also reportedly drink at the pub. So if you’re here on a London pub crawl, make sure not to divulge any secrets!

Location: 58 Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RW
Nearest Tube Station: Pimlico
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 to 23:00; Sunday: 12:00 to 22:30

11. Hoop and Toy

The Hoop and Toy pub in London

Despite its somewhat juvenile-sounding name, the pub is considered to be pretty dang haunted.

Or, at least, the basement is. The pub is said to be built on a former grave site. However, it’s not entirely clear to me how long this has been going on as although a pub has been on this site since 1760 (the oldest in Kensington), many iterations have existed, and the current building only dates back to just after WWII due to extensive bombing in the area.

Nevertheless, the belief is that the ghosts of priests who were buried beneath the pub’s foundations were agitated during underground building works on the tube. Apparently the tube works both disturbed their peaceful afterlife and cut off their route to all the monasteries and churches of London. As such, the ghosts are doomed to haunt the basement of the Hoop and Toy, forever searching for alternative paths to their places of worship.

Oh, and Alfred Hitchcock apparently was a big fan of this pub. Maybe it inspired… something!

The pub also has a pretty decent comedy scene, and part of the pub is called the South Kensington Comedy Club. They host stand-up comedy every Saturday. You can check here for other special events.

Location: 34, Thurloe Place, SW7 2HQ
Nearest Tube Station: South Kensignton
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 to 00:00; Sunday & Monday 12:00 to 23:00

12. The Marlborough Head

Looking for haunted spots in London? Head to the Marlborough Head for a pint!

The Marlborough Head is located in what was once the village of Tyburn (today, the modern day Marble Arch district).

Between the 12th century and 1783, Tyburn had a pretty sinister reputation as the execution capital of southern England. No one knows the exact number of hangings that took place here, but it is estimated to be in the thousands.

As the Marlborough Head was located quite near to where the gallows were, many of the spectators (sometimes upwards of 20,000) drank here before and after. In fact, hanging days were so popular that they were often declared a public holiday. Whole families would come out to drink and watch.

One possible origin for the word hangover comes from these hanging days as the hanging celebrations lasted over into the next day via unfortunate drinking headaches.

It is also likely that many of those being executed would have been permitted a final drink at the Marlborough Head beforehand.

If all that gruesome history wasn’t enough, it is believed that the Marlborough Head is still haunted by several ghosts of former convicts hanged at Tyburn.

Location: 24 N Audley St, Mayfair, London W1K 6WD
Nearest Tube Station: Bond Street OR Marble Arch
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 to 23:30; Friday – Saturday 11:00 to 00:00; Sunday: 11:00 to 22:30

13. Coach and Horses

The Coach and Horses pub in London

There isn’t a ton of information available about this particular London pub. But I believe that the pub is named for the ghosts that haunt it, rather than it being an unlikely coincidence that the ghosts so perfectly fit the name.

The story goes that since the late 1800s, there have been regular ghost sightings in the area. People claim that a coach pulled by four horses could be seen being driven by a phantasmic figure. As the figure approached, passersby would sometimes scream as they realised he was headless!

It is also reported that he sometimes has passengers who have skulls instead of fleshy faces and that they stare out with empty, sunken eyes as they pass by.

If adding this haunted pub to your spooky pub crawl appeals to you, make sure you head to the Coach and Horses on Bruton Street. There are several ‘Coach and Horses’ pubs within London, but it is the one on Bruton Street with a chilling history.

Location: 5 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 6PT
Nearest Tube Station: Bond Street OR Oxford Circus
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30 to 23:00; Saturday 12:00 to 23:00; Sunday 12:00 to 19:00

14. John Snow Pub

The John Snow pub in London

The John Snow Pub in Soho is not named for the Game of Thrones character. Instead, it is named for the English physician who figured out that cholera was being transmitted through water, not air. He figured this out by mapping the cholera outbreaks. Through this map, Snow noticed that alcoholics were not suffering from the disease as much as those who did not partake in alcohol.

Yes, it’s true: alcoholism was partially responsible for many surviving the cholera outbreak. Today, Snow is considered one of the fathers of epidemiology, and often credited with ending cholera. His discoveries concerning cholera led to drastic adjustments in water filtration systems throughout the UK.

While on a pub crawl of London’s haunted and grisly pubs, make sure to stop by the John Snow and pay your respects to the man who made it possible to drink water again. Wait…

Location: 39 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 9QJ
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus OR Piccadilly Circus
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12:00 to 23:00; Sunday: 12:00 to 22:30

15. The Lamb and Flag

The Lamb and Flag pub in London

By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Lamb and Flag had acquired a pretty sinister reputation. The pub was known for their bare-knuckle prize fights. So cutthroat were the fights that the pub was often referred to by its nickname, ‘The Bucket of Blood.’

Delving back a bit further, in 1679, the poet John Dryden was attacked in the alleyway just outside of the Lamb and Flag by several thugs. These thugs were hired by his long-standing rival, John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester.

Don’t worry, today the Covent Garden neighborhood is pretty safe (and pretty touristy). So you’re unlikely to find yourself being attacked by thugs or getting into a bloody fight if you do stop by the Lamb and Flag during a pub crawl of London.

Like the Hoop and Toy, the Lamb and Flag is a popular comedy spot. They have open mic nights every Sunday at 19:30. It’s free entry and you pay what you think it’s worth at the end.

Book a tour of historic Covent Garden pubs

Location: 33 Rose St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9EB
Nearest Tube Station: Leicester Square
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12:00 to 23:00; Sunday: 12:00 to 22:30

16. The Flask Highate

The Flask pub at Highgate in London

About a ten minute walk from Highgate Cemetery, the Flask has its share of dark and haunted history. This London pub boasts two haunted spirits! The first is that of a young soldier who can be seen walking across the bar and vanishing into a pillar. The second, more well known ghost, is that of a young girl who is said to have hanged herself when she found out her love for the pub owner was unrequited. Her spirit still haunts the Flask, and is said to be often spotted by patrons.

If that isn’t scary enough, the pub is reported to have housed one of the first ever autopsies. The body was likely procured at the Highgate Cemetery as at the time grave-robbing was very common.

Both The Flask and The Spaniards Inn are a bit far out of the city, so you’re unlikely to include them in a spooky pub crawl… unless you start here (perhaps swing by the cemetery first?) and then head towards central London.

Location: 77 Highgate W Hill, Highgate, London N6 6BU
Nearest Tube Station: Highgate
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30 to 23:30; Saturday 12:00 to 23:20; Sunday 12:00 to 22:30

17. The Spaniards Inn

The Spaniards Inn is one of the most haunted pubs in London

The Spaniards Inn might be one of the most haunted pubs in London. If you’re looking for ghosts, this is your place. Apparently ghost hunters from all over the world come to the Spaniards Inn in hopes of meeting one of its many otherworldly inhabitants.

There are three main ghosts associated with the pub, though many speculate there are even more. The most famous of the ghosts is Dick Turpin, who was a notorious highwayman and is believed to have actually been born at the Spaniards Inn as his father was the landlord. Turpin used the pub as a hideout during his time as an outlaw, and today both he and his horse Black Bess are said to haunt its premises.

Another ghost is that of Juan Porero, who died in a duel with Francesco Porero (who I assume was his brother or cousin) as both had fallen in love with the same woman. Juan is said to have been buried on the land the pub was built on, and continues to haunt it today.

The third ghost is that of a woman dressed in white who often appears in the garden. Nothing else seems to be known of this woman in white.

Location: Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London, Greater London, NW3 7JJ
Nearest Tube Station: Hampstead
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 12:00 to 23:00; Sunday 12:00 to 22:30

Bonus! Two London Crypt Cafes

Alcohol not totally your thing? Does a pub crawl through London sound like your worst nightmare? Well never fear, we’ve got you covered! Below are two London cafes housed inside of crypts.

1. Cafe in the Crypt at St Martins in the Field

High ceiling arches inside of the Cafe in the Crypt in London

Supposedly this cafe used to be quite quiet and hidden away. And I’m sad I was unaware of its existence then! It’s certainly not the case these days. When we popped in during our most recent trip, it was pretty busy! We couldn’t even find a free table!

Still, for those who love to be creeped out, this place shouldn’t be missed.

The crypt is part of the burial grounds for St Martin’s in the Field church. The rest of the burial grounds extend to what is now the National Portrait Gallery and is believed to be the final resting place of well over 70,000 bodies. In 1859 the church started to clear out their crypts due to lack of burial space and serious demand. Naturalist Frank Buckland decided to dig out John Hunter’s body (the founder of the Hunterian Museum) in order to bury him at Westminster Abbey. Bill Bryson described in his book ‘At Home’ the scene he was met with: ‘thousands upon thousands of jumbled and broken coffins, crammed everywhere, as if deposited by a tsunami’. It took Buckland 16 days to recover Hunter’s body.

They also do Jazz nights every Wednesday. Check out their website for more info and what’s playing and how to get tickets!

Location: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4JH
Nearest Tube Station: Charing Cross
Opening Hours: Monday – Tuesday 10:00 to 20:00; Wednesday 10:00 to 22:30; Thursday – Saturday 10:00 to 21:00; Sunday 11:00 – 18:00

2. Crypt Cafe at Christ Church Spitalfields

Christ Church in Spitalfields, London

Is St Martin’s Cafe in the Crypt a tad too busy for you? Trust me, I can relate. Just thinking about being in that part of London is enough to make me feel a little unwell. But, if you still fancy a meal in a crypt, I recommend trying the Crypt Cafe at Christ Church in Spitalfields.

Before it was a cafe, the Christ Church Crypt was a bomb shelter during WWII and more recently a homeless shelter complete with dorms and a cafeteria.

Like the Ten Bells pub, which is across the street, Christ Church (sometimes spelled Christchurch) is often affiliated with the Ripper murders as many of the victims would have passed it on a daily basis, and perhaps prayed here. Many of the Jack the Ripper tours will pass by the church, as well.

However, it has other dark connections. Christ Church was designed by English architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. But, despite having designed several London churches, he was an alleged Satanist and occultist. Many of his churches had obelisks and pyramids rather than more traditional features like steeples or arches. It is theorised that the Hawksmoor London churches were deliberately built on sites that would mark out a pentagon if viewed from above.

Location: Spitalfields Venue, Christ Church, Commercial Street, London E1 6LY
Nearest Tube Station: Aldgate East
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 08:00 to 17:00; Saturday 10:00 to 17:00; Sunday 12:00 – 17:00

Before you go!

If you’ve got time for some dark and historical day trips from London, we recommend checking out Coventry, Crowland or East Grinstead. If you have a weekend, we have recommendations for haunted places in Norwich and even more haunted pubs in Norwich!

Have you ever seen a ghost in a pub in London? Was it because you were on a pub crawl? Or were you worryingly sober when you saw it? Let us know in the comments below!


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