BOO! Be sure to visit these spooky places in London and get yourself a good scare!
Halloween is fast approaching and we do love a good dose of oddities, mysteries, and spookiness. If you’re anything like us, check out this London city guide and be sure to visit these spooky places and get yourself a good scare!
You might be asking yourself why people like scary things. As it turns out it is an evolutionary response humans developed as a means to react to scary situations. Without fear our ancestors woulds have died. Fear gives us a rush of hormones that make us faster and stronger.
There is also an arousal component to it. Fear is negative but in a safe place it is also what they call a “high arousal”. The fear response is triggered by anything startling, but when we’re in a safe place and know it, we quickly realize that we’re not actually in danger. Suddenly, we switch to joy and euphoria.
Fear is also a distraction, an escape. We’re not worried about any daily-life matters when we experience fear. Instead, we feel primal. It is also a way to achieve social bonding, since when people get scared in groups the high arousal can trick them into feeling like they’ve accomplished something together.
Halloween is a favorite for millions of people around the world and it is surely a time to get some good spooks. If you happen to be in London around Halloween, be sure to visit following spooky places.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
More commonly known as Last Tuesday Society shop, this is a 21st century take on the classic Victorian cabinet of curiosities unassumingly positioned along an urban thoroughfare. The Society “is devoted to exploring and furthering esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London and beyond”. Step inside and glimpse everything from skulls and insect sculptures to taxidermy and anatomical anomalies. Although in need of a good dusting, this place will leave you equally fascinated and horrified.
Lindow Man (British Museum)
In 1984, workers cutting through a bog discovered the body of a man who was determined to have died nearly 2000 years before. He was about 25 years old when he died and his skin, hair and various internal organs had been preserved by the bog almost completely intact. Investigators have eventually settled that he must have been a wealthy man in prehistoric UK. Nonetheless, he suffered a dreadful demise: struck on the head, received a brutal rib-breaking blow in the back, a cord tied around his neck, and his throat cut. Only then was he thrown into the bog. Homicide or ritual killing?
Archie the Giant Squid (London Natural History Museum)
This amazing specimen was caught off the coast of the Falkland Islands in 2004. The giant squid is 8,2 meters long and is known at the museum as Archie. The creature was caught alive and died soon after, having then been transported to the Natural History Museum where it was frozen while a tank large enough to accommodate it was designed and built.
Opened in 1839, it is one of London’s most infamous cemeteries. Among the impressive Victorian and Egyptian influenced tombs are the gravestones of Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, James Holman, and Adam Worth. In the 1970s the infamous site became the location for the horror films of the movie studio Hammer, regenerating the public’s interest in the cemetery, making stories of grave robbing, desecration, and vampires appear in the news. Thus, the Highgate Vampire Sensation (as it is known) culminated with two magicians claiming that each would be the first to kill vampire that was supposedly reported on the site. The debate between the two continues to this day, while the cemetery is now a popular location for paranormal enthusiasts.
The Hardy Tree
The ancient cemetery alongside London’s St. Pancras Old Church is the site of an ash tree that is encircled with hundreds of overlapping gravestones placed there by novelist Thomas Hardy. The Hardy Tree came to be in the 1860s when a new train line was being built. In order to do so, exhumation and reburial of remains was necessary and the lowest workers were tasked with it. Then young employee Thomas Hardy placed the remaining hundreds of headstones around a tree, so that they would not disturb the railway. Over the years, the tree absorbed the stones – life and death melded into grotesque beauty.
Temple of Mithras
Even Ancient Rome had its own secret societies. A few blocks away from the London Stock Exchange lie the reconstructed remains of a Roman Temple to the god Mithras, whose mystery cult was known to exist across the empire. As expected, not much is know about this secret society of cultists. Even in antiquity, rites were kept in extreme secrecy. The deity was worship as the god of the sun and the temple contains other artifacts relating to other Roman deities including Minerva, Mercury and Bacchus.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of things to do in this city when it comes to things of the spooky variety! Make sure you check out this London city guide and get yourself a good scare! We hope you have a good heart!
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