From May 17, pubs will be able reopen indoors for parties of six, giving many Londoners the chance to head back to their favourite drinking spits in the city.
With pubs being back open, many of you man be inspired to visit new and famous pubs across the city, with London home to many pubs that have a rich and colourful history.
Some of these pubs have been standing for over 200 years, so naturally, there’s been a report of a haunting or two.
As if this year hasn’t been scary enough as is, why not gather together a brave group to see if you have the courage to visit one of London’s pubs that puts the boo in boozer.
London’s most haunted pubs – and their stories
No corner of London is without its old tales of spectral figures, bumps in the night and mischievous antics of poltergeists, but here are some of the most chilling stories behind some of the capital’s spookiest public houses…
The Bow Bells, Bow Road
This Mile End boozer has a reputation for a cheeky ghost who likes making a nuisance of its owners by playing with the plumbing.
The ghost of The Bow Bells makes itself known by flushing the toilet in the women’s bathroom when someone happens to be in there.
Tales of this ghost with a penchant for toilet humour date back to the 70’s, with the landlord back in 1974 even going as far as organising a seance to rid the bar of its polter-pest.
Apparently, when the ghost was asked to make itself known the door to the woman’s toilet flew open with such a force that it shattered a glass window.
A powerful draught with your draught ale, anyone?
Viaduct Tavern, St Paul’s
The Viaduct Tavern, nestled opposite The Old Bailey, dates back to 1875.
It is one of London’s last traditional Victorian Gin palaces, and just so happens to be built on the site of a former jail, so of course it is haunted!
There have often been reports of strange chills in the air and noises resounding through the Fuller’s pub, but there have two stories in particular that have cemented its reputation as a spooky boozer.
In 1996, the manager was innocently tidying the cellar, when all of a sudden the door slammed shut and all the lights went out.
As he proceeded to exit the cellar, he found he couldn’t open the door, no matter how hard he tried. After crying out, his wife opened the door from the outside with no problem at all.
Another incident in 1999 saw two electricians working in one of the rooms upstairs – after rolling up a layer of carpet, they claim to have felt an icy tap on the shoulder, before seeing the rolled carpet lifted from the ground and dropped with a thud.
The Grenadier, Belgravia
You will find The Grenadier just off of Hyde Park Corner, where it dates back as far as 1720.
It was used to house the First Royal Regiment Of Foot Guards, later known as the Grenadier Guards, as a display of gratitude for their service during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The upstairs was used as an Officer’s Mess, while the cellar became the stomping ground for the lower ranking soldiers, who would use it as a place to drink and gamble.
As the story goes, one soldier known as Cedric, was caught cheating at cards, and was beaten to death by his drunken comrades – and supposedly his spirit has haunted the cellar ever since.
Ghostly happenings are said to occur around September, which is when he is believed to have died – an icy chill is said to come out of nowhere, while objects have been known to disappear or move in an unexplainable fashion.
Patrons have taken to sticking bank notes to the ceiling of the pub in an attempt to pay off Cedric’s card game debt, but seemingly that figure is yet to be met.
So, do you fancy grabbing a drink with Cedric and contributing to paying off his debt?
The Ten Bells, Spitalfields
The Ten Bells has become synonymous with its connection to the killings of Jack the Ripper back in the 1880’s.
It is said to be the last place visited by Mary Kelly, the last victim of Jack the Ripper who was murdered in 1888, meaning that Jack himself may well have enjoyed a drink or two at the establishment.
But its spookiness doesn’t stop with Jack the Ripper, for The Ten Bells has a long dark history all its own.
One of the pub’s Victorian landlords George Roberts was murdered with an axe and his ghostly spectre is said to have terrorised staff who stayed on the pub’s upper floors.
The upper floors have been said to frighten even the most experienced of mediums, so maybe keep your drinking to the ground floor.
The Volunteer, Baker Street
Located near Regent’s Park, The Volunteer is named so as it was used as a recruiting station during the Second World War.
But its haunted history dates back even further than that, as the spot was the original site of the large 17th century house that once belonged to the wealthy Neville family.
A fire destroyed the house with the family inside back in 1645, and now the former man of the house Rupert Neville is said to stalk the cellar of the pub.
The pub has even been featured in an episode of the show Most Haunted, with Neville said to display an evil and malicious nature.
The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
This pub was immortalised in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, and is said to be the home of the ghost of infamous robber Dick Turpin.
He is said to roam the upstairs rooms of the pub, constantly making a racket with bangs and clashes throughout the night.
He’s not the only ghost on the premises, as the downstairs area is said to be haunted by a a man known as Black Dick, who was run over byu a horse and cart outside of the premises.
Speaking of horses, the parking lot is also believed to be haunted by Turpin’;s trusty steed, so be careful where you park your car.
The Flask, Highgate
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and that is certainly true of the spirit said to haunt The Flask in Highgate.
The ghost of a Spanish barmaid is said to pester patrons – she supposedly hung herself in the cellar back in the 18th century after discovering her landlord boyfriend had not been faithful to her.
Staff and guests have shared stories of strange reflections, icy chills and weird behaviour in the lights, creating an eerie atmosphere across the boozer.
Hoop & Toy, Chelsea
The Hoop & Toy has been standing since 1760, making it one of the oldest pubs in the Kensington area – which means it also has a long history of spooky happenings.
When the nearby tube station was being constructed, workers broke through the wall in the basement of the Hoop & Toy and made a grisly discovery.
Apparently, the basement of the pub had been used by local churches to bound and entomb the bodies of their priests who had died, meaning that the pub was built on top of a burial ground.
The spirits are now thought to be trapped since being disturbed by the local underground works.
They now wander around the pub lost, restless as they wait for their pint of lager and packet of crisps.