Halloween is coming!
To kick start the creepy mood this week, I decided to try some of London's spooky tours. We begin with London’s best known murder story: the story of Jack the Ripper.
Sunday 25th October. 6:00 PM. Tower Hill Station.
London is a little bit cold tonight (I lived in South of France for three years, so hopefully I will get accustomed to the English-frozen-rainy-weather in 4 or 5 articles... and I will stop moaning!).
So! 5:50. End of the rugby game. Go! We walk/run to the souvenir shop, point of departure of our Jack the Ripper tour. We arrived slightly late due to the rugby going into overtime, so we missed the introduction by the guide to the group. But, lucky us, a lovely woman from Vancouver came over as soon as we arrived to fill us in and strike up friendly conversation: Where are you from? What are you doing here? Do you enjoy London?
It was a great beginning and a fantastic atmosphere in the group, we were excited to get going on the tour Jack the Ripper! (Strange that a tour of murders could be so upbeat…!)
Over 1.5 hours we walked the district of Whitechapel’s gloomy streets. From one murderer place to another. Along the way we discovered the stories of the creepy streets, and our passionate guide explained every gruesome detail about Jack and his victims.
Who were they?
When they died?
Where their bodies were found...
The details of how Jack killed them...
I really like how to demonstrate each kill, our guide took a member of the tour to the front of the group and used them to show where the incisions were made on the victim’s body. It really added a dynamic element to the story telling and brought it to life.
He also invited us to consider:
Who was the murderer?
What kind of maniac is able to cut women as he did?
Was he a doctor?
The friendly woman from the start of the tour asked a lot of questions, and the guide, a real expert was able to answer everything. I am sure now this lady is on track to solve the mystery!
Usually, this kind of morbid tourism is not my cup of tea (you see, I have begun to pick up English expressions ;) ). However, I have to confess that when you realize that all of what the guide explains is true, it becomes fascinating!
Imagine yourself in 1888, in a poor, miserable and over-crowded London. Kids are selling newspapers in streets while rich people promenade in parks. Prostitutes are everywhere from nightfall and London flows with gin and beer. Criminals get to work and nothing is safe.
THEN, a serial killer appears in your district. He starts to murder poor working women in your street, just in front of your door... It happen here! It happen in Whitechapel, London.
Brrr! When I realized the reality of this, a shiver when down my neck!
From then on, I saw London in a different way, a spooky way!
Still to this day, they have never discovered who the murderer really was... Do you think his descendant might still be living in London?
As it is a guided walking tour:
1) Don't wear your most beautiful high heels...
2) To fully appreciate the stories, a good level of English is recommended. However, even those with limited English will still appreciate the atmosphere if they have seen some Jack the Ripper films.
3) To finish, you have two start times available: 3:30 PM and 6:30 PM. My recommendation is the one at 6:00 PM as the darkness adds to the atmosphere enhancing the story!
So, if you want to scare yourself, if you keen to learn about the creepiest parts of London’s history; try the Jack the Ripper walking tour this Halloween!
You can book your tour by downloading the Whym App!
(Psstt..! Get a £5 discount this Halloween with the promo code BOO)