With Halloween finally upon us, many thrill seekers will be searching for the most spook-tacular venues to visit this weekend.
There’s no need to look any further: south west London is home to countless ghost sightings and gruesome tales, and we’ve compiled a list of the ones which are sure to give you a fright.
Ham House and Garden
This eerie mansion in Richmond is considered by many as one of Britain’s most haunted places.
Owned by the National Trust, it’s said to be home to around 15 ghosts, (including a duchess, her dog, and a heartbroken servant), and the paranormal presence in the bedchamber is so strong that staff have been known to say “good evening, your Ladyship” before entering.
The National Trust often arranges ghost tours, some of which are ‘after-hours,’ and many visitors claim to have heard the screams of a suicidal young nobleman who was rejected by a potential lover.
It might be wise to leave your pets at home however, as many are reluctant to enter, and try to avoid standing on the third step of the Great Staircase – according to a ghost tour guide, something once tried to push him off!
You can watch some real life ghosts stories from Ham House and Garden here.
The New Wimbledon Theatre
This Grade II listed Edwardian theatre may be home to more than actors, actresses and audiences.
Stage door supervisor Marq English, who is also the author of Paranormal Surrey, once told a tale of a ghost sighting by a lady in a wheelchair.
He said: “Just as the lights were going down in the first act, the lady, who was right at the end of the row, looked over and saw this big, dark figure staring at her.
“She said it looked like a gentleman dressed as a puritan with a little goatee beard.”
Several theatregoers have also reported sightings of the infamous ‘Grey Lady,’ a spirit known to wander amongst the empty space between the stalls and the stage.
She has even been said to turn on the theatre’s sprinkling system – much to the stagehands’ astonishment.
Holland House, located in Holland Park, Kensington, is known to be haunted by a ‘Headless Corpse.’
This is not the friendly Gryffindor ghost ‘Nearly Headless Nick’ from the Harry Potter series, but Lord Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, who was condemned as a traitor by Charles I and beheaded in 1649.
Before large parts of the house were destroyed during the Second World War, Lord Henry Rich was said to traipse through the rooms at midnight with his head held beneath his arm.
This venue, situated in Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, is brimming with tales of ghosts and ghouls.
Its history spans 1,300 years and the palace is best known for being home to the Bishops of London over the centuries.
The most reputed ghost of Fulham Palace is Bishop Bonner, who tortured Protestant prisoners and alleged ‘heretics’ during the Tudor era.
He is thought to haunt the corridors of the building, and many visitors speak of a figure mysteriously walking across the Great Hall before disappearing into a wall.
Others, including staff, have heard music playing in the chapel when all the doors were locked.
For more information about the ghosts of Fulham Palace, you can watch this video.
Once home to Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames is the most famous haunted site on this list.
There are many different ghosts reported to roam the palace, including two of Henry’s ill-fated wives – Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard.
Jane Seymour, who died from postnatal complications, has allegedly been sighted ascending the stairs to the Silver Stick Gallery dressed in a white robe and carrying a candle, on the anniversary of the birth of her son, who was later crowned King Edward VI.
Catherine Howard, who was accused of adultery and beheaded by in 1542, is said to visit the palace’s Haunted Gallery, where she once supposedly fled upon hearing the news of her upcoming fate.
Several guests have reported hearing her screams, and in 1999, two visitors fainted whilst on a tour.
Featured Image: Ham House and Garden / Photo Credit: National Trust