September 28, 2016
London’s Spookiest Secrets
When a city is nearly 2,000 years old, it’s bound to be full of secrets. London was founded by Romans in the year 50 AD, and let’s just say things were done a little differently back then. We dug into the ancient city’s history to uncover some strange secrets! Don’t forget to share your favorite spooky travel destinations on the I Fly Nonstop Facebook page for a chance to be featured.
- The Palace of Westminister is home to eight – not one, not two, but eight – bars, a shooting range, and a hair salon. It is also against the law to die in the Palace, so you’d better be careful in that shooting range.
- A Londoner once left behind a coffin on the Tube.
- In the 1800’s, you could gain admission into the London zoo in exchange for feeding your cat or dog to the lions.
- There are hundreds of unmarked “plague pits” – mass graves for those who lost their lives to the Bubonic Plague – littered throughout the city.
- Once upon a time, it was not uncommon for the original London Bridge to be adorned with heads on spikes following executions – including the head of Guy Fawkes.
- Until 1916, you could purchase pure cocaine and morphine at Harrod’s.
- If a postage stamp bears the likeness of England’s Queen, it is considered an act of treason to place it upside-down on an envelope.
- It is against the law to wear a suit of armor in Parliament.
- You can visit the (supposed) real-life location of Sweeney Todd’s bloody barbershop at 186 Fleet Street.
- The Millennium Bridge, which crosses the River Thames, played an important architectural role in battle scenes in both Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Guardians of the Galaxy. Many more Harry Potter film locations are located all over London!
- The Tower of London has a long and bloody history. Though there are no longer any human prisoners, six ravens are kept there for superstitious reasons. Legend has it that “if the ravens leave the Tower, the Kingdom will fall.” Another legend claims that the Tower is haunted by the ghosts of Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine and a grizzly bear.
- A flock of birds once landed on Big Ben’s minute hand and turned back time by 5 minutes.
- Victorian Churchmen warned policymakers against building the London Underground – they were concerned the noise would “disturb the devil.”
Share your favorite spooky travel destination with us on Facebook, and we’ll share the best ones on Halloween!
Photo: Jethro Stebbings on Unsplash
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