On the nights of Friday 30th and Saturday 31st October, and Friday 13th November, the murky history of Greenwich is explored in A Walk on the Dark Side. In the company of the expert Greenwich Tour Guides The Old Royal Naval College, Queen’s House, Greenwich Park and Greenwich Theatre are some of the haunted locations that will be the focus of ghost walks and haunting experiences.
Halloween at London’s Greenwich – Old Royal Naval College
Under the Wren Masterpiece that is the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich there is a 17th century operating theatre said to house several spectres. Marks are still visible where surgeons sharpened their knives and some say the sounds of steel on stone can be heard on a still and silent night. Best known of the Greenwich ghosts is Admiral John Byng, accused of failing in his duties at the Battle of Minorca during the Seven Years War and kept manacled to a wall in Queen Anne’s Court while awaiting death by firing squad in 1757. History suggests however, that his superiors used him as a scapegoat for their own failings. Visitors to the Old Royal Naval College have claimed that his ghost has held doors open for them and workmen swear that he has assisted them.
Halloween Hauntings at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Possibly the most famous documented photograph of ghosts was the one captured on the 19th June 1966 by the Rev. and Mrs. Hardy from Canada. They took a photograph from the foot of the Tulip Staircase looking upward which, when developed, revealed a shrouded figure ascending the stairs in pursuit of not one other phantom but two!
Visitors to the Maritime Museum should look out for the spectre of a lady dressed in an all-white period costume near Blackheath Avenue, and listen for the sounds of metal pans moving about in the Pavilion Tea Room. They need not be perturbed. It’s a friendly, helpful ghost by all accounts.
Halloween Ghosts at Greenwich Theatre, London
A white shrouded figure – an actress from the early 1900’s it is thought – has often been seen gliding through the restaurant below stage. Her head and upper torso are not visible.
Families are invited to dress in ghoulish costumes and join in the fun inside the haunted Queen’s House. Story telling, work-shops and ghostly performances and music take place between 11.30 – 4.00 p.m.
Alternative Entertainment at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London
If ghosts are too scary to contemplate, then the Royal Observatory is offering Halloween Skies in the Peter Harrison Planetarium over the week-end of October 31st and November 1st. This will explore the myths and superstitions that connect the night skies and Hell. 12.00 noon, 2.45 and 5 p.m. Price £6 adults, £4 concession.
Admission Prices at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
There is no charge for general admission into the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Naval College but there is a small charge of £5 for the specialized ghost tour, A Walk on the Dark Side. These walks are conducted by History Guides who talk only about recorded or documented ghosts.
How to Reach National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Docklands Light Railway (alight at Cutty Sark)
Thames Clipper (excellent boat on the Thames) to Greenwich Pier.
Greenwich Tourist Information (0870 608 000)
Further information: Greenwich World Heritage Site.