From the secret WWII underground bunkers to Church ruins, we've found the most mysterious places in – and under – London in time for Halloween. If you're looking for a slightly quirkier way to celebrate the month of October, why not head to one of these creepy destinations, although they're definitely not for the faint-hearted...
WWII underground bunkers
These mysterious air raid shelters were built under several London underground stations during WWII. The shelters were originally only meant to be used by government officials – the Chancery Lane shelter was used as a communications centre and the Goodge Street shelter was used by General Eisenhower. When the bombing intensified in 1944, however, five of the secret chambers opened to the public: Stockwell, Clapham North, Camden Town, Belsize Park and Clapham South.
Winston Churchill's secret cabinet war rooms
Winston Churchill used his secret war room bunkers to meet with his most trusted cabinet members to carefully plan the downfall of Hitler during the dark days of WWII. The underground maze of rooms, which are wallpapered with maps, is where some of the most important English leaders once worked round-the-clock, planning and plotting war strategies. Located in the middle of a new housing development in Dollis Hill, an inconspicuous door with the codename Paddock leads to the secret bolt hole.
The ruins of St Dunstan in the East
Located between the Tower of London and London Bridge stands the ruins of medieval church St Dunstan in the East. While the secret gardens are the perfect location to take a stroll during the day, its serenity and tranquility become much less inviting at night. As well as being badly damaged by the Great Fire of London, it was also hit by a German bomb in 1941. The remaining tower, steeple and walls are entwined with plants, giving it an enchanted yet haunted atmosphere. And while it's closed from 7pm, we're not sure we'd want to see who or what visits after dark.
Handel & Hendrix Museum
Formerly known as Handel House Museum, the Mayfair museum is dedicated to Baroque composer George Frideric Handel, who occupied 25 Brook Street from 1723 until his death in 1759, and American guitarist Jimi Hendrix who lived next door at number 23 in the 1960s. The area is said to be haunted, so when the house was being transformed into a museum in 2001 a Roman Catholic Priest carried out an exorcism. The museum is holding a candle-lit festival on 1 November inspired by the supernatural stories of the two houses, including live operatic performances, life-drawing and tarot reading.
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Aldwych Underground's haunted station
Once used as an air-raid shelter during the Blitz, Aldwych Underground's closed tube tunnel is one of London's most haunted stations. While one of the platforms stopped operating in 1914 and has been used for filming, the original 1907 lifts remain exactly the same. The misty underground stop was also used to store British Museum treasures such as the Elgin Marbles during the war and after the closure, it was said to be haunted by ghosts.
West Norwood Cemetery crypts
In the 19th century, London graveyards became more than just full – they also became a place for "body-snatching" to supply medical students with corpses for dissection. Causing a slight health hazard, new laws in the 1830s meant that the burial of new bodies in the London City Area became banned. To ensure their relatives were laid to rest, the rich would build crypts to safely lock them away either by buying a shelf space or even a whole room, all adding up to 2,500 coffins – making Norwood Cemetery crypts one of the spookiest places below London.
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Spend a night in a prison cell
The building of Clink78 has a fascinating history dating back to 1792. It first served as an office space where Charles Dickens reportedly wrote Oliver Twist and then went on to become Clerkenwell Magistrates Court. In 2008 the court closed its doors and it became one of the most mysterious and spookiest hostels of London. Now guests can sleep in an authentic prison cell, with features such as heavy doors and barred windows – and you can choose between solitary confinement and sharing a tiny space with a partner in crime.
St Brides Church
One of the most ancient churches in England, St Brides Church is believed to date back to as early as the 7th century. After being destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1966, Sir Christopher Wren rebuilt the church on top of six other churches, creating a large area of crypts. When the crypts became overcrowded, they were sealed up and closed – until WWII. The devastation caused by the war opened the site up for excavation and since, more than 200 skeletons have been found in one crypt.
This enormous labyrinth of dark and spooky passageways deep under the grounds of Chislehurst encompasses over 20 miles of caves and passageways which were dug over a period of 8000 years. There are claims it was once a place of worship for the spiritual Druids. The large underground space has been used for putting on concerts in the 1900s and it has subsequently been a mushroom warehouse, a series of shelters, a Sixties music venue and a popular tourist attraction.
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The houses of detention in Clerkenwell
This old prison once saw near 10,000 prisoners a year in the 19th century and is made up of several scary underground passageways. Many of the inmates were awaiting trial and were given the death penalty, others were stuck in the dark and cold cells as their sanity slowly drained away. After the closure of the prison, several ghosts of the doomed have been seen, including an old lady desperately seeking help, a man lurking in the prison's corridors and the hysterical cries of the children trapped within the walls.
Some of these destinations were taken from Rob Bell's London Secrets & Mysteries on Travel Channel UK.