Every city or town on Earth has a few urban legends to its name, ranging from spooky to amusing, and London with its many years of history is certainly no exception. In this article, we’re going to share with you some of London’s best urban myths. We hope you find it entertaining and informative.
- The Crying Girl (of King’s Cross Station)
This is one of London’s better known modern ghost stories. It all began in November of 1987, when an accidental fire on an escalator killed thirty-one people and trapped many more underground until rescuers arrived
It is believed that this ghost-girl, who is dressed simply in jeans and a t-shirt, was a victim of the tragic fire. She has been seen multiple times throughout the station, always sobbing and crying. Some people have tried to approach this ghost to offer comfort, only for her to completely vanish without a trace.
There have even been incidents where her crying is heard even when the platforms are otherwise empty, and there have also been cases where travelers report smelling smoke coming from the escalator even when none is visible.
- The Highgate Vampire
This urban legend takes place in Highgate Cemetery, an old graveyard that has over fifty thousand graves (with about one hundred and seventy thousand people buried their altogether). This legend began in 1969, when a man named David Farrant claimed to see a ghostly figure walking through the cemetery. And his report wasn’t the only one; many other people at the time also reported seeing this mysterious figure moving through the cemetery, and their descriptions matched Farrant’s very closely.
Eventually, another man named Sean Manchester became involved; it was Manchester who first claimed that the strange figure in the cemetery was a vampire; furthermore, he claimed that Highgate Cemetery was that vampire’s resting place. Manchester was also adamant that the vampire needed to be killed; eventually this conviction spread to other local people in the area, leading them to come to the cemetery looking for the vampire, some of them armed with stakes and crucifixes for protection.
Ultimately, David Farrant himself (the man who first saw the figure) was arrested after being found in the cemetery carrying a sharp stake and a crucifix, and after a time the rumors of a vampire residing in the Highgate Cemetery began to die down. The legend never disappeared entirely, though, thanks in part to the fact that no true answer to the mystery was ever found: who, or what, was that mysterious figure in the cemetery?
- An American Bought London Bridge
This urban myth is lighter and more fun compared to the previous two we discussed, but no less iconic in regards to London urban legends. In this case, the myth is that Robert P McCulloch, who purchased the old London Bridge and moved it to Arizona to rebuild it when it began to collapse, originally intended to purchase the Tower Bridge instead. These is no truth to this particular urban myth (all parties involved in the original deal assured the world that McCulloch didn’t mix up his bridges), but it still makes for a fun story and an entertaining urban legend.