Janet Hodgson and her family weren’t wealthy, and didn’t often travel. But the family lived in Enfield, just over an hour north of London. London has a rich history, and as with any history there are superstitions and stories of the paranormal. While Janet likely didn’t visit many of these sites in her early years, it’s safe to assume that the culture of the region contributed to her upbringing.
The Hodgson home on Green Street is still a private residence, and visitors are not able to view the site of the Enfield haunting. But there are ghost tours and haunted tours in London for those interested in the paranormal.
Jack the Ripper Tours
No matter where you live on the globe, you’ve probably heard of Jack the Ripper. This unidentified serial killer plagued the streets of London between 1888 and 1891, slitting the throats of and sometimes disemboweling women. It’s difficult to know how many women were killed by Jack the Ripper, also known as the Whitechapel Murderer, but there are five women who were, undoubtedly, the killer’s prey.
Several guides offer ghost tours in London, allowing visitors to stand where Jack the Ripper once stood. Mary Ann Nichols, was killed in 1888 in Whitechapel. Her throat was cut and her torso opened in the spot where the Frying Pan Pub now stands.
Annie Chapman was killed on Hanbury Street. Her throat was also cut, but it was later determined that her uterus had been removed by her predator.
The body of Elizabeth Stride was found in Dutfields yard nearby to what is now called Henriques Street. She was the first of two victims claimed on the same night. The second victim found was Catherine Eddowes, in Mitre Square. Both women had been mutilated, similar to Annie Chapman.
Mary Jane Kelly was found lying on her bed at Miller’s Court. Her body was the most mutilated of all of victims, as there were almost no organs remaining, and her heart was missing entirely.
It’s likely that more women than these five were victims of Jack the Ripper, You can learn more about the serial killer and his victims on one of the haunted tours in London; guides will also provide a history of London at the time.
Haunted Tours in London for Adults
For the adults, there are quite a few businesses which offer pub crawls. Again, London has a very rich history, and many of the haunted sites which were once scenes of murder or other untimely death are now places of business.
From the urban legend of Sweeney Todd to the sites of Victorian prisons, visitors to London will learn about the haunted past of the city, fueled by a bit of liquid courage. Most of these tours are only available to those aged 18 years and older, so leave the kids with a babysitter.
If you’d prefer to abstain from drinking and keep your wits about you, you may choose to participate in a Naughty London Tour. While not explicitly a ghost tour, you’ll be able to visit execution sites in addition to Victorian brothels and other locations geared to the adult crowd.
Of course, many of the haunted tours in London are considered adult tours. Those bringing children may be asked to leave, so be sure to check with the tour guide prior to arriving for the tour. The ghost tours are of a sensitive nature, and generally not appropriate for kids.
Tower of London Ghost Tours
The Tower of London has long been said to be the most haunted place in the city. The landmark offers memberships, and within those memberships are included haunted tours.
During the day, feel free to bring your family. Kids are welcome to explore the historical significance of the Tower of London. There are events throughout the year, including learning activities regarding the exotic animals which were kept in the castle, and even food fests which feature top chefs and pop up restaurants.
Tours are available for the hearing and sight impaired, as well. British sign language tours are offered daily, as well as descriptive tours for the visually impaired.
In the evening, visitors aged 12 and older can take part in a ghost tour. The Twilight Tours are offered regularly, and will include such sites as the Bloody Tower, famous as the prison where Guy Fawkes and others were held and tortured. You’ll view Traitors’ Gate, and will also visit Scaffold Site.
Many prisoners in the Tower of London were executed within the tower itself. This was considered a privilege, as their demise was met in private. The Scaffold Site, however, was the site of ten executions. On a ghost tour to the Tower of London, you’ll visit the location where three queens of England were executed, including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.
Ghost Tours and Haunted Tours Outside London
As mentioned, London has a very full history, and if you’re traveling outside of London you won’t lack for sites to visit should you decide to create your own ghost tour.
Visit the Ancient Ram Inn, located in Gloucestershire. It’s thought to be one of the most haunted houses in England, and has a history of child sacrifice, black magic and suicide. Built in 1145, it was also used as a house for slaves who built the St. Mary Church.
Berry Pomeroy Castle is haunted by the White Lady and the Blue Lady, and sits in Devon. The Blue Lady haunts the tower of the castle, and lures innocent good Samaritans to help her. Those who do assist are said to fall to their death.
Finally, if you’re simply looking to tour the area where Janet Hodgson and her family grew up, check out the book Haunted Enfield by Jason Hollis. Hollis was born and raised in the area where the Hodgsons lived, and has compiled research about the most haunted places in the area. Use his book as a guide to create your own ghost tour.