The Spooky City – Ghosts, body snatchers and public executions

Date: Sunday 13th May 2018

Distance: 1.1 miles

Start Time: 11:00

Duration: 2 hours

  • Cultural
  • Historical
  • Walk and Talk

Meeting Point: Outside St Paul’s Underground station, Exit 2, Newgate Street, by Caffe Nero, EC1A 7AE

Nearest Station (Start): St Paul's

End Point: Charterhouse Square, EC1M 6AH

Nearest Station (End): Farringdon or Barbican

Cost: Free


Telephone: 020 3151 1151

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A walk round the City of London with gruesome tales of ghosts, body snatching and public executions. The walk begins with a visit to a delightful small park with a fascinating and unusual memorial to the dead. The route leads on to the first of our spooky, ghost stories among the ruins of a former church. Then to the Central Criminal Court, better known as the Old Bailey, which has been the location for many murder trials including the infamous Dr Crippen, who was found guilty of murdering his wife. Previously on the site was Newgate Prison, the largest prison in the City of London, with its notorious inmates and a former place of public execution.

The next gruesome encounter is with the body snatchers who sold corpses to nearby Barts Hospital. The area round Smithfield was for many centuries a place where public executions were held, of whom the most famous was William Wallace, the Scottish patriot who was hanged, drawn and quartered. Then there are more spooky tales at a church, that has featured in many film locations, and the famous Smithfield Meat Market. The tour ends in a charming square with several sinister secrets.

The walk is suitable for children aged 8 upwards, with the parents/carers best placed to make the decision whether the topics are appropriate for their child. Some of the topics covered include public executions, body snatching and murder.


The walk starts close to St Paul’s Cathedral and One New Change shopping centre where there is a good selection of places to purchase refreshments and free public toilets in the vicinity. There are no planned comfort breaks during the walk but if participants require these they will be advised of the nearest facilities.

Advice Note:

The tour involves mainly walking on pavements but it also includes visiting two parks/ gardens where the route will keep to the path. The final stop on the tour involves crossing over a cobblestones road. (This is required to get the best view but could be avoided if required). There are three steps at the entrance of the park. (These can be avoided by entering and exiting the park by the same gateway where there is only one step if required).

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