Victims of Jack the Ripper aren’t the only ghosts to haunt The Ten Bells pub in Whitechapel, says RICK HALE
The Ten Bells
84 Commercial Street,
London, E1 6LY
Whitechapel in London has a long and unpleasant history.
Throughout the 19th century, overcrowding, poverty and violent crime was a major problem that was difficult to deal with.
In the 1880s, Whitechapel experienced a new threat that no one was prepared to deal with.
A vicious murderer was on the loose and targeted local prostitutes. Jack The Ripper, as he became known, was a cunning adversary for London’s police force.
One of these slain prostitutes, Annie Chapman is believed to haunt The Ten Bells pub, a place where she had her last drink before falling victim to Jack.
History Of The Ten Bells
The Grade II listed Ten Bells has existed since the 18th century.
However, the pub was located on Lion Street before being moved to its current location on Commercial Street, after the original building was torn down in 1851.
The Ten Bells got its unique name after the nearby church increased its number of bells.
In 2010, the current owners carried out a series of renovations to display the pub’s Victorian heritage.
These renovations gave birth to the stories of the hauntings believed to happen there.
The Haunting Of The Ten Bells
According to legend, Annie Chapman haunts the pub, because it was there that she had her last drink before being murdered by the infamous serial killer.
However, it would appear that she shares the building with two other spirits that make their presence known almost daily.
The Ghostly Landlord
Since the 1990s, the upper floors of the Ten Bells have been reserved as living space for pub staff.
Over the years, several staff have reported encountering the disturbing apparition of a Victorian era man.
They claim this ghost likes crawling into bed with them. And when they awaken, he is said to smile at them with blackened teeth and vanishes before they can speak.
It is believed this unnerving apparition was a Victorian era landlord who was murdered by an assailant who was never brought to justice for the crime.
This ghost has also been spotted in the bar area leering at female patrons.
The disembodied wails of a baby in great anguish is frequently reported in the pub.
Several psychics have been called to investigate and try to make contact with the ghostly inhabitants of the pub.
And when they are brought to the room where the crying baby is heard, they refuse to enter the room.
They all state something horrible happened there involving the violent death of an infant.
Annie Chapman’s ghost
The ghost of a Victorian era woman believed to be Annie Chapman is seen sitting at the bar.
It’s the spot where Annie Chapman supposedly sat as she enjoyed her last drink before being carved up by the Ripper.
Pub staff say that before she manifests, a cold breeze blows through the bar.
The disappearance of personal belongings and broken glasses have been blamed on the ghost of Annie. As well as pub staff being pushed by an unseen hand.
Since the 1970s, the East End has become a haven for the burgeoning art scene, with several galleries opening up.
The area has also become popular with the local punk and metal scene with several venues to see live shows.
Given its association with a dark chapter in London’s history, tourists and locals can enjoy a walking tour that focuses on the nefarious crimes of Jack The Ripper.
And as is to be expected, The Ten Bells is on the tour. You can grab a drink and maybe catch a ghostly glimpse of one of the killer’s victims.