Rising Sun, the haunted London pub that rose from the dead


Haunted by its grisly past, London’s The Rising Sun in Cloth Fair is a popular place to get a drink … and possibly experience the paranormal, says RICK HALE

Rising Sun - one of London's haunted pubs - has a history of body snatchers and murder!
Rising Sun – one of London’s haunted pubs – has a history of body snatchers and murder!

Where is The Rising Sun?

38 Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ

Tucked away on a quiet, unassuming street in London is The Rising Sun.

A welcoming little pub, that according to City Of London Pubs, accomplished a feat few London pubs have been capable of, coming back from the dead.

And coupled with its grisly past, it should come as no surprise that The Rising Sun is home to some very unfriendly ghosts.

History Of The Rising Sun

The Rising Sun opened its doors in the 18th century as both a pub and a hostelry.

A century later, the pub attracted an unsavoury clientele that frightened their regular customers away.

A dangerous gang of body snatchers or, resurrection men, used the pub as a meeting place for their sinister business.

It was believed these body snatchers would lurk around St Bartholomew’s Hospital, waiting for either some unfortunate soul to die. Or a fresh corpse to be brought in and make off with it.

Local doctors paid these dubious men handsomely for their services. And in 19th century London, business was booming.

When the activities of the body snatchers were discovered, security was beefed up in the hospital to bring an end to this horrific practice.

With their source cut off, the body snatchers turned to murder.

A legend arose that the body snatchers would poison the drinks of the patrons of the pub. The bodies were then carried out the back door to awaiting carriages to be sold off.

Whether or not these dark stories led to the demise of The Rising Sun is debatable.

The pub did sit vacant for the better part of the 20th century. A derelict reminder of London’s gritty past.

In 1984, a brewer from Tadcaster bought and refurbished the old pub.

What he didn’t realize was that with his business venture, came the ghosts from the pub’s horrible past.

The Haunting Of The Rising Sun

Shortly after raising the pub from the dead, staff and patrons began reporting encounters with something dark and brooding in the otherwise welcoming London pub.

Phantoms, undoubtedly from the pub’s horrific past, gathered in the darkened corners waiting to make themselves known to unwitting people.

The Brazilian Barmaid’s Tale

In 1989, two young women from Brazil took jobs at the pub as Barmaids. They also took up residency in the building. A decision they would soon regret.

The barmaids reported that on several occasions their peaceful slumber was disturbed by an unseen presence sitting on their beds.

They both had the overwhelming sense that, whatever the nature of the spirit was, was by no means pleasant.

They further reported the foreboding spirit would rip their bedclothes off as they slept. The following morning they would find them on the other side of the room.

Phantom Footsteps

After the last patron would go home, employees would lock the doors and clean the pub, preparing it for business the next day.

As they cleaned, they would hear footsteps running around the second floor bar.

When they would go and investigate, all they would find was an empty bar and an eerie silence.

Shower Time Terror

Lastly, in 1990, the landlady was taking a shower when she heard the bathroom door open and close on its own.

She thought nothing of it, until the shower curtain was torn to the side and a cold, rough hand ran down her back, leaving her with the feeling of being violated.

Despite its ghosts and disturbing history, The Rising Sun, is open daily and is a popular hangout in the neighborhood.

If you’ve ever visited the Rising Sun Cloth Fair, and had a paranormal experience, we invite you to tell us about it in the comments section below.


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