Surprising urban legends of London

Imagine yourself in the role of a myths destroyer and get acquainted with the urban legends of London. No wonder they say: "Do not let the facts get in the way of an interesting story." And this, of course, refers to London's urban legends. Some of them are centuries-old myths, others have appeared quite recently. And some may turn out to be true... We collected eight of the most famous, strange, terrible and even crazy urban legends.

A vampire lives at Highgate Cemetery.

It seems that this myth originated in the era of Queen Victoria. But it is not so! It appeared in 1969 and immediately attracted the attention of society. It all started with a frightening gray figure, which, of course, could not be anything but a vampire. Local residents began to visit the cemetery with wooden stakes and crucifixes in the hope to kill the monster.

The rush dropped only after the suspect's arrest. Since the vampire himself was not found, some believe that he can still be there. For lack of information about his appearance, you can draw in the imagination either a Transylvanian bloodsucker, or a handsome man with a languid look - the choice is yours.

Don`t go to check even if you believe that. There can be enough suspicious persons late at a cemetery, apart from vampires.

A horrible monster wanders around Hackney Marshes.

Back in 1981, on a cold winter morning, four children walked along the Hackney Marches and came across a "huge, snarling, hairy creature." Do not think that these are fiction of young hipsters who did not have time to wake up properly without a cup of coffee, because hipsters didn`t even exist in those days. Despite the fact that the creature was not seen by anyone else, many advise to keep your ears open walking along the Hackney Marches.

Even if it is just someone very hungry, who forgot to go to hairdresser (probably that is the reason of anger), don`t mess with him/her, especially if you have coffee with doughnut.

In Green Park there are no flowers because of the voluptuous monarch.

The Merry King, better known as Charles II, collected flowers for his wife in Green Park. Only he did it not only for her alone, and when the wife found out about it, she ordered to tear out all the flowers in order to annoy her husband. They say that is why there are no flowerbeds in Green Park, unlike other royal parks. Although the queen's plan did not work: Charles II had a minimum of 12 illegitimate children. It seems that thing was not in the flowers...

This is quite benign legend; flowers will not hurt you if go to check whether they are there.

An American mistakenly bought the London Bridge.

This is one of the most ancient and sticky urban legends of London. In 1968, when the old London Bridge was in such decrepit condition that it could fall into the Thames, it was purchased by an American businessman Robert P. McCulloch, who ferried it over the sea and built it in Lake Havasu City in Arizona. The end of the story? Not really, because, according to rumors, McCullough thought he bought the Tower Bridge. And although it was denied by all parties involved in the deal, the tale was huge.

Spring-Heeled Jack still terrorizes the city.

He has long claws, he spits fire, and jumps higher than the Olympic champions. Spring-Heeled Jack terrified people of the Victorian era, until a few years later much more terrible Jack appeared. In 1830-1840 there were many stories about Jack, who pretended to be a policeman, attacked women and carriages. Mass hysteria and frequent references in the low-grade pseudo-fiction literature made Spring-Heeled Jack very famous.

Thomas Millbank confessed that he was Spring-Heeled Jack, and he was even tried, but released because he could not spew out the fire. The most popular version says that Jack was some rich man who spent money on eccentric costumes. Only how to explain that Spring-Heeled Jack was supposedly seen in 2012?

The main word is “supposedly”. Anyway, be careful with good jumpers, don`t leave your cake unattended or they will catch you quickly, just in one jump.

There are no roads in City.

The legend is so strange that it simply cannot be true: how do buses run there? It is all about the game of words. Most of the streets in the City got their names before the British began to use the word ‘road’ in street names. Thus, there are many alleys, boulevards, squares in the City, but until 1994 there was not a single street with the word ‘road’. That year, half of the Goswell Road street started to belong to the City, and before that, it was completely related to Islington.

True, although this is only a formality.

London wild parrots are parrots of Jimi Hendrix.

The most resilient legend in this list refers to the wild birds of London. Probably, you have seen at least one of the 60,000 packs of parrots in southwest London and asked yourself where they came from. In the sixties of the last century, Jimi Hendrix lived in Mayfair apartments and kept a couple of red-breasted parakeets - the ones that now inhabit London. Could it be that the rock singer did let his parrots out?

Can be true. Never know what rock singers have on their mind. And never know what parrots of rock singer have on their mind. Maybe Jimi didn`t free the parrots, they escaped themselves and planned to conquer the world.

In the Epping Forest there is a killer pond.

One of the darkest urban legends says that there is a pond in the Epping Forest that kills people. Many years ago, a young couple in love was killed near it, and the killer was the girl's father, who was dissatisfied with her relationship with the boy. They say that since then, the water has turned black, the flora and fauna around the pound began to die, and on the shore they began to find bodies.

Local residents say that the pond lures its victims, and then drowns them in muddy water. The strangest thing is that no one knows where this pond is located, since it is not marked on any map. So the case with Epping Forrest perfectly illustrates the rule: look before you leap.

Don`t forget to breathe under water (you are no amphibian) and no pound will be able to hurt you.

Read other news here

urban_legends London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
7 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Tube drivers on the Piccadilly Line are set to hold fresh 24-hour strike action in a row over staffing and working conditions. The RMT Union has urged members to walk out at 12:00 BST on 7 November until noon the following day - writes The union's general secretary Mick Cash said it had become "frustrated" with Tube bosses' handling of a "full raft of issues". Transport for London (TfL) said it was "disappointed" with the new strike. Drivers on the...
The Tate and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are calling for a premium to fund arts classes in England's schools. The major arts institutions say league tables and pressures on time and budgets are squeezing out important creative subjects - writes Six thousand 11 to 18-year-olds have described how the subjects help build their confidence, in new research. The government says it is investing almost £500m in arts and music. Creative subjects hav...
Five teenagers have been jailed for fatally stabbing a man in an unprovoked attack as he returned home from an appointment with his pregnant partner. Daniel Frederick, 34, was knifed repeatedly by the group just yards from his home in Stoke Newington, Hackney. Three teenagers were convicted of murdering Mr Frederick while another two were found guilty of manslaughter. They were jailed at the Old Bailey for a combined total of at least 64 years. Judge Phili...
Work at a building site near London's Olympic Park has stopped after complaints about "horrendous" smells. Nearby Mossbourne Academy said its students felt sick and local residents spoke of headaches because of smells coming from the site in Hackney Wick. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) told Telford Homes to stop work last month until a new plan to "manage the site" was approved. The LLDC and Telford Homes claimed there was no health risk....
Ten of Britain's busiest railway stations have seen over half of all train services delayed by a minute or more this year, research has revealed - writes Manchester Oxford Road had the least punctual services, with 68% delayed. Data analysis by consumer group Which? found York, Gatwick Airport and Birmingham New Street also saw less than 40% of trains arrive on time. The group said even small delays could have "a knock-on effect" on passengers' abi...
Two more east London schools have closed because of an infestation of false widow spiders. John F Kennedy Special School, which has campuses in Stratford and Beckton, and Godwin Junior School, in Forest Gate, announced they would close. False widows are about the size of a 50p coin and are the most dangerous spider species in the UK. Four secondary schools and four primary schools, all in Newham, have closed for various amounts of time. Thousands of childr...
London Abused Women’s Centre says an anti-sex-trafficking online ad campaign that drew scores of calls for help from women and girls was so successful, it's already planning another. London Abused Women’s Centre says an anti-sex-trafficking online ad campaign that drew scores of calls for help from women and girls was so successful, it’s already planning another. The online ads, targeting both possible trafficking victims and sex buyers, appeared or were v...
Women have been warned not to use headphones or mobile phones while walking alone after a series of sex assaults near a Tube station. Ten separate assaults on lone women in Cricklewood are thought to be linked, police said. Most of the attacks have taken place near Willesden Green Tube station, where the latest victim was assaulted early on Sunday. The Met urged women to "take care" when walking alone. Sunday's attack, on Walm Lane, happened when a woman w...
Former JLS member Oritse Williams has appeared in court accused of raping a fan in a hotel room after a concert. The 31-year-old was arrested in December 2016 in connection with an incident in a hotel in Wolverhampton. The singer, who first appeared on X Factor in 2008, was given unconditional bail by magistrates in Walsall. Mr Williams, from Croydon, south London, is due to appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 8 November. Co-defendant Jamien Nagadhana,...