Legend has it that if you stare at my blog for too long, a clown will appear and haunt you for the rest of your life.
I know Halloween is over, but who doesn’t love a little scare? I received an email from Joe Blogs Blogger Network about a Haunted Theatre Land Walking Tour with every hotels and I couldn’t say no. Honestly, I’m not that into scary films but I can’t resist a good ghost story. Hearing about the sightings people say they’ve had and all other ghoulish happenings makes me excited.
I arrived at every hotels, which is perfectly situated in the heart of central London, buzzing with excitement and not knowing what to expect. I had never been on a walking tour before, although I had always wanted to go on one. After chatting with some fellow bloggers, we were greeted by Diane Burstein of Secret London Walking Tours and off we went.
Our first stop was Theatre Royal Haymarket, where it is believed that ‘break a leg’ may have come to fruition here because of Samuel Foote, the manager of the London’s Little Theatre, being thrown from his horse and breaking his leg. Foote had been riding with the Duke of York, who had given Foote a bad horse as a prank. The Duke of York felt so bad about the accident he granted Foote the theatre license he had spent years lobbying for. The Little Theatre became the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the saying ‘break a leg’ came to represent achieving success out of disaster.
Patrick Stewart also claims that he saw a ghost whilst performing Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen.
I think my favourite story has to be in the London Coliseum. It’s the one about the ghost of a soldier who spent his last night of leave at a performance before being killed in action. It has a sad ring to it, but at the same time at least he got to enjoy a good performance before he got killed.
We also passed through Bedfordbury Alley, which was considered very much the worst and most revolting of all of Victorian London’s many bad and revolting streets. It reminded me of Diagon Alley but slightly more creepier. Funny thing happened, as Diane was talking about the alley the intercom on one of the doors behind me turned on by itself and scared the crap out of me. Definitely what I needed, haha.
One of the funniest stories, for me anyway, on the walking tour was the one of the Lyceum theatre. Currently home to the famous Lion King, during the 1880s, a couple were watching a play at the Lyceum when they happened to glance over the balcony and saw a severed head grinning up at them from the lap of a woman in the stalls. In my head, I imagined the Shrunken Head from Harry Potter – the one on the Knight bus – and I couldn’t help but laugh.
After the show, they were unable to find the woman in the crush. Some years later, however, the couple were visiting a house in Yorkshire when they spotted a portrait of a man with the face of the severed head.
The house owner explained the man in the painting was a distant ancestor who had once owned the land the Lyceum stands on. He’d been beheaded for treason.
Last but not least, whilst I hate clowns with an almighty passion I did fine this story interesting. We heard the story about Josh Grimaldi. His ghost has returned many times to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and is renowned for administering a mischievous kick, and actors, cleaners, usherettes have all been on the receiving end of his spectral boot as they go about their everyday duties. One of Grimaldi’s final wishes was that his head should be severed from his body prior to burial. This macabre request was, apparently, carried out, and this might account for the disembodied white face, which has been seen floating around the theatre.
After we stopped by a few more theatres we headed back to every hotels for some grub. Which is definitely what we needed after all that walking around, because when bloggers are hungry – they’re hungryyyyyy. We were treated to lots of delicious food; burgers, pizzas, chips, onion rings, salads – it was all really yummy. Tunrayo and I treated ourselves to a glass of white wine, as well, because why the hell not, eh?
We also got a tour of every hotels, which was a lot of fun. The hotel itself is really nice and I love how modern the rooms are. Every room boasts a 40-inch flat-screen TVs and Nespresso machines, plus minibars with free soft drinks and the most important thing – free wifi. I can definitely see why it is a 4 star hotel.
Thank you to every hotels, Diane and Joes Bloggers for having me! I had an amazing time and have loads of ghost stories now to tell at sleepovers. Thank you for my get up to everything kit, as well! Everything is definitely going to come in handy. 😉
You can read all about the day over on every hotel’s blog right here.