If you really wish to put your bravery to the test, try to summon all your courage and venture to The Highgate Cemetery in London! The almost 200-year-old landmark along with its fantastic tales is sure to make an impression on you!
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad...Ghost?
This gloomy destination is listed in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England (yes, it's that important) and it holds the remains of approximately 170,000 people. There are 53,000 graves!
The main gate was built in the Egyptian style, and aside from this one, there is another hidden gate entrance.
The cemetery spans over 37 acres, and is still "open for business," though the number of remaining plots is limited.
Highgate isn't important solely for its status of a nature reserve, but also for numerous famous people who found their final resting place here. Among them are Karl Marx, Michael Faraday, George Elliot, Douglas Adams...
The Wild 1960s
For over a hundred years, everything was relatively uneventful, but then the Sixties came, and Highgate was back in the spotlight, which lasted up until the 1980s. The cemetery slowly started to fall into ruin, and as a result, ghostly stories overwhelmed the media.
The Highgate Vampire
The most notorious phantasm was definitely the Highgate Vampire. Many different tales circulated, but a few details were particularly interesting, and those are the few that people could actually agree upon, like finding the remains of dead foxes all over the cemetery, with throat wounds - drained of blood! All this hype ultimately lead to the "Mass Vampire Hunt" of March 1970.
A Book to Boot?
All of these events also lead to a book being published and its name was, you guessed it - "Highgate Vampire," but the most academic account on this topic was given by a folklore scholar, Professor Bill Ellis, in the journal "Folklore."
Getting the Goosebumps?
But don't think for a moment that the Highgate Vampire was (or still is?) the only inhabitant of this cemetery! Oh no...
There have been numerous sightings of ghostly apparitions, faces emerging from the locked crypts, women in white, even a spectral emanation on a bicycle! Hey, ghosts need to stay fit too, you know...
Have You Heard Enough?
People also claim that they have been hearing voices calling out to them, while others swear they could hear silent weeping and whimpering in the shade of the old graves...
More Recent History
Still, haunted or not, you cannot stop the progress! The historical value of this landmark is far too great for us to sit by idly while it crumbles and falls apart, so The Friends of Highgate Cemetery organization has been working on its restoration since the 1980s!
Are You Brave Enough?
The restorations will make sure that this amazing location stays open for visitors for many years to come. The only question is, have you got the guts to visit it?