London is home to many people above ground and below ground. There are many cemeteries in London, and Highgate Cemetery is one of them. It is also one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London. Highgate Cemetery holds over 170,000 people, buried in 53,000 graves on 37 acres and has a place on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. In addition, it has the reputation of being the most haunted place in London.
Highgate has an East and a West, and each have notable names buried in them. The original cemetery was opened in 1839 and the first burial was on May 26, 1839, Elizabeth Jackson of Little Windmill Street. Eventually Highgate Cemetery became a fashionable place for burials, and it was visited often.
What makes Highgate Cemetery the most haunted place in London? The short answer is because of its so-called occult past and in particular the home of the Highgate Vampire.
After World War II, the cemetery was pretty much abandoned and in 1960 the gates were closed. The landscaping became a jungle, and the grounds were used to make horror movies. And then the rumors and rituals began . . .
Stories started about men in dark robes, practicing rituals began circulating. Ghosts began haunting the alleyways around the graves and people reported red eyed demons staring through the fence. And then there is the Highgate Vampire.
It is said that the vampire is a medieval nobleman who practiced black magic in Romania. His coffin was returned to England and his followers buried him in Highgate Cemetery. He was resting peacefully until he woke up due to a ritual performed by Satanists in the cemetery.
The reputed vampire is said to be a tall, dark figure that glides through the cemetery. You will know he is near when you feel a sudden drop in the temperature. He has also been known to cause clocks and watches to stop. Animals run from him in fright and dead foxes on the grounds are attributed to him.
There are many other supernatural events in Highgate Cemetery including Banshee wails, floating ghostly faces, a ghostly cyclist and a floating ghost of a nun.
Highgate is also the home of an older woman whose spirit is still wandering. She is unknown but witnesses have said that she is intelligent in her haunting as she will disappear when she is observed.
If you plan a trip to Merry Olde London, be sure to visit the Magnificent Seven and Highgate Cemetery in particular.