Nowadays Hackney's paths are pattered with fashionable footsteps and the most terrifying sight you are likely to witness is the collective gurning of a spangled mob after their nineteenth round of Jägerbombs. However 17th century Hackney became the site of a growing crop of bleakly vast lunatic Asylums. This scarce known fact is the inspiration behind 'Asylum Hill', a petrifying production following the story of eight escapee on the loose inmates on the hunt for revenge against their captors.
If that sounds too sinister, perhaps you'd prefer a tour around Southwark's Old Operating Theatre, allegedly occupied by the 'White Lady' (Old Saint Thomas' Hospital's most famous ghost)? Or you could join a macabre historical walk around Smithfield's crooked corners and gloomy alleyways aptly beginning at The Butcher Hook and Cleaver pub. For the less perambulatory, catch a talk by our very own 'Saturday Strangeness' author Neil Arnold on the chilling tale of the alleged vampire which haunts gothic Highgate Cemetery.
The festival commences at the London Dungeon where visitors can get involved and observe ghost monitoring equipment, witness physic experiments and generally prance paranormally. Not a sniff of Yvette Fielding, though, be thankful.
By Rob Young