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Scary London - Ghost Bus Tours

28 June 2012

London Calling's Tom Butler discovers the ghoulish Ghost Bus Tours, a great way to discover the dark side of London.

What is it about going to see a scary movie? Why do we do it to ourselves? Going to watch a film that we know in advance will make us scream and peek through our fingers at the screen is, as Spock would say, highly illogical!

And yet the latest box office figures for Woman in Black and Prometheus would suggest this trend for scaring the bejeezers out of ourselves shows no sign of abating anytime soon. Which for the Ghost Bus Tours of London, is fantastic news.

The company was resurrected in 2007, 40 years after a fire destroyed a fleet of buses that previously formed the Necropolis Bus Company. Necropolis was run as a private funeral bus service; conveying deceased, mourners and pall bearers to final resting places. Londoners soon nick-named the buses (why wouldn’t you?), ‘Carcass Coaches’.

You can imagine the enthusiasm upon hearing this historical gem- of the (actually very nice) evil masterminds behind the Ghost Bus Tours! Enthusiastic horror fans and passionate about London’s gruesome history, they determined to make good use of the one salvaged coach.

Thus five years ago, the original Ghost Bus was restored to it’s original Necropolis design and colour, and began trawling the streets of London, delighting and terrifying its passengers in equal measure.

It’s perhaps fitting that the tradition of the original company has been maintained with the bus, whilst the funereal aspect of the company lives on with modern day Londoners getting to see the ghostly, ghoulish aspects of the tour.

The tour takes in fantastic and iconic sites such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament, the Tower of London and The Old Bailey, so as well as being scared out of your wits, you actually get to see a historical side of London at a time when the usual throngs of visitors and tourists are tucked up safely in bed.

An example of your typical Ghost Bus Tours stop for you; a Londoncalling.com exclusive as it were! Once a medieval burial ground; by 1853 so many bodies had been buried at Crossbones Graveyard, that it was closed- deemed ‘overcharged with the dead’ and unsafe. For over a century no one could recall its location, until an extension of the Jubilee Line uncovered it in the 1990s, and today people flock to tie ribbons, flowers and notes, to its gates in commemoration of those forgotten dead.

Whatever the appeal is of the ghastly and ghoulish; the Ghost Bus tours will make you both laugh and shriek, and leave you with something to think about on your way home.

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