For many of us today, the tale of Jack the Ripper is no more than a ghost story about something that happened in a different time and a different world. But this killer really existed - and visitors to London may still follow his footsteps through the shadows of the East End. ‘Jack,' as the papers named him, was a vicious murderer on the streets of Whitechapel during the late Victorian era. He killed and brutally mutilated five women, all prostitutes, before disappearing without trace. He was never caught and the terror he brought to the streets of London lives on today.
There are many companies that offer walking tours of Whitechapel, taking tourists around the places where sightings of Jack were reported and where his evil deeds were carried out. These tours are given by expert guides who recount the chilling tales associated with each spot, the witnesses who may or may not have seen ‘Jack’ himself, and the doomed race to catch an enigmatic serial killer.
Whitechapel is a very different place today from what it was in 1888: Victorian Whitechapel was a severely impoverished area rife with criminal activity, while today it has become a chic bohemian district with a thriving Bangladeshi community. But all of the spots which were haunted by Jack the Ripper can still be identified and some are even relatively unchanged.
The Jack the Ripper walking tours are among the scariest of London’s attractions (other popular tours in the genre include the London Dungeons and the Tower of London), and continue to entice countless visitors to the city every year. Highly rated tours include the ‘Original Jack the Ripper Tour’ and ‘Jack the Ripper Tour with Ripper-Vision™,’ which features grisly hand-held projections.
If you have a penchant for horror stories and murder mysteries, the unique and thoroughly atmospheric experience of a Jack the Ripper walking tour is definitely for you.