CHILLING ENCOUNTERS IN THE CITY OF THE DEAD
Twilight creeps its weary way through the narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards that snake their way through the historic heart of the City of London.
Its gnarled fingers unlock ancient secrets of dark deeds that lie entombed behind the time-encrusted walls of the old churches and tumbledown graveyards.
Its rasping whisper echoes into the shadowy recesses of the forgotten nooks and corners of the City of dreadful night.
Long departed residents hear its call, and London's ghostly populace awakes from its slumbers and the spirits of the past cross the divide and begin to walk the streets as ghosts.
And now, in the company of paranormal author and renowned ghost hunter, Richard Jones, you have the opportunity to explore the City of the Dead and to, possibly, come face to face with London's eternal inhabitants.
"AHEAD OF THE PACK"
Richard's tours are widely regarded as being the best ghost walks on offer in London.
He is, after all, the author of 18 books on London and the paranormal, and he has the distinction of being London's longest established ghost walk guide.
As the Evening Standard put it:-
"Richard Jones keeps ahead of the pack with impeccable research, and having honed his performance in more than 5,000 guided tours...."
As a result of his "impeccable" - and ongoing - research, he knows the places to take you to where ghosts are known to lurk.
Indeed, having devoted 33 years to introducing residents and visitors alike to the darker and more sinister side of London's history, he can offer you more experience in the field than any other London guide.
In fact, many of the guides who conduct tours of haunted London use Richard's books - such as Walking Haunted London and Haunted Britain and Ireland - as the source for their material, which is all well and good and, in many ways, rather flattering, as it attests to the depth and thoroughness of his research.
But for you, the participant, wouldn't you rather be taken around by the source, the author of the books, as opposed to someone whose just read the stories in the books?
SEE THE PLACES WHERE GHOSTS LURK
On a Richard Jones ghost tour you don't just get the traditional ghost stories that you will hear on other London walks, you get to know about the most recent ghostly activity in London.
These are up to date hauntings that occurred, not on some unspecified date at some stage in London's distant past, but rather they are hauntings that happened last week, or last month and, in some cases, just the other day.
And, let's be perfectly honest about this, wouldn't you rather enjoy a ghost walk with a guide who knows the places to take you to where ghosts are still seen, as opposed to locations where they might have been seen a hundred or more years ago?
GHOSTS ON FILM
It is quite common for people to catch inexplicable images on photos that they take on the ghost walk.
A spectral girl who looks down from a time-smeared window pane is one of the regulars. The hooded figure that appears by a section of the old Roman wall is another.
Then there are the ubiquitous orbs that frequently appear on photographs taken in the course of the London ghost walk.
Whether these mysterious figures offer actual proof of paranormal activity is open to debate. But, when they do honour us with an appearance, their presence certainly makes for a great talking point amongst tour participants!
STORYTELLING AT ITS MARROW CHILLING BEST
It goes without saying that the most important part of a haunted tour is the ability of the guide to tell ghost stories in a way that can keep you gripped and on edge for the entire duration of the walk and, in this respect, Richard Jones is in a league of his own.
He has spent 33 years honing his performance to ensure that his tours achieve just the right mix of historical fact, creepy happenings and spine-tingling tales.
However, he doesn't just recite the facts and stories, as so many guides do, but rather, he tells the stories, acting them out in front of you against the backcloths of the locations where the events of each story occurred.
Dressed in his trademark outfit - that of an esteemed Victorian undertaker - he possesses the presence and panache of a seasoned trouper, coupled with the vocal range of a skilled orator.
As the Orange County Register put it in a review of his tour "...It's hard not to shiver, but it certainly adds an eerie, realistic air to the adventure..."
JOIN THE DOYEN OF THE DARKNESS
So, if you really want to see and experience the streets of haunted London on a ghost tour that is as spooky as it is fascinating, then be sure to join the only London ghost walks that are led by the undisputed doyen of the darkness and prepare to enter a twilight world of mists and miasmas where, to quote the Mandatory Travelogue, "even the strongest and stoutest laugh nervously..."