Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned ghost story, or to be scared stiff watching a creepy movie?
It’s even more heart pounding when weird spooky things happen in the City where we live – London. Today’s guest Nikki Druce is the creator and host of Macabre London, an original podcast telling the stories of London’s’ gruesome history. Nikki stories are inspired by her lifelong love of the dark, gothic, and creepy—and in today’s episode Nikki reveals not only why she is passionate about London and its grizzly past but her real life ghostly encounter as well.
“I didn’t say anything about it to anybody at the time because I didn’t want to acknowledge it—because if I acknowledge it, and “it” knows that I’m aware of it—it might get worse.”[5:54]
Nikki grew up on the spooky and macabre from a young age. She was told ghost stories and went on ghost walks with her parents trying to spot ghosts, and remembers her first horror movie (shown to her by her grandmother) Night of the Living Dead. Nikki kept watching these kinds of films and diving into literature like Frankenstein, and her fascination with the dark and Gothic only continued to grow throughout the years.[10:15]
Nikki has a ghost story of her own—of course it takes place in a house with a terrible boiler that made all sorts of horrible noises. But the story starts with a table seeming to rock back and forth on its own—something Nikki shrugged off and went on about her evening. In the weeks to come, things started appearing in her bedroom from around her house, you know, the odd magazine, and perhaps more strange; cutlery.
Her experience culminates one night after seeing something in her bathroom mirror, leading her to witness what I will just relay as being “quite an odd and terrible scene” in her stairway, something best left described by Nikki herself. It is undoubtedly off the scale of strange and weird, and perhaps ties into the area being a major through way to London years and years in the past.
“I just had this vision in my head of London being this Victorian city that was just sort of smoggy with men in top hats and capes and that kind of thing, so I sort of romanticized that side of London.”[18:45]
When Nikki moved to London she wanted to find a way to capture it’s darker side, as there are hundreds of years of weird and murderous history in our city. Stories that range from a hanging Charles Dickens attended where the first husband and wife couple were executed them in public by William Calcraft—a notorious executioner with a penchant for showmanship.
There is also the Necropolis Railway, which was a railway made to transport the dead out of London after graveyards started shutting down due to an influx of the deceased. There are more modern tales as well, such as the Enfield Poltergeist and the Georgi Markov haunting—all of these which have their own episodes on Nikki’s podcast, Macabre London.
Nikki researches all these stories and gives them a personal touch through her narration. She’s recently started a YouTube channel as well, and when asked if she thinks she’ll be running out of spooky London stories anytime soon—Nikki shakes her head, and jokes that if she does run out she will move on to Edinburgh.