“There is undoubtedly an abundance of spiritual activity in County Hall and we had a number of vivid experiences, some involving the spirits of children of whom I felt there were many in the building,” commented Lawman, a regular on TV around the world, including the UK’s cult series Most Haunted and his own Famous and Frightened show.   “In one of the rooms somebody could hear children screaming and another member of the group felt a child hold their hand for the entire time.  This same child, a boy of 6 or 7, came through to us in our séance, along with a young girl.  Their presence strongly affected one of the group who could feel a child sitting on their lap.  The children were poor, raggedly dressed and I’d place them in the early Victorian period.   Although wretched they weren’t unhappy and like most children that age, were curious to see what was going on.”

The séance room is situated immediately over a sub-basement corridor where a number of London Dungeon staff have reported seeing a small girl in ragged clothes. Before County Hall was built in the early 20th century the area was an industrial port with tanneries, lead works and coal mills where children would very probably have been employed.  Lawman suggests the children haunting the building are the spirits of child labourers scratching for a living in Victorian times, often dying very young from poverty and neglect.   He explains, “If they had short, stressful lives they could become trapped where they died and unable to move on.”

 The findings of the ghost investigation held to kick start the attraction’s Halloween season of séance, which highlights the Victorian craze in spiritualism, came as no surprise to The London Dungeon’s General Manager, Steve Blackburn.  “This is our third Halloween in County Hall and from day one I have believed there are ghosts in the building,” he comments.   “I am delighted Ian Lawman agrees and we can now declare the building officially haunted.  I have heard the story of a little girl in the basement on many occasions and to have it backed up at County Hall’s first ever ghost investigation seems a fitting way to kick-off our own season of séance”

Lawman also felt a number of other spirit presences during the investigation including a Victorian medic with a connection to the name Edward in the press gallery to an official in flowing robes responsible for an execution order in The Riverside Rooms.    A number of group members reported strange experiences during the evening from swings in body temperature to extreme feelings of anxiety and accelerated heart rates.   In the Debating Chamber, where Lawman himself said he felt ‘petrified’, one member of the group felt pinned to their chair and was unable to move for a couple of minutes.

Séance runs at the London Dungeon until 1 November.  


Tansy Ratcliffe-James