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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Spooky Sailing: Discover The Most Haunted Parts Of The UK’s Waterways This Halloween On A Go boat

- As the creepiest night of the year creeps closer, GoBoat has an eerie surprise in store for its guests

- In its spookiest venture yet, GoBoat has teamed up with a Paranormal Expert to locate the most haunted spots on the UK’s waterways, and guests are in for a shock…

- GoBoat is encouraging guests down to ‘test the waters’ and take a further look into what mysteries they may hold.



FOR believers and sceptics alike this Halloween, GoBoat is inviting everyone down to discover the mysteries that lurk on the waterways and hunt the ghosts that haunt its sailing routes. Could your 8-person crew become 9 this year as you’re joined by a soul of sailors past in a spooky sail like no other?


Teaming up with Paranormal Expert and Ghost Hunter extraordinaire Ciaran O’Keefe, the team at GoBoat has searched for the most haunted spots along the rivers and canals and the sinister stories that they hold.


Guests and ghost hunters alike are encouraged to take to the waters at all three of GoBoat’s London locations (Paddington, Kingston and Canary Wharf) with Ciaran’s list of haunted spots to see what, or who, they encounter.


Find below a list of the spookiest spots and their histories from Dr Ciaran O’Keefe, Parapsychologist:


Paddington GoBoat:


  • Little Venice – The ghost of the famous 18th Century actress, Sarah Siddons, is seen here, not far from St. Mary on Paddington Green Church where she was laid to rest. There have been reports of her ghost, wearing a blue dress and hat, simply standing rigidly still and mannequin-like on the riverside. Her ghost has also been seen at the Grand Theatre, Lancaster; Sarah Siddons School on North Wharf Road; 27 Upper Baker Street and Bristol Old Vic.


  • London Zoo – Open since 1826 and home to 17,000 animals, surprisingly it is a human spirit that haunts the enclosures. Named “The Whistler”, the ghost is said to be one of the engineers who worked on the aquarium in the early 20th Century. He has been seen, and heard, by several eyewitnesses with the most convincing experience happening to the Chief Curator of ZSL not long after he’d started working there: “I was alone in the building on a Saturday morning before we opened, waiting for a volunteer to join me when I heard this melodic whistling getting close to the door. I assumed the volunteer would walk by, but the whistling suddenly stopped. I went to check it out but there was nobody there and when my colleague turned up, she had no idea what I was talking about! Initially, I put it down to a weird experience or me just imagining things but when I casually mentioned it to a colleague later, they told me about ‘The Whistler’. A few of my co-workers had heard his whistling or footsteps when they’ve been alone. We have had volunteers who have refused to go to certain parts of the aquarium as they feel sudden cold draughts.”


Kingston GoBoat:


  • Portsmouth Road – Various ghost sightings have been reported on this riverside road in Kingston. A barman driving back from work late at night saw a woman wearing an 80s-style dress with a small bag and his car went through her vaporous form before crashing. There have been similar sightings of a woman who suddenly materialises and then disappears just as quickly. One of the oldest buildings in Kingston-upon-Thames sits on Portsmouth Road and, several hundred years ago, a mother and child died in a fire there. They are said to haunt the building and staff working for the previous tenants, Moss Bros, reported seeing the mother and child darting in and out of the suit displays.


  • Hampton Court Palace – This Royal Palace was home to many British monarchs for over 500 years, and it is now a popular historical attraction, frequently referred to as ‘one of the most haunted places in England’. Home to the ghost of Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII, legend suggests that upon hearing the news that she was to be executed, Catherine Howard ran to the King to plead for her life but was dragged back along a section of the Palace now known as ‘The Haunted Gallery’. By the turn of the century, the Gallery had become associated with various unusual experiences, including sightings of a ‘woman in white’ and reports of inexplicable screams. Since then, visitors to the Gallery have reported other ‘ghostly’ phenomena, including a strong sense of presence, a feeling of dizziness and sudden changes in temperature.


Canary Wharf:


  • HSBC Building –Known in 2019 by some of its staff as the “Tower of Doom” due to job cuts and infighting, back in 2002 there was a tragic accident that doomed one of the crane crew to an eternity haunting the building. The accident happened during construction of the building and this member of the crane crew dressed in green overalls now haunts the 25th floor where he died. Perhaps you’ll spot him watching you from the window as you sail past…


  • Canary Wharf Station – On 28th December 2007, a black and white figure appeared in a colour photo taken at the station. The figure, that of a young man, was not spotted when the photo was taken, even though he was captured looking directly at the camera. Where has he come from and why is he there? That question still remains unanswered, but as you cast off from the Wharf there may be a figure in black and white watching you go.


Dr Ciaran O’Keefe, Parapsychologist said: "London is a city with no shortage of history and with it no shortage of hauntings... wherever people have lived and died, you will find their spirits. Wherever there has been a tragedy, the ghostly reminders haunt us.


"As locations go, for the ghost hunter and myself as a Parapsychologist, The River Thames delivers hauntings. You only need to sail down it to see the spooky side. I was fortunate to be part of a team who conducted scientific investigations into the haunted areas of Hampton Court Palace back in 2000. I “lived” there for 2 weeks and soaked up its amazing atmosphere and its haunted legacy.


"It's not surprising John Burns said the River Thames was “liquid history”. And as part of the spooky spots that GoBoat has located on its routes this Halloween, I expect to hear ghostly accounts with wonderful descriptions of individuals from various historical periods. It is one of the world’s busiest waterways, so I encourage people everywhere to jump onboard, take a peek into its haunted history and experience the vast array of haunted locations."


GoBoat Head of Marketing, Emily Sherwood, said: “Working with Ciaran on this project has been truly fascinating, as well as a little bit spooky! We love encouraging people to come down and try something new, so why not try a spot of ghost hunting on the water this Halloween?”


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