The London Necrobus creates quite a stir when rattling it’s way down the streets of London. The black double-decker bus makes pretty much everybody’s jaw drop as it whistles by. People hurriedly reach for camera phones and tap their mates on the shoulders in the pub in disbelief.
Waiting for the bus at a random point of Northumberland Street is quite an unsettling experience as you begin to wonder whether it’s real or not. When the bus appears and the lerch like conductor steps off in his full uniform and rings his bell calling for passengers you then begin the to questions whether this tour is a good idea or not.
Once aboard all apprehensions are laid to rest once the conductor Sid Strangeways launches into a dry comical routine highlighting the various haunted areas of London and egging passengers on to play dead whenever they see someone gawping at the bus. It all helps the pr for the tour apparently. Although the tour has a comical edge to it as Sid retells the horror stories of such tales ‘’Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane’ and other macabre tales, it is still in parts rather scary and the claustrophobic qualities of the upper deck of the Necrobus all help to make the tour thoroughly enjoyable and keep you guessing what is going to happen next for the duration.
The bus alone is quite unsettling but when you begin to realise how bloody London’s past is then you are glad for the light comedy of the tour, with the conductor uttering crackers such as “the squeals on the bus go round and round’ and passes through areas of London such as the comically dubbed Notting Hell, Bethnal Scream, Earls Corpse and Trafalgar Scare. The conductor even asks whether everybody wants to hear all the gory details and then proceeds to describe the process of hang, draw and quartering and disembowelment with a red hot steel rod.
Although the tour is informative and offers up some good pub quiz trivia really the best part of the trip is the dry slapstick comedy on offer which on occasion is definitely thought up on the spot and modified to suit the situation, such as lengthy red lights and traffic jams.
The tour is full of interesting nuggets of information about London’s past and the story of the bus alone although dubious is quite interesting. Apparently the London Necrobus used to operate a funeral bus with the upstairs for mourners and the modified downstairs would accommodate the coffin.
The tour is all about reactions to the various surprises that pop up along the way so being aboard a full tour definitely has it’s advantages and the Ghost Bus Tour would be a good start to an alternative stag or hen doo. Although the tour is quite long and lasts for over an hour time flies and you don’t even notice because you are too busy keeping and eye out for shocks along the way.
If you don’t really like the idea of a stale tour bus around the usual London attractions and you would like to see London in a new gothic light then the Ghost Bus Tours will definitely be up your street as it offers up some laughs, thrills and scares all in one go.
The Ghost Bus runs 7.30pm and 9pm tours on Thursday to Saturday. Its also available for private hire for weddings, stag/hen parties and funerals.