Murder Mystery, Ghosts and Ghouls theme cruise – A trip to die for…

Richard Jones MMC is one of the Capital’s most experienced walking tour guides with an unsurpassed pedigree when it comes to ghosts and the supernatural. He is the author of many books including the definitive guide to the darker side of the Capital, Walking Haunted Londonand of the international best seller, Frommers Memorable Walks in London.In 1997 he wrote and presented the acclaimed drama-documentary On the Trail of Jack the Ripper and in addition he is a full member of the prestigious Magic Circle and creator of numerous psychic illusions that have mystified audiences all over the world.

Richard is our resident guide for your week aboard Magna Carta, be scared, be very scared!…

Sunday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 1, London
You will begin your cruise by meeting Richard for afternoon tea at the Stafford Hotel at 3pm.Take care not to spill your drink as Richard sets the spine-chilling scene for the week ahead.
Let him talk of London’s oldest, eeriest and most haunted quarters, of untold horrors skulking in the shadows, the agonized screams of a long ago execution, of spectral voices echoing across ancient plague pits! At 4pm we transfer to Magna Carta moored nearby in St Katharine’s Dock for a Champagne reception and welcome by the Captain. Dinner aboard.After dinner, as darkness descends, Richard will take you on the trail of Jack the Ripper.Dare you walk in his shadow? as you delve into the crooked, cobbled alleyways of Whitechapel to follow the Ripper’s bloodstained trail of terror. Step by bloodcurdling step you are spirited back to the era of gaslit horror, to join the Victorian police as they hunt the Ripper through a warren of crumbling back-streets. Richard will show you Victorian photos of the streets, murder sites and poor unfortunate victims and perform for you startling psychic phenomenon. From mind-reading to prediction, spirit writing to escapology, telekinesis to voodoo and poltergeist activity. All this will be demonstrated before your very eyes.

We remain over night in St Katharine’s Dock. Renovated in the 1970�s it retains its swing bridges, boutiques and restaurants around the Yacht haven.

Monday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 2, St Katharine’s Dock to Chiswick Pier
Only a short walk from Magna Carta, this morning Richard will take you to the TOWER OF LONDON. Chiefly famous as a place of imprisonment and death the Tower is the most haunted location in the Kingdom. Traitors’ gate was the watergate entrance for condemned prisoners. A brown-robed monk is the ethereal presence here and may be the ghost of Thomas a Becket.The Wakefield tower has the ghost of King Henry VI who was stabbed to death here. The dolorous ghost appears at the hour before midnight on the anniversary of the murder.The Headsman’s scaffold was situated on Tower green and a whole host of psychic memories linger at the site. Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded here in 1536 and her spirit haunts it, though she appears in more spectacular fashion in the Chapel Royal.The Martin tower is particularly feared by the sentries for the malevolence of it’s ghosts. The upper rooms were used by George Boleyn, Anne’s brother before his execution, and his ghost walks here. Another active spirit sometimes pushes visitors down the stairs!

While the feint-hearted may retire back to the safety of Magna Carta, the brave can continue to the LONDON DUNGEON. A show of English Gothic horror. Among the life-size waxworks of torture we see tableaux including a hanging at Tyburn gallows, a man being hung, drawn and quartered and another being boiled alive.

For those of solid constitution the RIVER OF DEATH boat trip forms an historical journey to ones own execution. This afternoon we cruise past London�s most famous sights viewed from a perspective seldom seen by other travelers, and many haunted ones.

The riverfront at CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE, is a favourite venue for suicides and the tall, naked figure that jumps from the parapet by the needle may be taken for one of these, except there is never a splash as he hits the water. Pain racked moans and mocking laughter are associated with this haunting. In the sixteenth century CHELSEA was a venue for bear-baiting and the ghost of a bear haunts the riverside here. Dinner aboard.

Warmth and friendly chatter abounds as the food is consumed and the fine wine flows. But wait!

The crew are not seen or heard, the saloon lights are dimming, The flickering candles that had added so much to the ambiance are now the only light! Richard enters the room whose atmosphere has changed so much. We may bind him in chains, but will you notice as he walks free before you’ve even let go of the locks that hold him?

Tuesday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 3, Chiswick Pier to Hampton Court
CHISWICK HOUSE AND WALPOLE HALL are both haunted by the ponderous ghost of the Duchess of Cleveland, a mistress of Charles II before he met Nell Gwynne. She died of dropsy at Walpole house where her spirit walks with a heavy tread.Today’s cruise takes us into the beautiful countryside past Kew gardens and Richmond and on to HAMPTON COURT PALACE. A galaxy of ghosts haunt this royal palace. It’s builder, Cardinal Wolsey, has been seen in spectral form only once but two of Henry VIII’s wives are regular ghostly presences at the palace. Catherine Howard, the fifth wife found the king repulsive and took her favours elsewhere. Condemned for this, she ran through the palace, pursued by guards, seeking Henry’s pardon. He ignored her and she went to the scaffold still demented, having to be held down under the axe. Her desperate cries still echo in the corridors and her fists beat on the door of the chapel.The White Lady who walks up the stairs and through the Silver Stick Gallery is the wraith of Jane Seymour, who was queen for just a year before dying in childbirth. Mrs Sibell Penn, (nurse to the sickly King Edward VI) is the most commonly seen phantom walking here and may also be heard as the distinctive click-clack noise of a spinning wheel in the south-west wing. Dinner aboard.‘From the dim woods on either bank, Night’s ghostly army, the grey shadows, creep out with noiseless tread to chase away the lingering rearguard of the light, and pass, with noiseless, unseen feet, above the waving river grass, and through the sighing rushes; and Night, upon her sombre throne, folds her dark wings above the darkening world, and, from her phantom palace, lit by the pale stars, reigns in stillness.’ 
(Jerome K Jerome. Three Men in a Boat.)

Tonight as always, Richard will perform more tricks and psychic phenomenon! Will you believe your eyes when a Tarot card held in the palm of your hand, suddenly vanishes as you hold it tightly?

Wednesday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 4, Hampton Court to Runnymede
This morning we enjoy a meandering cruise following the course of the Thames to Runnymede. Moored at Bell Weir Lock adjacent to a luxury spa, we have the opportunity to visit the spa before a short drive to BROOKLANDS.This famous pre-war racing circuit is haunted by a figure in helmet and goggles, who may be the ghost of Percy Lambert, killed at the end of the railway straight, during a record-breaking attempt. Dinner aboard.After dinner, perhaps a drink with Richard in the Gothic paneled bar of the Hotel with more ghostly stories and tricks.
Thursday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 5, Runnymede to Windsor, then on to Oakley Court
This morning we cruise through Runnymede, where King John faced the powerful barons and sealed the ‘Magna Carta’ in 1215. Before long we see stunning views of WINDSOR CASTLE, one of the Queens favourite homes and the largest inhabited castle in the world.By lunchtime we are moored in Windsor and it isn’t only the living that inhabit this area, far from it!The castle is haunted by Elizabeth I (in the library), George III (his face is seen at the window of the locked room where he spent the years of his insanity) and Henry VIII (the sounds of a lame man painfully walking near the deanery). Herne the hunter is reputed to roam the royal golf course and the THEATRE ROYAL is the home to Charlotte, who died when the theatre burnt down in 1908.We can walk over to ETON COLLEGE whose grey lady is the wraith of Jane Shore, mistress of Edward IV, who persuaded him not to dissolve the school founded by his foe King Henry VI. When Jane lost royal favour she was imprisoned. She died in 1526 and haunts Lupton’s tower and the cloisters.

Late afternoon cruise to the OAKLEY COURT HOTEL. This spooky looking building, now a luxury hotel was a film location for several Hammer Horror movies as well as Dracula and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Dinner aboard.

Will you flinch as an everyday item is placed on your outstretched palm and Richard causes it to get hot using nothing more than the power of thought?

Friday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 6, Windsor to Hurley
This morning we cruise through the most beautiful scenery imaginable, and past BISHAM ABBEY. Lady Hoby, who died in 1609 at the age of 81, haunts the abbey because of her cruelty to her son William who she killed. Her portrait dominates the great hall and she is said to step from its frame to walk the house.We arrive in the small village of HURLEY at lunchtime. The passageway that connects the cellar of Ye Olde Belle (the oldest inn in the country), and the basement of Ladye Place (once the home of the Lovelace family) is reputed to be haunted. Furtive whispering can sometimes be heard behind the wooden paneling in the bar.This afternoon we take a drive to OXFORD. Exeter College is haunted by the headless spectre of John Crocker, whose tomb may be seen in the chapel. Magpie Lane is haunted by a gentle grieving Brown Lady who is generally believed to be the shade of Prudence Burcote.Merton College fellows’ garden is haunted by the ghost of Colonel Francis Windebank, who was shot here by Cromwell in 1645. St John’s College, also in 1645, Archbishop Laud suffered under the axe for his belief in the church against parliament and was buried under the altar in the chapel of his college. His ghost is unconventional. In its most spectacular form it bowls its head towards the feet of anyone unlucky enough to meet it, often causing them to feint.

Obediah Walker, master of University College during the reign of James II, haunts the room he occupied three centuries ago. Mary Blandy was executed at the castle in 1752 for the murder of her father and her ghost walks in the vicinity of Westgate. It is said that a blackbird perched on the scaffold during the execution and no blackbird has sung here since.

Captains Farewell Dinner aboard where Richard will reveal something from your distant past, which he could not possibly know but will be 100% accurate!

Saturday, Murder Mystery cruise Day 7, Hurley – London
Following breakfast, disembody, we mean disembark at 10 am and return to London.