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Built by the Lucas Brothers in 1865, The Langham is one of London’s most upmarket hotels boasting a 5* luxury service in the heart of the theatrical West End. If built today on the same budget it would have cost nearly £31 Million with its 36 bathrooms and the first hydraulic lifts in England.
It was recognised as Europe’s first Grand Hotel and many members of Victorian high society including the Prince Of Wales attended its opening. Louis Napoléon III chose the Langham to spend most of his exile from France and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens have also been residents.
In pop culture, The Langham has been featured across films such as Bond’s Golden Eye in 1995, Wonderland from Michael Winterbottom in 1999 and even Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen visited in 2001 for their film Winning London.
With its illustrious history spanning several centuries, The Langham has seen many visitors and scandal within its walls making it a prime location for ghost-hunters.
It has been reported that visitors have seen the ghostly figure of Emperor Napoléon III from France haunting the basement at The Langham. Other ghostly sightings include a man with facial wounds walking the hallways and a butler also wandering the corridors wearing socks with holes in!
During the Great Depression, The Langham was in trouble and the owners tried to sell the site to the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) but their famous Broadcasting House was built across Portland Place instead. The Langham’s darker history continues into World War II where part of the hotel was used by the British Army before it had to close due to bombing.
In March 2010, Huffington Post contributor Ellen Ladowsky wrote of her trip to “the most haunted hotel room in London” - Room 333 at the Langham Hotel.
Ladowsky infers that 333 itself is seen as an unfortunate number due to its connection with The Exorcist. Many paranormal believers suggest that 3AM is known as “The Devils Hour”, the time when spirits make themselves known. You may also have heard of this time as “The Witching Hour '' first referenced by the Catholic Church in 1535 and later by Reverend Matthew West in the poem “Night, an Ode” in 1775.
There have been accounts of ghosts relating to both the BBC and Room 333 at The Langham.
BBC Announcer James Alexander Gordon stayed in Room 333 back in 1973 and was startled to discover a spooky Victorian gentleman staying there with him. The room once housed a Doctor who was said to have murdered his Wife on their Honeymoon before killing himself. James Alexander Gordon claims he saw an apparition of this gentleman complete with grey hair, a cloak and a cravat with a blank stare.
According to the site ghost-story (dot) co (dot) uk, James Alexander Gordon saw a fluorescent ball of light which morphed into the shape of the Victorian gentleman. It stood with the lower portion of its legs missing two feet above the floor. Gordon is reported to have tried to communicate with the ghost but it did not respond and travelled closer to him with its arms outstretched. Gordon fled Room 333 and grabbed a colleague to come and see the apparition - they both reportedly saw it. The report ends that the Victorian gentleman is a regular figure appearing to guests at The Langham “though only in October” like a terrifying Father Christmas.
Another BBC Announcer Ray Moore also stayed in The Langham’s Room 333 and claims that he saw a gentleman dressed in military uniform with short hair and a stocky frame. He was seen walking through the hotel doors in the early hours of the morning.
Several BBC staff members have claimed that they have also seen a footman appear wearing a powdered wig and pale blue livery coupled by a sudden drop in the room’s temperature.
More modern stories of The Langham and its ghosts have come from the 2014 English Cricket team as documented on the website hauntedrooms (dot) com.
The website reports that the team have had trouble sleeping in the hotel and some of their partners refuse to stay with them due to the supernatural rumours. Stuart Broad, England’s bowler, told The Daily Mail of his stay that the taps came on in the bathroom for no reason! He claims that it was so hot in his room and when he turned the lights on, the taps turned off but when he turned the lights off the taps turned on again! He quickly moved rooms and bunked with his team mate Matt Prior instead.
He claimed that fellow cricketer Moeen Ali’s partner will not stay at the hotel due to the haunted rumours.
In 2023, The Langham remains one of the most popular and luxury hotels in London with 380 refurbished rooms and the famous Michel Roux Jr restaurant The Landau. Many international holiday-makers looking for a slice of London Luxury visit The Langham every year and it is a popular place for Britons looking for an elegant staycation. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled and ears to the ground for future ghost stories coming out of London’s most haunted hotel!
Thanks for reading "Ghosts At The Langham: What Happens Inside London's Most Haunted Hotel?" on January Media.