I was looking forward to a frightening evening full of fascinating history. I have a morbid curiosity for things like ghost tours and learning about unsolved mysteries like the Jack the ripper murders.
There are several companies online all trying to outdo each other but essentially offering the same thing. From what I saw on my tour I picked the right one. All of the other groups we saw were crowds of more than 20 people. Our group was small and manageable.
We met at Tower hill on Friday night at 6.40. Our guide introduced himself (his name was Dickie) and let us know that he also works and lives in the Tower of London. His routine was flawless, full of the right jokes and accurate facial expressions and sadistic smiles.
From the beginning I realised that I was going to freeze the entire way around and had to brace myself for an hour and 30 minutes of misery. This probably dimmed the otherwise tense atmosphere of the tour, as I was just dreaming about hot showers and hot chocolates.
Our guide didn’t stick to strictly Jack the Ripper history, which was nice. We learned a lot about the areas we were walking through on the way to various sites. At each landmark Dickie would give us the history of the victim and how it was that she found herself working on the streets. He didn’t spare the gory details either and even had old, grainy Victorian photographs of the corpses.
By the end of the tour Dickie gave us a host of different theories and his personal favourite conspiracy theory as to who the killer was.
All in all I wasn’t overly thrilled by the experience, but it could have been due to the cold. But I didn’t really appreciate the point of the tour. The landmarks we were taken to were of little notice, some were just pointed out behind construction sites. It was difficult to appreciate the historical significance of what we were being shown. I think it would be more interesting to stay at home with a warm drink and read a Jack the Ripper book.
Full credit to Dickie though who gave a great performance.