From Hell

So, I didn't realize that Halloween is gaining some momentum here in the UK, and that people are actually beginning to really celebrate it here. Oops.

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, and usually I make some elaborate costume myself rather than buying one. And I usually start planning my costume about four months in advance.

But since everyone told me that the UK isn't big on Halloween (liars!), I didn't bother to think of a costume for this year. So on All Hallow's Eve, I made a last-minute stop at the shopping centers in Uxbridge and picked up a bunch of facepaint, and my friend Amber picked up some random bits to throw a costume together.

After about 30 minutes of makeup, I had been transformed into a zombie hipster. Thus me and my friends (Amber and Jennifer) set out on the tube to East London. More specifically the Tower of London.

We decided to celebrate Halloween by doing a walking tour that followed in the footsteps on one of the world's most notorious serial killers and greatest mysteries: Jack the Ripper.

Our journey began at the Tower of London, where one of the Yeoman guards (the guys that work in the Tower!) was actually our guide for the evening. We then spent the next two hours wandering down dark alleyways and stopping in creepy churchyards as he told us the gruesome tales of Jack the Ripper.

The most interesting thing I found about the tour is that there were over 1000 suspects at one point of who Jack was!! One of which was even a member of the Royal Family. Who would've thought?? Well, apparently the police did, because several of the prostitutes that were killed had previously worked at a gay house (brothel) that was right next door to Buckingham Palace - which the prince often frequented... Haha. I don't think having a brothel next to the palace would fly in today's times.

When Jack sent letters to the police, he signed them "From Hell" (creepy), hence the title of this post. He said that by killing the prostitutes, he was sending them to their rightful place in hell. Also creepy.

After the tour, our zombie-selves were hungry, so we ventured towards Soho to find some eats. We managed to wind up in the gay section of town, so we saw some very outrageous costumes (and people for that matter!) as we were wandering the sidewalks. I'm pretty sure I saw a transvestite in about 8-inch platform heels... she was at least 7 feet tall with those shoes! It was really cool to see that sort of subculture out in full force. It seemed to suit the holiday, and added a bit of light-hearted entertainment to the evening's festivities.

In Soho, we found ourselves a diner, called Ed's Diner. Probably the coolest restaurant I've been to yet. It was an American 1950's-style diner (think Johnny Rockets, but less cheesy). Everyone just sat at this bar that wrapped around the kitchen area. And there were jukeboxes. And fun people. And good food. And it was so much fun. Jennifer, who is from Ireland, loved it and kept asking if that's what diners in America were really like. I told her I wish they were.

And while brains weren't on the menu for this zombie, I still managed to appease my hunger with a chicken sandwich and some fries. (Yes, they called them fries on the menu! Not chips!!)

Mmmm. Zombie juice (Coke really, but work with me here!) What an awesome end to an awesome evening.