Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A group of us are going on the Jack The Ripper tour tonight. Been wanting to do this since I got here, and have finally organised it.
We all meet at Aldgate East station after work and get taken around the spots where the dude murdered people.
Dude. Scary tourism is all the rage. Didn't you know?
I have been fascinated with the Ripper case, like, forever.
The concept that some of the buildings, still remaining from Victorian times, that survived two world wars, know who the Ripper was, always fucks me out.
I mean, bricks don't have eyes or nothing, but the buildings on the East End had to have witnessed who the person was. That disemboweled seven prostitutes. In a manner most foul.
There are a few tours around London's East End, by 'Ripperologists,' who have studied the whole thing for decades on end. The latest theory - only published this month - is that the Ripper was the chief inspector on the case..
Some say it was a member of the Royal family, people will speculate until the end of time.
We are being taken around as the sun sets, and I have a hip flask of whisky on me to swig. Like real detectives do. I think. (Did Magnum PI swig on whisky from a hip flask? On the job? Bad Magnum, bad boy!)
First stop is a pub (The Ten Bells) where he allegedly picked up some of these women, then a wall that still exists where he left one body, as well as a square where he left another.
The East End was so badly blitzed during the war that many of the original buildings turned to dust, and now really fuck ugly ones stand in their place.
But still, it blows my mind that London's history is so deep and rich - and violent - involving knives and bowels and bombs and squalor - and these places still stand. The pub, for example, still stands. Not as a museum either. I can go in there and order a pint.**
We can freak ourselves out because we are literally in the same place he was.
[Cue Jaws music.]
Good thing I'm wearing my black pleather trousers and have celery sticks in my back pocket just in case.*
* I ate a packet of Battenburgs this weekend. I discovered Battenburgs in Britain. Square-coloured cake wrapped in a layer of marzipan. Fuck me in a fjord, they are mindblowing....and now I have to starve for the rest of the week in penance. Again.
**More like a vodka, soda and fresh lime. The least calorific drink there is. Ever. Take note ladies.