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It’s great when my friend Elisa comes to stay, as we get to do loads of fun touristy things that I wouldn’t normally think of doing. This time, one of them was a Jack the Ripper tour. If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t heard of Jack the Ripper, he’s a killer who murdered several prostitutes in Victorian London, and despite many theories and conjectures about who he was, his identity has never been confirmed.

We met outside Aldgate East station (apologies for the terrible quality of these photos: my camera’s never been great at taking pictures at night).

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Our guide outside Aldgate East

Our costumed guide led us down alleys, up little hidden paths and beside old history-ridden buildings overshadowed by the shiny new modern office blocks that have popped up in the last few years. We stopped beside several workhouses, factories and landmarks made significant because they were the places where the bodies were found, or where the women had been last seen before their bodies were discovered.

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Start of the tour

Our guide made pretty good use of projections to show us images of the victims, as well as pictures of the areas we were at as they would have looked back in the nineteenth century. This was really interesting and helped us compare and contrast. Seeing the faces of the murdered women helped to bring home the fact that they were actually real people. This tour is for entertainment but it also has a serious side.

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One of JR’s victims

One of the places we passed was the Ten Bells pub, rumoured to be the place where one of the victims drank. We were also treated to a bit of theatre, as an actor playing the drunk partner of one of the women wandered past!

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The Ten Bells

On a lighter note, one of the alleys we walked through was pointed out as being Knockturn Alley from the Harry Potter films.

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Knockturn Alley

I probably wouldn’t have thought of going on something like this, so I’m glad my friend got me along. Definitely something a bit different for a Friday night!

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