The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

18 Feb

Everyone loves a good story, don’t they? And with the rich history that comes with good old England, there are a good few murder stories that come with the city I have moved to. My favourite is Sweeney Todd, the barber of Fleet Street. He used to kill people, and then the pie shop next door used to make them into pies and sell them to the unsuspecting Londoners. Makes you think that next time you have lunch, you might take the veggie option, doesn’t it?

His shop was 186 Fleet Street, and here he is believed to have robbed and murdered over one hundred and fifty of his customers, putting him in poll position as the most prolific serial killer in the history of the capital city.

The story of Sweeney Todd is that when customers were sitting on the barber’s chair in the shop that he owned after learning to cut hair in prison, it would revolve and they would be dropped through a trap door. Another would fill its place, leaving the demon barber of Fleet Street to go down a flight of stairs to the unconscious victim and slit their throat. Sinister.

What makes the story even more sinister is that there was a lady who is said to have run a shop around the corner called Mrs Lovett, and her shop was a pie shop. Between the two of them they discovered a disused tunnel under the barbers that ran beneath the crypt of St Dunstan’s church and ended up in her shop which was an easy path that linked the two, and made them able to have a horrible partnership. Between the two of them they killed and cooked up over one hundred and fifty victims, until he was hung in front of a crowd of thousands at Newgate Prison. Mrs Lovett was found by prison wardens poisoned to death in the same prison.

The story was recently made into a film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (who else?!) bringing the story back into the public eye. Makes you think twice about getting your hair cut!

Whats the most interesting story about the place where you live?

12 Responses to “The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

  1. visitingmissouri February 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Besieged by a huge Spanish army, the city of Leiden was starving for months (May 26 – October 3 1574). At one point, a riot was about to break out because of the starvation. The mayor, in a defining moment of heroism, silenced the crowd and said, “If my death may help you, please take my arm and eat it.” They didn’t and were freed on October 3rd, a day still celebrated today.

    • tinkerbelle86 February 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      thanks for all the stories, there is something interesting everywhere. Im going with Jack the Ripper for my next story time with Tinkerbelle 🙂

  2. Life in the Boomer Lane February 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Oh my! The assassination of Lincoln and all the events around it has to be one of the most compelling stories ever. Even if you think you know everything about it, read “Manhunt.” Riveting.

  3. observingthescene February 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Just when you think you’ve heard everything! I hadn’t heard that story before, and since my family name is Lowell, it strikes pretty close to home. Thanks for sharing!

  4. susielindau February 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Here in Boulder county there is a town in the foothills called Nederland where there is a man who is on ice in a Tuff Shed being cryonically preserved. Every year the town has “Frozen Dead Guy Days,” where they have coffin racing, frozen turkey bowling and tours of the Tuff Shed. Hahaha!
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Ann Jacob February 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    I love these kind of stories.. IT’s so interesting to read! This one is really disgusting but a good one!

  6. twindaddy February 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    There’s a Honky Tonk a few miles from where I live called Bobby Mackey’s. It’s allegedly haunted because of some murders that took place in the late 1890’s and a suicide in the 1930’s.

  7. prenin February 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    We have quite a history here in my small town, but as the perpetrators take a dim view of anyone talking about their horrific family reputation I think I’ll just add that I almost became another of their victims when I was a child as my father tried to sell me to them…

    Love and hugs!


  8. mommygosleepynow February 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    The oldest pic I have of the farmhouse we now live in shows a woman in a long dress standing to the side of the stairs. I’ve always wondered about her…and sometimes hear footsteps down the passage….

  9. travelingmad February 20, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Gross. I have heard of this story but didn’t know all the details. And yes, I will be eating vegetables today!
    I have to figure out all the horror stories of Paris. I’m sure there are some good ones here too.

  10. Meenakshi February 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I live in Bombay and it is Sludog Millionaire. I am getting quite sick of that movie now.

  11. Marvin the Martian March 1, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    Sweeney (the movie) was okay. I like Helena B Carter more these days than when she was a young trollop.

    There is nothing remarkable about where I live, except that it seldom rains and we are immune to hurricanes.

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