“Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot! We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!”
These days, when you think of Bonfire Night, you think of a family night of entertainment with events being held all over the country – bonfires, fireworks, fairgrounds and candyfloss, sparklers and the traditional ‘penny for a guy’ competition. However, in amongst all the family fun, it can be easy to forget that this commemorative day actually marks the night that an infamous Gunpowder plot was launched against the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
With such a dark history behind these events and the close calendar proximity to Halloween, it’s not hard to see why there have been claims in previous years that Guy Fawkes Night is actually a replacement for Samhain and Halloween celebrations.
Although there were centuries between the two, there is no doubt that both infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper and political rebel Guy Fawkes had a lot of similarities – not least the fact that they both brought fear and terror to the city of London and its inhabitants.
However, while the gunpowder plot was devised to take down parliament and the King, the Ripper instead set his sights on the residents of the East End and Whitechapel – bringing fear into the hearts of the people, not those in power. In fact, there are even theories that Jack the Ripper himself was royalty – oh, how the mighty have fallen!
While Bonfire Night has been celebrated with firework displays and fun family events up and down the country for many years, Halloween has seen a resurgence in popularity. Pumpkin carving, fancy dress, scary films and spooky events are organised to bring some light-hearted fun to a day that was traditionally used to ward off evil and remember those who have passed over.
Although the autumns of terror created by the heinous acts of these criminals were enough to cement them in the history books, why not make this autumn one to remember and opt for something different during the autumnal festivities this year?
Our Jack the Ripper walking tour is a great way to set the mood, with Ripper-Vision technology instantly immersing you in Victorian London and our expert Ripperologist tour guides bringing the crimes to life. The tour runs daily but tickets are limited, so be sure to book in advance!
There are firework displays and bonfire events galore across London so get your gloves on, grab a sparkler and enjoy the events.