The streets of London have witnessed some of the strangest men come and go over the years. From commoners like Theodore Hook, who halted the functioning of the city over a bet in 1810, to the London Monster of 1790 roaming around with blades strapped to his knees, every nook of the English capital was pervaded by episodes of the uncanny. But way earlier than these wanton destructors, Londoners were haunted by a colossal sight of terror that bordered the supernatural: Whipping Tom of 1681.
In the line of sexual predators that roamed the city, Whipping Tom was probably one of the scariest. Because what can be more fearsome than a faceless entity jumping out of a shady lane to spank you? That’s right.
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Fleet Street, London. Photo: Wright Archive/Flickr