Halloween is upon us again, and if you’re looking for an authentic way to celebrate, Britain has plenty of spooky sights to see. Here are the top ten most haunting places to visit, for those who really want to get into the spirit of things…
Pluckley, in Kent, may look like a pretty Home Counties village. But it holds the Guinness World Record for being the most haunted village in Britain. There have been sightings of no fewer than 16 ghosts here, including a highway man, a hanged schoolmaster, and an old woman who sits smoking on a bridge. Prepare to be spooked!
Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Pendle Hill is notorious for the 12 witches who, according to legend, lived and practiced their craft here in the 17th century. Following a trial with very little evidence against them at Lancaster Castle, ten of the witches were found guilty and hanged, and are rumoured to be buried on the hill. Every Halloween, ghost hunters make their way here in the hope of spotting the spirits of the Pendle Witches.
Scotland’s magnificent capital city is steeped in myth and legend. The numbers of ghost sightings in Edinburgh have gained the city a reputation as one of the most haunted cities in Europe. Spectral encounters that have been reported here include a headless drummer, ghostly pipers, and the spirits of ancient prisoners and plague victims. You never know who might be round the next corner!
Hampton Court Palace, London
Situated in the beautiful greater London area of Richmond-upon-Thames, Hampton Court Palace is one of only two surviving palaces which belonged to the notorious King Henry VIII. Perhaps, then, it isn’t surprising that Henry’s ghost has been seen here, along with those of two of his wives, Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard, who have been sighted on numerous occasions dressed in white.
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
The appropriately-named Chillingham Castle is a chilling place indeed. Ghostly encounters have been reported here since the 19th century, with many visitors claiming to hear whispering voices coming from the chapel. There have also been numerous sightings of a ghost known as the “Blue Boy”, who sends shards of blue light through the castle’s Pink Room.
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
One of England’s most haunted spots, Bodmin Moor in Cornwall is home to the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor, a huge black panther-like cat with yellow eyes, which has been sighted over 60 times, yet nobody has ever managed to prove its existence. The Moor also houses the Jamaica Inn, one of the most haunted pubs in Britain, where the hooves of ghostly horses are regularly heard, and a man in a three-cornered hat has been seen walking through doors and walls.
In the heart of the beautiful Peak District you’ll find the village of Eyam, which is notorious as the place where the devastating plague outbreak began in 1665. The villagers cut themselves off from the outside world in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading, and their ghosts have been spotted in numerous locations throughout the village. One of the cottages here is regularly frequented by a mysterious lady in a blue smock, while the ghost of a young servant girl roams the corridors of Eyam Hall.
Highgate Cemetery, London
London’s Highgate Cemetery is famous for its beautiful architecture, and for being the final resting place of many illustrious figures such as George Eliot and Karl Marx. But fewer people remember the hundreds of bodies lying in unmarked graves beneath the soil here. It’s little wonder Highgate has been the scene of so many ghostly sightings, including the notorious man in Victorian dress who regularly floats around the cemetery and is rumoured to be a vampire. Take a tour, but remember to keep your neck covered!
Skirrid Mountain Inn, Wales
Situated in the stunning Brecon Beacons, the Skirrid Mountain Inn has a dark history spanning 900 years. Once a courthouse, the inn is rumoured to be the site of 180 hangings, which are represented by the noose which now hangs above the bar. Guests here have regularly heard the sounds of running footsteps, shouting voices and slamming doors. Stay the night if you dare!
Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
Known as the most haunted castle in Britain, Berry Pomeroy Castle is something of a mystery, as only the shell of the castle remains, and no information can be found about what happened to it. Visitors report seeing a lady dressed in white in the remains of the dungeons, and there are also rumours of a “Blue Lady” who lures people to their deaths. A truly frightening place, ideal for a Halloween visit.
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