We’re counting down the days to Hallowe’en with a frighteningly good offer on car hire – and what better way to spend the weekend than with a trip to one of the UK’s most haunted locations? Take a torch-lit trip though old dungeons or spend the night in a ghostly guesthouse – whatever takes your fancy.
To provide sufficient spook-factor for your Hallowe’en plans, we’ve put together a list of ten of the United Kingdom’s most macabre destinations in the hope of scaring up a travel treat or two – and we’re also offering you the chance to explore one of the most haunted for yourself.
As one of the country’s most disputed territories throughout history, no account of our country’s hauntings is complete without a Hallowe’en visit to York. The Golden Fleece is one of the city’s many sources of ghostly goings-on – it had a visit from the Most Haunted TV crew back in 2005, where they uncovered the story of a Canadian military man who fell from the window of one of the guestrooms upstairs. To this day, overnight guests tell of the fully-uniformed man at the bottom of the bed, and the mess he leaves the room in.
The Pendle Witch Trials of the 17th century accused twelve Lancashire locals of murder by witchcraft. In August 1612, eleven were found guilty and ten of those were hanged. Covens were said to congregate in the home of one of the accused, Alice Nutter, on Pendle Hill. This has led some to believe that the area is haunted by their spirits; the area’s notoriety brings thrill-seekers to Pendle Hill every Hallowe’en in search of spooky sights.
One of Wales’ most prized stately homes, Newton House was originally built for the Rhys family who descended from Welsh royalty. The home got a Gothic spruce-up in the 1850s, providing an effective visual for the reported paranormal activity within its walls. The presence of a spirit dubbed ‘Walter the Butler’ is felt in the house today, with reports of visitors smelling and even seeing his pipe smoke downstairs. Tales of a lady strangled to death by a jilted lover have also given rise to visitors feeling difficulty breathing as they climb the stairs.
The name alone – which translates to ‘City of the Dead’ – should be enough to unnerve even the bravest traveller, but this Glasgow cemetery brings much local intrigue. Seventies schoolyard stories once drove determined young adventurers to the Southern Necropolis in search of the vampire which apparently dwelled there, while the ‘White Lady’ is a memorial which has apparently turned its stone head to watch people passing by in recent years.
Most Haunted’s Yvette Fielding called this West Yorkshire home the “most terrifying location” she’s ever filmed the cult TV show. Stories of the violent poltergeist within, which were documented in a 2012 horror film, are said to trace back to the Black Monk. Many in-depth reports of minor flooding, furniture being thrown and a dark presence on the landing are ready and waiting to be experienced – dare you step inside?
The castle’s proud ‘tattoo’ tradition has lasted for centuries, and anyone in search of paranormal players won’t be disappointed by the reported sightings of a headless drummer and a ghostly bagpiper. In 2001 a team of scientists headed into the crypts to debunk the macabre myths over a 10-day investigation, but were surprised to find that there was even more cause to be curious, with ‘photographic anomalies’ paving the way for further study inside the castle.
This grade I-listed building was constructed during the 16th century – and having stood for almost 500 years, it’s bound to contain a spooky secret or two. Ghostly happenings were frequently reported during restoration work which took place during the 1990s, with stories of a young boy who haunted visitors by tugging on their clothes or trying to take their hand. The manor holds regular ghost walks and is likely to prove a popular place to visit for Hallowe’en.
Its location in Northumberland made it a consistent target for clashes between the English and Scottish armies, but it’s the mysterious origins of the ‘Blue Boy’ ghost which currently baffle experts. Chillingham Castle is one of the most frequent destinations for TV ghost hunters, who have reported on the appearance of orbs and other unusual tricks of light. The castle is another haunted UK location with a dark history of torture so it’s very possible that some of its wronged victims remain here in limbo.
With its history of holding and executing prisoners of the State, it’s no wonder the Tower of London has acquired such a bloody reputation. However, the Tower is said to be haunted by some of the very same ghosts who occupied the cells when alive. Among its more notable guests were two of Henry VIII’s wives before they met their grisly doom – the ghosts of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard are said to roam the tower to this very day.
The West Midlands also has a number of sites which have reported on ghostly activity, but nowhere is said to contain more harrowing happenings than Dudley Castle. This 11th-century castle is often the place where things go bump in the night. Workers in the local surroundings have witnessed many disturbances and unexplained sounds coming from the castle, while a series of sightings of the ‘Grey Lady’ standing in the ruins have also attracted attention.
These scary sights are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to paranormal activity in the UK. With York so high up on the European scare-scale it’s little wonder that the old town becomes a hub of Hallowe’en fun – so hire a car from us during October and you have the chance to win a two-night break in York.
As amateur spook-seekers and professionals alike prepare for another Hallowe’en investigation, you may stumble across some unexplained event of your own wherever you’re visiting. Why not get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter to recommend your favourite haunted house or castle?