We've dug into the history of the most haunted places in Britain. Go for a visit if you dare..!
Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
Built in 1145 on an old pagan burial site, the Ancient Ram Inn is one of Britain’s most terrifying taverns! Home to some 20 ghosts, including a murdered young girl called Rosie and a sex pest spectre called Incubus, there have been reports of flying furniture, blood-curdling child screams and one visitor even claimed to have been pulled down on to a bed.
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
Dating back over 800 years, the aptly named Chillingham Castle was converted from an old monastery when King Edward I was battling the Scots. As battles raged and Chillingham’s grisly history unfolded, death clung to the castle and hundreds of paranormal events have been recorded here.
The castle’s chief torturer, John Sage, is said to haunt his old workplace. He killed his lover and was hanged and, whilst still alive, onlookers cut off his toes and other body parts for souvenirs.
The castle’s other famous ghost is The Blue Boy, whose body was excavated from a wall in the 1920s. The bones of his fingers were worn away from where he tried to escape. There have been many reported sightings of this boy and many claim to hear his screams when the clock chimes midnight.
Windhouse, Yell, Shetlands
On the Shetland island of Yell lies the mysterious ruin of a former laird’s house. Built in 1707, the now ruined stone building of Windhouse claims to be the most haunted house in Shetland.
In 1880, when Windhouse was renovated, skeletons were found under the floor of the building. Lying empty for over 80 years, it was bought in 2003 by an English couple who planned on restoring it but then went back on the market. Ghostly inhabitants include a lady dressed in silk, a servant girl and a ghost dog. Howls that for spooky!
Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
Built in the late 15th century, Berry Pomeroy Castle is a Tudor mansion built within the walls of an earlier castle. The ghostly apparitions of two ladies famously dwell in these walls. The Blue Lady is thought to be the daughter of a Norman Lord who was forced to strangle her own child, conceived after her own father raped her. She is said to beckon passersby for help, luring them to the tower. Legend has it, that those who follow will fall to their deaths.
The White Lady, said to be the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, was imprisoned there by her sister, Eleanor, who was jealous of her beauty. She died a slow and painful death of starvation.
Athelhampton House, Dorset
Built over five centuries ago, Athelhampton House is considered to be one of the most haunted homes in Britain. There are reports of phantom duellists in the Great Chamber and the Grey Lady of the Tudor Room, a hooded monk in the corridors. All pretty standard stuff for a an old pile. But Athelhampton is home to something even stranger, the ghost of an ape!
The creature was the adored pet of one of the daughters of the house. Spurned by a lover, the daughter decided to take her own life. She made her way to a secret chamber and failed to notice that her devoted pet ape had followed her through the hidden doorway. Entombed, the poor creature starved to death. This ape-parition has never been seen but scratching sounds are often reported as the doomed creature tries to escape its eternal prison.
Glamis Castle, Angus
Glamis Castle was home to the late Queen Mother, and the late Princess Margaret was born here in 1930. The castle is as haunted as it is because of an ancient curse brought on the family by Sir John Lyon, who removed an ancestral chalice from their seat at Forteviot, where it was supposed to reside forever.
One of the legends is the Monster of Glamis, the tale of a child, imprisoned in the house to conceal their hideous deformity. Upon death, the suites occupied by this creature were walled up. Now, to every generation, a vampire child is borne.
Another castle tale is that of Earl Beardie. Furious that no-one would play cards with him on the Sabbath, he ended up playing cards with the Devil, who stole his soul and condemned the Earl to play cards until doomsday. The White Lady is said to haunt the castle’s chapel and to this day a seat is always reserved in the chapel for this special spectre!
Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Pendle Hill is notorious for its connection with witchcraft and Devil worship. In the 17th century, the Pendle Witch trials began and in 1612, 12 women from the local area were accused of witchcraft. Ten were found guilty and hanged, one was found not quilty and one died during the trial.
Since then, visitors to the area have reported being throttled by unseen hands, male voices turning into women’s voices, ghostly whispers, items being thrown and ghostly apparitions. Some visitors have even reported suffering scratches from these wicked entities.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
With a castle dating back to 850BC, it’s unsurprising that Edinburgh is often cited as one of the most haunted cities in the UK. It has its own dog cemetery in the castle grounds and ghost sightings are aplenty. Sky terrier ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ is the most famous of the ghost dogs to be sighted in the cemetery. Prior to his death in 1872, he spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner. A headless drummer boy is said to haunt the castle and a ghostly piper patrols the underground tunnel!
Borley Rectory, Essex
Prior to its demolition in 1944, Borley was notorious as being ‘the most haunted house in England’. Built in 1863, it was erected on the site of an ancient monastery. A ghostly nun haunted the grounds so often that the area was known locally as ‘Nun’s Walk’. Then came sightings of a coach and horses racing up the driveway!
Following the death of the last member of the Bull family, who had owned the property since it was built, subsequent residents reported having objects hurled at them and messages began being scrawled into the walls in front of their eyes! The rectory was exorcised but the manifestations reappeared.
Psychic researcher Harry Price took on the lease and performed a seance where he was warned that the rectory would catch fire and burn down. Less than a year later, an oil lamp fell over in the hallway and the place burnt to the ground. Witnesses described seeing ghostly figures and the sight of a nun in an upstairs window through the flames. Supernatural observations are still reported from the site today.
Blickling Hall, Norfolk
Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn is without doubt Blickling Hall’s most famous ghost. She is believed to have been born there and the current structure has been built on the ruins of the original property which was owned by the Boleyn family from 1499. Alleged sightings of her include one where she is dressed all in white, carrying her severed head through the hall and its corridors!
Eyam Village, Derbyshire
Eyam Village is commonly referred to as ‘The Plague Village’ because so many of its residents lost their lives over an 18-month period from 1667. Consequently, it has been rife for paranormal activity, from footsteps being heard in the Miner’s Arms building in the village, to a lady in a blue smock who frequents the plagued cottages. The ghost of a servant, Sarah Mills, who drowned in a well, has been sighted in Eyam Hall and the ghost of an old man resides upstairs in a locked room!
The Tower of London, Central London
Built by William The Conquerer in 1078, this historic castle on the banks of the River Thames in London remains one of the UK’s top attractions. The Tower is famed for its ghosts.
Anne Boleyn was beheaded here in 1536 and there have been numerous sightings of her close to where she was executed. The two princes, Edward V and his brother Richard who were sent to the Tower after being declared illegitimate, are thought to have been murdered there. The skeletons of two children believed to be the princes were uncovered in the White Tower. Subsequently the ghosts of two children presumed to be the princes dressed in nightclothes are frequently sighted here.