With the release of the latest blockbuster Ghostbusters movie, featuring an all-female team, we're listing the 21 top spooky female UK ghosts - could the Ghostbusters trap 'em? And would you dare to visit?
1. The Tower of London
The Tower hosts two well-known ghoulish ladies. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife was executed in the Tower of London in 1536 after she failed to have a son. Several sightings of her ghost have been reported since, including seeing her headless body walking through the Tower’s corridor. In 1864, a soldier on duty near the Lieutenant’s lodgings was confronted by a white figure, which he challenged and subsequently lurched at with his bayonet. The weapon went straight through the woman, who is believed to be Anne Boleyn.
Arabella Stuart was one of Elizabeth I ladies in waiting until she was sent away in disgrace after flirting with Robert Devereux. She married William Seymour at the age of 35, who was 13 years her junior. However, this was without permission of the King so, 17 days later, they were caught. William was sent to the Tower and Arabella put under house arrest. She later tried to escape to meet her husband but was caught and sent to the Tower herself. Arabella became ill being confined to awful conditions, she gave up hope, refused food and medicine and died in 1615. Her ghost is said to haunt the bedroom within the Queen’s House where she died.
2. St Botolph’s Church, Bishopsgate, London
In 1982 Chris Brackley took a picture of the inside of the church where a wedding he was about to attend was to happen. Upon the development of a photo he saw a woman in old-fashioned dress standing on the balcony to the right of the altar. Later when this image was published, a builder got in touch to say whilst doing restoration work some coffins had been disturbed. One of which opened, revealing a well preserved body, who resembled the woman Chris had snapped!
3. The Savoy Hotel, London
One of the lifts at The Savoy, London, is controlled by the ghost of a little girl who died in the building. She is most often spotted in the hallway next to room 502.
4. Hampton Court, London
Fifth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard is believed to frequent Hampton Court’s Haunted Gallery. Here she was dragged back screaming to her room in 1541 after escaping guards to find her husband and plead for her life…to no avail. There have been many reports from guests and staff of Catherine’s scream from the gallery.
Also haunting Hampton Court is Dame Sybil Penn (The Grey Lady), a servant to four Tudor monarchs. Nursing Elizabeth I through small pox in 1562 she died from the disease herself shortly afterwards. Sightings of Dame Sybil have been seen since her tomb was moved in 1829, when she appears as a grey lady.
5. Ham House, Richmond, Surrey
Widowed in 1681 and abandoned by her friends, the unscrupulous Elizabeth Murray, Duchess of Lauderdale, spent the last 16 years of her life alone in Ham House, which she now reputedly patrols. Her high heeled shoes can be heard on the stairs where rose-water perfume lingers once she’s gone. She and her King Charles Spaniel are often spotted by visitors, as she seems to enjoy creating an uneasy presence.
6. Pluckley Village, Kent
With three haunting apparitions, visit Pluckley Village if you dare…
Abigail Nicolas was a gypsy who made a living selling watercress at the crossroads bridge. She died after a spark from the pipe she was smoking jumped into her whiskey and set her alight. She is now spotted haunting the bridge where she died.
Lady Dering is often seen searching the graveyard of St Nicholas’ Church in a red dress looking for the unmarked grave of her child.
A second Lady Dering, the White Lady, is also said to haunt St Nicholas’ Church. She has been spotted on misty nights floating in her white gown contrasting with her dark hair. Her husband was the Baron who owned much of the area, and was so devastated when she died he tried to preserve her beauty by burying her in seven lead coffins within an oak coffin. Her ghost has also been seen in the Dering family house library.
7. Berry Pomeroy Castle, South Devon
Sisters Eleanor and Margaret Pomeroy were in love with the same man. Eleanor imprisoned and starved her sister to death as she was more beautiful. Margaret’s misty form appears in the depths of the tower.
But they aren’t the only spectres at the castle. Raped and impregnated by her father, a daughter of one of the Norman castle lords is thought to have strangled her newborn child, and because of this act haunts the castle tortured over what she has done. The so-called Blue Lady is known to lure people into various parts of the castle and get them lost.
8. Dartmoor, Devon
Kitty was an orphan sent to work on a farm as an apprentice. She became pregnant with the child of the farmer’s son and was sent away, disgraced. With nowhere to go, Kitty hanged herself in a barn. Buried under a mound at an intersection in the moors, a dark figure has been seen kneeling be her grave at night and fresh flowers mysteriously appear everyday.
9. Raynham Hall, Norfolk
Charles Townsend suspected his wife, Lady Dorothy Walpole (the Brown Lady), of being unfaithful, so faked her death to lock her away in a remote part of the house. She died from smallpox the following year in 1726 and ever since has appeared in numerous sightings within Raynham Hall.
10. Dudley Castle, Dudley
Dorothy Beaumont gave birth to a stillborn child in the castle, and various complications led to Dorothy’s death shortly after in 1646. On her deathbed she asked to be buried beside her child and that her husband (Second in command of the Royalist) be allowed to attend the funeral. Neither was granted, so she is believed to wander around what is considered one of the most haunted castles in the world, looking for them both.
11. Belgrave Hall, Leicester
Charlotte Ellis lived in Belgrave Hall with her seven sisters around 1845. A ghostly figure believed to be Charlotte has been seen walking down the stairs wearing a Victorian dress. The Hall’s gardener saw the figure pause on the stairs to look through the window, she then turned, smiled and walked through to the kitchen where she disappeared. The Victorian Lady inhabits the grounds and building along with a Green Lady, a Grey Lady and a mysterious cooking smell.
12. Llancaiach Fawr Manor, South Wales
The petticoat of housekeeper of the Manor, known as Mattie, can frequently be heard rustling in the room where she is believed to have died tragically in the 19th Century. The Manor is considered one of the top 10 most haunted places in Britain.
13. Craig y Nos Castle, Swansea
Opera diva Adelina Patti was the former owner of the castle and was embalmed in the cellar when she died. High pitch noises believed to be Adelina singing are often heard in the castle. Guests have also experienced feelings of breathlessness, which is believed to related back to the site being a TB hospital in the early 1900s.
14. Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool
Two unknown female ghosts haunt the hotel. One is a female thief. She’s been caught red handed searching through guests’ belongings in the early hours of the morning, only to disappear when confronted. The other mysterious female resident with long black hair and wide eyes stands by guests’ bedsides staring at them until they wake up. She is particularly keen on stroking the hair of male guests.
15. Lumley Castle, Durham
As punishment for rejecting the Catholic faith, Lily Lumley was thrown down a well to her death by two priests in the 14th Century. She is said to haunt the building. Her most famous hauntee was Australian cricketer Shane Watson, in 2005. He had to spend the remainder of his stay on teammate Brett Lee’s floor.
16. Bolling Hall, Bradford
In 1642 the Earl of Newcastle plotted to kill every man, woman and child of Bradford whilst staying at Bolling Hall. During the night, he was awoken by a pulling of his bedclothes. A ghostly figure of a woman appeared by his bed sobbing and pleading with him to spare Bradford. Since then there have been several full-bodied apparitions.
17. Whitby Abbey, Whitby
Saint Hilda of Whitby founded the Abbey and since her death in 680 her shrouded ghost appears in a high window. Also at the Abbey, Constance de Beverley was a nun who broke her sacred vows by falling in love, and was punished by being bricked up alive in the dungeon. She has been seen cowering and begging for release in the stairwell.
18. The Golden Fleece, York
The late Lady Peckett who owned the premises with her husband around 1702 is often seen wandering the corridors and staircases in the early hours with a whole host of ghoul companion.
19. Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire
Two female ghosts tread this castle’s floorboards…
During the 13th Century, Lady Meldrum requested when she die her remains be locked in a secret room where she could put a curse on anyone who disturbed her. She was discovered in 1920 by workmen renovating the castle and now is seen haunting the castle as a grey figure.
Dame Lilias Drummond (The Green Lady) was locked away and starved to death by her husband Sir Alexander Seton, who had his eyes on a younger wife. They married when she died and on the night of the wedding, Seton and his new wife heard scratches and deep moanings in their room. In the morning they found Dame Lilias Drummond scratched into the window ledge, where it still is today. The Green Lady has been seen by visitors and guests of the castle for over 250 years, and she is often said to leave a floral smell behind her.
20. Airth Castle, Falkirk, Scotland
There are several unknown ghosts at Airth Castle, all with a tragic end. Two children and their nanny were killed in a fire, and the sounds of phantom children can now be heard playing in rooms 3, 9 and 23. Whilst across the castle you may be awoken to the sound of a young maid screaming after a brutal attack by her enraged master.
21. Ballygally Castle, Antrim
Lady Isobella Shaw lived in the castle with her husband, Lord James Shaw, over 400 years ago. Desperate for an heir, Lady Isobella delivered a son, which her husband snatched from her at childbirth. He locked her in a room at the top of the castle where she tried to escape, but fell to her death. Her friendly ghost is seen and heard wandering the castle looking for her son.
Dare to visit one of these spooky spots? Head to www.voucherbox.co.uk to plan your stay.
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