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Spookiest Places In Britain

By Sophie Hodgkinson


Though it may be an attractive holiday activity, not all of us want to sit on the beach or by the hotel pool. In fact, some enjoy an altogether different experience during their break.

So, it's with the free spirited in mind that I have come up with something a little unusual, and for those who could enjoy a spine chilling experience of a real haunted house rather than one at the fun fair, make sure you keep reading.

Now that the Ghostbusters, teen vampires and paranormal activity films have prepared us to face any supernatural creature that comes our way, do you think you have the guts to visit some of the most haunted and scariest places in Britain? Of course this won’t be suited to everyone and may not be child friendly, but if you’re like me and relish in finding out some of the darkest secrets of the most haunted locations in Britain, and would like to discover why some historic figures make these places so eerie, then the Spookiest Places In Britain may be for you.

Pendle Hill – Lancashire

Pendle Hill, LancashirePendle Hill is located near the town of Burnsley.  It is an isolated hill, which is a detached part of the Forest of Bowland Area.

Otherwise known as ‘witching country’, Pendle Hill is strongly associated with witchcraft due to the famous story of the Pendle Witches. This witch trial made up for over two percent of the witch trials of the early 15th and 18th centuries and is of the most famous trials in English history. The twelve alleged lived around Pendle Hill and were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft. The hill continues to be associated with sorcery and large numbers of visitors climb it every Halloween to honour the twelve witches.

Discover Pendle Hill Centre, Boundary Mill Stores, Vivary Way, Colne, BB8 9NW – 01282 8566186
Visit the Pendle Hill website

The Red Lion – Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire

The Red Lion, AveburyThe Red Lion pub is situated within Avebury’s mysterious stone circle and has long been connected with witchcraft, paganism and superstition. A woman that goes by the name of Florie, is said to haunt this pub. Dating back to the time of the English Civil War her soldier husband threw her down an 86ft well (located on the pub premises) after finding her in bed with another man.

A number of reports have been received of sightings of Florie, dressed in black ,walking around the pub looking for a man with a beard, so make sure to shave if you choose to stay there for the night. Other reports have included that of eerie looking horse drawn carriages pulling up outside the pub in the dead of night. 

The Red Lion, Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1RF. Tel: 01672 539266. 

Visit the Red Lion website

Highgate Cemetery – London 

Highgate Cemetery​The fantastic and unearthly gothic architecture in this Victorian cemetery is scary enough, but from the 60’s till the late 80’s rumours of a “grey figure with hypnotic red eyes” had started to cause distress in the area. Among stories of frightened school girls and impaired animals, it didn’t take long for the brute to be declared “Vampire”. Almost as extraordinary as the vampire itself was the feud between two local men, an exorcist called Sean Manchester and occultist David Farrant. Both of these men swore they would hunt down the vampire and finish it. 

The Friends of Highgate Cemetery runs tours for the east and west sections of the cemetery, though the eastern side can be explored without a guide. Admission to the west side offers a different ambience and can only be explored by a guided tour.

Visit the Highgate Cemetery website 

Borley Rectory – Essex

Borely RectoryPreviously labelled as the “Most Haunted House in Britain”, Borley Rectory has its fair share of ghouls. The house was built in 1863 on the site of an ancient monastery and the ghost of an afflicted nun who trekked along “Nun’s Walk” was already a resident ghost to the villagers at the time. Claims say that she had fallen in love with a monk and the two had tried to elope but were quickly caught. The monk was executed and the nun was bricked up in the cellars of the monastery.  

After having five resident families, Harry Price (local psychic researcher) received a ghostly message that the rectory would catch fire and burn down. Exactly eleven months after that message had been delivered Borely Rectory burnt to the ground. Witnesses were said to have seen ghosts wandering through the flames and the face of a nun looking down from an upper window. Though the house was completely destroyed years later, supernatural events are still reported from the site of the rectory and the nearby church. Though this is the most famous, Borely is filled with many other ghost stories and if you dare visit it would probably be best not to make this trip alone. 

Borley village lies on the River Stour, two miles north-west of Sudbury in Suffolk and 24 miles north-east of Chelmsford in Essex.  

Visit the Borely Rectory website 

Glamis Castle – Angus, Scotland

Glamis CastleCurrently home to the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, Glamis Castle has been named one of the most haunted castles in Britain. Though the Earl’s and Countess’ names may be on the address, they are not the only ones that inhabit the castle. The Grey Lady, who is claimed to be the spirit of Lady Janet Douglas who was burned at the stake as a witch on charges for plotting against the King, is known to haunt the family chapel and has also been seen appearing above the Clock Tower. A woman who has no tongue also haunts the grounds; she runs around the park pointing at her disfigured face and looks out from a barred window somewhere within the castle.

Another is a young servant who was cruelly treated around 200 years ago; he appears by a stone chair next to the door of the Queens’s bedroom. The last ghoul is known as Earl Beardie, who was Alexander, Earl Crawford. Supposedly he was a horrible and unforgiving man, his spirit wanders the castle and there have been accounts of children waking up to find his figure leaning over their beds. Earl Beardie is also known to be gambling for eternity in a concealed room with the Devil, there have often been reports of loud swearing and the sound of dice clacking together.  

Visit the Glamis Castle website Castle admission prices from £7.50 – £28.00

The Tower of London – London

Tower of LondonThe Tower of London is one of the most famous, historical buildings in the world. It may also be one of the most haunted, maybe it’s because of the countless executions, tortures and murders that have taken place inside its walls? Numerous ghost sightings have been reported in the tower and on its grounds, the most known one being that of a security guard in 1957. At 3am, the guard was suddenly alarmed by something hitting the top of the guardhouse. When he stepped out to inspect, he saw a shapeless white figure on top of the tower, it was then realised that it was the very same date that Lady Jane Grey was beheaded in 1554, February 12th.  

The most famous ghostly inhabit is that of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, who was best known for her unfair execution. She has been spotted many times on Tower Green and in the Tower Chapel Royal, sometime carrying her head. The giveaway of her presence is the over powering smell of cheap perfume. Other spirits of the tower include Henry VI and Thomas Becket. But one of the most gruesome stories of The Tower of London is the death of the Countess of Sailsbury, according to one report she was sentenced to death in 1541, accused of alleged involvement in criminal activity. She was sent to the scaffold, but when there she ran and was chased until she was brutally killed by the axe man. Her death ceremony has seen to be re-enacted by ghosts on Tower Green. 

Visit the Tower of London website Admission for adults is £21.45 and for children £10.75, the tower is open all year round for visitors. 

The Ancient Ram Inn – Wotten-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

The Ancient Ram InnBelieved to have built in 1145 The Ancient Ram Inn is a lovely place to stop by for a drink, that’s if you don’t mind having an evil ghost as your drinking buddy. Activities including murder, Satanism and human sacrifice are believed to have been taken place at this centuries old building.  They are reported to date back to the 12th century when the inn was believed to have been built on pagan burial ground. With its devilish atmosphere and cold temperatures it’s had ghost hunters and mediums afraid to stay the night in the threshold. To avoid attracting any more dark beings, the owners have kindly asked mediums to refrain from summoning any more spirits (this message can be seen on the website). 

The Ancient Ram Inn, Potters Pond, Wotton under Edge, GL12 7HF. Visits must be booked with owner John Humphries on 01453 842598.
Visit the Ancient Ram Inn website

Berry Pomeroy Castle – near Totness, Devon

Berry Pomeroy CastleLike any good ghost story, this one is set in a castle.  Two female ghosts haunt the 12th century Berry Pomeroy Castle, with both a Blue Lady and a White Lady making people feel rather unsettled when they visit the historic castle. The White Lady is known to be Margaret Pomeroy, she was an indescribable beauty until she was imprisoned in the castle dungeons by her ferociously jealous sister Eleanor, otherwise known as the Blue Lady, for falling in love with the same man. From the dungeon cells it is there that her spirit is said to rise up to the castle walls. The Blue Lady, her sister, is reportedly seen to be encouraging visitors in the ruins to follow her, though it has been told that this is not a good idea. 

English Heritage cares for the castle, which is closed between November 1 and March 20. Admission is £3.80 adults and £1.90 children.
Visit the Berry Pomeroy Castle website

Hampton Court Palace – West London

Hampton Court PalaceSet in West London, Henry VIII’s previous place of residence is said to be one of the most haunted places in the UK. This palace is full spooky ghoulish stories. Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of the former King, who was beheaded on the grounds of adultery, has been seen by a number of palace visitors who heard chilling cries and have seen a strange figure. However, the most eerie of ghost sightings was caught on CCTV. It captured a figure standing at a heavy door which was opened then loudly slammed closed. The figure was dressed in clothing worn around the time of Henry VIII, some think that this is a fraud, however many people think that it is in fact the apparition of a ghost. 

Admission to the castle is £16.50 for adults and £8.80 for children. The Palace is open to visitors all year round. 
Visit the Hampton Court website