Updated: Oct 24
Do you have a taste for the eerie, an appetite for the supernatural, and a backpack full of ghost-hunting gear? Well, grab your EMF meters and torches because we're about to embark on a spooktacular journey through the United Kingdom's most haunted hotspots. From derelict asylums to underground ghost stations, fasten your seatbelts (or rather, your proton packs) as we explore the 13 most creepy, quirky, and downright spooky haunted places in the UK. In this blog we'll hear the horror stories leading to why these places are so haunted so be prepared my friends!!!
1. Denbigh Asylum, North Wales
Wales's 1st mental asylum, now a hauntingly decrepit assortment of ruins, has seen better days. Nature, in its relentless pursuit, has pushed through the once-sterile concrete floors, wallpaper peeling like an impatient ghost, and an overgrown courtyard that seems tailor-made for luring in ghost hunters from across the UK. While it may be officially off-limits to the public since its closure in 1995 (it had a marathon run from 1848), paranormal investigators and ghost hunters can't resist its magnetic pull, as it's etched in history as one of the UK's most spine-tingling destinations.
And the haunting? Well, let's just say it's as unsurprising as a ghost in a sheet. The asylum's dark past, rife with overcrowding and much mistreatment, is enough to make even the most level-headed spirit restless. Plus, the icing on the haunted cake is the rampant vandalism and occasional arson since its closure, adding an eerie charm to the forlorn buildings.
Ghost hunters brave enough to venture inside have reported a symphony of the supernatural – screeches, eerie laughter, mysterious footsteps, and spine-tingling bangs. And if that's not enough to send shivers down your spine, some lucky souls have even laid eyes on full-bodied apparitions, turning this forsaken asylum into a ghostly experience.
Location: Denbigh, North Wales, LL16 3NU
Photos below courtesy of Kurt Roberts @kurt.explores
2. Aldwych Underground Station, London
Next up, is London's Aldwych Tube Station. It is one of London's 40 abandoned underground stations, and has an intriguing slice of history. Its inception dates back to 1907, and this disused station has quite the reputation as Britain's most haunted station. With its compelling past, including service as a bomb shelter during the Blitz, it's no wonder Aldwych is now considered a paranormal hotspot.
Originally named "Strand" when it opened its doors in 1907, Aldwych was part of the bustling Piccadilly line until it bid farewell to its last train on the evening of September 30, 1994. But as it turns out, some passengers never quite disembarked. Despite its abandonment, the station is regularly cleaned and maintained by staff. They speak of a lone ghost, a Victorian actress who stands resolute upon the tracks throughout the night. It's said she once graced the Royal Strand Theatre, which occupied this site before making way for Aldwych Station in 1905. Yet, even in death, she refuses to take her final bow and continues to haunt the theatre's ghostly stage, now shrouded in the echoes of its own history.
Location: Strand, London, WC2B 4DU
3. The Tower of London, England
Ah, the Tower of London! It's not just about queens, crowns, and a whole lot of ravens; it's also a top contender for the title of "Most Haunted Hangout in the UK." This imposing fortress, squatting right in the heart of London, boasts a history more twisted than a pretzel.
Built back in 1066 – yeah, you read that right, this place is ancient – the Tower has had more wardrobe changes than a diva on Oscar night. It's been a palace, a posh prison, and a place where you wouldn't want to be caught dead, quite literally.
Speaking of being caught dead, it's rumoured that a bunch of famous folks met their untimely ends within these stone walls. Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, and those poor Princes in the Tower, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, all added their ghostly touches to the Tower's ambiance. Oh, and there's Anne Boleyn herself, still haunting the place like she's on an eternal beheading tour.
Now, let's talk about job dedication. The Yeoman Warders, affectionately known as Beefeaters, have sworn to protect the Tower for all eternity. Rumour has it that if the Tower ever faces danger, these ghostly guardians will rally the troops, even in the afterlife. Now that's what we call commitment!
So, if you're in the mood for a dose of history with a side of supernatural, the Tower of London is your one-stop shop. Who knows, you might just run into a centuries-old spirit or two while exploring the Tower's nooks and crannies. Just remember to bring your own ghostbusters – those ravens aren't going to do the job!
Location: London, England, EC3N 4AB
4. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Pendle hill is notorious for its tangled past of witchcraft and devil-worship, a place where horror stories sent shivers down the spines of local villagers. Today, it's a hotbed for all things spooky, with tours tracing the witches from their unfortunate arrest all the way to their spine-chilling execution.
The Pendle Hill witches aren't your typical ghosts; they're like the ultimate bad witches' club that just won't quit. They've been known to haunt buildings and villages in the area, and let's just say they haven't exactly let bygones be bygones. Visitors who wander into their ghostly turf have reported feeling anger like a storm brewing, and locals are so spooked that they avoid talking about the witchy past altogether.
But that's not all, my friends! Pendle Hill has become a star in the paranormal world, making appearances in TV shows like "Most Haunted" and ghost tours that promise more chills than a freezer in Antarctica. Some brave souls from the television crew even claimed they got a not-so-friendly welcome – unseen hands that seemed awfully fond of strangling. And then there's the medium, Derek Acorah, who had a heart-to-heart with Elizabeth Device, one of the accused witches. Turns out, she wasn't alone; there were nine more spirits lurking about, and they weren't exactly thrilled about the crew's presence.
And if you thought the witches were the main event, think again. Investigators have stumbled upon the spirits of children and the tragic ghosts of those who took their own lives in this eerie area. Pendle Hill is like the ghost hunter's paradise, where every corner has a spooky surprise waiting to give you the heebie-jeebies.
So, if you've got a taste for the supernatural and a love for all things witchy, Pendle Hill is your ticket to the ghostly rollercoaster of a lifetime. Just remember to bring your courage, a nightlight, and maybe a good luck charm – you're going to need it!
Location: Pendle Hill, Lancashire, BB9 6LQ
5. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle, the crown jewel of Scotland's historic sites, isn't just a treasure trove of history; it's also a hotspot for ghostly encounters that would make even Braveheart think twice. With centuries of paranormal activity under its battlements, it's no wonder this place is dubbed the most haunted spot in Scotland.
From the castle's stone walls to its deepest dungeons, there have been thousands of spine-tingling claims from visitors and staff alike. These aren't your run-of-the-mill ghost stories; we're talking about full-blown apparitions, phantom touches that send shivers down your spine, the eerie sensation of being watched, shadowy figures lurking in the corners, mists that come and go like spectres in the night, green lights that dance mysteriously, sudden temperature drops that'll have you clutching your tartan, and emotional rollercoasters that make you feel like you're reliving a Scottish drama.
Apparitions take centre stage in this ghostly ensemble. Among the regular cast, you'll encounter an older man sporting a leather apron, a headless drummer boy who marches to the beat of his own spectral drum, and the Grey Lady, who's none other than Janet Douglas, the Lady of Glamis herself.
But that's not all, folks! Edinburgh Castle's ghostly roster includes a poltergeist that just loves to stir up trouble in the dungeon and a pack of ghostly dogs frolicking in the castle's very own doggy cemetery. Leading this pack is the infamous 'Greyfriars Bobby,' a loyal pooch whose spirit refuses to leave his master's side, even in the afterlife.
Let's talk about the little drummer boy, a ghostly encore from 1650. His headless figure has been spotted playing an eerie Scottish war tune along the battlements. The legend goes that he appears when the castle is under siege, lending an eerie credence to the belief that he's a spectral guardian of Edinburgh Castle. Thankfully, nobody has witnessed this ghostly encore since the Jacobite uprising in 1745, but who knows when the little drummer boy might decide to make his spectral comeback?
So, if you're looking for history, hauntings, and a touch of the macabre, Edinburgh Castle is the place to be. Just remember to bring your kilt and a brave heart – you're in for a ghostly adventure that's as Scottish as a dram of fine whisky!
Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
6. Pluckley, Kent
Pluckley, the village with a ghostly reputation that's got Guinness World Records nodding in approval. With a dozen to fourteen restless spirits lurking in its midst, it's like the Who's Who of ghostly encounters. This place has become a paranormal playground, with countless ghost hunters and TV shows making their way to Pluckley to unravel its eerie mysteries. Now, let's get to know some of the village's most infamous apparitions:
First up, the star of the spectral show, the Screaming Man. Legend has it he toiled in the village brickwork but met a tragic end, plummeting to his demise. His anguished cries still echo through the village, a haunting reminder of his ill-fated fall.
Next, we have the Elderly Woman, whose fiery end was nothing short of tragic. The story goes that she accidentally set herself ablaze while catching some Z's. Now, her phantom figure occasionally flickers into view.
Now, let's raise a pint to the Black Horse Inn, a charming old pub that's been around for over 300 years. Nestled in the spookiest village in the land, it's no surprise that things get a tad... supernatural here. Glasses mysteriously move, cutlery takes flight under unseen hands, and even the local pups know something's up as they bark at empty corners and refuse to step foot in a particular room upstairs.
So, if you're looking for a ghostly adventure in the heart of England, Pluckley is the place to be. Just remember to keep an eye on your cutlery, and maybe bring some extra doggy treats for your four-legged companions. You're in for a hauntingly good time!
Location: Pluckley, Kent, TN27
7. Borley Rectory, Essex
Picture this: Borley Rectory, the OG haunted house of England, nestled in the charming village of Borley, Essex. It's so spooky; even Casper the Friendly Ghost would think twice before paying a visit. This place is like a paranormal playground, where ghosts and ghostbusters have been playing hide and seek for ages.
Built back in the 19th century, Borley Rectory had more supernatural action than a ghostbusters' convention. You name it, they had it: phantom apparitions, hair-raising footsteps, and inexplicable stuff that'll make your hair stand on end. There were even star residents, like a spectral nun, phantom coaches, and lights that partied like it was 1799 (or whenever ghosts dance).
Things went nuclear during the Rev. Harry Bull's watch, and he scribbled down every eerie episode in his book, "The Haunting of Borley Rectory." If Harry had Twitter back then, he'd have been a viral sensation. But let's not forget about the investigators who waded into the supernatural soup, adding more layers to the mystery.
Sadly, in 1939, Borley Rectory went up in smoke, which is kind of ironic when you think about it. But here's the kicker: its haunting legacy still lingers like that strange smell in your grandma's attic. Today, it's a chilling reminder of a time where the line between the living and the afterlife seemed to blur. So, if you're ever in Essex and want a dose of history with a side of spook, Borley Rectory is the place to be. Just watch out for ghostly tap dancers in the halls!
Location: Borley, Essex, CO10 7LU
8. The Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire
At over 800 years old, The Ancient Ram Inn holds the title of the oldest building in Wotton under Edge, and let's just say, it's the rock star of haunted houses worldwide. You might even call it the "Ancient Ram-shackle Inn" if you're feeling punny.
Now, when you're known as one of the "most infamously haunted buildings on the planet," you know you've made it to the big leagues of spookiness. Paranormal researchers can't resist this place – it's like a moth to a ghostly flame. Even TV shows like "Most Haunted" and "Ghost Adventures" couldn't resist its otherworldly allure.
One particularly spooky legend involves a 1500s witch, and no, she wasn't brewing pumpkin spice lattes. Her crime was simply not being on Team Christianity, and back then, that was apparently a one-way ticket to the stake. Legend has it that she still hangs around as a spectral guest, particularly fond of "The Witch's Room."
And let's talk plumbing for a moment – not the most exciting topic, but stay with me. The redirecting of water on this property apparently opened up a portal for dark energy. John Humphries, a past owner, had quite the time here. On his first night, he got a friendly, demonic arm-grab and dragged from the bed across the room, compliments of the house. He even stumbled upon evidence of devil worship and found some unsettling houseguests – the skeletal remains of children and broken daggers. Perfect decor for Halloween.
Now, let's get to the rooms – "The Bishop's Inn" might as well come with a "scare-ductible." Guests at the inn, back when it still had brave souls sleeping over, often gave this room a hard pass. Some brave souls who ventured in high-tailed it out in the middle of the night. Why? The ghost of a monk is the ultimate Airbnb host there, and he's apparently not big on sharing his spectral space.
So, if you're looking for a place to spend the night and make some new otherworldly friends, the Ancient Ram Inn is just the spot. Just remember to bring a nightlight, or two, or ten. You'll thank me later.
Location: Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, GL12 7HF
Top right photo courtesy of Kurt Roberts @kurt.explores
All others courtesy of Lee Russell
9. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
Ah, behold Chillingham Castle, the grand dame of spooky estates, complete with alarming dungeons and a torture chamber – because what's a castle without one, right? This place has been in the Grey family's clutches since the twelve-hundreds, making it the ultimate hand-me-down. And guess what? They've been sharing their space with some rather unexpected houseguests.
Now, let's meet the cast of spectral characters, shall we? There's the enigmatic Blue Boy, Lady Mary, a poor, wandering soul, and even a Royal procession that still parades around. This castle is like a historical theme park, and these stories never get old because Chillingham Castle is like a time capsule – it refuses to change with the times.
And let's not forget the ghosts, because honestly, what's a castle without a few ethereal roommates? Lady Mary and her spooky squad aside, the Grey family had quite the dramatic history. They served kings but also had a rebellious streak that would make Shakespeare take notes. With eighteen Knights of the Garter and eight infamous executions, they were basically the Kardashian family of their time – just with more beheadings.
Not all the ghosts at Chillingham Castle are camera-ready. Some are more subtle, like those "impalpable impressions on the air," as Tennyson so eloquently put it. It's that feeling of something unseen but definitely moving, like a chill creeping up your spine or a general air of "I'm being watched."
As for the moonlit nights, well, let's just say they turn this place into a spectral disco. The shadows of battlements come to life, and it's harder not to see shades and shadows dancing around like they've got VIP access to the afterlife's hottest party.
Location: Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 5NJ
10. Plas Teg, Flintshire
Plas Teg House in Wales is the real-life haunted house that puts all those horror movies to shame. With a history stretching back over 400 years, it's no wonder this place has more ghosts than a Halloween costume shop.
So, let's dive into the ghostly guest list, shall we? There are at least 15 spooks hanging around the joint, probably because it has more history than a library. This place has seen it all, from being a posh residence to a local courtroom where people faced the hangman's noose. With that kind of resume, it's practically a ghost magnet.
First up, we've got Dorothy, the star-crossed lover who met a tragic end. She had her heart set on a farmer's son named Lorwerth, but Daddy dearest wasn't having it. Determined to elope with her beloved, she even stashed her jewels near a well for the big getaway. But, oh, fate had other plans – she slipped and fell down the well to her doom. Now, folks say they've spotted her ghostly figure on the A541, possibly running to meet her love or just looking for some company in the afterlife. But wait, there's more – her jewels vanished, and Lorwerth was so heartbroken that he decided to join the ghost club as well. Now, he's out and about, forever searching for his lost love. And speaking of wells, a gardener in the late 1800s had a hands-on encounter with the supernatural. He felt invisible hands trying to pull him down the well, but when he looked into the abyss, there was nada – just dark water. Talk about a spooky work day.
Inside the house, the soundtrack is a mix of wailing and ghostly weeping. Could it be the spirit of John Trevor V ? He discovered his wife’s affair, and her death came shortly after, believed to be by the hands of John. Drunk and guilt-ridden, he drove his carriage at high speed through the grounds of Plas Teg, hitting a tree and severely injuring himself. Due to his injuries, he died a slow and agonising death.
But the ghostly circus doesn't stop there. People claim they've been prodded, pushed, and emotionally toyed with by unseen entities. And don't forget the soundtrack – giggles, sobs, knocks, whispers, and even a little ghostly chit-chat in the mix.
So, if you're looking for a haunted house that doesn't just serve tricks but also treats, Plas Teg House is your spooky paradise. Just remember to bring your own ghostbusters and maybe a change of pants.
Location: Pontblyddyn, Flintshire, CH7 4HN
11. The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Wales
The Skirrid Mountain Inn is the Holy Grail for ghost enthusiasts, earning its stripes as the spookiest pub in Wales. Nestled beneath the brooding shadow of the mountain from which it takes its name, this pub once played dual roles in history. Upstairs, it moonlighted as a courtroom, but don't expect trials by jury here – it was more like "Trials by Hanging."
Local legends spin tales of more than 180 miscreants meeting their fate, swinging from an oak beam just outside that very courtroom. Talk about a dramatic entrance! And guess what? Those hangman's ropes left their mark, literally. The grooves from those eerie executions are still etched into the wooden staircase today, like the pub's very own ghostly guestbook.
So, if you're up for a pint of ale with a side of spectral history, the Skirrid Mountain Inn is the place to be. Just be sure to tip the bartender – they've been serving spirits long before it was cool!
Location: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 8DH
Photo below courtesy of Kurt Roberts @kurt.explores
12. Leap Castle, Ireland (Near UK):
Okay, we're cheating a bit, but Leap Castle in Ireland is just a short hop away. Now, why is Leap Castle so haunted, you ask? Well, it turns out this castle had a rather bustling social calendar back in the day. People were imprisoned and executed here left and right, and let's be real, that's not the kind of party you want to be invited to. This constant revolving door of the living and the not-so-living has left its mark on the place.
Let's talk about "It." No, not the Stephen King kind, but something equally terrifying. Picture a creature the size of a sheep with a decaying face! And when "It" makes an appearance, it's not a pleasant surprise. Nope, it's accompanied by the delightful aromas of sulfur and rotting corpse. Who's ready for a game of hide and shriek?
Then there's the Murder Hole Room, or as we like to call it, the "Let's-Stab-Each-Other-for-the-Castle" room. There's a good ol' bloodstain on the floor, courtesy of a brotherly dispute over who gets to be king of the castle. Sibling rivalry, am I right?
You can also meet the Red Lady, who has quite the bone-chilling backstory. She's said to be the ghost of a woman who endured a horrendous ordeal at the hands of the O'Carrolls. The poor soul was captured, raped, and left pregnant. When the O'Carrolls took it a step further and killed her baby, she couldn't bear the despair and took her own life. Now, the Red Lady roams the castle, dagger in hand, ready to give anyone a fright they won't soon forget.
Location: Leap, County Offaly, Ireland
13. Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon:
The once majestic Berry Pomeroy Castle has been reduced to a romantic ruin. It is reported to be one of the most haunted places in the British Isles. Now, picture this castle, a shadow of its former grandeur, but still standing tall as a testament to its haunted history. Visitors flock here by the thousands, drawn by the allure of ghostly encounters and chilling tales that seem straight out of a Gothic novel. This castle is like a magnet for spooks, and they don't disappoint.
Meet the star players of this ghostly show: the Blue Lady and the White Lady. The White Lady, none other than the restless soul of Margaret Pomeroy, has a thing for haunting the dungeons of St. Margaret's Tower. You might just spot her waving from her ghostly prison, but her story is far from pleasant. Jealousy led her sister, Eleanor, to imprison her in the dungeons, where she withered away, starved to death.
But the spookiness doesn't stop there! Castle visitors have been treated to strange lights flickering in the darkest corners, voices echoing through the stone halls, and icy cold spots that'll make your blood run cold. If you're lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective), you might even glimpse a lady in a grey dress or a Cavalier, along with mysterious ghostly shadows that seem to have a life of their own.
So, if you're in the mood for a ghostly adventure that'll send shivers down your spine, this castle – once a majestic beauty and now a romantic ruin – is the place to be. Just remember to bring your bravery, a flashlight, and maybe a ghost hunter's handbook. You're going to need it!
Location: Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6LJ
As you can see, The UK is filled with haunted places and spooky ghosts. So, whether you're a hardcore ghost hunter or just looking for a good scare, these 13 destinations promise to deliver spine-tingling stories, ghostly encounters, and enough quirky memories to last a lifetime. Buckle up, brave souls, and let's ghost-bust our way through the United Kingdom's most haunted haunts.
I want to give a HUGE thank you to Kurt Roberts for allowing me to use some of his photos in this blog. Give him a like and follow on Instagram @kurt.explores
Thank you for reading and as always, if you have any questions, thoughts or feedback please leave these in the comments section below. I'd LOVE to know if you have visited any of these locations!
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Happy Halloween and spooky hauntings!!