The spooky season is almost here, but coronavirus means Halloween celebrations are going to be a little different. A 6-person party isn’t going to cut it, apple bobbing’s probably not a good idea, and trick or treating is a hard no. But if missing out on a fiendishly good Halloween trip is the scariest thing you can imagine, our guide to Britain’s most haunted places will give you the vibes your after and keep you from seeing a soul, not a living one any way.
The 12 Witches of Pendle, Lancashire
Pendle Hill has become on of Britain’s most haunted hotspots because of the most famous witch trials in English history. In 1612 in a series of trials known as the Lancashire Witch Trials, 12 people were accused of witchcraft. 10 were found guilty and hanged at Lancaster Castle before being buried on Pendle Hill. Now, on gloomy Halloween nights, ghoul hunters make the pilgrimage, hoping to spot one of the restless spectres when the witching hour arrives. If you’re feeling brave, you could camp out for the night, but most people opt for a quick Halloween trip and stay in a B&B.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
Never mind Britain’s most haunted, Edinburg is on of the most haunted places in Europe and there are loads of ghost stories to uncover in the historic city. And in this hotbed of hauntings Greyfriars Kirkyard stands out as one of the scariest places for a Halloween trip. With stories dating back to the horrifying religious persecution of the 17th century, there’ plenty to discover. Over 500 recorded poltergeist incidents, including claims of people being attacked have been recorded on these grounds. You can take guided tours around the gravestones to uncover the most famous residents. But be warned, these terrible tales will keep you awake at night. And what says Halloween more than that?
The Dark Hedges, Northern Island
Game of Thrones fans will recognise The Dark Hedges from Episode 1 in Season 2. They may be famous but you might not know the ghastly history of the picturesque road. The stunning rows of beech trees were planet in the 18th century by James Stuart to create an imposing drive to his home, Gracehill House. It worked… this place is sublime in the most gothic sense of the word.
The Dark Hedges look like something straight out of Sleepy Hollow and they have a sufficiently dark twist that put them on the radar of every ghost hunter in the world. There is much debate over who the famed Grey Lady is. Some say she was a maid from a nearby house who died mysteriously. Others believe there is a hidden graveyard that opens every Halloween to let the souls free. One thing for sure, whether you see the Grey Lady or not, this incredible place will be worth the visit.
The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Wales
The Skirrid Mountain Inn is a short drive from Abergavenny on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National park. But don’t let the gorgeous surroundings fool you, there are some ghastly stories waiting for you in rural Wales. The Skirrid Mountain Inn has a savage history as an old courthouse where 180 criminals were convicted and hanged. Now the 900-year old building is famous for its other-worldly visitors. There’s no escaping the macabre history of the pub. There’s a noose hanging above the bar from the same beam that has sealed the fates of all those souls. Sounds perfect for a spooky Halloween trip, doesn’t it?
Croft Castle, Herefordshire
Croft Castle is known as the most haunted house in the Midlands thanks to its illustrious past. It was owned by the Croft family who have been influential in the history of England since 1055. Their family has links to the likes of Edward the Confessor, Owain Glyndwr, and Winston Churchill. With big players like that you know there are some murky secrets hiding in those closets.
We’re not interested in clandestine political dealings though, it’s the many paranormal goings on that will make your Halloween tick. And there have been many unearthly occurrences that will make the blood run cold. From mysterious wailing babies to an eerie vigil, it’s all going on at the Croft house. Best of all this is a National Trust owned property and any visit will go towards keeping the building open.
Epping Forest, London and Essex
Epping Forest has a bloody history dating all the way back to Roman battles. It continued with the Norman invaders, Boudicca’s Iceni tribe, and the infamous Highwaymen. It’s not hard to imagine spooky goings in this eerie forest. A preternatural being or two hanging around waiting to scare the bejesus out of poor dog walkers.
There are loads of spooky stories set in these woods and poltergeist mischief is said to be a regular occurrence. There are several ghostly characters waiting to jump out at you. If your feeling bold this Halloween, a camping trip to the heart of the forest will test your metal. Rather you than us.
The Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most famous attractions in Britain. It’s also one of the capitals best Ghost spotting sites. While the imposing building was used as a prison for nearly a thousand years, over 400 people were executed. The A-list of executions includes William Hastings, Anne Boleyn, and Catherine Howard. Apparently, Henry the VIII was a fan.
It’s no wonder spectre sightings happen on the regular with so many characters. It’s said that a mournful apparition of poor Anne Boleyn still wanders holding her head decapitated head in her hands. And of course, the obligatory wails and moans of anguish are heard from the prisoners of the past. It’s always a spooky place, but at Halloween it’s even more unsettling.
That’s our pick of the most haunted places you can visit and guarantee an unnerving experience for the spooky season. You can expect goose bumps galore and hair raising experiences worthy of the scariest day of the year.
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