If you’re going to go out looking for ghosts, it is important to consider the very real sense of life and history that comes along with it. A search or a study of a paranormal site is often very different to television shows like Most Haunted – it is a measured and precise experience that you are bound to remember for a long time to come. With that in mind, here is a guide to the top ten most haunted locations in Great Britain.
1. Beachy Head, Sussex
Whilst the macabre reputation of this famous beauty spot is well known, few people are aware of the fact that it is also rumoured to be home to a mysterious black monk. There have been reports of this monk approaching lone walkers and willing them to step off the edge of the cliff. In some cases, he is said to stand at the bottom of Beachy Head, urging people to join him with a quietly beckoning finger. A female figure in Victorian clothing, a woman carrying a baby and a lady in grey who stroked a walker’s dog and then promptly disappeared have all been seen in the area.
2. Jamaica Inn, Cornwall
There is a greater abundance of ghosts, spooks and paranormal visitors in Cornwall than in almost any other county in Great Britain – a number of them reside at the Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor. This former smugglers den is well over two hundred years old, so it’s hardly surprising that so many lost spirits seem to wander through the building. There’s the sailor who regularly sits outside the pub, presumably waiting for a carriage that will never arrive. Yet, far more active is the Man in the Tricorn Hat who haunts room five. He is said to appear during the early hours of the morning and have fun stopping sleeping visitor’s alarm clocks.
3. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
There are aren’t many nice things to say about the history of Chillingham Castle. The eight hundred year old fortress doubled up as a prison and a torture chamber – its infamous dungeon was built with sloping floors to allow the blood to drain away. Its most famous ghost is the sadistic John Sage, a man who tortured and killed more than seven thousand people. After accidentally killing his girlfriend whilst making love on a torture rack, Sage was publically hanged from a tree in the castle grounds. These days, Sage can be often seen wandering close to the spot where he was executed.
4. The Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire
This seven hundred year old public house is thought to be one of the most haunted locations in the country. It became a private residence in the 1960s, but the family that own it has shared a turbulent relationship with the charmingly ramshackle property. In this house, beds shake and windows rattle – one visitor was so scared that she jumped out of a second story window to escape the presence in her room. If you visit the inn, expect to be routinely pushed and shoved by unseen hands. In fact, the owners of the Ancient Ram briefly closed the inn to the public because they were worried about the increasing level of paranormal activity.
5. The Skirrid Inn, Llanvihangel Crucorney
In the tiny Welsh village of Llanvihangel Crucorney (when have towns in Wales not been a bit of a mouthful) sits the Skirrid Inn. It is believed to be one of the oldest pubs in the country, maybe even the oldest one of all. It was once used as a court room and as the location for the mass execution of one hundred and eighty insurgents from the Monmouth Rebellion. The rope marks from this violent act are said to still be visible in one of the original wooden beans at the inn. On more than one occasion, guests have complained of a strange pressure around the neck and sudden feelings of nausea and dizziness.
6. Tulloch Castle, Ross & Cromarty
A stay at Tulloch Castle in Scotland is not one for the faint hearted, not if the reports of frightened guests are to be believed. One visitor famously described waking up to find two small girls sitting on his chest in an apparent attempt to suffocate him. At this hotel, figures appear at the foot of the bed and door handles rattle throughout the night. Interestingly, the ghost of the Green Lady is one of very few spirits that has actually been caught on film. She is thought to have died after falling down a spiral staircase. If that wasn’t enough, this castle contains secret doors, passages and tunnels.
7. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
If you know anything about Pendle Hill, it’s probably to do with its reputation for witchcraft and devil worship. In the 17th century, twelve inhabitants of Pendle Hill were arrested and charged with witchcraft and murder – of these people, ten were later executed. You don’t have to believe in witchcraft or sorcery to find this area of Lancashire a little bit eerie. A visit from the Most Haunted team famously ended in smashed crockery, upturned tables and an apparent visitation from alleged witch Alice Nutter. On Halloween every year, hundreds of visitors still climb the hill searching for the victims of the Pendle Witch Trials.
8. Pluckley Village, Kent
The sleepy village of Pluckley is famous for two things – it was used as the backdrop for The Darling Buds Of May and it is featured in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the most haunted village in England. It is home to an abundance of different spooks and spirits, including the Watercress Woman who is believed to have accidentally set herself alight, on the bridge where she sat and sold her watercress. A schoolmaster found hanging by children is thought to wander the area, as is tragic farmer Edward Brett – he shot himself at the old Elvey Farm dairy.
9. Raynham Hall, Norfolk
This sprawling country house produced one of the most famous paranormal photographs of all time. The image, which features the misty figure of a woman descending a staircase, is thought to picture Lady Dorothy Walpole – the sister of the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. As legend has it, she was locked up at Raynham Hall after her husband found out about a pre-marital affair. She remained imprisoned until her death in 1726. It is believed that she was never allowed to leave the property again, not even to see her children. There are still some people who believe that she was pushed to her death at the bottom of the grand staircase at Raynham Hall.
10. Tower Of London, Central London
The Tower Of London has to be one of the most famous haunted locations in the world. It was famously referred to as ‘a stronghold for ghosts’ by author Charles Dickens – there are official reports of around fifty four separate incidents involving the nine hundred year old prison. Its most celebrated ghost is that of Anne Boleyn who was beheaded at the tower in 1536. It is said that Sir Walter Raleigh often makes an appearance, as do the ghosts of two young princes thought to have been murdered by Richard III. On numerous occasions, the two boys have been spotted walking hand in hand through the many passages and tunnels of the tower. If it is ghostly activity that you’re looking for, there’s nowhere quite like the Tower Of London.