Things that go "bump" in the night
Did you know that half of all adults believe that ghosts might exist? It's no wonder then that so many people come to Britain and visit one of the thousands of sites here that are said to be haunted... are you one of these people?
Here are Britain's top 10 most haunted sites (visit them if you dare):
By night, Highgate Cemetery in London is like something out of a horror movie. Eerie crooked gravestones, headless angles covered in ivy, dark overgrown passages between the tombs, it’s no wonder this is Britain’s number-one ghost spot. Despite it’s chilling atmosphere, by day Highgate Cemetery showcases some of the Britain’s most spectacular Gothic architecture, offers fascinating guided tours. It’s also the burial place of Karl Marx.
The stories of Borley Rectory mainly come from the work of famous 18th-century ghost hunter, Harry Price. Price got involved in a case at the Rectory after a newspaper ran a story about a phantom nun in 1929. His investigations led to the rectory being named ‘The Most Haunted House in England’. The building was destroyed by a fire in 1939, but this has done nothing to dispel stories of spooky happenings, or stop ghost hunters visiting the site.
The area known as Pendle Witch Country in the Lancashire Pennines is dominated by the dark brooding mass of Pendle Hill. Nearby is the site of Britain’s most famous (and most grim) witch trial – the case of the ‘Witches of Pendle’. In 1612 ten so-called witches were hanged at Lancaster Castle and it’s said they still haunt the local area. The hill itself has even featured on Living TV’s ‘Most Haunted’.
For information see: Newbury, Pendle towns
Pubs in Britain are frequently said to be haunted. This might be because they are often century-old buildings, or it could just be that ghosts like a pint as much as the rest of us. The 400-year-old Red Lion Inn in Wiltshire is one Britain’s most haunted pubs. The pub is situated inside Avebury stone circle - a World Heritage site and the largest stone circle in Europe - which greatly enhances its already unique atmosphere.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, a trip to the Ancient Ram Inn is an unsettling experience. Its creaky floorboards, cold bare walls, musty smells and dimly lit nooks and crannies epitomise everything a haunted house should be. And the stories attached to this creepy building are not for the fainthearted: Murder, satanism and child sacrifice are just a few of the dark deeds said to have occurred here, oh and did we mention apparently it’s built on a pagan burial ground?
The spires, turrets, towers and statues seize your attention immediately. Glamis Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles, but not just for the amazing architecture and 600 years of royal history. Glamis is also one of Scotland’s most haunted castles. Among the many spirits said to inhabit the place is the ghost of the Monster of Glamis – a hideously deformed child who was kept locked up in a hidden room his entire life.
Not only is the Tower of London one of London’s favourite visitor attractions, it’s also home to many inhabitants of the undead variety. And it’s no surprise really when you consider the number of beheadings, hangings and tortures that have gone on there. Some of the most sighted ghouls include the Princes in the Tower, allegedly murdered by their uncle Richard III, Anne Boleyn and the White Lady, who apparently brings a strange perfume smell with her on her hauntings.
On the 16 April 1746 the last ever battle to take place on British soil was fought on Culloden Moor. Here the Jacobite rebellion, vastly outnumber, was massacred there on the moor. This was the grim start to the repression of Highland customs and traditions. And as you might think, any battle as bloody as this is bound to leave a few tormented souls. Legend has it that every year on the battle's anniversary, war-cries can still be heard as the warrior battle on in the after world.
The peaceful, rural setting of Llancaiach Fawr Manor gives no clue to the turmoil of its history and the bloody civil war that was fought there. And these great battles have left no shortage of spectres wondering around the manor. In fact, strange things have been experienced in almost every room, along corridors and on stairs. Things seen, heard or felt, or sometimes odours in the air of violets or lavender - and on some occasions, roast beef!
This 14th-century castle has 2 famous female ghosts; the White Lady and the Blue Lady. According to legend the White Lady is the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, who starved to death while imprisoned in the dungeons by her jealous sister. Apparently she haunts the dark dungeons, and rises from St Margaret's Tower to the castle walls. The Blue Lady is not confined to specific areas and is supposed to lure people into parts of the ruin. Apparently it’s a very bad idea to follow her!