Haunted houses in the UK are more common than you might think. Britain might seem like a fairly innocent isle, but it’s covered in paranormal activity. Forget your fake haunted house attraction this Halloween, there are plenty of real haunted houses in the UK to check out instead.
Skirrid Mountain Inn, Wales
Set in the stunning Brecon Beacons, Skirrid Mountain Inn is described as having a friendly welcome and “olde-world” charm, a huge contrast to its surprisingly brutal past. Steeped in over 900 years of history, the pub is well known for its ghosts. It was formerly a courthouse where it’s said that over 180 criminals were found guilty and hanged from a beam in the ceiling. If you’re brave enough, you can still see the rope marks. It’s no surprise, then, that the ghosts of the hanged criminals roam the haunted house at night.
St Briavels Castle, Gloucestershire
St Briavels Castle, built in the early 12th century, has a long and fascinating history, most interestingly as a forest prison. Legend says that criminals were hanged from the battlements, and a number of prisoners’ inscriptions still remain which tell of the brutality of the prison. Now a Youth Hostel, you are welcome to stay overnight. The truly brave can ask to stay in the oubliette, a secret dungeon with a trapdoor entrance, where the ghosts like to tug at your sheets while you sleep.
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
As one of the most famous haunted houses in the UK, Chillingham Castle even offer nightly ghost tours of the castle and grounds. If you do decide to explore the haunted areas, be prepared to see anything from a pale ghost begging for water in the kitchen to the famous ‘blue boy’ ghost who haunts the Pink Room in the castle. It’s claimed that renovation work in the Pink Room revealed a man and young boy buried within the 3m thick walls of the room, and guests often report hearing wailing and seeing a blue ‘halo’ appear above the bed at night.
Crathes Castle, Aberdeen
Crathes Castle was built in the 1500s as a private residence for the Burnett family. Its most famous ghost is that of the ‘Green Lady’ found in one of the rooms. Legend says that she was a servant girl of the ward, who disappeared shortly after having his child. In the 1800s, in the room the Green Lady is often reported as appearing in, skeletal remains were found tucked behind the fireplace.
Newton House, Carmarthenshire
Newton House, set in the middle of a beautiful landscape park, is rumoured to be haunted by the Lady Elinor Cavendish. Rumour says that she was married to man she did not love, and that she moved back to her family in Newton House so as to escape him. He became so enraged at her escape that he followed her back to the house and strangled her in her bed. Not only have there been reports of muffled voices and the lights switching on and off, one man in the 1980s even claimed he felt invisible hands squeezing his throat while he slept.
Nunnington Hall, York
Despite its setting, Nunnington Hall is infamous as one of the most grisly haunted houses in the UK due to the tale behind the ghosts that roam the halls. It’s said that the second wife of the owner, Lady Nunnington, despised her stepson so much that after her husband died she began to lock him in the attic, where the only person allowed to visit him was his half-brother. He managed to escape, leaving his half-brother distraught because. The half-brother is said to have fallen from an open window while searching for his brother, later dying from his injuries. Lady Nunnington’s ghost still wanders the halls and has been seen ascending the staircase, inconsolable with grief.