Fancy a fright? If you’ve made it through the spooky season’s best horror movies, then maybe it’s time to turn off the TV and hit the road to hunt some real ghouls. We know that spirits aren’t always easy to locate, so we’ve compiled a list of ten of our favourite haunted houses to get you started.
Dalston Hall Hotel
With over five hundred years of history, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that this hotel has accumulated a few spooky residents. Room 4 is said to be the most haunted, with guests reportedly witnessing a young girl wearing a bonnet, sitting and staring out of the window. She has been nicknamed Sad Emily by the staff, as she seems to be waiting for a loved one who never returned.
The Ancient Ram Inn
Wotton Under Edge
It might sound like the plot of a bad horror movie, but this Grade II listed building is supposedly built on an ancient pagan burial ground. Guests have reported countless strange goings on, including furniture flying around their rooms and spirits creeping into their beds while they sleep. One guest was so terrified by the hauntings that they jumped out of a first floor window to escape the terror. Maybe one for a daytime visit?
Dryburgh Abbey Hotel
This four star hotel was the site of a monastery around the 16th century. Legend goes that a young woman fell in love with one of the monks, and when his peers discovered their secret affair he was executed for his sins, in the grounds of the house. Heartbroken, the young woman jumped off a nearby bridge into the River Tweed. She is said to haunt the hotel to this day, as a grey figure roaming the grounds, and the chanting of angry monks can sometimes be heard in the middle of the night.
Many ghostly sightings have taken place here, perhaps most famously in the 1660’s when the Earl of Newcastle spent the night here, on his way to ransack the nearby town of Bradford. The Earl was woken suddenly in the night by the ghost of a woman tugging on his bedsheets and begging him to ‘pity poor Bradford’. Her haunting pleas worked and the Earl changed his plans, sparing the entire town.
This early 20th century theatre is still open to the public today, but the actors aren’t the only ones still treading the boards. It is believed that the spirit of George, the troubled manager who hung himself when the theatre fell into debt, is often sitting just a few rows behind you enjoying a show.
If you’re into your celebrity ghosts, then look no further than Hever Castle, home to the spirit of Henry VIII’s headless ex-wife Anne Boleyn. Her ghost can be spotted roaming the castle’s gardens. However, it might be worth leaving this visit until late December, as it is said she appears most often on Christmas Eve.
While most people come here to get their thrills on roller coasters, many visitors are unaware that some real ghouls lurk nearby. In the Alton Towers mansion, located on the same site as the theme park, a member of staff spotted a perfumed woman in a long dress walking down the corridors after hours. When asked to leave, she simply vanished into thin air.
Ripon Workhouse Museum
Workhouses were notoriously miserable places for the poor people forced to work there, and this place is no exception. Visitors have reported countless ghostly appearances, no doubt from the spirits stuck inside the building where they literally worked themselves to death. It was believed that if you entered a workhouse, the only way you would leave again would be inside a coffin.
Not content with just a haunted house? How about an entire village? Prestbury is home to the Black Abbot, The Headless Horseman and the ghostly girl of Sundial Cottage to name but a few. It is said that if you stand outside The Plough Inn for long enough, you will hear the hooves of the Charging Horseman’s steed galloping down the street. And you wouldn’t be the only one – farmers still find it difficult to make their sheep pass beside the Inn, and local dogs sometimes cower in fear beside the front door for unexplained reasons.