My name is Paul Hussey and I was born in Portsmouth, England in 1961 ( On the same day as my older brother, but a year later ). During my life here in England, I have had various supernatural experiences which has led me to list just some of the many famous hauntings which may be of interest to readers. One of the things England is famous for is the many Famous hauntings that have grown over the centuries from Witches, White ladies, Kings and Queens of England and many others.
This is a list of the most famous haunted locations in England, there are likely to be hundreds of thousands more that are only locally known.
- Airfields around the country are said to have paranormal activity arising from the spirits of airmen who died in World War II. Airfields include:
- the former RAF Bircham Newton in Norfolk.
- the former RAF East Kirkby in east Lincolnshire. The control tower is haunted by a ‘malign’ presence
- the former RAF Elsham Wolds, near the A15 just north of Barnetby in North Lincolnshire. The control tower was reportedly haunted by a friendly ghost of an airman, reported in the 1950s. Phantom Lancasters have reportedly been seen taking off at night over the A15.
- Arundel Castle in Sussex is often said to be home to just four ghosts but there are more ghostly goings on between its ancient walls than first meets the visitor. The spirit of the first Earl of Arundel, who originally built the castle, is said to still haunt the Castle’s Keep. Another spirit is said to be of a young woman who, stricken with grief from a tragic love affair, took her own life by jumping to her death from one of the towers. Seen by some, she is said to still haunt the castle on moonlit nights dressed in white. Another spirit is that of a ‘Blue Man’ who has been seen within the library since the 1630s and it is thought that he could be a Cavalier due to his time period seeming to be from King Charles I’s reign. Another notable ‘spirit’ is that strangely of a white owl like bird. Legend tells that if the white bird is seen fluttering in one of the windows, it is an imminent warning of a death of a Castle resident or someone closely associated. It’s interesting to note here that Dukes used to keep a colony of white American Owls here at the castle before its restoration. There is also mention of a servant lad who once lived at the castle who was treated very badly until beaten to his death. He is said to now haunt the kitchen area and has been seen scrubbing pots and pans. Another strange sighting was more recent in 1958 by a footman. Working late one night on the ground floor the footman was walking near the servant’s quarters and saw what he thought to be a man walking in front of him when he thought he had been alone. As he got closer to the apparition the man faded and then was gone.
- Bochym Manor is residence to two ghosts, the short pink lady, and an unnamed ghost who stands at one of the bedroom windows.
- Belgrave Hall in Leicester, attracted attention in 1999 when a white figure was captured on CCTV. One theory is it is the daughter of a former owner.
- 50 Berkeley Square is reputed to be the most haunted house in London.
- Blue Bell Hill in Kent, specifically the A229. This has been the site of a female phantom hitchhiker. Cars have stopped to pick up a female hitchhiker, only for her to vanish to the drivers’ disbelief.
- Borley Rectory in the village of Borley, Essex, England. Many sightings have been reported since 1885. The house burned down in 1939, and remains a huge source of controversy.
- Brislington, once an attractive Somerset village but now a neighbourhood in Bristol, has many ghosts in pubs and hotels, houses old and new, and public spaces.
- Bruce Castle in Tottenham, North London is haunted by the ghost of a woman who allegedly appears every 3 November. The ghost is thought to be Lady Coleraine, who was kept locked in a chamber within the castle by her husband.
- Castle Lodge, Ludlow in Ludlow, Shropshire, is believed by many to be haunted by a young girl in Tudor dress. Some say this is Catherine of Aragon, who lived in Castle Lodge during her marriage to Prince Arthur.
- Chingle Hall in the village of Goosnargh, near Preston, England. Chingle Hall, previously known as Singleton Hall, was built in 1260 by Sir Adam de Singleton. It is reputably haunted by more than one spirit.
- Crowley Hall in the north of England, is supposedly haunted by the spirit of Dr. Bernard Leys. Leys ran the hall for a number of years before dying under mysterious circumstances in 1952. Sightings of ghosts have been reported since the 1970s.
- Dartmouth, Devon, ancient maritime town has many modern and traditional ghost stories including (in its hinterland) some recently discovered spirits from the Bronze Age.
- In Dorset, an axe wielding ghost riding a horse bareback is described by witnesses as looking like a stone age warrior.
- Hampton Court Palace, home of King Henry VIII of England, whose fifth wife, Catherine Howard, is supposed to be heard screaming in the “Haunted Gallery”. On December 21, 2003, CCTV footage allegedly showed someone in 16th century clothes and no face closing a fire door that, though locked, was constantly being opened without anyone near it.
- Minsden Chapel in Hertfordshire is reported to be haunted by a monk climbing stairs which no longer exist.
- The Old Bailey, London’s main criminal court. A figure (of unclear sex) supposedly appears in the building during important trials. These appearances have been allegedly witnessed by judges, barristers and policemen.
- Pluckley in Kent is listed in the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of Records as the most haunted village in England. Ghosts include a phantom coach and horses, a colonel and a highwayman.
- The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall has been sighted quite a few times over the years. She is so called because of the brown brocade dress she is supposedly seen wearing while wandering the halls and staircase. In 1849 a Major Loftus and a friend named Hawkins claimed to see the ghost one night after retiring to bed, saying they were amazed by the old-fashioned clothing she wore. The next night Loftus claimed to see the figure once again, saying he took note of her empty eye-sockets. The incident resulted in several members of staff resigning and a full investigation of Raynham Hall involving local detectives.
- There have been a number of reported sightings at the Royal Albert Hall, including the ghost of Father Willis, walking around inside the organ and two ladies wandering the corridors.
- Samlesbury Hall in Preston, Lancashire, is supposedly haunted by Lady Dorothy Southworth, known as the “White Lady”. Weeping is often heard, and her ghost has been seen wandering near where her lover was buried.
- Temple Newsam is reported to be the most haunted house in Yorkshire, with the most famous ghost being Mary Ingram, commonly known as “the Blue lady”, who in her life became deranged after an attack by highwaymen. Ghosts linked with the more famous residents of Temple Newsam include “the White lady”: this is said to be the ghost of the “nine days queen”, the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey. She was executed by Mary I.
- Windsor Castle — home of English and British royalty for 1,000 years. Numerous ghosts are supposed to have been seen, including Queen Elizabeth I. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, is also said to haunt Windsor Castle and supposedly runs down a corridor screaming. Among those who claimed to have seen the ghost, who sometimes is said to be carrying her head, are King George VI, William Ewart Gladstone and Andrew, Duke of York.
- Muncaster Castle in the Lake District National Park, Ravenglass.
- Pendle Hill, near Clitheroe, LancashirePendle Hill is one of the scariest places. Injuries, strange sightings, uncanny feelings of dread, and even ‘possessions’, abounded.
Halloween at Pendle Hill – an appropriate time, as this beautiful area experienced English history’s most famous witchcraft trials. Ten witches were hanged, accused of putting curses on locals using clay effigies.
- Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex
If you settle down to watch a performance at this grand old theatre, the seat next to you might not be as empty as you think…
Actors have reported weird tobacco smells, and theatre-goers sitting with no one beside them have reported feeling a hand on their shoulder.
The spirit is thought to be that of a theatre manager who hung himself from the fly floor when the theatre got into financial difficulties. Sightings of a ‘distinguished woman in white’ and the sound of a piano coming from the deserted pit add to the eerie atmosphere.
Macbeth’s Castle, Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland
The setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth (a play that’s not short on its own ghosts and superstitions), Glamis is regarded by paranormal-investigator types as the most haunted castle in Britain.
Among the many alleged ghostly goings-on over the centuries have been a card game between the Earl and the devil (they are said to still play every Sunday, in a secret room within the crypt walls) and an incident a few years ago, when an Edinburgh lawyer visiting for dinner saw a lady in white float beside his car, all the way to the door. And he hadn’t even had an aperitif.
Country house haunting, Levens Hall, near Kendal, Lake District, Cumbria
Imposing old country houses were just made to be haunted, and Levens Hall, an Elizabethan manor house with a creepy 12th-century tower, fits the bill nicely.
Once again there’s a lady involved, though here it’s the Grey Lady, who was, so legend tells, a gypsy who was refused food and shelter during a harsh 17th-century winter. Sometimes a black dog accompanies her, so at least she’s not lonely.
There’s also a lesser-spotted Pink Lady, and a phantom harpsichord player, though he or she hasn’t been heard since the 1950s.
Lord Byron’s ruined country pile, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire
As well as yet another White Lady (frankly, White Ladies are ten-a-penny in the world of British hauntings), the ancestral home of Lord Byron (he of “mad, bad and dangerous to know” fame) positively throngs with phantasms.
The Goblin Friar was said to appear to the head of the Byron family before an unhappy event (such as the arrival of the gas bill).
Also, look out for the Black Friar who, in the 1930s, pointed a lost doctor to the bedroom of a lady who was about to give birth. Nice to know that ghosts aren’t always moody and unhelpful.
A visitation in the pews, St Mary’s Church, Beaminster, Dorset
In the spring of 1728 a boy from the school within the church, John Daniel, was found dead near his home. As he was known to suffer from fits, he was buried without an inquest.
A few days later, some schoolboys found a coffin in the church, with John Daniel sitting next to it. Presently, the apparition and coffin disappeared.
The magistrate was believed the boys and had the body exhumed. John Daniel was found to have been strangled. No one was apprehended for the crime.
So it’s more of a historical haunting, but would you spend a night in St Mary’s?
Yorkshire’s most haunted inn, The Busby Stoop Inn, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
At this windswept Yorkshire pub, you can’t move at the bar for parapsychologists, such is the place’s renown.
The murderer Thomas Busby’s remains were hanged outside the pub after his execution in 1702. He had been the landlord, a boozy thief who killed his father-in-law with a hammer.
Busby cursed the chair he was dragged from by the cops, and anyone who sat in it afterward was said to have died soon afterward. The chair is now in a local museum, but Busby’s ghost is still spotted, his head drooping and a rope around his neck.
Celebrity ghosts: The Tower of London
As it was the location of violent, bloody tortures and executions for hundreds of years, it’s little wonder the Tower of London is London’s ghost-central.
And because of the erstwhile English penchant for beheadings, it’s home to some classic headless spectres, many of them veritable celebrities.
Anne Boleyn is said to walk the corridors in a headless state, and also to promenade on Tower Green with her head intact. Sir Walter Raleigh has been spotted, too.
Dogs, it’s said, will not enter the spooky Salt Tower. There are also two anonymous ghosts known, not very originally, as the Grey Lady and the White Lady.
Pagan burial site, The Ram Inn, Wooton under Edge, Gloucestershire
Lots of inns in the UK claim to be the ‘most haunted’, but by general consensus, The 12th-century Ram Inn is the daddy.
It was converted into a private residence in 1968, but that hasn’t affected its legendary status in the annals of the paranormal. Child sacrifice and black magic practices are alleged to have taken place here.
The Bishop’s Room is the hotspot: visitors have reported apparitions, unexplained noises, ghostly orbs and even a spectral cat. To cap it all, the Ram is supposed to have been built on an old pagan burial site.
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The Chinese call Britain ‘The Island of Hero’s’ which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.
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