The Most Haunted Houses in Britain
Here’s an intriguing statistic - over half of all adults in the UK believe ghosts exist, and a quarter of us believe they have had an ‘encounter’ with the supernatural.
It’s no wonder there are so many ghost stories in Britain. Humans have been living here for over 40,000 years – there’s a fair bit of bloody history as source material. Here’s our list of Britain’s most haunted houses, born from the centuries of brutality that send tingles down the spine of those who dare to visit today:
1. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Notorious for the Lancashire witch trials of 1612, the looming mound of Pendle hill cast a dark and brooding shadow over the Lancashire Pennines. 12 so-called witches and residents of the hill were put on trial for supposedly causing the deaths of 10 local people with a mysterious and painful illness, and killing all the cattle in the surrounding area. One died in prison and all but one other were found guilty and hanged at Lancaster Castle. The Pendle Hill witches are supposed to still haunt the surrounding village, and every Halloween people climb the hill hoping to see them.
2. Ancient Ram Inn, Wotten-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
The first of two haunted pubs on this list (perhaps ghosts have a sideline in brewery marketing)
The Ancient Ram Inn is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in England with numerous reported sightings of various entities.
Supposedly built on pagan burial ground (obviously), and on the ancient Ley Lines running from Stonehenge, The Inn is the site of a witch burning 1500s when Puritans dragged the woman from one of the rooms and burned her at the stake. There is also a history of Devil worship and ritual sacrifice when the current owner found daggers and skeletal remains of children under the staircase. The Inn is supposedly home to a number of ghosts including the witch, and angry monk, a Roman centurion on horseback and a dark and malicious entity
3. Pluckley Village, Kent
The village of Pluckley is known as the most haunted village in Britain. Up to 16 different ghosts have been sighted in the village including a highwayman, an army colonel, a horse and carriage and a schoolmaster found hanged. There are also reports of regular screaming from the nearby woods.
4. Golden Fleece Inn - Yorkshire
One of the oldest inns in York dating back to 1503, there are up to 15 entities that call the Golden Fleece Inn home. There’s the Canadian airman who fell from a window during World War II, One Eyed Jack – a 16th century redcoat complete with musket, the Victorian boy trampled by horses outside the inn, and the lost Roman legion marching in the cellar, which incidentally was also used as a makeshift morgue to house unidentified criminals. The most infamous resident is Lady Alice Peckett – who wanders the rooms moving furniture during the night
5. Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
The alleyway in Edinburgh’s Old Town has had a history of hauntings and gruesome activity since the 17th century. In 1645 the close was ravaged by bubonic plague and sealed off, supposedly with residents still inside. It is rumoured that once the plague had cleared men were sent to remove the bodies but were unable to due to the cramped alleyways – so they cut the bodies up, removed some, and others buried within the walls of the renovated buildings.
The new inhabitants of the reopened close soon reported sightings of apparitions including severed limbs, a headless dog and a young woman. Eventually, the close was once again abandoned and sealed up to make space for the building of The Royal Exchange above it and forgotten for 250 years. It has since been re-opened for visitors and sightings of dogs and ankle-grabbing young girls have continued
6. Tower of London, London
A haunted house list wouldn’t be complete without the most haunted building in Britain. Henry VI was murdered here by the Duke of Gloucester and stalks the Wakefield Tower on the anniversary of his death, The White Lady waves at schoolchildren and turns stomachs with the smell of her perfume, the crying Lord Dudley and a Cavalier reside in the Beauchamp tower, Guy Fawkes’ screams could be heard from his execution chamber years afterwards, Sir Walter Raleigh still patrols the ramparts, and of course The Two Princes – murdered by their uncle Richard III – have been sighted holding hands, cowering in various rooms and giggling as they pass the Coldstream Guards.