The United Kingdom is an ancient land that holds many stories and secrets. Filled with ancient cities, towns, and villages, here are some of the most spooky places in the UK. Some are well known while others are lesser known but with just as gruesome and dark past.
This city has an extremely dark and gruesome past which is why it is a popular destination for those searching for dark tourism as it is for those admiring the magical city. Visitors to the city are greeted with medieval buildings, traditional and designer shops, the splendid gothic Edinburgh castle, ancient graveyards and usually a significant amount of rain and dismal weather; it is no wonder visitors get a spooky feel from this ancient city.
The Edinburgh castle is nine centuries old, it is no shock there are a few ghosts that permanently inhabit it. Throughout history, the castle has withstood numerous sieges, deaths, and plenty of executions. Visitors have reported a ghostly man who smells of manure trying to push them over the castle battlements, it is thought he is one of the many souls which was imprisoned in the castles dungeons. It is said he tried to escape the castle in a wheelbarrow full of muck, but it was tipped over the castle battlements where he broke his neck.
One of the creepiest of attractions is the Edinburgh Vaults. Previously used as a storehouse, flooding meant they were abandoned and as a result became the home to criminals and brothels. They are also the location where Burke and Hare, the body snatchers and murderers, hunted for their victims for Doctor Robert Knox who used these bodies in his anatomy lectures. To gain access to the vaults you will need a guided tour.
Carlton Hill provides stunning panoramic views of the city and landmarks such as Arthur’s seat and Hollyrood Palace, parliament, and the royal mile. However, during the Scottish witch trials, Carlton Hill was used as an execution point and witches were burnt at the stake here…
The Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is a very fitting location for ghost stories. The Black mausoleum is where you can find the final resting place of Sir George Mackenzie, former Lord Advocate. However, it is in the Black Mausoleum where there have been over 500 recorded incidents involving poltergeist activity since it was disturbed by a homeless man. If you are brave enough there are tours that will take you around the kirkyard available.
Labeled as the most haunted village in the UK due to decades of unexplained sightings in such a concentrated area, hundreds of paranormal enthusiasts visit the village in hopes of experiencing or getting a glimpse of one of the many ghosts that haunt this village. There are fourteen confirmed ghosts in the village, however, this number is likely higher. The village has attracted paranormal investigative programmes such as Ghost Hunters International and Most haunted.
The Black Horse Inn is over 300 years old and glasses are known to move, cutlery has been thrown and dogs have a tendency to stop, stare and bark at empty spaces, they also refuse to enter a certain room upstairs.
An area known as Fright Corner is the site of where a ghost of a highwayman who was killed in the 18th century is said to haunt and appear as a shadowy figure.
Screams of agony are said to be heard from the site of the brickworks, which was the location of a horrific death where a man was crushed to death by a wall of clay.
The regular sound of horse hooves when there are none in sight is a common occurrence for those living in Pluckley that sends chills down the spine.
Dering Woods, also known as the screaming woods, is extremely popular and provides an eerie experience for all those who enter. Many have been scared witless by the sudden loud screams that can be heard deep within the woods, said to be the souls of those who once got lost and died in the woods.
An ancient medieval town overlooking the River Rother and Romney Marsh located in East Sussex is both extremely historic and picturesque.
Rye is a peaceful town that has attracted poets, authors and many others alike, however, the picturesque streets are home to many things that go bump in the night. The town has a dark and turbulent history ranging from warfare, invasion, murder and smuggling, which can still be seen today through its network of tunnels, secret passages and hidden caves from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Mermaid Inn is known to be one of Rye’s most haunted and oldest pub dating back to 1156. There are accounts of apparitions dueling in one of the bedrooms, apparitions disappearing through walls, phantom footsteps and a chambermaid who likes to move clothes around a room.
In Lamb house, once the home of Henry James, the author, is also said to be haunted and even documented by James himself. He claimed the ghost of an old lady gave him assistance whilst writing, and he went on to write ‘The turn of the screw’ which Netflix adapted into the show ‘The haunting of Bly Manor’. Other owners have also claimed poltergeist activity. In the year 1743 lamb house and its owner were at the centre of a murder. James Lamb, who was Rye Mayor at the time, convicted a local butcher called John Breads for using false weights to sell his meat. This verdict resulted in Breads plotting Lambs murder. On March 17th 1743, Allen Grebell, who was Lambs former brother-in-law, took a walk through the St Mary the Virgin Churchyard at night where Breads then mistook him for Lamb. Grebell was stabbed multiple times and passed later that night in his home. Grebell was arrested and held in the town goal (Ypres Tower Museum) where the ring he was chained to can still be seen today. Once executed on the Rye Marsh, his body was removed and placed in the town gibbet where it was on display for many years. After 16 years, only his skull remained, still stuck in the gibbet. In fact, this gibbet containing Grebell’s skull still survives to this day and is kept in the attic of the town hall, not on public display.
The St Mary the Virgin Church and its churchyard, both beautiful and peaceful have stood there since the 12th century. The churchyard is said to be extremely haunted, including the souls of Breads and Grebell who are said to walk the churchyard still. Disembodied whispers have been caught on video in recent times in the stillness of the churchyard, sending shivers down the spine of those who have heard them.
York is an ancient city, dating back to before the Vikings! It is also labeled as the most haunted city in all of Europe with over 500 recorded hauntings, making it the perfect place to spend spooky season. York offers chilling encounters for all who search for it. The city has a dark and gruesome past which always makes the perfect setting for stories of the paranormal.
Archeologists discovered the lost cemetery of York’s medieval Jewish community in the 1980s underneath what is now a supermarket car park. It is estimated the cemetery contained over 1,000 burials. Only parts of the cemetery which were threatened by the car park construction were excavated, which left 500 burials untouched. Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovitis decided it was best to leave the other 500 burials where they were as to not disturb their graves any further. Still to this day there are over 500 human remains under the supermarket car park.
At the top of Cliffords Tower you will find absolutely stunning views of the city, if you have a fear of heights there is a spiral staircase leading to the chapel which also goes up to the top of the roof meaning you do not need to walk over the bridges. Though the top of the tower does have stunning views of the city, the point at which you will stand at has a dark and gruesome past. During the middle ages, the wooden tower at the time was host to tragedy. The city’s Jewish community locked themselves inside the tower away from the mob of the York community; they decided to take their own life over forced baptism or death which is what they would face upon leaving the tower. It is estimated that 150 people took their own life that night.
From Cliffords tower you can see the York Castle Museum. As with any museum, there is much history on display including a victorian street that you can walk around with authentic smells and noises. The museums use of the original building also provides an interesting atmosphere that most definitely contributed to the experiences that have been reported. The museum once held prisons and its most famous inmate is the highwayman Dick Turpin, whose grave is available to visit. Weird scratching, disembodied voices and chains have been heard from visitors and museum staff emanating from the cells and corridor. Visitors and staff have also reported hearing signing all around the museum too.