Halloween is fast approaching, and in this already horror-fuelled year, it’s set to be quite different. However, while we might not be able to have our usual parties, we can still hop on a train and scare ourselves silly in some of the spookiest spots in Britain. At least, at the time of writing, we can.
Just a simple Google search will make it clear that there are so many castles and graveyards supposedly heaving with ghosts, it is near impossible to whittle it down into a simple article. Nevertheless, read below for my attempt of a list of the spookiest spots to travel to in Britain.
The first entry on the list is barely a stone’s throw from Warwick. Dubbed the most haunted hotel in Britain, the Ettington Park Hotel in Stratford Upon Avon is not only widely recognised as a filming location for The Haunting, (inspiration for Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House), but comes with a host of its own ghosts and ghouls. An army officer, priest, monk, and multiple children are said to walk the halls at night, making the hotel well worth a visit.
Next up is Highgate Cemetery in North London, eternal home of Karl Marx and Douglas Adams (among others). Back in the 70s, there were rumours of a vampire-like figure floating across this overgrown graveyard at night, leading to a full-blown vampire hunt courtesy of an angry mob. This rampage was caused by the rivalry of two self-professed magicians and resulted in multiple corpses being decapitated. This gothic, almost unbelievable, story surely earns Highgate a place on your spooky bucket list.
There are regular paranormal investigations with an opportunity to stay in the most haunted rooms for a discounted rate
Also in London, you will find no shortage of terrifying tours of the infamous Whitechapel, where at least five women were brutally murdered by the notorious Jack the Ripper. A local haunt of many of the victims, the nearby Ten Bells Pub is creepy enough without its connection to the grizzly Whitechapel Murders. It is said to be inhabited by a Victorian landlord, murdered baby, and a supposed poltergeist.
In the wild Cornish moors, we find the next spooky spot. Jamaica Inn has been immortalised in the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel of the same name. With a rich history of smugglers and murders, it comes as no surprise that a few spirits reside in the inn. After being investigated by ghost hunters and even featuring on an episode of Most Haunted, Jamaica Inn has been given the official seal of approval for being genuinely haunted. There are regular paranormal investigations, with an opportunity to stay in the most haunted rooms for a discounted rate, making a visit to the Cornish moors certainly worth it.
In the middle of the stunning Lancashire countryside, you’ll find the next location. The site of one of the most famous witch trials in Britain, Pendle Hill makes for both spectacular views and terrifying times. In the summer of 1612, 11 witches were put on trial and ten were found guilty. Around the local area, there is a wealth of witchy locations to discover: The Eye of God said to ward off evil spirits, a quarry where the devil has supposedly made an appearance, and the grave of the witches who were hung that fateful summer.
Last but certainly not least is the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby, gothic capital of the UK. Arguably, this location is most renowned for its significance in the creation of Dracula. The spectacular abbey is said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s classic novel, however there are many stories of paranormal activity long before vampires came into the picture. With a ghost of a woman who was bricked up alive and a phantom choir, there would certainly be a lot of scares at their Halloween ghost tours. Elsewhere in the town, you can follow in Dracula’s footsteps, climbing the 199 steps into Whitby towards the graveyard and abbey. Also, be sure to explore The Dracula Experience, complete with its own resident ghost.
So there you have it: ghosts, witches, vampires, and magicians, all without having to quarantine!