In honour of Halloween 2020, we decided to investigate some of the spookiest places in the UK. If you are planning a move and such places sound right up your alley, it may be worth seeing if there is anything on the market. If, however you just fancy a visit, each location has places nearby to stay and plenty of ghoulish activity to scare you senseless.
1. Pluckley Village, Kent
Entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989 as the most haunted village in Britain, the village of Pluckley
in Ashford, Kent is certainly the spookiest place you could live in the UK! According to it’s website, the village has 12 official ghosts (though over the years up to 16 have been spotted!)
The ghosts include The Watercress Woman, (who sits on the bridge smoking her pipe and emits a faint pink light) and the Red Lady (who haunts the churchyard, pictured above, along with a small white dog). The Lady of Rose Court apparently poisoned herself because of a tragic love triangle and now inhabits the space. The ghosts of a school master and a colonel who hung themselves all inhabit the village, along with a highwayman who was nailed to a tree, and many others.
If you need a little more from your new home than just spooky inhabitants, the village has a pre-school and primary school, as well as many sports and leisure clubs for its community. It is also surrounded by the Kentish countryside, including orchards and grasslands. So, the benefits of moving there are more than just the scary tales to spook your loved ones.
2. The Pendle Hill Area, Lancashire
400 years ago, the fear of witches was rife within the UK, with people suspecting even their closest of friends to be secretly practicing witchcraft. Twelve women were accused of murdering up to ten people using their witchy ways and were tried and executed atop Pendle Hill. The witches are said to still haunt the hill to this day, angry about their executions. Packs of ghostly wild dogs are also believed to haunt the hill as a remnant of its days used for hunting.
You can’t live on the hill itself, but the nearby Barley Village, Downham, Newchurch-in-Pendle, Worston, Pendleton and Sabden are all overlooked by the hill and are said to experience some of its supernatural emanations. In fact, many areas around Lancashire hold secrets of the witches, including Lancaster Castle, where many were accused and tried.
3. Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
The Gloucestershire market town of Wotton-under-Edge can be described as a quaint old English town near the Cotswolds. However, it hides a very supernatural secret. The Ancient Ram Inn, located within the town itself, is said to be the most haunted hotel in Britain. The building itself is 872 years old, and its troubles are said to have begun when it was built, as the site was an ancient pagan burial ground.
Among the many hauntings reported here, people have experienced a ghostly figure on the stairway as well as invisible hands pushing them up it. A former innkeeper’s daughter is said to have been murdered in the attic and you can apparently still hear her body being dragged along the floor. The most haunted room is the bishop’s room, where up to 4 separate ghosts have been spotted, including a pair of cowering monks and a shepherd with his dog.
Moving to Wotton-under-Edge would mean living in town with plenty of businesses in its bustling town centre, as well as access to the Gloucestershire countryside and many English heritage sites. But the proximity to such a disturbed and unholy place will certainly bring to life that spirit of adventure within any budding ghosthunter.
4. Blickling North, Norfolk
The village of Blickling North is an historic town nestled in the Norfolk countryside, but with thousands of years of history comes echoes of the past. Within the town is the grand estate of Blickling Hall, with acres of land and rooms full of ancient artifacts. It is thought to have been the birthplace of Henry VIII’s tragic bride, Anne Boleyn; and if legends are to be believed, she has stuck around even after her death.
The National Trust lists Blickling Hall as one of its most haunted residences
. It is said that every year on the anniversary of Anne’s execution (19th
May), she returns home in a ghostly carriage drawn by headless horseman, with her own decapitated head in her lap. Some say she vanishes from view when she reaches the front door, others have reported her entering the house. As well as Anne, her father is believed to be cursed to return every year as punishment, travelling from the hall, through the village and across Norfolk. The groans of a dying Sir Henry Hobart are also said to be heard coming from his bedroom on the anniversary of his death.
The town of Blickling North itself is said to have been home to many Boleyn family members. So in living there, as well as the benefits of a thriving rural community, you may perhaps encounter some other ghostly spirits after dark.
5. Borley, Essex
Stories surrounding the paranormal goings on in the rectory of the small Essex village of Borley have existed since it was built in the late 1800s. Borley Rectory was once considered to be the most haunted house in Britain. One of its most prominent ghosts was that of a young nun, said to have fled from France to marry a member of the Waldegrave family, who then owned the house. But instead of happily ever after, she was murdered, and doomed to haunt the property, including writing pleas for help on the walls. Other phantoms, such as headless horsemen, phantom servants and angry drunk phantoms were spotted in the house.
In 1939 the house was set on fire, seemingly by accident, by the then owner Captain W. H. Gregson. However, the police ruled the fire as deliberate, leading some to believe it was started by spirits. Interestingly, a year before, a spirit had threated a psychic that they would burn the house down and reveal a hidden body. When the house eventually burnt down, the bones of a woman were found.
Though the house may be gone, reports of spooky goings on around its grounds and the village remain. It is said that any ghosthunters wishing to explore will have stones hurled at them by angry spirits, so be warned before you try to investigate.
If you fancy a spooky move, please remember: ghosts are for life, not just for Halloween.