By Parkdean Resorts on 09/08/2023
If the looming darker autumn nights and Halloween creeping up have ignited your appetite for a ghostly tale or two, we've collated a list of some of England's most haunted places to get you into the spirit. From haunted church yards to inns built on hallowed ground, these locations are guaranteed to chill you to the bone.
1. Pluckley Village, Kent
- Where is Pluckley? Ashford, Kent, TN27 0QS
- Where can I stay nearby? Romney Sands Holiday Park is a 40 minute drive from Pluckley
Nestled amidst peaceful countryside, in a quiet part of Kent you’ll find the picturesque village of Pluckley, famously used as the backdrop in the 1990s for shooting of The Darling Buds of May. Despite appearances, Pluckley is widely considered one of the most haunted places in Kent, and across England.
Looking at this this pretty place, you might find it hard to believe that it was once named the Most Haunted Village in Britain in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989. An astounding 12-16 distinctive ghosts have been reported to reside in the village so it’s easy to see why it’s so popular for ghost-hunters hoping to catch a sighting.
Amongst Pluckley’s numerous ghostly tales is that of The Watercress Woman who witnesses have reported to have seen sitting on Pinnock Bridge smoking her pipe. The elderly woman was well-known in the village for making a living gathering watercress from the river and selling it to the villagers. It is said that one evening, after drinking, she fell asleep and her pipe dropped onto her clothing, within moments she was consumed by the flames. She is believed to still haunt Pinnock Bridge with some witnesses describing a faint pink glow which hovers in the air above the spot where she died.
Many have travelled to Pluckley in the hopes of capturing evidence of spirits, and one such group asked to spend a night in the village’s Church of St. Nicholas in the 1970s, bringing along cameras and tape recorders to document their stay. The story goes that the next morning when the vicar of the church came to greet them, they were disappointed that the night had been uneventful and commented that the only interesting part had been the Vicar’s dog who had come to visit them a few times, to which the vicar replied that he did not have a dog!
Visit Pluckley to see for yourself why it was given the title of the most haunted village in Britain, as there are a number of ghost walks and tours held here throughout the year. Or, visit to appreciate this quintessentially-English village that’s surrounded by beautiful countryside.
2. Blickling Hall, Norwich
- Where is Blickling Hall? Norwich, NR11 6NF
- Where can I stay nearby? Vauxhall Holiday Park is a 50 minute drive from Blickling Hall Estate
Once voted as the most haunted house in Britain, the grand Blickling Hall that you’ll see today stands on the ruins of a medieval manor house, once home to the Boleyn family. With Anne Boleyn herself said to have been born here. It’s no surprise then that tales of hauntings at Blickling Hall centre on her as one of history’s most famous figures.
Anne was infamously beheaded by her husband King Henry VIII after failing to give him a son and heir to the throne. On the 19th of May each year, the anniversary of her death, Anne is said to return to Blickling Hall. Arriving in a headless horse drawn carriage, she is dressed all in white and glides into the hall, roaming the halls until the sun comes up.
A member of staff working at Blickling Hall reported seeing a figure of a woman reading a book in the library, who then disappeared when the staff member got closer. Upon looking at the book the woman was reading, the steward discovered that the book was open to a page containing a painting of Anne Boleyn. The ghost of Anne Boleyn is not the only spirit believed to reside here, also claimed to haunt the halls is Sir Henry Hobart who owned Blickling in the 1600s. Hobart died at Blickling from wounds sustained during a duel. One warden of the property reported that their dog would never cross the threshold into the room that Hobart died in, but would stand at the doorway with hackles raised.
Today visitors can explore inside the hall and learn about its fascinating history, and for something more light-hearted the 55 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens provide the ultimate space to relax.
3. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
- Where is Pendle Hill? Lancashire, BB12 9JR
- Where can I stay nearby? Todber Valley Holiday Park is less than a 20 minute drive away
Pendle Hill is certainly an area that is shrouded in mystery and speculation, attracting visitors from far and wide and even ghost-hunters - particularly on Halloween. During the 17th century in England there was mounting hysteria surrounding the practicing of witchcraft - and if someone was ill or passed away suddenly, witchcraft was often blamed.
12 women in Lancashire were accused of witchcraft and were to become the most famous witches in Britain. They were put on trial at Lancaster Castle in 1612 for the murder of up to 10 people, and 10 were subsequently found guilty. Pendle Hill is said to be the home to the restless spirits of the witches, who are buried there overlooking the village of Newchurch. The witches are also said to haunt the villages that lie in the hill’s shadow.
There are many stories of supernatural encounters from those who have spent time on Pendle Hill, and a number of television programmes have been filmed there. Some crew members have reported the feeling of being strangled with invisible hands.
A number of chilling ghost walks and overnight ghost hunts are offered for those who are brave enough to venture up to Pendle Hill. If that doesn’t sound too appealing, there are plenty of picturesque walking routes to help you take in the stunning landscape.
4. Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire
- Where is the Ancient Ram Inn? Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7HF
- Where can I stay nearby? Stop by on your journey south down or on your way to Wales, it's just off the M5
The ramshackle and foreboding atmosphere of the Ancient Ram Inn provides the picture-perfect image of a haunted house. The inn was built in 1145 on top of two ancient Ley Lines believed to draw spiritual energy directly from Stonehenge. It has been said that the Ram Inn in Gloucestershire is the most haunted house in Britain, so if you dare to step inside you’re in for a chilling experience.
With its rich and troubled history it’s unsurprising that the inn is a popular site for paranormal events. Visitors have reported all manner of haunting experiences including freezing temperatures, and a creaking structure. Although there have been many ghost sightings, one of the inn’s most famous ghostly inhabitants is that of a woman who was believed to be a witch in the 1500s. She took refuge at the inn to escape the witch hunts that were prevalent in the area at that time, until she was eventually captured. However, many people believe that her spirit still lingers to haunt the room she stayed in.
The inn is now open on selected days for public visits, or individual tours of the building can also be arranged. Please note this may not be suitable for children.
5. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
- Where is Chillingham Castle? Chillingham, Alnwick, NE66 5NJ
- Where can I stay nearby? Cresswell Towers and Sandy Bay Holiday Park are both a 50 minute drive from the castle
The castle’s name hints to the chilling stories that have been told about Chillingham Castle, and it's widely considered to be Britain’s most haunted historic castle. You’ll find it in the village of Chillingham, just a 20 minute journey from Alnwick.
The castle was originally built as a stronghold in the 12th century, and has seen a turbulent history that saw the castle being attacked due to its crucial position on the border of Northumberland. There are said to be a mixture of tortured spirits and friendly ghosts at Chillingham Castle, with one of the most talked about being the White Pantry Ghost.
The ghost of a frail figure in white is said to appear in the inner pantry begging for water. Historically, the story is told that a footman guarded the pantry because the silver was stored there, one night when he was asleep he was confronted by a lady in white who begged him for some water. The footman assumed that she was one of the castle’s guests and went to retrieve it when he realised that he was locked inside and nobody could have entered.
Another one of the castle’s most talked about spirits is that of the Blue Boy who is thought to haunt the Pink Room and witnesses have claimed to see blue halos of light inside.
If you want to explore the haunted halls of Chillingham Castle yourself, there are regular ghost tours and some all-night vigils to try and catch a glimpse of the paranormal.
6. Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
- Where is Berry Pomeroy Castle? Totnes, TQ9 6LJ
- Where can I stay nearby? Berry Pomeroy Castle is a 17 minute drive from Torquay Holiday Park
Once intended to be the grandest house in Devon, the ruin of Berry Pomeroy Castle sits in a picturesque wooded valley. The castle was originally given as a gift to Ralph de Pomeroy by William the Conqueror, before the Seymour family took over in the 1500s. This idyllic woodland scene can be deceiving as the castle is in fact considered to be one of the most haunted in Britain.
Two female spirits are said to haunt the halls, the Blue Lady and the White Lady . The White Lady is believed to be the spirit of the beautiful Margaret Pomeroy, who fell in love with the same man as her sister, Lady Eleanor. Eleanor was so jealous that she imprisoned Margaret in the castle’s dungeons and it’s thought that Margaret still haunts the dungeons to this day.
The Blue Lady is thought to also be a member of the Pomeroy family, dressed in a long blue cape she attempts to lure passers-by to her aid in the castle’s tower and then pushes them to their death. Visitors to Berry Pomeroy have spoken about hearing a woman’s cries near the tower and seeing a glowing blue light.
Today the castle is managed by the English Heritage so you can stroll the ruin and the grounds, listen to the audio guide whilst doing so for a fascinating insight into the history and ghost stories of Berry Pomeroy.
7. Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire
- Where is Samlesbury Hall? Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0UP
- Where can I stay nearby? Todber Valley is our closest holiday park at just over a 30 minute drive away, but Samlesbury Hall is within easy reach of all of our parks in Lancashire
Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire is a picturesque stately home that dates back to the 14th century, with the original façade that was covered in black and white still remaining. Samlesbury was originally built to be a family home.
Today, Samlesbury is renowned for being one of the most haunted locations in Britain. The stately home is believed to be haunted by a collection of paranormal entities including the ghost of the White Lady who is thought to be Dorothy Southworth, a former resident.
The story goes that Dorothy would have to meet her beloved in secret due to their differing religions. When they had decided to secretly elope, their relationship was discovered by Dorothy’s family. The young man was ambushed and killed by Dorothy’s brother and she was banished to a convent abroad where she died of a broken heart. Witnesses have claimed to catch a glimpse of the heartbroken Lady Dorothy’s spirit a number of times within the hall and grounds, and some visitors also claim to have captured Samlesbury’s spirits on camera.
You can visit Samlesbury Hall for free so why not wander the halls and learn about the house that is steeped in over 700 years of history, alongside a few ghost stories. Please note that Samlesbury Hall is closed every Monday and Saturday, to avoid disappointment please check the opening times before your visit.
8. Corfe Castle, Dorset
- Where is Corfe Castle? Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5EZ
- Where can I stay nearby? Sandford Holiday Park is less than a 20 minute drive to Corfe Castle
The dramatic ruined fortress of Corfe Castle can be found within the quiet Dorset countryside. Feeling in stark contrast with its surroundings, the castle's ruins sit on a hillside overlooking the charming village of Corfe. The castle itself dates back to Norman times and its construction was begun by William the Conqueror, the castle’s vast history adds to its eerie atmosphere and ghost stories.
The most famous spectre reported is The Woman in White who has most often been spotted on the bridge leading up to the castle. Although there is no overall consensus on who the woman is, some believe that it is the spirit of a young woman who betrayed the castle and its inhabitants during the civil war. The woman is believed to have betrayed the Royalist Bankes family to their enemies the Roundheads.
The most recent reported sighting of the woman was in 1967 when a local man reported that he had seen her in the village of Corfe itself.
A number of other spooky sights and sounds have also been witnessed here, including lights in the dead of night on the ramparts and the phantom cries of a child.
Corfe Castle is now managed by the National Trust, so you can explore the ruins and learn more about the castle’s fascinating history.
9. Buckland Abbey, Devon
- Where is Buckland Abbey? Yelverton, PL20 6EY
- Where can I stay nearby? Challaborough Bay Holiday Park is just under an hour's drive from Buckland Abbey
In a secluded part of the Dartmoor landscape sits Buckland Abbey, in a pretty woodland estate and gardens. Originally built as a monastery but disbanded by King Henry VIII, Buckland was purchased by Sir Francis Drake in 1581 from his great rival, Sir Richard Grenville. At this time Drake had just returned from his 3 year voyage around the world and was widely considered a hero.
However, it is believed that many of the locals feared Drake and believed that he had made a deal with the devil to defeat the Spanish Armada. When Drake purchased the Abbey it is also said that his renovations only lasted three days – which was also believed to be the devil’s work. His ghost is believed to haunt Buckland Abbey and is doomed to ride across Dartmoor in a black coach that is driven by headless horses, led by chattering goblins.
The property is now owned by the National Trust, so visitors can witness the infamous drum that belonged to Sir Francis, the drum is said to host his spirit and sound whenever England is in danger. The last time the drum is supposed to have sounded was prior to the beginning of the First World War.
10. Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
- Where is Felbrigg Hall? Felbrigg, Norwich, Norfolk, NR11 8PP
- Where can I stay nearby? Summerfields and California Cliffs Holiday Park are both a 50 minute drive from Felbrigg Hall
The grand Felbrigg Hall Estate stands proudly within its vast grounds stretching 1,700 acres. However, amongst the hall’s idyllic surroundings there are stories of spirits haunting the area.
Felbrigg’s paranormal sightings are mainly focused on former resident William Windham III. William was well-known for his passion for books, and when a fire broke out in his friend’s library in 1809 William risked his life to rescue some of the precious volumes from going up in flames. Unfortunately, William was badly injured in a fall during the rescue and died from his injuries a few weeks later.
His ghost is said to regularly visit the grand gothic library at Felbrigg to read the books that he hadn’t been able to during his life. Staff working at Felbrigg have reportedly seen William sitting in at the table in the library with his favourite books in front of him or relaxing by reading in a chair.
You can now visit Felbrigg Hall and take in the elegant furnishings and opulent rooms of one of the most haunted places in Norfolk. Make a point to visit the shadowy Windham library and see where the ghost of William Windham III is said to inhabit.
Fancy planning your own ghostly adventure? Head to Parkdean Resorts this Halloween to enjoy a spooktacular UK break. On park you can look forward to brilliant family-friendly Halloween activities, from zombie raves to pumpkin carving - there's something for everyone. Book your October half term UK break today!