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Haunted historic houses and castles in the UK


Get ready to channel all the spooky season vibes as we run through some of the most haunted houses and castles in the UK and explore the real history behind the ghost stories.

Blickling Hall, Norfolk

This beautiful grand Norfolk residence is home to one of history’s most famous phantoms: Anne Boleyn. Blickling Hall stands on the site of an older medieval manor, which is thought to have been her birthplace. Anne was beheaded on charges of adultery, incest and treason on the 19th of May 1536 at the Tower of London. Her headless ghost is said to haunt her birthplace on the anniversary of her execution with several sightings over the years.

The Tower of London, London

Thought to be one of the most haunted places in England the Tower of London has been the site of numerous murders and executions throughout history and has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations. Wakefield Tower is supposedly haunted by the ghost of the murdered King Henry VI. On the anniversary of his death, his spirit is said to pace back and forth in the tower until the clock strikes midnight. Additionally, The White Tower is said to be home to a mysterious ghost known as the White Lady, who sometimes waves to groups of schoolchildren. She leaves behind a perfume so strong that has been known to make Tower guards ill.

Athelhampton House, Dorset

Sir William Martyn built the picture-perfect manor house at Athelhampton about 1485. The medieval house was enlarged by Robert Martyn in the Tudor period. Athelhampton is one of the most haunted houses in England, with several ghosts spotted on site. The Great Chamber is home to a pair of duelling ghosts, while a Lady dressed in grey has been seen in the grounds. Even more strangely, a mysterious tapping noise has been heard in the wine cellar and several visitors have reported hearing cat feet on bare floorboards only to find they were alone.

Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire

The ghost of Lady Dorothy Southworth, known as the White Lady of Samlesbury is known to haunt the hall. She fell in love with a young man whose family was Protestant. Unfortunately, her own family were Catholic, so neither family would agree to the match. The couple planned to elope, but Lady Dorothy's brother discovered the plan and ambushed the intended groom and his friend. He killed them and hid the bodies. Lady Dorothy was sent to spend the rest of her life in a convent where she died. Her ghost haunts the hall at Samlesbury, waiting for her lost lover.

Buckland Abbey, Devon

Sir Francis Drake was regarded as a national hero, but supposedly his spirit rests and his ghost haunts his Devon home. Many locals feared him and believed he had supernatural powers, with some saying that he had only defeated the Spanish Armada because he had made a deal with the Devil. His ghost is also believed to ride across Dartmoor in a black coach driven by headless horses, pursued by a pack of dogs. Any living dog that hears the spectral barking is said to die instantly. Supposedly this is the influence behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles as he is known to have visited the area and is very likely to have heard of the ghost.

Corfe Castle, Dorset

This dramatic ruin is associated with stories of murder, war and ghosts. During the Civil War, Corfe Castle was the home of the Royalist Bankes family, who managed to repel repeated attempts to take the castle by Cromwell’s Roundheads. But in 1645 they were betrayed, and the Roundheads smuggled themselves inside the walls and took the castle. They later blew up parts of the castle to prevent it from becoming an enemy stronghold again. Ever since, the ghost of a headless woman in white – supposedly the woman who betrayed the Bankes – has been seen walking the walls and battlements.

Newton House, Carmarthenshire

Many peculiar and unsettling reports of ghostly activity have come out of Newton House in Carmarthenshire. In the 1980s a TV crew stayed overnight to try and capture evidence to support the tales of ghostly sightings. Although they didn’t record anything, their cameraman felt a pair of invisible hands strangling him. The lights turn on and off when the house is empty and there are also multiple cold spots. There is also a smell of cigar smoke when no-one is smoking.

One legend follows the story of the murder of Lady Elinor Cavendish. Lady Elinor was the cousin or sister of the lady of the house in the 1720s. She was forced to marry a man she didn’t love and consequently their marriage fell apart and she ran away. However her jilted suitor followed her and strangled her to death – in the very room that the cameraman felt invisible hands around his neck.

Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk

Former Felbrigg Hall resident William Windham III was obsessed with books. William Windham inherited the Hall in 1749. In 1809 a fire broke out in a friend’s London library. William couldn’t bear to see the books burn and risked his life rescuing precious volumes. He was badly injured in the fire and died shortly afterwards. His ghost still visits his magnificent library at Felbrigg so he can read all the books he didn’t have time to whilst he was alive.

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