Britain's Most Haunted
As the month comes to an end, children Trick or Treating isn’t the only thing to make you jump! If you love the paranormal and are looking for somewhere to live that’s occupied by more than just the living, here's our pick of some of the most haunted places to live in Britain:
Pluckley, near Ashford, Kent
Holding perhaps the dubious honour of the Most Haunted Village in Britain, Pluckley is said to be haunted by over 12 ghosts and is a must-visit for those with an interest in the paranormal. Purportedly haunting the village is a Screaming Man, a Red Lady, a White Lady, a monk and a little bonnet-wearing old lady and, as if that wasn’t enough, Fright Corner is where a local highway man met his demise after being on the wrong end of a lawman's sword. If this doesn't convince you, perhaps the sounds of a horse drawn coach ringing out over Maltman's Hill will have you questioning your hearing and your sanity...
Prestbury is also well renowned for its ghostly activities and is perhaps best known for The Black Abbott, a hooded shade of a monk. He tends to appear at the same time and always takes the same route, so it's up to you if you wish to visit or avoid the Old Priory and its churchyard at Christmas, Easter and on All Souls Day. Keep your ears pricked for the sound of hoof beats pounding along the oldest street in the village, The Burgage, as it could be announcing the arrival of a Royalist despatch rider on his trusty steed, murdered during the Civil War. The cold misty mornings of spring are the best time to catch sight of another victim, a messenger who was shot dead by a Lancastrian Archer in 1471. The spectral horseman is known to gallop along Shaw Green Lane in the early hours on his white charger.
Boasting a number of supernatural sightings, Rushton is home to a ghostly monk who is often seen drifting along a quiet, leafy road carrying an unknown item. Whilst travelling along the road, some drivers have reported looking into their rear view mirror and seeing a man's face staring back at them from the back seat. Nearby, in the grounds of the stately Rushton Hall, a rider on horseback and his hunting dog are reported to haunt the area around the hall. The place they are reputed to wander is said to be where their bodies were once discovered during building work in the 1580's. Also found in Rushton is the Triangular Lodge where the sounds of fiddling can still be heard beneath the structure. Sent down to investigate a secret passage, the unlucky fiddler had only travelled 12 metres or so, when the tunnel collapsed and trapped him inside for the rest of eternity.
Although Castleton is home to several ghosts, perhaps the most tragic story is that of a heartbroken bride-to-be. Jilted on the morning of her wedding, it's believed that she committed suicide in the Castle Hotel and can sometimes be found in the gallery, still wearing her wedding dress. Also be on the look out for a smartly dressed man wearing a pin-striped suit, sneaking into the side entrance to stop his wife from catching him drinking. He loved his pints so much that not even death can keep him away! The spectre of a nurse wearing her uniform has also been reported in the cellar of the hotel, whilst a ghostly 60-year-old housekeeper can be seen to roam the corridors.
The English capital has the reputation of being the most haunted capital city in the world with ghosts that span the passing of centuries, from headless queens to phantom highway men. From those who perished inside the Tower of London – famed for being the most haunted building in Britain – to the victims of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, oh, and not forgetting the boys and girls of the Ragged School Museum, London has more than its fair share of spooky goings-on. Why not find yourself a ghostly walking tour and be scared and entertained in equal measure.
Cannock Chase, Staffordshire
Designated as the 'Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty', the region was once the hunting ground of ancient royalty and is a picturesque area of woodland walks and abundant wildlife. However, it's also home to an eerie entity known as The Black Eyed Child, a girl with coal-black eyes. Although her history is not known, it's claimed that she could be one of many buried in an unmarked grave after dying in a workhouse.
The pretty village of Borley is home to Borley Rectory which is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a nun, two headless horsemen and a phantom carriage. This, coupled with the unexplained ringing of the servant’s bells and bottles mysteriously being thrown, has all the elements of a ghost story waiting to be unravelled...
Nestled in the shadow of Pendle Hill, the tiny village of Newchurch is home to the infamous story of the Pendle Witches. Back in the 17th century, a dozen residents were accused of practicing the dark art of witchcraft and – all bar one – were subsequently found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging on Lancaster Moor. Naturally, with such a bloodthirsty history, the area is rife with hauntings and in a field just outside the village lies a toppled stone, near which the ghost of a young girl has been seen weeping for her soldier lover who never returned from war.
Home to the Villagers Who Chose to Die, the village of Eyam is surrounded by hills stretching upwards onto moorlands. With pretty stone cottages, a manor house and a haunted inn, there are reminders everywhere of its tragic history. Next to the Parish Church there is a line of houses known as the Plague Cottages; it was here in 1665, where the innocuous opening of a parcel of cloth from London, would set off an event which would devastate the community. The cloth contained fleas carrying the Plague which spread like wildfire throughout the village. Victims succumbed to the illness every day and so, under the leadership of their Vicar, the villagers took the brave and selfless decision to quarantine themselves in an attempt to contain the illness. Today the cottages are adorned with small plaques commemorating the residents.
Blackpool attracts millions of fun-seeking tourists each year, however there is a darker side to waiting to be discovered. Claimed to be home to a number of ghosts, including scorned lovers, demented clergymen and the unfortunate residents of the ancient town of Kilmigrol, thought to have been once situated just off the coast of Blackpool. Coastal erosion has claimed many villages throughout the ages, Kilmigrol was one of its ill-fated victims. Thought to have been consigned to its watery fate sometime in the Dark Ages, residents and visitors to Blackpool have reported ghostly occurrences over the years, including the mournful sound of eerie sea shanties drifting across the water, sometimes accompanied by ghostly lights shimmering on the horizon. Listen out for the sounds of church bells tolling on stormy nights, warning the villagers of their impending doom.