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The UK's top 10 most haunted places

Top 10 most haunted places in the UK

Where witches went on trial
Pendle Hill, near Clitheroe, Lancashire

Aficionados of TV’s Most Haunted rate the visit to Pendle Hill as the scariest show ever. Injuries, strange sightings, uncanny feelings of dread, and even ‘possessions’, abounded.

The team visited the hill and the villages in its shadow over Halloween – an appropriate time, as this beautiful area experienced English history’s most famous witchcraft trials. Ten witches were hanged, accused of putting curses on locals using clay effigies.

People flock here every Halloween to walk up the hill, hoping to feel that elusive flutter of unease. Ghost-hunting walks can be booked at www.hauntedhappenings.co.uk/pendle_hill/.
More info:
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Dramatic spectreThe Palace Theatre
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex
If you settle down to watch a performance at this grand old theatre, the seat next to you might not be as empty as you think…

Actors have reported weird tobacco smells, and theatre-goers sitting with no one beside them have reported feeling a hand on their shoulder.

The spirit is thought to be that of a theatre manager who hung himself from the fly floor when the theatre got into financial difficulties. Sightings of a ‘distinguished woman in white’ and the sound of a piano coming from the deserted pit add to the eerie atmosphere.
More info:
www.palacetheatre.info/ghost
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Macbeth’s castle
Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland
The setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth (a play that’s not short on its own ghosts and superstitions), Glamis is regarded by paranormal-investigator types as the most haunted castle in Britain.

Among the many alleged ghostly goings-on over the centuries have been a card game between the Earl and the devil (they are said to still play every Sunday, in a secret room within the crypt walls) and an incident a few years ago, when an Edinburgh lawyer visiting for dinner saw a lady in white float beside his car, all the way to the door. And he hadn’t even had an aperitif.
More info:
www.glamis-castle.co.uk
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Country house haunting
Levens Hall, near Kendal, Lake District, Cumbria
Imposing old country houses were just made to be haunted, and Levens Hall, an Elizabethan manor house with a creepy 12th-century tower, fits the bill nicely.

Once again there’s a lady involved, though here it’s the Grey Lady, who was, so legend tells, a gypsy who was refused food and shelter during a harsh 17th-century winter. Sometimes a black dog accompanies her, so at least she’s not lonely.

There’s also a lesser-spotted Pink Lady, and a phantom harpsichord player, though he or she hasn’t been heard since the 1950s.
More info:
www.levenshall.co.uk
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Lord Byron’s ruined country pile
Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire

As well as yet another White Lady (frankly, White Ladies are ten-a-penny in the world of British hauntings), the ancestral home of Lord Byron (he of “mad, bad and dangerous to know” fame) positively throngs with phantasms.

The Goblin Friar was said to appear to the head of the Byron family before an unhappy event (such as the arrival of the gas bill).

Also, look out for the Black Friar who, in the 1930s, pointed a lost doctor to the bedroom of a lady who was about to give birth. Nice to know that ghosts aren’t always moody and unhelpful.
More info:
www.newsteadabbey.org.uk
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A visitation in the pews
St Mary’s Church, Beaminster, Dorset
In the spring of 1728 a boy from the school within the church, John Daniel, was found dead near his home. As he was known to suffer from fits, he was buried without an inquest.

A few days later, some schoolboys found a coffin in the church, with John Daniel sitting next to it. Presently, the apparition and coffin disappeared.

The magistrate was believed the boys, and had the body exhumed. John Daniel was found to have been strangled. No one was apprehended for the crime.

So it’s more of an historical haunting, but would you spend a night in St Mary’s?
More info:
www.darkdorset.co.uk/the_ghost_of_john_daniel
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Yorkshire’s most haunted inn
The Busby Stoop Inn, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
At this windswept Yorkshire pub, you can’t move at the bar for parapsychologists, such is the place’s renown.

The murderer Thomas Busby’s remains were hanged outside the pub after his execution in 1702. He had been the landlord, a boozy thief who killed his father-in-law with a hammer.

Busby cursed the chair he was dragged from by the cops, and anyone who sat in it afterward was said to have died soon afterward. The chair is now in a local museum, but Busby’s ghost is still spotted, his head drooping and a rope around his neck.
More info:
www.busbystoopinn.co.uk
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Celebrity ghosts: The Tower of London
As it was the location of violent, bloody tortures and executions for hundreds of years, it’s little wonder the Tower of London is London’s ghost-central.

And because of the erstwhile English penchant for beheadings, it’s home to some classic headless spectres, many of them veritable celebrities.

Anne Boleyn is said to walk the corridors in a headless state, and also to promenade on Tower Green with her head intact. Sir Walter Raleigh has been spotted, too.

Dogs, it’s said, will not enter the spooky Salt Tower. There are also two anonymous ghosts known, not very originally, as the Grey Lady and the White Lady.
More info:
www.castles.me.uk/tower-london-ghosts.htm
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The Castle on the hill
Powis Castle, near Welshpool, Wales
Wales seems to be a bit neglected when it comes to round-ups of Britain’s most haunted places, but it still has a few crackers, and this 13th-century castle, perched on a misty, rocky promontory, is one of the most ghoul-friendly.

As well as the pretty-much obligatory lady dressed in white and lady dressed in black, an eerie rider, complete with horse, haunts the castle grounds.

Several visitors have reported being touched by an invisible hand in the Duke’s Room, and there are tales of a piano being played in the locked, empty ballroom.
More info:
www.medieval-castle.com/haunted_castles_wales/powis_castle.htm
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Pagan burial site
The Ram Inn, Wooton under Edge, Gloucestershire
Lots of inns in the UK claim to be the ‘most haunted’, but by general consensus, The 12th-century Ram Inn is the daddy.

It was converted into a private residence in 1968, but that hasn’t affected its legendary status in the annals of the paranormal. Child sacrifice and black magic practices are alleged to have taken place here.

The Bishop’s Room is the hotspot: visitors have reported apparitions, unexplained noises, ghostly orbs and even a spectral cat. To cap it all, the Ram is supposed to have been built on an old pagan burial site. Feeling brave? You can book a night’s stay...
More info:
www.theancientraminn.com
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