With the spooky season of Halloween upon us and an ever increasing selection of Halloween events in the UK, it is time to take a look at the best places to spend a night if you want to experience some ghostly haunting – or if you want to know where to avoid. Britain’s often bloody history means that many of the country’s hotels are filled with spirits of times past.
Image credit: Rachel @ hotels for sale.
1) Airth Castle, Falkirk
The castle, now hotel, was first built in the 14th century and was once the property of Robert the Bruce’s family. Over the past 700 years it has been host to many grisly deaths well worth a spirit’s continued lingering on earth. The spirits that haunt the halls include a maid who was attacked by her master, a dog’s ghost and the shades of a nurse and two children. Guests have reported feeling the dog biting at their ankles and hearing the eerie screams of the maid through the night. Guests who stay in rooms 3, 9 and 23 can experience chills in the night as the ghosts pass through their chambers.
2) Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
The name itself evokes a shiver down the spine, and Chillingham Castle is full of spectres. The medieval fortress was constructed over eight centuries ago as an English defence against the invasions of the Scots, and now guests can stay in self-catering apartments in both the castle and the coaching house. The numerous ghosts include that of sadist John Sage and Lady Mary Berkeley, who wanders the halls in sorrow at the betrayal of her husband, who ran off with her sister. Some guests have even reported seeing a ghostly royal procession.
3) Churston Court Inn, Devon
Built in the 11th century, this picturesque Saxon manor is filled with ghostly figures. The most commonly seen are monks, one haunting the kitchen and many others going on ghostly promenades through the rooms and passageways. Guests cannot rely on candlelight to illuminate their rooms, as some visitors have seen their candles go out and relight without being touched by human hands.
4) Arreton Manor, the Isle of Wight
Dating back to 872, Arreton Manor was once owned by Edward the Confessor and often visited by Queen Victoria. A variety of spectres haunt the premises, including a woman in a blood-red gown, a small child in a blue dress and processions of monks chanting prayers. Visitors report a ghostly energy throughout the hotel, making every moment a spooky, exhilarating experience.
5) The Old Ferryboat Inn, Cambridgeshire
This inn was built in the 6th century, and was recorded as serving liquor as long ago as 560 AD. The sad tale that lies behind its ghost took place almost 500 years later, in 1050 AD. Seventeen year-old Juliet Tewsley was madly in love with woodcutter Thomas Roul, but when she confessed her feelings, he spurned her and she hanged herself from a tree beside the inn. Buried on unconsecrated ground, her ghost haunts the inn, and she is said to appear on the 17th of March, every year – the anniversary of her death.