Most Haunted Places in the United Kingdom
For the past two years around Halloween I have written about the most haunted places in America. Likewise this year I sat down and prepared to do the same thing, but this Halloween I decided to change things up. Recently I was reminiscing about the month I spent in the United Kingdom. And while the visits to; Glastonbury, Westminster Abbey, London Tower, and the universities of Oxford, were definitely memorable and enjoyable, my favorite memory was going on the various late night ghost tours in the different cities and towns. In a nation with a history that dwarfs my own country, there were no shortage of haunted and terrifying locations to explore, so this year instead of the 5 Most Haunted Places in America (which you can read HERE and HERE) I will present to you the 5 Most Haunted Places in the United Kingdom.
Tower of London (London, England): Towering ominously over the Thames, is the legendary Tower of London. Built by William the Conqueror, the tower has stood as a symbol for the monarchy’s power often serving as a prison to enemies of the crown. Throughout the centuries many famous people have been imprisoned in the Tower of London; Rudolf Hess, the Kray Twins, Sir Walter Raleigh, Guy Fawkes, and Anne Boleyn; are just a few of the inmates who served time in this notorious landmark. But according to many witnesses, some of them never left the Tower. Most famously Anne Boleyn has often been seen wandering around the corridors, carrying her decapitated head in her arms. In the appropriately named Bloody Tower the spirits of, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, have been seen playing on the grounds where they were imprisoned before they were eventually executed by their uncle. In fact if you see the spirits of the young boys in the White Tower (also home of the ghostly White Lady) chances are you will see them huddled together in fear.
The Vaults (Edinburgh, Scotland): The capitol of Scotland is one of the most unique and enjoyable cities in the United Kingdom. A modern city which still proudly wears its history for all to see; but there is a history which people on the surface cannot see. Beneath Edinburgh was an area of the city which was plagued by; disease, crime, and death. In the early 1800’s this area was buried to be forgotten. As the years passed locals began using the Vaults as a hangout spot and sure enough they began to experience the same paranormal phenomenon. Disembodied voices, cold spots, the feeling of being hit, seeing apparitions, and even inhuman entities haunted the dark and cavernous vaults. If you are brave enough to venture into the Vaults you may encounter any number of supernatural beings in a cavernous labyrinth that you may never emerge from.
The Skirrid Mountain Inn (Monmouthshire, Wales): Even before the Norman invasion, the Skirrid Inn has stood in Wales, so to say it has a history is a bit of an understatement. Throughout its 900 year history the inn has been everything from a pub to a rallying point for troops rebelling against the English. But during its darkest moment the Skirrid Inn served as the local court and execution spot. Over 180 lives ended beneath oak beams of the inn, leaving behind a many spirits who continues to haunt this pub and inn. The most prevalent being the spirit of John Crowther who has been spotted all around the grounds surrounding the Skirrid Inn. If you are bold enough to venture to the upper levels of the building, be warned as the ominous spirits of the judge and his hangman haunt this part of the inn keeping an eye out for the next person to dance a gallows jig. The most active spirit in the pub is that of the White Lady, a ghost who has the tendency to break the pub’s glassware. Whether guests hear the footsteps of soldiers in the courtyard or see the specters of those who met their end at the end of a noose, the Skirrid Inn stands as arguably the most haunted location in Wales.
The Village of Pluckley (Kent, England): Every city has its paranormal hot spots; but every once in a while, you come across an entire town where supernatural energies have seemingly soaked into the ground, making it seem as if the very town itself is one giant haunting. Such is the case of Pluckley, which at one point was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the most haunted village in the world. At the appropriately named, Fright Corner, the residual spirit energy of the Highwayman reenacts his violent death at the swords of the local law enforcement. Those who live or work on Maltman’s Hill are all too familiar with a phantom carriage which stampedes down the streets with great fury. If you try to escape from the paranormal activity by seeking refuge in the forests around the village you will be in for a rude awakening. You may find yourself lost in the Screaming Woods, where the souls of those who died in these forests cry out in anguish. If you are lucky enough to avoid this patch of woods, beware the lost souls of those who hanged themselves in this region who are still wandering among the trees.
Merton College (Oxford, England): Much like a real life Hogwarts, each of the historiccolleges which make up the esteemed Oxford University has a ghost or two haunting their hallways at courtyards. But the most famous one is found at Merton College. Situated along the ominously named, Dead Man’s Walk along the old city wall, was the spot where Francis Windebank, an officer in the British Civil War was killed by firing squad upon his surrender. Since then his spirit has been seen roaming around the school grounds, and according many witnesses the old soldier is particularly fond of hanging around Merton’s library. The most interesting thing about Windebank’s ghost is the fact that is only seen from the knees up due to the fact that the ground has been raised since his death, and his spirit continues to walk upon the ground he knew.
If you want to hear more of my musings on the paranormal be sure to follow me on Twitter at @darknite125