Do you want shivers up your spine? Halloween brings out the ghoul in me – I’m well known for being a wimp at horror movies but I have a penchant for visiting haunted sites. The UK is crowded with ghosts. Here’s some of the best places to scare yourself silly:
Travel back in the night-time eeriness of Old Wardour Castle (that’s it looking suitably creepy above) when gruesome events were commonplace. Experience the scariness of past residents of the castle who refuse to leave, if you are brave enough. For the faint-hearted and younger visitors a less terrifying tour takes place in the day. Prices cost £6 for children and £15 for adults with tours at 6:15pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm or 5:00pm for the less terrifying experience. October 28 and 29. www.visitwiltshire.co.uk, www.english-heritage.org.uk.
A military museum in Salisbury, The Rifles, contains many collections including books, photographs, medals, weaponry and uniforms. Based at ‘The Wardrobe’ in Cathedral Close, it also houses the ghost of a ‘grey lady’ in the Regimental Room. Known as Margaret she died aged 90 in the property when it was still residential. A ghost of a Cavalier can also be seen gliding around or if lucky books can be seen jumping off bookcases. Tickets are £3.95 for adults and £1.15 for children. www.thewardrobe.org.uk.
Within the Elizabethan architecture of Longleat House, the apparition of Lady Louisa or the Green Lady is said to prowl the corridors looking for her loyal footman. Her footman met his death when pushed down stairs by her husband, breaking his neck and then his body was hidden in the cellars of the house. House tickets cost £12.90 for adults or £6.50 children or passport tickets for all attractions are also available. www.longleat.co.uk
A perfect hideaway in a stunning country house, The Manor House (pictured above), has a grey lady haunting the rooms. Built in the 14th Century in Castle Coombe and steeped in dramatic history the property is surrounded by 365 acres of woodland, parkland and gardens. A maze of quirky hidey holes and spacious rooms with impressive open fires are ideal for enjoying the award winning afternoon tea or Michelin star menu. Rooms start from £180 including breakfast and a pillow menu is available for the discerning guest. www.manorhouse.co.uk
The Old Bell nestles in the medieval town of Malmesbury with its east wing built directly on part of the former abbey churchyard. The wing houses the ghost of The Grey Lady. The apparition has been seen in the James Ody guest bedroom and is reputed to be a woman who was unhappily married at the Abbey. Other incidents involved a wine glass rising and smashing against a wall and a wardrobe blocking a bedroom door from the inside with the room empty. The hotel, built in c. 1220, is Grade I listed and said to be the oldest purpose built hotel in England. Indulge with squashy sofas, crackling log fires, cosy corners and dine with fine fabulous food from around the Cotswolds. Prices for a double room cost from £115 with breakfast. www.oldbellhotel.co.uk
As one of the most historical counties of Britain, Wiltshire has its fair share of ghosts and spooky folklore. Ghosts have also been ‘seen’ at pubs across the area including the Black Swan Hotel in Devizes, Green Dragon at Alderbury, Cross Guns at Avoncliffe, Red Lion at Avebury, The Sign of the Angel in Lacock, The Jolly Tar at Hannington near Swindon, and the Kings Arms at Monkton Farleigh. Spooky happenings have also been known at Littlecote Manor, the National Trust’s Westwood Manor near Bradford-on-Avon, Corsham Heritage Centre and Salisbury’s Guildhall and even a branch of Debenhams in Salisbury!
Thanks to Ian Fulcher at Infinity Public Relations for help with the info.