13 Scary places in the UK to visit on Halloween
If you really want to scare yourself on Halloween why not take a trip to one of the most haunted places in the country?
1. Hellfire Caves
These underground caverns were once the meeting place for the Hellfire Club, which was a collective term for the exclusive clubs attended by high society rakes in the 18th century. Stretching underground for a quarter of a mile, the caves are a popular paranormal location and the organised tours considered to be worth paying for — if you appreciate lurking, shadowy figures and lots of growling.
2. Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace was once the home of Henry VIII, which partly explains the supposed presence of ghostly inhabitants. He did like to kill his wives, after all. Spirits include the Screaming Lady (Catherine Howard, who was dragged screaming to her rooms while under house arrest after being accused of committing adultery by her husband King Henry VIII) and Skeletor, who was spotted on CCTV in 2003. To add to the chills be aware that Jane Seymour's heart is buried under the altar of the Chapel Royal.
3. Glasgow Necropolis
In the 1950s Glasgow Necropolis, a vast Victorian cemetery housing no less than 50,000 people, was home to a vampire myth. When visiting this so-called "city of the dead" paranormal investigators have sworn they captured voices and witnessed a "strange mist anomaly." "Moors Murderer" Ian Brady once revealed that he met his crime contacts at the Necropolis.
4. Pluckley, Kent
On the face of it Pluckley, near Ashford in Kent, seems like any typical English village. But it has a dark side: it's known as the most haunted village in England and believed to be home to no less than a dozen ghosts. If you happen to be passing through take the time to visit Fright Corner, where a highwayman met his untimely demise, and the Screaming Woods, where you may just hear the wails of the dead. Perhaps wait until after Halloween, however, as it does get very busy with ghost-hunters.
5. Tower of London
The Tower of London is said to be haunted by royal ghosts aplenty, including Edward V and Richard Shrewsbury (known as the Princes in the Tower), Anne Boleyn who was beheaded at Tower Green in 1536, Catherine Howard, who met her maker in 1562, and Arbella Stuart, who was imprisoned and possibly murdered at the Tower and reputedly resides in The Queen's House.
6. Edinburgh Castle
Scotland's capital city is said to contain one of the country's most haunted places: Edinburgh Castle. And these are not just regular ghouls. A piper, a headless drummer and a spectral dog have apparently been spotted roaming the grounds. A 10-day scientific survey was carried out at the castle in 2001 which resulted in several reported cases of paranormal activity, such as sudden drops in temperature and unseen beings pulling at people's clothing.
7. Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
The White Lady and the Blue Lady are alleged to reside amongst the ruins of Devon's Berry Pomeroy Castle. Once intended to be one of the most spectacular houses in the county it was abandoned in 1700. Visit the site to hear the blood-curdling ghost stories for yourself.
8. Golden Fleece, York
York's Golden Fleece pub is the oldest in the city (established 1503) and it also claims to be its most haunted. If you're brave enough, take a seat and you may find yourself rubbing shoulders with One Eyed Jack or Lady Alice Peckett.
9. Borley Rectory, Essex
Borley Rectory, which was built in 1863 on the site of a 12th century church and monastery, has been called the most haunted house in Britain. Its spine-chilling story is one of ill-fated love: apparently a monk from Borley fell in love and planned to elope with a nun from a nearby convent but their plans were scuppered when the monastery's elders found out. The monk was hanged and the nun was buried alive in the vaults underneath the rectory but legend has it their spirits are still hanging around.
10. Culloden Moor, Scotland
The last battle fought on British soil was on Culloden Moor and it's said to be haunted by the soldiers who died during the slaughter. On April 16, the anniversary of the battle, their ghosts are said to appear on the moor, possibly along with screams of pain and the sound of fighting swords.
11. St Briavels Castle, Gloucestershire
St Briavels Castle, built in 1922, is now a youth hostel and has something of a reputation for being a scary place to visit. Apparently every area of the building has been the site of some kind of paranormal activity, from doors slamming and unexplained putrid smells to apparitions walking through walls. One room even has a "scary bed" in which guests are woken by an angry spirit tugging on the covers.
12. Bethnal Green Underground, London
During a suspected World War Two air raid 173 people were crushed to death when they tried to shelter in Bethnal Green tube station, including 126 women and children. If the mere thought of that while you're on the Central Line isn't spooky enough, London Underground staff have claimed to hear the screams of women and children while on duty.
13. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Another place that will be busy on Halloween is the summit of Lancashire's Pendle Hill. In 1612 a dozen residents from the surrounding area were accused of witchcraft after a spate of unexplained deaths. Eleven of them were found guilty and hanged and it's said that their spirits have lingered on Pendle Hill.