31/10/2012 05:18 GMT | Updated 31/10/2012 07:19 GMT

Halloween 2012: Britain's Most Haunted Places From Borley Rectory To The A229

There are so many supposedly haunted places in Britain that you'd be forgiven for asking: "Is there anywhere that doesn't have a resident ghost?'

This so-called green and pleasant land is actually chock-a-block with haunted houses, creaky castles and generally places where bumps in the night come as standard.

Here we take a look at the UK's most significantly spooky places.

Borley Rectory

Astrologer Russell Grant points out that Borley Rectory in Essex is supposedly the most haunted house in Britain ever – before it was destroyed by fire in 1939.

borley rectory

Haunted: Borley Rectory, which burnt down in 1939

He writes: “Borley Rectory was home to the ghost of Marie Laire, a nun who was put to death in the 17th century for giving into passion with a local monk.

“The Rev HD Bull didn’t realise when he built the rectory in 1863 that it was directly over the site of her violent death, but it wasn’t long before Marie made her ghostly presence felt.”

Ghostly goings included keys flying out of keyholes, messages appearing on walls and vases being hurled by unseen forces.

Balavil House

This is one house in the Scottish Highlands with a spirited atmosphere.

It’s apparently haunted by the ghost of a maid who committed suicide in the 1860s.

Grant said: “She seems to be fascinated with modern technology and turns on radiators, lights and taps and she is especially fond of switching on the electric kettle.”

However, these eerie goings on don’t seem to bother the owner, Allan Macpherson-Fletcher, who runs the property as a bed and breakfast for shooting parties.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “There are tinkling noises and pictures fall to the ground all the time. But we’re used to it.”

He added: “The Scottish Paranormal Association says the place is full of friendly spirits. I’m a sceptic but these events cannot be explained.”


Newmarket race course

Ever had a nagging feeling that there was something spooky about Newmarket race course?

It’s said to be home to the ghost of a jockey and a spectral stallion, who spook competing horses.

Fred Archer galloped to success as a jockey from 1869 onwards, after he won his first flat race as a 12-year-old.

But the death of his wife in 1884 drove him to suicide and he shot himself in 1886.

Horses during some races have mysteriously stopped or swerved. Could it be that they sense Archer’s ghostly presence?

The Golden Fleece

This 16th-century hostelry is the self-proclaimed “most haunted pub in York” and offers patrons “a friendly atmosphere, quiet surroundings and traditional services” – and five wraiths, including the previous owner Lady Alice Peckett, who owned the place in the 18th century.

She is said to wander the corridors and staircases.

St Donat’s Castle

st donats castle

Creepy Castle: There have been some strange disturbances at St Donat's

This medieval fortress near Cardiff is said to be home to a spectral panther that stalks the corridors and an invisible pianist who serenades the guests.

Slightly more disturbingly, some guests have reported seeing a disembodied eye floating in some of the rooms.

The Theatre Royal

There’s drama in this theatre whether there’s a play on or not.

The 18th-century building has a resident spirit thought to belong to actress Sarah Thorne, who perished in 1899.

She apparently makes her presence known by producing a chilling scream from backstage.

There are visuals, too – in the form of an orange ball of light that drifts around the place.


Dartmoor is certainly a place of supernatural beauty, thanks to the terrifying spirit of Lady Howard who is said to career around Okehampton in a carriage made of bones – and driven by a headless coachman!

Lady Howard, who was alive in the 17th century, is said to have murdered four of her husbands and is condemned to haunt Dartmoor as punishment.

According to there are a number of haunted roads in Britain:

The A229 in England

This road between Kent and Sussex is claimed to be haunted by a woman who was killed on her wedding day in 1965.

A75 Kinmont Straight in Scotland

This “ghost road” has been involved in many unexplained sightings including people walking towards vehicles and ethereal figures of wild dogs.

A616 Stockbridge Bypass in England

This is considered a cursed road due to phantom figures of cloaked, headless figures haunting a bridge.

Aston Hall

aston hall

Aston Hall has been the site of several strange visions

This grand Birmingham museum has long had a reputation for spookiness, with its other-worldly inhabitants including a classic “white lady”, who sits in a chair in the Great Hall, and a servant boy called Dick, who hanged himself in the attic after being labelled a thief.

Even more strangely, however, is the white ball that staff have seen bouncing around the kitchen.


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