Halloween - Best Ghost Walks and Haunted Places in the UK

Discover Some of the UK's Spookiest Places This Halloween

Ghosts, spooks and creepy places are all over the United Kingdom. For Halloween, if you are looking for the best ghost tours, haunted places or a good scares, you've come to the right place.

Chester, Derby, York and Edinburgh compete with each other for the title of Most Haunted Place in Britain - or even Europe. What with haunted inns, ghostly Roman Legions, headless Queens and mournful ghostly brides, they've all got a pretty good claim to the title. And there are more haunted destinations.

Here then, the best ghost walks and haunted places in the UK to scare yourself silly.

  • 01 of 11
    Ghostly Yellow Light in Tunnel
    ••• Getty Images

    Oxford Castle is thought to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country. Full of tales of violence, executions, great escapes, betrayals and even romance, it served as a prison between 1071 and 1996.

    Restoration to make the building safe for visitors has revealed secrets hidden away for more than 1000 years. The Saxon, St. George's Tower recently open for the first time in its history. There's a creepy 18th-century Debtors’ Tower and a 900 year old underground Crypt. There's also a castle curse, dating from the Black Assize of 1577, when hundreds of people died within weeks. The scene of a 16-day ghost fest in October, the Castle also hosts regular fright nights.

    Halloween Highlight in 2016

    Halloween Midnight Tour An intense guided tour into the spookiest corners of the castle at the witching hour on All Hallows Eve - October 31. Only for the brave who are sixteen years or older.

  • 02 of 11
    Spooky Stratford
    ••• Spooky Stratford. Ferne Arfin

    Shakespeare's home town has been one of England's biggest visitor attractions for hundreds of years. The guest list in the wood-framed house that was Shakespeare's birthplace reads like a who's who of English literature from the 17th century onward. Curious spirits visit regularly and practitioners of magic and Wicca like the place too, so there are plenty of attractions for anyone who enjoys a good skin crawling, hair raising Halloween fright fest.

    And, of course, as restoration works are planned, you might want to worry about the curse on Shakespeare's grave.

    Halloween Highlight in 2016

    For Saturday, October 29 and Monday, October 31 take part in Ghost Walks, visiting some of Stratford-upon-Avon's spookiest sites, led by rather gruesome professional entertainers. The one and a half hour walks include tales of ghosts and witches, haunted brides, murder and misery. Walks leave from the corner of Sheep Street, opposite Barnaby's Fish and Chip Shop, near the...MORE Royal Shakespeare Theatre, at 6:30, 7:15 and 8pm. To book (essential) ring +44 (0)7855 760377 between 9am and 6pm.

  • 03 of 11
    Brighton Lanes Sign
    ••• Brighton Lanes Sign. Ferne Arfin

    Hard to imagine that this sunny and irreverent seaside resort has a ghostly population, but in the UK, most places do. The center of Brighton's psychic activity is The Lanes. Now a quaint shopping precinct of narrow alleys - some so tiny that even a child could easily touch both sides at once - this was the original Saxon fishing village of Brightenhelm. Some say it is Brighton's most haunted quarter, with tales of highwaymen and even Jack the Ripper floating about its atmospheric pubs and oddly shaped cottages. Ghost walks leave Tuesday to  Saturday nights from outside the Druid's Head pub, so you can see for yourself.

    Halloween Highlight in 2016

    Extra ghost walks are being laid on for Saturday, October 29 at 6 and 7:30pm and Halloween, Monday October 31 at 6 and 7:30pm. The 70 minute walks depart from the Druid's Head on Brighton Place. There will be particularly ghoulish goodies for children brave enough to attend. 

  • 04 of 11
    Graveyard Angel
    ••• Graveyard Angel. Ferne Arfin

    You may have seen this little Kent village, with a population of about 1,000 - and 14 ghosts (12 of them official), in the British television series that made Catherine Zeta Jones a household name, The Darling Buds of May. Who'd have guessed that Guinness World Records has named it the most haunted village in England? Among the shuddery phantoms are two women who roam the graveyard of St. Nicholas Church - the Red and White Ladies - as well as a highwayman nailed to a tree (eeewww), a ghostly team of coach and horses, a forest full of screaming wraiths, and the usual contingent of old school and old pub ghosts. Pick a quiet night to have a mooch around. Most ghosts stay home, like the locals, on Halloween.

    Halloween 2016

    You're on your own if you want to explore Pluckley's famously haunted woods. For several years now locals have discouraged organized Halloween walks and tours which saw hundreds of ghost hunters descend on them, leaving behind a trail of debris. If you do...MORE decide to go it alone, be warned, Pluckley Wood is also known as The Screaming Wood.

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  • 05 of 11
    Spooky Mausoleum
    ••• Spooky Mausoleum. ©Ferne Arfin

    Exeter's impressive cathedral and its 14th century Underground Passages are prime territory for apparitions - and the Devon city, gateway to the West Country, does not disappoint. Headless horses, ghostly nuns who herald death, murdered ladies - all the usual inhabitants of the other side are known to make their appearances at the dark of the moon - and other opportune moments. As many as 1,000 people have been known to show up for the free Halloween Redcoat tours. But actually, you can join the free Ghosts and Legends tours any Tuesday at 7pm throughout the year and, usually, on Thursdays in the summer as well. 

    Halloween Highlight 2016

    A special Red Coat Guided Halloween Tour, Spooks and Broomsticks, leaves from in front of the Abode Royal Clarence Hotel in Cathedral Yard on Monday, October 31 at 6:15pm. Its free for all ages. Wear your scariest outfit to ensure all ghosts encountered give you proper respect.

  • 06 of 11
    Ghost Tour in the Shambles
    ••• britainonview/ McCormick-McAdam

    York claims to be Europe's most haunted city, with hauntings going all the way back to the ghostly Roman legions who walk the cellars of the Treasurer's House. Creepy.

    With so many layers of culture and civilization - Britons, Celts, Romans, Vikings, battling Lancasters and Yorks, not to mention a famous massacre, its no surprise that plenty of ghosts hang around York.

    Regular ghost walks meet at 7:30 every night at the West Door of York Minster and in The Shambles.

    Halloween Highlight 2016

    Visit the 14th century Barley Hall for Halloween special events. In 2016, there's a family focus on mysteries and ghosts of past residents of the hall. On Sunday. October 30 and Monday, October 31, expect "thrills and chills but no nightmares."  Former residents who lived and worked at the Hall over 500 years skulk round the hall causing mischief and mayhem. Tickets are £5 and available online.

  • 07 of 11
    Ghostly Blue Child
    ••• Getty Images

    Chester packs 2,000 years of history into a very compact, walled city with narrow streets and alleys, ancient crypts and cellars. Ghost hunters have been busy here and claim to have documented hauntings, spirits, spooks and poltergeists from almost every century across the entire city - more ghosts per street than anywhere in the UK. Paranormal researcher Dave Sadler of Parascience says, "My belief is that Chester, for its size, has the most haunted activity in the country."

    Well!

    Night-time ghost tours leave from the Town Hall Visitor Information Center on Northgate Street every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 7:30p.m. Advance booking for Halloween tours is recommended. Tours are bookable online.

    Halloween Highlights 2016

    A special Halloween tour will depart from the Tourist Information Center on October 31. The details are secret but you can find out by phoning +44 (0)845 647 7868.

  • 08 of 11
    Ghost in Subway Tunnel
    ••• Getty Images

    You'd expect Scotland's capital city to have ghosts. After all, they've got a queen who lost her head. One of the creepiest places in Edinburgh is its underground district, Mary King's Close. The "close" was, originally, a series of small, very narrow streets lined with houses reaching up to seven stories. In the late 18th century, the city council decided to build the Royal Exchange (now the City Chambers) right on top of the site. Some of the buildings were knocked down but the lower stories of many of them were kept as foundations for the new building. These dark, underground dwellings, with their ancient secrets can be visited on pre-booked tours.

    Halloween Highlight 2016

    Auld Reekie Tours has a full schedule of fright fest tours all year round including one just called The Terror Tour that is for over 18s. For Halloween 2016, their popular Vaults and Graves tour  takes in Greyfriars Graveyard and the South Bridge Vaults...in the dark!

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  • 09 of 11
    Ghostly Moon
    ••• Getty Images

    Derby is another small UK city that lays claim to being the most haunted with everything from headless ghosts to floating trousers. The jail, now a museum, is owned by a paranormal investigator who claims it is the "dead centre of England." The BBC has also reported claims that the condemned cell of the jail is its most haunted hot spot. Here's a quick rundown of its gruesome credentials:

    • The last man hung, drawn and quartered (remember the end of "Braveheart"?) met his end in Derby.
    • The last "pressing to death" sentence was carried out here in the 17th century.
    • A peer of the realm - apparently the only one to be hanged for murder - was dispatched by the "new drop" style of gallows, instead of being hanged from the back of a cart.

    Halloween Highlight 2016

    Dead and Breakfast VIII - an all night scream fest movie marathon from 8pm Saturday, October 29 to sunrise on Sunday, October 30.  If you make it through the night there's a meaty or vegetarian...MORE breakfast wrap and coffee waiting for you in the morning. Movies scheduled for 2016 include Alien, Freddie's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Eyes Without a Face, The Devil's Candy, and The Lost Boys - plus 4 scary cartoons. This is an 18+ event that costs £25 per person for the night of films plus breakfast. At the Derby QUAD with tickets online.

  • 10 of 11
    Ghostly Green Man
    ••• Getty Images

    Lancaster Castle, on a hilltop in the city center, is a group of buildings dating from the 12th century. It is still in use as a Crown Court and a prison so only parts of it can be visited, and then only by guided tour. The castle's spookiness rating comes from the famous case of the Pendle Witches that took place in 1612. King James I was a believer in witches and in his reign an act was passed imposing the death penalty "for making a covenant with an evil spirit, using a corpse for magic, hurting life or limb, procuring love, or injuring cattle by means of charms". At a three day "assize" in Lancaster, 2 men and 8 women were convicted of witchcraft and subsequently hanged on the moors.

    Halloween Highlight 2016

    Halloween tours of the castle on October 31 include a visit to the hanging court, dark cell lock ups, ghostly stories and more. In 2016 you can also meet the terrifying Witchfinder General as he tries witches in a "hanging court". Separate child...MORE friendly tours (at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30pm) and adults only (16+) tours at 7, 7:30 and 8pm. To book, ring +44 (0)1524 64998. The tours start outside the cafe and don't enter the prison parts of the castle.

  • 11 of 11
    ••• Spooky Night at Lincoln Cathedral. © Ferne Arfin

    The city of Lincoln was made for ghostly goings on. Perched a top the highest spot in Lincolnshire, parts of it seem dipped into a bowl of howling winds laced with shadowy back alleys, half-buried arches and dead-ended flights of stairs. Its 900-year-old castle and cathedral, at the top of a street so precipitous it is called Steep Hill, sit on Viking, Roman and ancient British civilizations. Its Medieval Bishops Palace hides behind thick walls of stone where unfaithful wives were murdered and ghostly guardians protected the clerics...Hmmm...sounds like just the place for a chilling Ghost Walk this Halloween.

    Halloween Highlight 2016

    If walking up and down Lincoln's steep hills on a damp October night doesn't sound too appealing, they've now laid on open top ghost bus tours, led by the same great storytellers from Margaret Green's Lincoln Ghost Walks team. For Halloween 2016, bus tours are set for October 29 and 30.