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Top 10 Spookiest Places In Britain
10 Terrifying Trips To Take In The UK
- Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
In 1645 the plague wiped out almost half of Edinburgh’s population. So many people died that year there were too many dead bodies to bury in the city’s graveyards, so corpses were simply thrown into huge pits and left to rot. Whole parts of the city were so devastated by the pandemic that the only solution was to build on top of them, creating an underground network of abandoned streets. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of ghosts rumoured to haunt the “old town”. One of the most famous stories is that of a little girl named Annie: according to local legend she was left to die alone in one of the houses on Mary King’s Close after her family fled the city. Tourists visiting the site have reported cold spells, unexplained hunger and ghostly hands tugging at their clothes. 2. St Mary’s Church, Clophill
Clophill in Bedfordshire ticks all the boxes for the ideal English village: rural scenery, tightknit community, ruined church where devil-worshippers are said to make human sacrifices…
St Mary’s dates back the early 1100s but was abandoned in mysterious circumstances during the Victorian era. Spooky occurrences have been reported since the church was abandoned but it wasn’t until the 1960s when things started getting really eerie: “Satanic” graffiti was painted on the ruined church walls and human bones were found laid out on the church altar. Since them, locals have reported seeing hooded figures at the church and mysterious sounds coming from the church at night.
3. Underground Tunnels, Manchester
While they’re not supernatural, the labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath the northern city is decidedly creepy. Built as a shelter during World War Two, the tunnels houses terrified civilians while the city above them was bombed during air raids. The tunnels were kept functional throughout the twentieth century in case unclear war ever broke out.
4. Highgate Cemetery, London
Highgate Cemetery in North London is famous as the final resting place of Karl Marx. But in the 1970s the burial ground was rumoured to be haunted by a “dark figure” that had drained foxes of blood and terrified eye witnesses. At the height of a moral panic about witchcraft and Satanic rituals, the rumours quickly spread throughout London, culminating in a mob ransacking the cemetery on Friday 13th 1970 – while no vampires were staked, some of the Victorian tombs were desecrated. Sightings of the vampire continued throughout the 1970s.
5. Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-Under-Edge
It wouldn’t be Britain without a good old trip to the pub. The Ancient Ram Inn is said to be one of the most haunted places in the UK. In the course of its 800 years, supernatural sightings in the establishment have ranged from a ghostly cat haunting a bedroom to the sound of a murdered innkeeper’s daughter being dragged through the attic at night. Even more disturbingly, guests at the inn have reported being molested by an incubus and succubus and hearing the screams of a murdered resident who was roasted alive in a fireplace. The Ancient Ram is also said to be the site of child sacrifice and is, in true horror movie tradition, alleged to be built on the site of a pagan burial ground.
6. Thetford Priory, Norfolk
Now in ruins, the priory was once one of the most impressive in England. Dating back to medieval times, the priory was the burial ground for dukes and earls until Henry VIII ordered all of the Catholic monasteries in his kingdom to be destroyed. Although all the monks were executed, locals have reported hearing them chanting in Latin. Whether or not it really is haunted, the ruins against the backdrop of the bleak Norfolk countryside is definitely creepy.
7. Burslem Churchyard, Staffordshire
In the 1700s, a witch named Molly Leigh haunted the northern English town aggravating the locals and turning milk sour According to local legend, Molly had a tame jackdaw, rumoured to be her familiar spirit, and after she died it attacked the local parson. In an attempt to save the town from the witch’s ghost, the reverend exhumed Molly’s body and, according to the legend, stuck a stake through her heart…but it didn’t seem to do much good. Three centuries later, Sybil Leek, a member of the infamous Satanist Aliester Crowley’s coven, settled in the town and took to keeping a trained crow on her shoulder, claiming that Molly Leigh was one of her ancestors. To this day, residents report seeing Molly’s ghost haunting the local churchyard, particularly around Halloween.
8. Candleston Castle, Wales
Wales has a gothic charm all of its very own. Located in the woods near the sprawling Bridgend sand dunes is the ruins of Candleston Castle. Once a manor house, the building is now plays host to a number of spooky local legends. Weirdest of all these legends is that of the “goblin stone” : located right next to the castle, a demonic voice is said to try to persuade passers-by to touch the stone, which then sticks to your hands and feet.
9. Hellingly Asylum, Sussex
“Asylums” in the Victorian times were little better than convenient prisons, used to lock away those suffering from “mania” – a condition so vague it could even include women who had sex out of wedlock. Manacles were used to chain patients to bed and lobotomies were common. Hellingly Asylum was unusual in that it had its own private train line, so supplies could be delivered to the hospital easily and conveniently, with as little interference from the outside world was possible. The building has since been renovated, with part of the land being turned into a housing estate, but the spooky atmosphere lingers.
10. Pluckey, Kent
According to the 1989 Guinness Book of World Records, Pluckey is the most haunted village in England . Reportedly home to 12 different ghosts, nobody is quite sure why the sleepy hamlet has attracted so much supernatural attention. The most famous ghost in the village is known as The Watercress Woman, a Victorian spectre who spent her life sitting on a bridge, drinking and selling watercress to travellers. The story goes that one gin-soaked day she dropped the pipe she was smoking and she went up in flames. Another story says that a farmer who committed suicide told his wife “I will do it!”, words that you still hear whispered when you visit the barn where he killed himself. Even the village pub is rumoured to be haunted by a poltergeist who moves glasses and sends plates flying across the bar.