With Halloween on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to find out more about Britain’s heritage by taking a look at some of the nation’s supposedly most haunted sites.

Britain is incredibly old, so no matter where you turn, you are face to face with history and with history often comes hauntings. Whether you’re hearing stories about the spirits of Roman legions that still traverse fields close to ancient settlements or the apparition one of Henry VIII’s ex wives, there have been stories of hauntings since the early times. If you want to head out and do a spot of ghost hunting, or perhaps want to know where to avoid over All Hallow’s Eve, here are a selection of some of the most haunted places in Britain.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Reportedly, Edinburgh is not only haunted, but it is the most haunted city in the whole of Europe! There are a host of reported ghost sightings all across the city, some of the most popular being: Mary Kings Close, which is one of the many alleyways off the Royal Mile and has a sinister history.

Greyfriars Kirkyard, probably most famous because of Greyfriars Bobby, the small dog that is commemorated with a statue. The most recorded ghost there is that of George Mackenzie who was an executioner in the 17th century, some say he even attacks visitors.
Edinburgh Castle – no surprises here, but the castle has seen numerous battles over its time so you would expect there to be a few stories. One of the most reported sights is that of a little headless boy playing the drums.
Whether you’re into ghosts or not, the city is well worth a visit, from the castle to Arthur’s Seat to the Royal Mile, there are plenty of things to marvel at.

Hampton Court, London

Known as the favourite royal residence of Henry VIII, he is said to haunt the palace as do two of his unfortunate wives. Jane Seymour, wife number 3 who died in childbirth giving Henry his only son and Catherine Howard, wife number 5. Jane is said to haunt the Silverstick Stairs which lead up to the room in which she gave birth and died. She is often seen carrying a candle on the anniversary of her son’s birth. She was said to be the favourite wife and Henry was buried beside her in the royal tomb at Windsor Castle.
Catherine Howard’s ghost can be heard and is seen much more often. She was beheaded at the age of 19 after being married to the King as a teenager and was accused of adultery. She was arrested at Hampton Court and broke free from her captors, running along what is now called the Haunted Gallery screaming for mercy. She was recaptured and dragged to the Tower.

A less royal spirit that is reported as living at Hampton Court is Sybil Penn, known as the Grey Lady. She was Edward VI’s wet nurse and looked after Queen Elizabeth I when she was ill with small pox. Sadly, she caught the pox and never recovered and was laid to rest at Hampton Church. Her spirit started being reported after her tomb was disturbed when the church was renovated.

Tower of London, London

We can’t not list the Tower after mentioning the fate of poor Catherine Howard. As the site of many executions and imprisonments, it is no surprise that there are supposedly several tormented spirits lurking around the tower. Among the more famous spirits that have been reported are:  Anne Boleyn the second woman to marry Henry VIII and the first to be executed. She can be seen in several spots around the tower, including on Tower Green where she was executed, in the chapel where she was buried and wandering the corridors near her former rooms, minus her head.

Henry VI, who was imprisoned in the Tower during the War of the Roses by his York cousins. Not content with removing his claim to both the English and French thrones, he was stabbed while praying in the Wakefield Tower paving the way for his cousin Edward IV to take the crown. Apparently he can still be seen praying in the Wakefield Tower at night.
Lady Jane Grey, also known as the Nine Day Queen. Lady Jane Grey, who had a tenuous claim to the throne through her grandmother, was named heir by her cousin Edward VI in an attempt to keep his Catholic half sister off the throne. Sadly, nine days after being named queen, Mary Tudor had her and her husband, Guilford Dudley imprisoned and executed. Lady Jane can be seen wandering the battlements of the tower she was kept in.

Margaret Pole, the Countess of Salisbury. There should be no surprise with this one considering how gruesome an end she endured. Margaret refused to kneel when brought to the scaffold to be beheaded, she actually tried to run from the executioner who chased her around Tower Green hacking at her until she succumbed. Her screams can still be heard on the Green.

The missing princes – everyone has heard the story of how Richard III imprisoned his nephews Edward and Richard in the Tower, supposedly for their own safe keeping but more likely so that he could take control of the country after the death of their father. The two boys were never seen again. Though there were some rumours that one of them managed to escape and tried to retake the crown from Henry Tudor following the Battle of Bosworth, but it was never proved. The bones of two small boys were found in the 1600s and were believed them to be the royal princes. Visitors have reported seeing the figures of two small boys in night shirts at the White Tower.

Sir Walter Raleigh, reports of his ghost started appearing shortly after his execution. He can be seen at the Bloody Tower and the battlements which are known as Raleigh’s Walk.

Guy Fawkes - Perhaps one of the Tower’s most well known prisoners, Guy Fawkes found himself being tortured there after the foiled Gun Powder Plot that we celebrate on the 5th November. His screams can be heard from the White Tower and his initials are still etched on the walls in his former cell.

The bear – yes. The bear. At one time, the Tower of London was a royal residence and was home to the royal menagerie which included a large grizzly bear which is said to continue to haunt the grounds.

Pluckley, Kent

While Edinburgh is the most haunted city, the village of Pluckley in Kent is said to be the most haunted village. In fact, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the number of its ghostly inhabitants. It is rumoured to have around fourteen regularly seen spirits including the Lady of Rose Court, the old miller, a phantom coach and horses, a highway man and a small white dog.

Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon

Said to be the most haunted castle in England, Berry Pomeroy Castle is the former home of the Seymour family, yes of Jane Seymour fame. There are several ghosts that have been reported here, both of which seem to want to lure visitors to their death. The White Lady is thought to be Margaret Pomeroy who was imprisoned in the castle dungeons by her own family and left to starve, while the Blue Lady walks the grounds trying to entice visitors inside.

Plas Mawr, Conway, Wales

This grand looking Elizabethan town house is one of the most beautiful buildings in Wales. The name in fact translates to Great Hall in English and was originally built by a member of the Welsh nobility.

In its centuries old history, there have been a number of reported ghost sightings including a little girl and a young doctor who was thought to have gotten lost and run into the chimney. There were also several mummified cats found under the floorboards.

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