It’s that time of year, when our thoughts turn to all things dark and creepy… and there’s nowhere better on Earth for a little spooky fun than the UK, with our misty fells, mysterious stone circles, and history of druids, witches, and most of all, ghosts. If you’re looking to find a real-life haunted house, these are the top three spots you’ve got to visit.
Castle Stuart, Scotland
The Moray Firth is a lonely, windswept inlet on Scotland’s northern coast, and it’s here that you’ll find the notorious Castle Stuart, which has been standing since the mid-sixteenth century. The land was given by Mary, Queen of Scots, to her half-brother James Stuart, and he erected the imposing stone castle with its few, small windows. It’s easy to imagine the gruesomeness of what came next in this dark fortress: Stuart was murdered, as was his son-in-law, the latter by no fewer than 13 stabbings. In the seventeenth century, Charles I was beheaded here, and then followed 300 years of abandonment as the spirits of those killed here were believed to roam the building. Rumour has it that a minister took the challenge of staying overnight in the castle, in order to prove it was not inhabited by the spectres of the dead, but was found dead in the morning, at the bottom of the eastern tower.
Elvey Farm, England
Just the name Elvey Farm has a hint of the magical to it, and this eerie property does not disappoint. It’s little village of Pluckley, Kent, is thought to be home to no fewer than 16 different ghosts; standing since the fifteenth century, Elvey shelters the spirit of Edward Brett, a farmer who shot himself over 100 years ago, and is still said to wander the buildings, particular the dairy, where visitors have often noted that they hear whispering sounds and feel overcome by melancholy in this particular area. Other ghosts on the farm include that of Robert du Bois, who died after being stabbed in the so-called Screaming Woods nearby.
The Langham Hotel, England
The Langham may look posh, but it is the site of some seriously haunted hotel rooms. Room 333 is fabled to be the most haunted room in London, and home to the ghost of a prince from Germany, who killed himself by throwing himself out of the fourth-storey room just before the start of World War I. You may also see an older, Victorian-era ghost, believed to be the spirit of a doctor who murdered his wife on their honeymoon… or you may experience an even more mysterious encounter, as guests have reported seeing floating orbs turn into human form in mid-air, as well as seen taps turn themselves on and off, and he temperature fluctuating unaccountably.
There is no denying that there’s something mysterious about Britain—some even believe our little island to be the most haunted in the world. But whether it’s legends, murders, or the supernatural that draw you to its historic properties, you’re sure to find a rich history… and maybe even a ghost or two!