Witches, Ghosts & Ghouls

Date Added 31/10/2017

A round up of the spookiest places in England that we visit…

A History of Halloween

Halloween began as the festival of Samhain. It was part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. At the end of the summer, the Celts thought the barrier between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits got really thin. This meant weird creatures with strange powers could wander about on Earth. The Celts had a big party to scare away the ghosts and spirits.

In the eighth century, Christians sought to transform the pagan holiday. Pope Gregory III declared 1st November to be the feast of All Saints’ Day and the night before became knowns as All Hollow’s Eve. During the medieval period, children and pool people would practice ‘souling’, where they went door-to-door asking for donations or food in exchange for prayers honouring the person who answered the door.

This Halloween, we have a rounded up stories from the spookiest places in England that we visit on our tours below…

St Peter Port, Guernsey

As the nights start getting darker, Guernsey starts to show a different side of its personality. St Peter Port (above) has a history of many ghost sightings there are stories of the famous witch trials and the resulting burnings at the stake that happened on the island four centuries ago. Click here to view our Guernsey tours.

Tintagel Cornwall

Cornwall’s wild landscape and history of wrecking and smuggling lends itself to tales of ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. There are myths and legends abound, from the ghost of Merlin, said to inhabit a creepy cave beneath Tintagel Castle (above), to the Beast of Bodmin Moor. Click here to view our Cornish tours.

Powderham Castle

From angry spirits to headless horses and ghoulish monks, Devon has more than a few supernatural stories to get your skin crawling. Powderham Castle (above) is surrounded by breath-taking countryside south of Exeter and is home to several ghosts including the ‘grey lady’ who walks to and from the castle and the church.

Dover Castle

Located in South East England, Kent is perhaps the quintessential English country. Kent is also said to be home to hundreds of ghosts and other paranormal entities, and the supposedly haunted locations include many places we visit.

Hever Castle is reported to be haunted by the spirit of Anne Boleyn, who it is said that after her death, returned to Hever Castle to spend eternity at the site of some of her happiest memories.

A number of visitors to Dover Castle (above) have encountered the terrifying spirit of a headless drummer boy, who is believed to have been decapitated during a robbery at the castle several hundred years ago.

East Riddlesdon Hall

Ah Yorkshire, perhaps the most English of all English counties. Many of the historical buildings in the county have a history involving death, murders, and treachery and these tragedies have resulted in Yorkshire becoming one of the most haunted places in all of the United Kingdom.

East Riddlesden Hall (above) was built back in the 1630s and has been the site of paranormal activity for several hundred years. A regular spirit at the hall is The Grey Lady, who is often encountered by children who have asked about ‘the lady in the corner’ only to turn and find nobody there.

Bamburgh Castle

If you are in search of some spooks, then you will find that Northumbria has plenty to offer. Among the ghostly residents haunting Bamburgh Castle (above) there are said to be two colourful female spirits. First is the Pink Lady, a heartbroken young lady who saw her love sent away for seven years by her father. Her father tried to make it up to her by purchasing a new dress in her favourite colour – pink. However, the young woman donned her new dress and then promptly threw herself from the castle onto the rocks below. Ever since, her spirit has returned every 7 years to search for her love – always while wearing that pink dress! The other lady is the Green Lady who appears wrapped in a green shawl and carrying some kind of bundle down the stairs. She always falls on the stairs and when witnesses rush to her aid they find that she has disappeared! Click here to view our tours to Northumbria.

Let us know your spooky stories of any places you have visited with us!

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