The 15 Most Haunted Places In Bristol
This article is more than seven years old and was last updated in March 2022.
Bristol is a city steeped in history, some of it grisly, from the slave trade to smugglers, pirates and brutal murders. Around every corner in the city there’s a story to be told and with so much history it’s not surprising that Bristol has so many ghost stories.
14. Vassals Park
13. The White Hart
The whole area is steeped in history, its origins go back to the days when the Grand Master of the order of the Knights Templar visited England in 1128 to raise men and money for the Crusades.
King Henry II gave the Templars land across England, including a site not far from Temple Back. The Knights Templar build a church on the site, it was later replaced by Temple Church, also known as Holy Cross Church which remains today albeit as ruins. The church was built on reclaimed marsh land and therefore is famous for its leaning tower.
The history of the Knights Templar is apparent throughout this who area, with Bristol Temple Meads railway station, Temple Bridge, Temple Gate, Temple Street all inheriting their name.
Fire fighters working at the fire station have reported seeing a Knight Templar still stomping across their former land. The apparition of the man was first seen in 1975 and was at first mistaken for a man wearing waterproof clothing, others thought that the ghost's attire was more medieval. He is most frequently spotted in the yard of the fire station but vanishes when approached.
11. The Hatchet Inn
10. SS Great Britain
Today the ship is a museum and one of the city's most popular tourist attractions, but during its 41 years of service it spent its time shipping passengers between Bristol and New York. The crossing of the Atlantic usually took around 14 days, so with all this time at sea, it’s no surprise that the iconic ship has plenty of paranormal stories to tell.
The Great Britain's most re-told haunting is that of Captain John Grey, who vanished one night after falling ill during a voyage. He was never to be seen again, some say it was suicide, while others claim he was murdered for all the gold stowed away in his cabin.
Since then passengers have reportedly hear the heavy foot step of his hobnail boots as he walks across the deck, accompanied by sights and sounds of doors opening and closing and even a self-playing piano.
Captain Grey isn't the only ghost to tread the planks on this famous ship, others include that of Mrs Cohen, who tragically and mysteriously died aboard the ship a few short weeks after her wedding and the ghost of a young sailor who reportedly fell from the rigging.
Yvette Fielding and the Most Haunted team described the SS Great Britain as one of the top five most haunted places they've ever visited.
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Many drivers have reported having to slam on their brakes or swerve to avoid the figure who suddenly appears in the middle of the road in front of them before vanishing again.
The road in this area is now scared with many skid marks which show where other drivers have also stopped suddenly braked to avoid hitting a phantom woman dressed in a white coat.
Most stories from witnesses tell of the monk wandering out of the cathedral's main door on to College Green, before disappearing in to the library. The library stands on the site of the old Augustinian priory and while the Augustinians wore black habits, some believe this grey monk may have been visiting the priory in life. He’s also spotted in the library itself going through theological documents. The monk entered the library through a bricked up door way which is one of the original entrances to the priory.
The house and the rest of the Stoke Park estate is believed to be haunted by a 17-year-old by the name of Elizabeth Somerset, who died in 1760. Walkers in the grounds of the house often report hearing the sound of her horse's hooves in the park and surrounding woodland, even though no horses have been allowed on to the land for decades.
Along with the legendary SS Great Britain, Brunel designed the suspension bridge, but sadly he never got to see the finished bridge as he died of a stroke during construction at the age of 53.
Walkers in the woods have reported seeing the ghost of Brunel wearing his famous tall hat and cloak at a vantage point in the woods, which overlooks the bridge. It's believed Brunel would have come here to oversee the work of his beloved bridge and after his death he returned here to see it finished.
Despite its architectural beauty, Clifton Suspension Bridge has a dark side. The bridge has always been and still is to this day a hotspot for suicides, a fact that the Samaritans signs plastered over the bridge alludes to.
As a result of these tragic deaths, there have been many sites of those who ended their lives by jumping from the bridge in to the gorge below. The most notable is the ghost of a young man, a modern looking man who in often seen wandering through the woods, always heading to the end of the suspension bridge.
The cemetery is haunted by two female ghosts and many people who visit the grounds have reported feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness.
One of the women is reported to be a black female figure who is often spotted crying over the death of her husband who was killed in the First World War.
The other apparition seen at the cemetery, is seen crying and panicked after she was supposedly buried alive there.
The manager was killed and the killer was never found, but it’s believed to be a man named Billy "The Fish" Fisher, who confessed the killing on his deathbed.
Screen three is now one of the most haunted rooms in Bristol and many staff have reported seeing the ghost of the murdered manager. Most frequently they’ve seen people walking around the auditorium who disappear if approached. A seat in the third row of screen three is said to be home to a shadowy apparition, he often remains seated after the movie ends and when staff approach him he vanishes.
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The theatre on King Street was built between 1764–66, it’s now a Grade I listed building and Daniel Day-Lewis called it "the most beautiful theatre in England."
The theatre is said to be haunted by a young actress called Sarah Siddon’s. Sarah's boyfriend hanged himself at this theatre, and her ghost is thought to continue to mourn the loss.
When the Old Vic was redeveloped in 2010, the architect Andrzej Blonski reported seeing Sarah's ghost, wearing a long, white crinoline dress. Staff working at the theatre have reported hearing a female voice telling them to "get out."
But Sarah isn't alone, the ghost of a scenic painter named Richard who died in an accident while working is said to still haunt the building and if often blamed for continually moving props around.
The pub was legendary in its heyday and is the place where Daniel Defoe was inspired to write Robinson Crusoe and the pub which Robert Louis Stevenson based the the inn on in Treasure Island.
Many staff and guests to the pub have reported seeing the ghost of a young boy, even more have heard his footsteps. Some say he was murdered in the inn and has been heard wandering around the building ever since. They hear his footsteps going along the landing and up and down an all staircase in the heart of the old building. The boy was said to be disabled which made the sound of his feet clomping on the wooden floor boards even more apparent.
On certain occasions the little boy has been seen coming down the staircase carrying a white enamel pale in his hands.
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