10 Most Haunted Towns & Cities In The UK
This article is more than one year old and was last updated in June 2022.
Great Britain is steeped in history with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each having their own grim past and boasting plenty of hauntings and ghost stories.
Below are the ten cities across the UK that are best known for their hauntings. They are ranked by the number of stories, the amount of haunted locations and the longevity of their paranormal claims.
Manchester, lying in the north west of England has plenty paranormal hotspots, including the city's Grade I listed cathedral, where a black demon dogs is said to haunt the grounds. Apparitions have been reported throughout the Royal Exchange Theatre including a female spirit in the wig room. Other haunted locations are Manchester town hall, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Victorian policeman, and the quaint and historic Peveril Of The Peak pub, where the landlady and drinkers have experienced ghostly goings on for more than 40 years.
Perhaps Manchester's most haunted location is Ordsall Hall, a Tudor manor house in Salford. The paranormal activity reported here includes unexplained knocks and bangs, disembodied footsteps and voices, doors opening and closing of their own accord and the sound of children. Guests have reported being pushed and many have heard whispers in their ears and an unseen force blowing on their face.
The English city contains some of the most haunted buildings in the whole of the West Midlands, the ghostly hotspots include Baskerville House where a negative energy in the cellar has been blamed for strange goings on in the house, and the Court Oak pub which is built on the site where many criminals were hanged in the 17th century is said to be haunted by a ghost, nicknamed "Corky".
The city's cemetery on Warstone Lane is said to be haunted by the ghost of a white lady. As is the city's biggest railway station, where ghostly apparitions have been seen on the platforms at night. A famous ghost is said to haunt the Town Hall. The concert hall, which opened in 1834, is where Charles Dickens gave his first reading of 'A Christmas Carol'. His ghost has been seen sitting in the empty theatre and strolling along various corridors in the building.
The West Yorkshire city of Leeds isn't well known for its paranormal hotspots, but there are plenty of locations that are said to be haunted as a result of the city's vibrant history and industrial past. Including the Town Hall, which is said to be home to several ghosts. Leeds Crown Court is also said to be haunted. Those working and visiting the building have regularly reported seeing the spirit of an old bald man, he's been given the nickname Fred.
Other paranormal hotspots include Hassetts' House, Temple Newsam House, Temple Works, Thackray Medical Museum, Armley Mills and Kirkstall Abbey. Although now nothing more than ruins, the abbey dates back to the 12th century both the ground of the abbey and the museum which sits within the grounds is said to be haunted. The abbey's most famous ghost is that of a spirit called Mary, who's said to have witnessed her husband taking his own life.
Stratford-upon-Avon is most famous as the birthplace of playwright, William Shakespeare, but the historic town is also said to be one of the most haunted in England. It lies at the northern tip of the Cotswold countryside a town unspoilt by time and a place that inspired the greatest love story ever told.
Many building associated with Shakespeare are said to be haunted, including Shottery Manor, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Hall's Croft and Holy Trinit, which is the burial place of Shakespeare himself. Other haunted hotspots include The Shakespeare Hotel, and nearby Clopton House and Ettington Park Hotel. Even the stretch of the River Avon that flows through the town is said to be haunted by the ghost of a murder victim.
The list of haunted buildings in the city of Liverpool includes historic libraries, iconic theatres, hotels, homes and even a cemetery. The city's Gaumont Cinema is one of its most famous ghostly hotspots, it is said to be haunted by the ghost of a man who hanged himself there. The Empire Theatre is said to be home to the ghost of a tearful young girl, a former painter who worked there, and a dark apparition seen in one of the dressing rooms.
The city is also home to one of the UK's most haunted hotels. At The Adelphi guests have reported seeing multiple spirits in naval attire. Staff have seen someone hanging out of a window in the Crosby Room, but upon investigation found that the room was empty and the window was locked.
Other haunted buildings in the city include The Slaughter House pub, the historic Woolton Hall, the wood-framed Tudor manor house Speke Hall, and the infamous Newsham Park Hospital. The hospital has been the site of many reports of paranormal activity. Dating back to its operational days, a female nurse reported seeing an unexplained apparition, soon after she was found dead on the main corridor.
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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. Especially in Brislington, which was once a small Somerset village but is now a suburb of the city that is reputed to have many resident ghosts.
The city's most famous haunted locations include Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous steamship, the SS Great Britain. Brunel is even said to haunt an area of Leigh Woods around Clifton Suspension Bridge that he designed. The Central Library is said to be haunted by Augustinian monks, as is Bristol Cathedral.
Other haunted hotspots include Arnos Vale Cemetery, the Odeon Cinema, the Old Vic Theatre, and the historic Llandoger Trow pub. Even a busy stretch of the A38 is to be haunted by a woman in white.
Cardiff is officially the most haunted place in Wales, it boasts a higher number of reports of paranormal events than any other place throughout the whole of Wales including at the iconic Millennium Centre, the National Museum of Wales, and Cardiff Castle in the heart of the city.
Cardiff also boasts two very haunted hospitals, University Hospital Llandough where the ghost of a nurse in a Victorian uniform has been seen, and Cardiff Royal Infirmary where the list of reports of paranormal activity includes a disappearing matron who was spotted in one of hospital's corridors by a plumber, and sightings of a woman in grey.
Elsewhere in the city, the 19th-century Castell Coch is said to be haunted by 13 ghosts, including the apparition of servant, a cavalier, and even three ghostly eagles. An unassuming lawnmower repair shop in the city also became the focus of one of the Society for Psychical Research's most famous poltergeist cases.
London is one of the oldest cities in the world and with such a rich and diverse history, it's no surprise it has such a grim and sinister past. From echoes of Jack the Ripper killings, to the spirits of the victims of the fire of London and the black death, there's plenty of misery that still haunts London's historic streets and buildings.
The city has a whole list of haunted pubs, including The Grenadier, The Ten Bells, and The Flask. Famous buildings like the British Museum, The Savoy, The Tower Of London, Theatre Royal, Hampton Court Palace and London Tombs are also said to be haunted. Several of the city's transport hubs including Heathrow Airport and Liverpool Street Station are also said to be haunted.
Highgate Cemetery is one of London's biggest cemeteries and a location which is said to have hosted occult rituals, witnessed witchcraft and secret meetings of Satanic cults. The apparitions spotted at the cemetery and the adjoining Swains Lane, include a shadowy figure in a tall hat, the ghost of a cyclist seen working his way up a steep incline, and a woman in white.
Derbyshire is easily one of the most paranormally active English counties, with some of the country's best known paranormal hotspots as well as many haunted locations in the city of Derby. Paranormal historian, Richard Felix, says "Derby is the most haunted city in the country, it has more ghosts than even York." The reason Derby is so haunted could be because it sits near enough in the middle of the country and is a "powerhouse of energy" due to the ley lines and ancient pathways which pass through it.
Derby has several historic and haunted pubs including The Bell Inn, Ye Olde Dolphin Inne, and The Jorrocks formerly Lafferty's. One of the city's most haunted locations is Derby Gaol, where the paranormal activity ranges from doors close by themselves, the sensation of feeling sick, and discomfort in the throat or the sensation of being suffocated.
Other haunted locations in Derby include the Old Grammar School, the Friary, the Silk Mill, the House Of John Flamsteed, the Grand Theatre, and the Gothic Revival stately home, Elvaston Castle. Various professional investigations have been conducted in the castle, including by Yvette Fielding and the 'Most Haunted' team, with phenomena being reported including unexplained noises, unexplained apparitions, people being pushed and things being moved.
The capital city of Scotland is easily one of the most haunted cities in the UK, perhaps due to its rich history, historic buildings and its sometimes dark past. Many of the cities haunted location are popular tourist hotspots, including Greyfriars Kirkyard where most of the reports of paranormal activity revolve around the tomb of Sir George Mackenzie, a barrister who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Covenanters in the 17th century.
The castle the overlooks the city also has its fair share of spooks, the most commonly sighted are an old man in apron, a piper who mysteriously lost his life after getting lost in the tunnels below the castle and a headless drummer boy. The popular attraction Mary King's Close is said to be the site of dark shadows, strange noises and even apparitions of body parts have been reported here. Chesney's House, is said to be so scary, that some staff member refuse to enter certain areas on their own and the ghost of a man has been seen here before vanishing.
Another of the city's tourist hotspots, Edinburgh Vaults, is said to be haunted. The Vaults are a network of eerie chambers which are formed in the arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh. Visitors report hearing disembodied voices, including the sound of children crying. The mysterious sound of feet shuffling can also be heard coming from dark corners of the vaults, and people have reported being touched.
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