Few are brave enough to go into the woods on their own, especially in the dark. These ten haunted woodlands have chilling stories of suicide, murder, death and satanic rituals, giving them the reputation of the most haunted woods in the UK.
With tales involving druids, ghosts, and even the Devil himself, this ancient woodland in Devon has to be one of the most mysterious and magical places in Britain. The wood is a small remaining part of what was once a much larger forest that covered most of the moor around 9,000 years ago.
A forest near London, with a history of burials, ghosts, and unexplained lights. It's famous for its connection with the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, who was said to have a hideout here. He held up passing carriages with his partner in crime, Tom King.
A road which runs through the forest, Hangman's Hill is known locally as a "gravity spot", drivers are said to experience a strange phenomenon whereby their car rolls up a hill, seemingly defying gravity's pull. Locals say that it's the ghost of a hangman dragging an unfortunate criminal to his execution which now pulls the cars along the road, despite the incline.
This ancient woodland in Berkshire surrounds Bisham Abbey, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of Lady Hoby. The story goes that she beat her slow son to death out of frustration, before riding off into the woods. She spent the rest of her life in misery and regret, but since her death in 1609, her ghost has been spotted in the woods, as well as the abbey, trying to wash the blood from her hands.
The Naworth level crossing in Miltonrigg Woods is said to be haunted due to its grim past. It crosses the tracks next to a lone house in the middle of the woods. In the 1900s a passenger train collided with a coach on the crossing, killing nine people. To this day, railway workers have reported hearing the moans and cries of the victims at the crash site.
An area of woodland, just outside of Bath, between Bathford and Bradford-on-Avon, that takes its name from a folly tower of the same name, which was built in the middle of the woods in 1848.
The woods are said to be haunted by a young girl called Sally who was murdered in the area, and it's claimed that the birds don't sing here. The A363 which runs through the woods is known as 'Sally in the Woods', and is said to have had more than its fair share of unexplained, fatal car accidents.
Drivers have reported hearing screams coming from the woods at night, others say they've seen a young girl run out into the road.
It's thought that Sally was a gypsy, who lived in a hut in the woods, and was believed by local children to be a witch. Some say Sally was locked up in the tower in the 18th century, without food and water, and was left to die.
Pembrey Woods in Wales was once the location for a 'Most Haunted' investigation. The ancient woodland dates back to around 400 BC and is perched on the coast at the mouth of the Bristol Channel. It's said that passing ships were once lured towards the rocky coastline by, what locals called, the "little hatchet men of Pembrey". The ships would be grounded on the rocks to the south-west of the forest, the little hatchet men would then murder the survivors and loot this ships. The ghosts of the victims are still seen walking on the shore, and ghost ships are often seen.
A former RAF airfield was located near the woods, this is now the Pembrey West Wales Airport, but in its wartime days many damaged planes are said to have crashed into the woods when trying to make it back to the airstrip. The spirits of the dead airmen are said to still roam the woodlands.
Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.
Pluckey in Kent holds the title of the most haunted village in the UK, and the local woods, known as the Screaming woods, contribute to this claim. Witnesses have reported hearing screams coming from the woods at night, as well as hearing disembodied footsteps and seeing strange lights in the sky.
Some of the woods resident spooks include an 18th century colonel who committed suicide in the woods, the spirit of a highwayman who was executed in the woods, and the ghosts of many walkers who have gotten lost in the woods. The most recent disappearance was in 1998 when four students went into the woods in search of some strange lights they had seen, their bodies were never found.
The woods are said to have connections to satanic rituals, believed to be performed by a religious cult from the nearby village of Smarden. When a private investigator, Robert Collin, tried to get to the bottom of the cult in 1964, his investigation was cut short after his untimely death in a car accident.
On the south-west side of the Avon Gorge, overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks, is Leigh Woods. It is said to be the most haunted part of the city. In fact the nature reserve is home to one of the most famous people to be connected to Bristol throughout history, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
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.
Clapham Woods in West Sussex is one of the most active paranormal sites in the UK, it was the location of a spate of UFO sightings during the late 1960s and 1970s. This single area of Britain has more reports of weird goings on than anywhere else in Britain.
During the peak of the reports the woods, which were once used for rituals by a satanic cult, were said to have seen alien abduction, and be the base of alien aircraft that had come to Earth to collect chemical elements including sulphur.
People have reported UFOs in many forms, from a moon-sized light descending from the sky, to flying saucers hovering above the woods, as well as plenty of accounts of unexplained lights in the sky, many of which seemed to beam light down into the trees below.
The most notable event took place in 1967 and was witnessed by Paul Glover, a member of the British Phenomenon Research Group. He and a colleague saw a black boomerang-shaped craft moving across the sky while they were walking through the woods. This sighting was followed by a strange display of lights in the sky. They saw two bright lights, one of which released a small object, which travelled to the second and entered it.
The woods are a place of death, with four recorded cases of bodies being found in the woods, most of which were missing persons who were later found in the woods.
Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is a former Royal forest with a history of paranormal activity. The most famous ghost, known as the Lady of the Chase, has been witnessed by many visitors to the area. She's been described as tall and slim, with large, dark, hypnotic eyes. The wood is also home to sightings of children with black eyes, some believe them to be the victims of murderer Raymond Leslie Morris.
As well as these ghostly apparitions, walkers have also reported seeing strange lights and UFOs through the trees. But what makes Cannock Chase really creepy is its array of strange animals.
There's the legend of a big cat, a large black panther-like animal, which has been seen countless times in the area. There's also a demonic dog that comes out at night, it's said to have pointed ears and glowing eyes. Could this be the same creature that others have described as looking like a werewolf?