The South West of England is known for is folklore, myths and mystery. So it's no surprise that it has such a high percentage of haunted building and locations.
20. Great Fulford Manor, Exeter
The Tudor mansion has been the residence of the Fulford family since the reign of King Richard I, making them Devon's oldest recorded family still in their original seat. The house and land was gifted to the family as a gesture of gratitude for the their sacrifice during the English Civil War.
With notable members of the family being killed at the Siege of Exeter during the war in 1643, and so many years as a place of birth, life and death, it's no surprise the grand building boasts so many ghosts stories. The family hear unexplained noises, witness doors banging and have even seen apparitions and ghostly figures. The family's dog also seems to frequently react to things that no one else can see.
19. HMP Gloucester, Gloucester
HM Prison Gloucester in the West of England opened in 1791 to house some of the UK's most notorious criminals. In the prison's early days over 100 executions were carried out, the prisoners bodies were buried within the prison, to this day not all have been found. So with this gruesome tale in mind I thought the now-abandoned jail was worth a visit.
The prison closed four years ago and is now open to public. Many visitors claim the prison is haunted by a woman called Jenny, its said she was murdered in the 15th century on the land where the prison was later built. Now her spirit roams that land in search of her killer, he ghosts has been seen by bother prisoners and guards.
In 1969 a group of inmates conducted a seance in cell 25 of A Wing in an attempt to contact the ghost of Jenny and got more than they bargained for when books and even a flowerpot were thrown around the cell by a supernatural force.
This wasn't the last the inmates saw Jenny, just a few days later her disembodied hand appeared to the convict inhabiting cell 25, it pointed directly at him before vanishing as suddenly as it appeared, earning cell 25 the reputation of being haunted part of the 200 year old building.
Staff and prisoners have reported hearing knocks and bangs throughout the prison's buildings, as well and slamming doors and shadowy figures which have mostly been sighted in C Wing, a newer part of the prison that was built in the 1970s.
18. Bristol Cathedral, Bristol
Bristol Cathedral is one of England's most famous medieval churches, it dates back to 1140 when it was founded as an Augustinian abbey and as you’d expect of a building which has seen so much, it has a ghost. The ghost of a monk is often seen walking in and around the cathedral, he’s always seen wearing a grey habit. Most stories from witnesses tell of the monk wandering out of the church's main door on to College Green, before disappearing in to the library next door. The library stands on the site of an 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.
17. Bodmin Jail, Bodmin
Today Bodmin Jail is a tourist attraction, but for almost 150 years it was prison, in which time it saw over 50 public hangings. The jail is a popular location for paranormal researchers, including the 'Most Haunted' team who visited in their sixth series.
This was the location of the legendary incident that involved the show's producers feeding medium Derek Acorah false information, which saw him get possessed by a named Kreed Kafer. It came to light after the show that the spirit was fictionally and was in fact an anagram of the phrase "Derek Faker."
16. Jamaica Inn, Bodmin
More than 100 years ago a stranger walked into Jamaica Inn, a pub in the middle of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. The man sat alone in a corner drinking a mug of ale, until he was called outside. He left his drink of the table, walked out of the inn and was never seen alive again but ever since his ghost has been drawing tourists into the pub.
The traditional pub as built in 1750 and now markets itself as a haunted inn. Due to its history of hosting smugglers the pub has been the subject of books, television shows and an Alfred Hitchcock movie. That unsuspecting stranger sipping on an ale years ago as inadvertently gone on to make the inn one of the most famous pubs in the South of England.
15. The Red Lion Inn, Avebury
The 17th century coaching inn stands alongside the ancient stone circle in Avebury and is home to a spirit named Florrie. She's said to be a former landlady who was murdered and pushed down the village well during the civil war.
There's also the tale of the violent murder of a local man in the cellar. So, it's no surprise the pub has its fair share of ghost stories.
Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.
14. The Llandoger Trow, Bristol
The Llandoger Trow is without a doubt the most haunted location in Bristol, boasting 15 ghosts, most famously the ghost of a young boy. The historic pub is located on King Street near the old city centre docks and was named by a sailor who owned the pub. Llandoger is a village in Wales which built a type of flat bottom boat known as a trow.
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.
13. Dower House & Stoke Park, Bristol
Stood overlooking Stoke Park is Dower House, one of Bristol's more prominent landmarks, set on a hill above the M32, one of the main approaches into the city. Within Stoke Park there are two small lakes, the largest of which is Duchess Pond.
The bright yellow house was built in 1553 and was once part of Stoke Park Hospital until 1985, it’s since been converted into residential dwellings.
The house and the rest of the Stoke Park estate is believed to be haunted by one its former residents, a 17-year-old by the name of Elizabeth Somerset who fell from her horse in 1760 and broke her neck.
Walkers in the grounds of the house often report hearing the sound of horse's hooves in the house’s grounds and surrounding woodland, even though no horses have been allowed on to the land for decades.
12. Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol
The first burial took place at Arnos Vale Cemetery in 1839, it’s a Grade II listed site of special historic interest.
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.
11. The Old Vic Theatre, Bristol
The Theatre Royal, home of the Bristol Old Vic since 1946, is one the oldest continually-operating theatres in the world.
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.
10. SS Great Britain, Bristol
When the SS Great Britain first set sail in 1845, she was the most most advanced and longest steamship in the world, a testament to Bristol's naval engineering past. The grand passenger ship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was operated by the Great Western Steamship Company.
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.
9. St. Mary's Church, Bacup
This Grade I listed place of worship is said to be haunted by the spirit of a local boy named John Daniel, who's seen sitting at a desk in the church dressed in a school uniform and hat. He's said to have died in suspicious circumstances in 1728.
Another regularly sighted ghost is that of a woman seen wearing a dark gown and straw hat with a flowered handkerchief around her neck, she's been spotted standing in the church doorway. Some think she may be John's mother, Hannah Daniel, who is said to have died shortly after childbirth.
The haunting extends into a nearby field where a dairy farmer once saw two figures standing by one of his herd. One was a woman wearing a long white gown and the other was a boy wearing a dark outfit. They were seen to walk away in the direction of the graveyard, vanishing at the graves of the Daniel family.
Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.
8. Clifton Suspension Bridge & Leigh Woods, Bristol
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.
7. Dolphin Tavern, Penzance
The Dolphin Inn on the harbour at Penzance is a historic English pub reportedly haunted by three ghosts. The spirits who are said to roam here include an old sea captain named George, who is spotted wearing a tricornered hat, lace ruffles and a striking jacket. As well as rare reports of sightings, he is often reportedly heard walking around the upstairs rooms and corridors in the dead of night.
There's also the ghost of a women seen wearing Victorian style clothing, who has been spotted on several occasions in the main bar where she seems to materialised from a wall before gliding across the room. The guest bedrooms are said to be haunted by a young, fair-haired man, who is often spotted standing by or sitting on the bottom of the beds in the rooms.
6. The Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton under Edge
Now closed to the public, The Ancient Ram Inn is a Grade II listed building in Wotton-under-Edge. The pub has been investigated by many paranormal researchers, including the television shows 'Ghost Adventures' and 'Most Haunted'.
During 'Most Haunted's' investigation one of the team members claimed to have been attacked. In the episode, Stuart Torevell suddenly fell to the floor and screamed for help saying "I can't move." After the incident he described the attack, "I'd been punched in the chest, I'd been winded. And as I went down, I got punched again then. So, I got winded twice. I was like a young kid in a playground getting picked on and beaten up. When I went down I felt like I was being kick constantly in the stomach."
5. Pengersick Castle, Penzance
This fortified Manor House located between the villages of Germoe and Praa Sands is sand to be one of the most haunted buildings in Cornwall. It's been occupied by the Pengersick family since the 12th century and boasts quite a haunted past with over 20 resident spooks.
Sightings include the ghost of a monk who has been seen wandering around the medieval gardens, guests have reported seeing a woman standing at one of the windows staring out at night. There's also the ghost of a young girl who haunts the basement, strange light anomalies have been caught on camera, electrical equipment inexplicably fails, and there's even said to be the ghost of a cat and a dog.
4. The Three Pilchards, Polperro
The Three Pilchards is the oldest pub in the costal village Polperro, it takes its name from the village's tradition of fishing. The paranormal activity at this pub include sightings of the ghost of a woman, who's seen milking a cow in the backyard. Some drinkers have reported the mysterious smell of violets wafting through the pub despite no flowers being present. The pub is also said to be haunted by a family who lived there in the 19th century, plus the ghost of an elderly woman upstairs.
3. Prideaux Place, Padstow
This impressive stone-built house in Padstow stands nearly on the site of Bodmin priory, set against a backdrop of rugged coastline and with Bodmin Moor to the East. The home has remained in the hands of the same family for more than 400 years, but was used as a base for American serviceman during World War II.
It is supposed to be haunted by many different ghosts including the spirit of a young scullery boy who has been seen running around the kitchen. There are also two female ghosts who have been spotted on the main staircase, one dressed in grey, the other in green. The green lady has also been spotted in the drawing room and the great chamber, it's believed she haunts the house after she leapt or was pushed to her death there.
A phantom dog is also said to roam the building, it is most commonly seen growling at the end of the bed the Park Room, a guest bedroom which is said to have a very oppressive atmosphere.
Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.
2. Wellington Hotel, Boscastle
One of the oldest coaching hotels in Cornwall, it dates back to the 17th century but was sadly damaged in the flood which devastated the village in 2004, but has since been restored to its former glory.
As well opening its doors to thousands of guests over the year, the hotel has also played host to plenty of spooked. Guests have reported seeing the ghost of a coachman walking the corridors. There's also the ghost of a little girl, and a spirit of an old lady has also been spotted walking through solid walls.
Room nine is said to be the most haunted part of the hotel, many guests have reported icy blasts, shadowy figures and even a presence stood over their bed in the dead of night.
1. HMP Shepton Mallet, Shepton Mallet
The grade II listed prison, also known as Cornhill was the oldest operating prison in the UK when it closed in 2013. At this time it was home to almost 200 inmates severing the final years of their life sentences.
Dating back to 1625, the prison has a pretty grim past. Originally men, women and children were packed into Shepton Mallet together, apparently in dreadful conditions. The cells held debtors, thieves, vagrants and people with mental health disorders. Poor amenities and primitive sanitation led to frequent outbreaks of ulcers, jaundice, asthma and venereal diseases.
Over the years there were plenty of deaths in this formidable prison, including murders, suicide, accidents and judicial executions. The total number of hangings at the prison is unknown, but some of the documented execution include a local man who battered a 10-year-old girl to death, a man who drowned his wife in the River Avon, and a man who cut his 37-year-old girlfriend's throat.
The body's of executed criminals weren't allowed to be buried in consecrated ground, so they were laid to rest in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison.
With almost 400 years of detaining murderers, violent criminals and notorious gangsters, plus a history of brutal executions, cruel punishments, suicides, and countless dead in unmarked graves within the prison walls, it's no wonder HMP Shepton Mallet is said to be the most haunted prison in the country.
The areas of the prison which are said to be the most active are the prison's eerie kitchens, the general's office, and the exercise yard, which is reportedly haunted by a former inmate, Captain Philip William Ryal, who climbed onto the roof of the prison and took his own life in 1914. Ever since his final words, "get back," have been heard echoing around the yard by inmates.
A cell in A Wing is reportedly haunted by a former inmate who was murdered here, while in B Wing visitors report the most negative energy in the whole of the three-acre site.
C Wing has a regular spook too in the former of a 'white lady', it's said she was wrongly convicted of murdering her fiancé, and sentenced to death in the 17th century. She's seen wearing her wedding dress, which she apparently wore in the condemned cell the night before her execution.
The prison is also said to be haunted by spirit of an American serviceman. He's been seen walking through walls in the prison in his uniform. He's thought to have been killed in the yard by a stray bullet from American army firing squad while overseeing an execution.