This article is more than six years old and was last updated in May 2019.
Where To Look For Ghosts In The UK This Halloween
With Halloween fast approaching, you may be on the hunt for some local ghosts, but where in the UK are you most likely to spot a spook?
I number crunched a list of thousands of reports of paranormal activity across the whole country, the three areas of the UK which claim to have experienced the most odd happenings were Yorkshire, Greater London, and Lancashire.
However, it's no surprise that the most reports came from these parts of the country, as these are the locations with the highest population. With eight and a half million people in Greater London, it's obviously going to be high on the list.
So, in compiling this list of the twenty places where you're most likely to spot a ghost, I've calculated the likelihood of seeing a ghost based on the population in each area.
On average, people in Scotland see the most ghosts with 2.1 reports made for every 10k Scots. The Welsh were next with 1.9 sightings per 10k. England came in third on average with 1.75 paranormal reports per 10k people, and at the bottom of the list was Ireland with 1.3.
These national averages are far below the score achieved by the top regional hotspots, all of the locations in the top twenty reported more than four instances of paranormal activity for every ten thousand people living in the area.
The number one location notched a whooping 27 reports per 10k people, a whole factor of magnitude higher than the average score for England.
We start in the Scottish county of Angus on the easy coast. The area isn't a hotbed of paranormal activity as such, but has a very high number of sightings for the number of residents. The reports include an old lady in blue spotted in Dundee, and a floating head seen in the Benrachett Inn.
Photo: © Jeff P McDonald
Shropshire is second place on our list, a county that's well known to paranormal researchers for many of its famously haunted location, including the 12th century Whittington Castle, which featured in a 2016 episode of 'Most Haunted'.
The county is also known for hauntings at Shrewsbury Castle, ghostly chants at White Ladies Priory, and ghosts caught on camera at the Prince Rupert Hotel.
Next up is Norfolk, coming it at number 19. The county in East Anglia boasts four reports of haunting for every ten thousand people living in the area. Which not surprising when you realise that one of the most famous ghost ever seen in a photograph was captured on camera in Norfolk.
The "Brown Lady", also known as the ghost of Raynham Hall in Norfolk is believed to be Lady Dorothy Townshend, it was rumoured that her husband suspected her of having an affair and locked her away in a remote corner of the house until her death many years later.
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Cumbria is known to be a haunted place, especially the county town of Carlisle, including the town's ancient castle and the near by hotel, where some very odd poltergeist activity was caught on camera in 2014.
16. Scottish Borders
The Scottish Borders are said to be home to a female ghost often seen wearing a lacy dress at the former location of Allanbank Hall in Allanton, and a friendly ghost that helps to keep Cranshaws Tower clean.
Earlier this year, a Borders family made the news when they offered up a £50,000 a year salary for a nanny who would be prepared to work in their house which they claimed was haunted.
15. Dumfries & Galloway
13. Isle Of Wight
Photo: © Dave Pape
Photo: © Trish Steel
The county of Cornwall in the south west of England and home to plenty of myths and ghost stories, even with its relatively small population. All this means that 5.5 reports have been made for every 10k people living in Cornwall.
Cornwall's most famous haunted location is undoubtably the Jamaica Inn. More than 100 years ago a stranger walked into the 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.
The first welsh location to make it in to our top twenty, and from this point on the number of reports per head jumps massively. The north Wales county has a relatively small number of ghost reports but with a small population in this rural part of the country, it works out that out of every ten thousand people, seven have reported a ghost.
Somerset is the location of the mythical vale of Avalon, which is said to be a legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend. There's also stories of beast on Exmoor and plenty of haunted pubs scattered across the county.
This year, one of the county's most haunted locations was opened to the public. HM Shepton Mallet prison recently closed and is now open to the public for tours as well as ghost hunts.
'Most Haunted' presenter Yvette Fielding described the prison as one of the most terrifying places she's ever visited.
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Wiltshire is a huge county which is steeped in plenty of myth, it's the location of Stonehenge and Avebury's magical stone circle.
Last year I visited a famous haunted pub in the Somerset town of Devizes. The Black Swan Hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a murdered woman. Shadowy figures have been reported in the building, as well as cold spots and strange tapping.
I tried to capture some EVP recordings while in the hotel. I don't think there are any voices captured in the recording but there are some odd noises.
8. Scottish Highlands
7. Argyll & Bute
Photo: © Spencer Means
Dorset has had almost nine reports for every 10k members of the local population. In the paranormal world, Dorset is known for its screaming skull and for the notoriously haunted, manor house at Sandford Orcas.
Hauntings reported at the manor house include the ghost of a farmer who was seen from a window, an old woman has been reported on the stairs, and a man in armour has been spotted around the house. Other have reported witnessing a man in evening dress, the smell of burning tobacco, and stomping feet.
5. Shetland Islands
The Shetland Islands have reported fewer ghost sightings than any other location on this list but because of their small population, it works out a 11 reports for every ten thousands people living there. This means your statistically pretty likely to spot a ghost here, it's only beaten by four other places.
4. Outer Hebrides
Photo: © Derek Voller
3. Orkney Islands
Our last visit to Scotland in this top twenty, in the Orkney Islands the equivalent of a massive 19 in every ten thousand people have reported strange goings on.
2. Hereford & Worcester
Just missing out on the top spot is Hereford & Worcester where for every ten thousand people there are 23 reports of paranormal activity.
I recently visited one of the area's most haunted locations, Drakelow Tunnels. Above are the audio highlights of the ghost hunt at the former underground, wartime aircraft factory in Kidderminster.
I recorded audio with a Sony digital audio recorder for the whole four hours and spent today picking out the best bits and the bits which were loud enough to be picked up by the microphone. The audio includes the mysterious whistling sound we heard, the moment something was thrown/fell in the kitchen, and our reaction to the flashing lights we witnessed during the table tipping experiment.
1. County Durham
The beautiful county in the northeast of England, tops our list of the twenty places in the UK where you're statistically most likely to see a ghost.
Some of the county's paranormal hotspots include Durham Castle where a shadowy figure has been seen, and Durham Cathedral's "Passage of Horror."
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