The West Midlands region is one of the most populated parts of the UK and is rich in history. It includes the Black Country - which was a driving force during the industrial revolution, Warwickshire - home to Stratford-upon-Avon the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and Shrewsbury a town rich in history with plenty of haunted history. The longest river in the UK, the River Severn, flows through the region and Ironbridge Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With so many people living and dying in the region, so much history and emotion attached to the region's beautiful towns and landscapes, it's no surprise that the West Midlands has some of the most haunted places in the country. Below are the ten locations that are most famous for their paranormal activity.
The Ancient High House was built in around 1595, for the wealthy Dorrington family, the ornate timber-framed exterior of the building, is said to be the largest surviving timber frame Tudor townhouse in England.
Footsteps have been heard walking along empty corridors, doors open and close of their own accord, disembodied voices are heard in the dead of night and ghostly figures are seen wandering the building, including a terrifying ghost of a woman who passes through a wall where a door used to be.
The Victorian Room is one of the building's paranormal hotspots. A writing desk in the room has become infamous with the museum staff, because it apparently locks and unlocks itself at will. The ghost of a young child has also been seen here, but when approached, she disappears and the ghost of an old woman has been seen in a rocking chair.
One paranormal incident led to the police being called to the building, the officer arrived and was told their was an intruder inside, but when people described the person to him, he couldn't believe what he was hearing as they were describing a gentleman known to the police man who passed away a few years before.
The Leopard Inn pub in Stoke-on-Trent hss entertained guests for at least 300 years, but where there's history, there's haunting. The pubs landlady, Sharon Crisp says she was a skeptic when she moved into the historic inn, located in Burslem, the mother town of the Potteries.
But during her time running the pub, she's seen dark shadowy figures, witnessed doors slamming, glasses being thrown and the last orders bell in the bar is also said to ring on its own. Sharon was even hit in the head by an unseen force on one occasion. One of the bar staff also reported hearing unseen children singing the nursery rhyme, 'ring o' ring o' roses'.
The top floor of the pub, which was once a hotel, is now unused and has fallen into disrepair. In the room which is said to have once used as a children's nursery, lots of people have witnessed the sound of children playing, laughing and running around. A music box in the room is also said to mysteriously play on its own.
The castle as it stands today was built in 1068, but settlements on the site date back more than 150 years before this. The castle saw its fair share of battles, it was attacked in 1264, besieged in 1642 and damage by fire in 1871. And of course with an interesting history comes interesting spooks.
Probably the castle's best known ghost is that of Sir Fulke Greville, who is said to haunt the tower. Greville is a former resident of the castle who was murdered within the castle's walls in 1628 by a servant. There's also said to be a negative entity that resides in the dungeon, poltergeist activity has been witnessed, as well as extreme temperature changes, light anomalies, and the sensation of being physically pushed or grabbed.
When you imagine a haunted house, the image you conjure up in your head won't be far off Guy's Cliffe, it's the typical haunted house. It has dungeons, winding stir cases, creepy portraits, dark corners, creaking doors, an imposing clock tower, gothic windows and lots and lots of history, and in World War II the building was used as a school for evacuated children.
This property is made up of the ruins of a grade II listed manor house which dates back to 1751 but fell in to disrepair in the 1950s and was destroyed by fire. Behind the ruins was an adjoining building, St Mary's Chapel. The basement of this chapel used to include the house's servants' quarters.
In the 1970s, the chapel was restored by the Freemason. Today the two Freemason temples contained in the chapel are decorated with eerie Masonic symbols and objects and are used for their ceremonies.
Recent visitors have reported making contact with the spirits of Freemasons, children, and servants from the house. Most of the spirits are said to be male as historically the site is quite male dominated.
At one point in its life, part of chapel was used as a brewery and some mischievous ghosts known as the "Brewery Boys" are said to haunt this area. While out in the grounds a mischievous stable boy called Jacob has been witnessed in the coachhouse which is carved into the rock of Guy's Cliffe.
Birmingham's Steelhouse Lane Lockup, a historic Grade II listed police station which operated for 125 years. The prison was built in 1892 and has housed some of the most infamous convicts in British criminal history, including members of the Peaky Blinders gang, and the mass murderer Fred West.
The grim prison is packed full of small cells on all its floors, and inmates would be confined to their cells as there's no dining area or exercise yard in this fairly small city centre prison. It was used as a remand prison, which meant criminals stayed here while on trial, hence the lack of facilities you'd find in a longterm penal establishment.
In recent years, the grand old building started to struggle to cope with the demands of modern policing and in 2017 its doors were slammed shut for the final time. Like most prison, Birmingham Central Lockup has its fair share of ghost stories. Many people have reported seeing dark shadows walking across empty corridors, and objects moving on their own. They've heard the moans of a distraught woman throughout the day and night, as well as the loud slamming of heavy doors, jangling keys, and heavy footsteps. Most of the paranormal activity is said to happen in cell B23.
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?
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Ettington Park has been a luxury hotel since 1983, but was once home to the Shirleys, one of Warwickshire's oldest families. The house is said to be haunted by various ghosts. Staff and guests have reported icy chills, disembodied voices, footsteps, and even a candle which appeared to float through the air. The ghost of an old woman in Victorian clothing has been seen walking around the building. There's also as spirit of a man and his dog who haunt the library.
The hotel's two most famous spook are a woman in white and a woman in grey. The lady spotted in the white gown has been seen around dusk and throughout the night walking along the corridors, before passing through a wall. While the grey lady is seen floating at the foot of the stairs where she's believed to have fallen to her death at some point in the building's past.
There's been a prison on the site since 1793, however the building as it currently stands was built in 1877. The prison has seen thousands of prisoners come and go over the years, including women up until 1922. The prison walls have witnessed many deaths over the years, including, murders, and inmates taking their own lives, so many suicides in fact that an enquiry was opened after three inmates hanged themselves over a period of just two weeks.
The prison's A-wing is said to be the most haunted, perhaps due to its dark history of suicides resulting in sad, angry souls being trapped between this world and the next. Most of those who took their own live did so on A-wing, at one point there was one a week.
Plenty of judicial execution were also carried out at the prison. In 1885 five prisoners were hanged in a single day. The hanging room was used until 1961, and was then converted into a group session room. This is said to be a very active area, possibly due to its location next to the condemned cell and with the mortuary is underneath it.
When the prison was in operation, some officers refused to work in C Wing alone at night, they've reported being pushed down stairs, hearing doors slamming, noises like moving all around them, and footsteps. It's said the atmosphere can change in the blink of an eye.
It is believed that one of the female prisoners has refused to leave, she has been seen dressed in a grey uniform many times walking the upper levels. She walks from cell 3 toward the execution room.
The ruins of the castle stand in the town of Dudley, fortification on this site dates back to 1071 following the Norman invasion in 1066. The castle is said to be home to many spirits including the Grey Lady who is believed to be the ghost of Dorothy Beaumont, who once lived in the castle and died there following complications after giving birth to her daughter. Her ghost is most often reported at the castle's keep in the form of unexplained sounds, and icy blasts of air which are often accompanied by a strange blue mist.
However, the most haunted part of the castle is the chapel undercroft, where you'll find a stone coffin which is said to have once help the body of one of the castle's most infamous residents, John Somery. His ghost has been spotted as disembodied legs beside the coffin. Others have reported feeling him tug at their clothing as they walk through this part of the castle.
Like Dover Castle, Dudley also has the ghost of a drummer boy who was said to have been killed by a stray bullet during the Civil War. He's mostly heard at night beating out drum rolls as if in battle. People have also reported seeing dark shadowy figures, hearing strange sounds throughout the castle, and even witnessed a chair flipping over during a paranormal investigation.
The tunnels were originally excavated to house the Drakelow Underground Dispersal Factory where Rover produced aircraft parts for the Air Ministry, after the Second World War it was refitted and put on standby during the Cold War as a bunker for the local government.
According to newspaper reports at the time, at least three men were killed by a roof fall while digging out the tunnels in the 1940s, there are reports since of factory workers being killed underground after being hit by trucks and while riding conveyor belts.
Modern-day visitors who dare to wander through the darkness have reported hearing strange noises, screaming and cries, and disembodied voices.
The tunnels are believed to have been built under an ancient hill fort which had its own graveyard where hundreds of bodies were buried. During the tunnelling the dead were disturbed and as a result a "demon guardian" of the burial ground is said to take a disliking to anyone who enters the tunnels.
This could account for sightings of a dark shadowy figure which has been seen by visitors. Airsoft participants have pursued fellow players in the darkness, only to turn a corner and find themselves faced with a dead end and no figure anywhere to be seen.