Read our list of English villages that have the most haunted buildings, paranormal hotspots and haunting phenomenon to their name ranked by the number of distinct hauntings.
The list includes Pluckley, which for over thirty years has been described as England's most haunted village. Despite the fact that reports of paranormal activity is rare in the village today, it's hard to dispute its haunted history due to the volume of unique sightings.
Find out where Pluckly and nine of England's other most historic and picturesque villages rank in out list of the most haunted villages in England.
10. Tarvin, Cheshire
The unassuming village of Tarvin sits close to the River Gowy near Chester and has a ghost that links several points across the village, including Hockenhull Hall, some old packhorse bridges, and the Headless Woman pub.
The picturesque village is said to be haunted by the headless ghost of a woman named Grace who was a maid at Hockenhull Hall. She was beheaded by parliamentarian soldiers under Oliver Cromwell for refusing to give up the location of her master's hidden valuables after they found her hiding in a local inn. She was murdered in the inn and her body discarded at nearby Hockenhull Platts, a series of three stone Roman bridges.
Her apparition has reportedly been seen wandering around the village carrying her own severed head. She's most frequently been seen around Hockenhull Hall and along the bridal way that runs from the hall and through Hockenhull Platts. She's also said to have haunted the inn where she was killed, which was aptly renamed The Headless Woman, but was sadly demolish despite protests from locals in 2014.
9. Borley, Essex
The famous haunting of Borley Rectory firmly put this Essex village on the map of haunted Great Britain. For several decades the large Gothic-style home held the title of the most haunted house in England, and perhaps it still would had it not burnt to the ground in 1939. Paranormal activity reported at the rectory ranged from hearing unexplained footsteps within the house, to sightings of the ghost of a nun who was often spotted at twilight in the grounds, and even a phantom coach driven by two headless horsemen.
However, the rectory wasn't the only haunted building in the village, another stands to this day. Borley church is situated close to the site of the former rectory and is said to be haunted by the ghost of a nun and a headless monk, plus there have been reports of the church's bells ringing on their own. The nun is said to have had an illicit affair with a monk from a nearby benedictine monastery. The monk was executed and the nun was buried alive in the wall of the convent, which was located near the church and its rectory.
8. Avebury, Wiltshire
The Wiltshire village of Avebury is a magical place. Standing in the middle of an ancient stone circle it is one of the most famous paranormal hotspots in Great Britain. The whole area is supposed to be haunted by an old druid priest.
Right in the middle of the circle is the Red Lion, a building which has been a pub since 1802, but dates back to the 1600s. The pub is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman named Florrie, who was killed during the Civil War by her jealous husband. It's also said that a local man was murdered in the cellar.
7. Castleton, Derbyshire
Castleton sits in the middle of the Peak District at the western end of the Hope Valley, it is known for its extensive naturally-formed underground caverns and also its ghost stories.
The village's most famous spooks are the ghosts of a couple named Henry and Clara who had eloped to get married. While traveling through Winnats Pass to the west of the village on a dark windy night in 1758, they were ambushed and killed for their valuables by a gang of thieves. Their bodies were hidden in a nearby mine where they were found years later. The couple are now said to haunt the pass and have been heard begging their killers for mercy.
Down in the town on Castle Street is Castle Hotel, where a man named Thomas who hanged himself is said to haunt. There's also reportedly the ghost of a nurse spotted in the cellar, and the ghost of a bride seen in her wedding dress. The village is overlooked by Peveril Castle from a hill to the south, one of the earliest Norman fortresses. The sound of ghostly singing has been heard echoing from the castle, and there have been reports of an apparition of a knight and a phantom black dog.
6. Boscastle, Cornwall
Boscastle is a picturesque village and fishing port on the north Cornish coast. The village is known for its historic links to witchcraft and today has a popular witchcraft museum. The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is one of the village's best known paranormal hotspots and is now a popular haunt for ghost hunters.
The other side of the River Valency is a 17th-century coaching inn, the Wellington Hotel. The hotel has got at least four haunted bedrooms. The ghost of an old lady is supposed to haunt most of the rooms of the second floor. She's been witnessed many times walking through the door of room nine, without even opening it. The apparition of a tall man with a ponytail wearing Victorian-style clothing has also been seen roaming the hotel's corridors.
The ghost of a little boy who drowned trying to save his friend in the river has been seen walking up and down a corridor that runs alongside the cellar, where a dark presence has also been reported.
Down towards the harbour is the Grade II listed Penally House, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of its former owner, Colonel Hawker. He's been seen from outside the property in the form of a figure walking past the window, while inside he's been blamed for disembodied footsteps heard walking around the building.
5. Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire
Stoney Middleton sits at the foot of Middleton Dale, surrounded by limestone cliffs and dense vegetation. The village's most famous ghost is that of a notorious 18th-century highwayman called Black Harry. He was executed in the village for his crimes and his spirit is said to still roam the area in the form of a dar cloaked figure that is usually seen at night by drivers.
At one time the small village boasted 12 pubs, but now just one remains, The Moon Inn. It was here that a Scottish pedlar was killed while the landlord of the time turned a blind eye. The victim's body was thrown into Calswalk Cavern on the edge of the village, where it remained undiscovered for many years. The pedlar is now said to haunt both the pub and the caves.
Stoney Middleton is also known for a haunting that dates back to 1762, when the heartbroken Hannah Baddeley tried to take her life by jumping from a cliff overlooking the village. Thankfully, she survived the fall after her clothing got caught up in trees. As a result, the ledge is now known as Lover's Leap. It's now said that she haunts the area, including the building at the bottom of the drop.
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4. Zennor, Cornwall
Like many coastal villages in Cornwall, Zennor has links to smugglers, pirates and the occult. This dark past has lead to claims that it is haunted. The Tinners Arms is one of the village's paranormal hotspots. Here drinkers have seen a dark shadowy figure believed to be the ghost of a miner, and have experienced objects moving of their own accord and pictures suddenly falling off of walls.
It's claimed that the famous occultist Aleister Crowley has been linked to a dilapidated shack on the edge of the village known as Carn Cottage. The very whisper of any association has led some locals to believe that the building is haunted, perhaps due to claims that Crowley attempted to summon up the Devil himself there.
Zennor's best known ghost story tells of a well-dressed woman who would often attend services at the village's St. Senara's Church. The locals soon became enchanted by her angelic singing voice. In particular she gained the admiration of a chorister named Matthew Trewhella. One day Matthew followed her to her home at Pendour Cove and the two were never seen again.
Then one Sunday a ship cast anchor about a mile from the cove, shortly after a mermaid appeared, and asked that the anchor be raised, as it was resting on her door, and she was unable to reach her children. The villagers of Zennor concluded that this mermaid must be the same mysterious woman who had visited their church and had enticed Matthew to come and live with her.
On summer nights, it's said that the lovers can be heard singing together at the church, where a specially decorated "mermaid chair" can be seen to this day.
3. Pluckley, Kent
The hauntings in the picturesque village of Pluckley were enough to earn the village the title of the most haunted village in England in the 1989 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, a category that Guinness hasn't included in subsequent publications. Since then very few reports of paranormal activity have come from the village, leading us to believe things have quietened down. Therefore Pluckley has dropped a couple of places down our ghostly village rankings.
The ghostly sightings in the Kent village include that of a threatening monk seen in a house known as Greystones, the apparition of an 18th century highwayman murdered in a part of the village called Fright Corner, and a phantom gypsy woman seen in the form of a pink glowing mist at Pinock Bridge.
According to local legend, several suicides have taken place in the village and the victims now haunt the spots where they died. A colonel was said to have hanged himself in Park Wood where his ghost is now seen hanging from a tree. A teacher also hanged himself, his ghost has been seen in Dicky Buss's Lane, and an apparition known as the Lady of Rose Court is said to have taken her own life with poison.
Other paranormal hotspots in the village include St Nicholas' Church, which is allegedly haunted by two spirits - the ghost of the Red Lady and the ghost of Lady Dering, also known as the White Lady. The church is also said to be haunted by a phantom dog.
At Maltman's Hill the disembodied sound of horses' hooves have been witnessed and a phantom horse-drawn coach has been seen. Elsewhere, the ghost of a miller roams the site of his former windmill that was destroyed by lightning, and the screams of a worker crushed to death in an accident at a brickworks are still heard.
If that weren't enough, the woodland on the edge of the village is also said to be haunted. Screams have been heard coming from Dering Woods in the dead of night, earning the area the nickname the Screaming Woods.
The village, which also boasts not one, but two haunted pubs - The Black Horse Inn and The Blacksmith's Arms - has also played host to several paranormal television shows including 'Most Haunted' and 'Celebrity Haunted Hotel Live'.
The Guinness Book Of Records 1989Most haunted village? Pluckley in Kent is generally thought to be the most haunted village in England boasting at least twelve spiritous inhabitants. These include both a White and a Red Lady at St Nicholas Church, a Highwayman at Fright Corner, a Screaming Man at the brickworks and a spectral Coach and Horses at various locations. Both pubs cater for more than one kind of spirit. Dancing round the Devil's Bush three times is supposed to guarantee the personal appearance of its namesake-provided the dancer is naked of course.
2. Tutbury, Staffordshire
Tutbury is set on the banks of the River Dove and surrounded by the lush and rolling farmland of Staffordshire. It's best known for its imposing ruined medieval castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned four times.
The castle itself is said to be haunted. There have been countless reports of dark ghostly shadows that block doorways, the apparition of a tall man in full armour, and a mysterious hooded phantom. There's also said to be one terrifying room, the king's bedroom, that had to be closed to the public as people were fainting for no apparent reason. Plus sightings of a phantom black dog seen stood on top of the castle's ruined walls.
The ghosts aren't confined to the castle, over the years Tutbury residents have reported seeing soldiers marching through the area and even allegedly through their homes. There's also been reports of locals hearing invisible horses walking the streets in the dead of night.
The village has two haunted pubs, the Dog & Partridge on High Street where a Grey Lady has been seen, and The Leopard on Monk Street, which is said to be haunted by a former resident named Charlie.
1. Calverton, Nottinghamshire
The historic village of Calverton in Nottinghamshire is so haunted that it became the subject of a 2019 episode of the television show 'Help! My House Is Haunted' in which a team of paranormal investigators attempted to get to the bottom of not only the village's many hauntings, but also the history of a dark secretive religious sect that formed in Calverton.
In the middle of the village is The Admiral Rodney pub, which is said to be plagued by paranormal activity resulting from three distinct ghosts, including the ghost of a former barmaid. Further along the road is Calverton Folk Museum, which is said to have a sinister and oppressive atmosphere. This negative atmosphere resulted in an electrician refusing to work alone in the building.
Many motorists are too scared to drive along Georges Lane at night. There have been reports of dark figures seen crossing the road and even ghostly hitchhikers suddenly appearing in the back seat of cars. Off of the lane is Foxwood, known by some locals as "witches' wood" due to its alleged connections to witchcraft.
Some of the homes in the village are said to be haunted too, including one on Main Street. When a prospective buyer viewed the house in the 1940s she felt as if she were touched by an unseen hand and heard a voice whisper in her ear.
The now demolished Calverton Hall was also said to be haunted. Locals refused to walk past the building alone and dogs pulled away when they were walked along the pavement outside. There were also reports of a female apparition which was seen passing through the hall's walls, or she simply vanished before their eyes.
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