With the third national coronavirus lockdown due to end, on April 12 the government will relax the 'stay local' message, which means that for the first time in months we can get out and visit some of our favourite creepy and fascinating haunted locations.
Like a lot of people, you might be hoping to make up for lost time and visit as many famous paranormal
hotspots as you can this summer, so to help you out we've put together a list of seven spooky places that are famous for their ghost stories in the South West of England.
Where possible with tried to pick open air locations and tourist attractions that will be allowed to open under the relaxed guidelines.
Hambledon Hill in Dorset is an ancient ritual burial site, now a National Nature Reserve, it has a history dating back 2,000 years. It's said to be one of the most important settlements in the west of England, and is one of the best examples of a hill fort in Europe. The hill is said to be haunted by the spirit of a phantom Roman Centurion who is reputed to walk the area.
This mysterious and magical oak woodland is thought to be what remains of a much larger forest that would have once covered much of the moor. What makes these ancient woods in Dartmoor National Park so unique is the shape and appearance of the trees. The branches are oddly twisted and contorted, stretching out and intertwining and twisting together like the crooked fingers of a witch. The spindly and gnarled trunks of the trees, some of which are as old as 500 years, zig-zag skywards from between a bed of granite boulders with a blanket covering of evergreen moss.
It's claimed that locals refuse to enter the woods at night due to its reputation of ghosts and hauntings. Wistman's Woods' most famous ghost is a phantom pooch known as Jumbo. It's said that he died while in the woods with his owner after being bitten by one of the many adders found there. Walkers have reported seeing the ghost of the small dog running around the boulders and his cries and whines have been heard echoing down the valley in the dead of night.
Another paranormal hotspot lies at the northern end of the woods. Lych Way, also known as "way of the dead" or "corpse road", was once a major route linking the remote communities of Dartmoor to the small village of Lydford. Corpses were carried along this track for burial in the village's cemetery. Locals and hikers say they've seen a ghostly procession of phantom monks in white robes walking slowly along this ancient pathway.
The woods are also said to house the diabolical hellhounds. This pack of large red-eyed jet black dogs with huge fangs are said to belong to the Devil himself. It's said that these terrifying beasts roam the moors at night with their master on the hunt for human flesh. Often they're said to be breathing fire or glowing, but they're always on the hunt for lost souls, unsuspecting travellers and unbaptised children.
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Avebury Stone Circle
One of the best known stone circles in the UK and the largest megalithic stone circle in the world. It's made up of three circles, around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire. Its original purpose is unknown, although it's believe that it was most likely used for rituals or ceremonies.
Avebury has become a sacred site to contemporary Pagans as well as practitioners of Druidry, Wicca and Heathenry. The village appeared in the 1970s children's television show 'Children of the Stones' as the fictional village of Milbury. The show claimed that the stones are the tip of a huge, underground, parabolic reflector, which channels energy from the earth into space.
The Red Lion, a 17th century coaching inn stands alongside the ancient stone circle 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, who is also said to haunt the pub.
Merlin's Cave in the Cornish coastal town of Tintagel, has a story rooted in Arthurian legend. The natural cave is accessible at low tide on the local beach, and some believe that the atmospheric cave is haunted by the ghost of the legendary wizard it takes its name from.
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.
Why not visit Cornwall's Bodmin Jail? The historic building has recently re-opened after a huge renovation making it one of the west country's most exciting new tourist attractions.
For almost 150 years Bodmin Jail was prison, during this 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."
Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished, Gothic revival house in Woodchester Park near Nympsfield. It was abandoned by its builders in the middle of construction, leaving behind a building that appears complete from the outside, but with floors, plaster and whole rooms missing inside.
The house has featured in many paranormal investigation television shows including 'Most Haunted Live', 'Hauntings', 'Scariest Places On Earth', and 'Ghost Hunters International'.
Bangs and knocking sounds have been heard in the building, and poltergeist activity such as stones being thrown have been witnessed by guests. In 2005 a local paranormal group spent the night in the mansion and captured what appeared to be a hooded apparition on CCTV.
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