The misty islands of the UK are truly blessed (or is it cursed?) with a bewildering array of macabre, morbid and mysterious tales of supernatural goings on. But whether or not you believe in things that go bump in the night, there’s no denying the strange otherworldly pull of a ghostly tale.
The great thing for campervan owners is that many of the most haunted locations are also interesting in their own right. From haunted villages and pubs to terrifying woods and castles, there’s sure to be a location that’ll send shivers down your spine on your next holiday adventure.
If you want to make sure you can always make a quick getaway, then you’ll need to arrange insurance for a campervan to cover you in any eventuality. Although you may not be covered for poltergeist activity! So, let’s get started on our most haunted tour of the UK.
Possibly the most haunted village in England (according to the Guinness Book of World Records no less), don’t let the sleepy charms of this picturesque Wealden village deceive you. Behind the quaint visage, Pluckley is beset with more than its fair share of paranormal tales.
With 12 ‘official’ ghosts, but perhaps more, there’s one to suit any occasion. These include the White Lady and the Red Lady who both wander the churchyard of St Nicholas Church, an angry highwayman hiding in a tree, the hanging body of a schoolmaster and even a phantom coach and horses!
And if you’re considering a spot of wild camping then be warned. There have been reports of piercing screams echoing through the nearby Dering Woods. Even earning it the nickname of Screaming Woods. You might need a pint of strong Kentish ale to help steady your nerves for the night ahead!
If you can ignore any ghostly wanderings, wild camping can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you’re covered by adequate campervan insurance in case of mishaps.
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter and like dressing as a witch or wizard then you might want to steer well clear of the tiny Essex town of Manningtree.
Back in the early 17th Century, Manningtree was the home of self-professed ‘Witchfinder General’ Matthew Hopkins. His obsession with witchcraft led to the deaths of nearly 400 innocent people during East Anglia’s infamous witch trials.
While we hope many of his victims are resting peacefully in their graves, that doesn’t seem the case for Hopkins himself. His ghost has been spotted many times in the area, particularly near a pond in the neighbouring village of Mistley, where he ordered so many to be drowned.
Apparently, Hopkins must also have liked a good pint, as his ghost has been spotted hanging around The Mistley Thorn Hotel, The White Hart Inn and The Red Lion pub!
Borley Rectory, Essex
Once known as the most haunted house in England, Borley Rectory was built in 1863 on the site of an old Benedictine monastery.
This was probably a bad idea as the large Gothic-style house became infamous for the terrifying experiences many of its owners encountered.
Apparitions included a spectral nun (who was believed to have been bricked up alive for falling in love with a monk), two headless horsemen, a phantom carriage and much poltergeist activity.
Unfortunately, following a fire in 1939 the house was badly damaged and subsequently knocked down. While the ghostly activity appears to have lessened, the grounds still hold an eerie atmosphere like few other locations.
Theatre Royal, London
Theatrical types love a good story and many theatres in the UK report ghostly happenings once the stage lights go down. And the Theatre Royal, in London’s Drury Lane, is no exception with a whole audience of ghosts and apparitions waiting in the wings to scare superstitious actors and theatre staff.
Usually seen as harbingers of a great run of performances these ghosts are all part and parcel of theatre life. If we could choose to spot one then it would have to be the ‘Man in Grey’.
He appears in full 18th Century regalia, complete with powdered wig, riding hat and sword. Even the ghosts know how to put on a good show when it comes to wowing the crowds!
Ham House, Surrey
If you’re in the mood for some ghost hunting then a National Trust membership might be useful as many of their finest locations are also haunted.
Situated on the outskirts of London, visitors to the 17th Century Ham House have reported cold spots, the sound of ghostly footsteps and an inexplicable scent of roses.
All of this paranormal activity is reportedly connected to a quite remarkable woman, Elizabeth Murray, Duchess of Lauderdale.
It's said that her ruthless ambition to climb the social ladder meant that even death wouldn’t part her from this fine house.
Blickling Hall, Norfolk
When it comes to headless ghosts then they don’t come more famous than that of Anne Boleyn, the tragic second wife of the tyrannical King Henry VIII.
This enormous Grade II listed stately home and estate in Norfolk was the seat of the ambitious Boleyn family. It’s now allegedly haunted not only by Anne but also her father Sir Thomas Boleyn.
While Anne returns to the house every May on the anniversary of her execution, her father also wanders the estate grounds at dawn. Apparently attempting to cross the extensive grounds before daybreak.
A further ghost you might encounter is that of Sir John Fastolf of Caister who served as the inspiration for Shakespeare’s comic character Sir John Falstaff.
If you do decide to visit Blickling Hall then it’s also worth exploring its stunning collection of early modern books, extensive parkland and gardens, and its five hundred acres of woodland.
There are lots of walks here providing every visitor with something to wonder at.
Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire
Claiming to be the most haunted building in England, this Grade II listed former inn was built back in the 12th Century on the site of an ancient Pagan burial ground – will they ever learn?
Don’t mess with ancient burial grounds! Among the 20 ghosts who are regularly encountered here are a little lost girl, a rather saucy gentleman who pushes people onto beds, and an angry witch.
The creepy stairway is also a particular spot for sightings. If you’re wanting a pint then you’re out of luck, it’s no longer a pub. Instead, it now hosts regular paranormal events and investigations for those wanting to contact the other side.
Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
Managed by English Heritage, Berry Pomeroy is the site of a rather grand Tudor castle tucked away in a deep wooded valley.
Unfortunately, this Grade II listed castle was never completed and it was abandoned hundreds of years ago.
Now in ruins, it has a number of creepy tales attached to it. As well as the obligatory blood-curdling screams and chills there are several ghosts still drifting around the place.
In the upstairs window of the highest tower, the Blue Lady sometimes appears. Not to be confused with the White Lady who haunts the dungeons.
While there have also been sightings of two brothers who leapt from the castle’s ramparts to get away from their enemies.
A short drive from here can be found Totnes Castle and Dartmouth Castle. Making this an ideal family day out.
At night it’s probably best avoided – unless you have a particularly brave (or foolish) constitution!
Margam Country Park, West Glamorgan, Wales
Beautiful by day but unnerving by night, there’s little hope of escaping ghostly presences when you visit Margam Country Park in South Wales. The imposing ruins of the 12th Century Margam Abbey and neighbouring gothic castle have long been the source of terrifying tales.
Ancient monks have given visitors a fright at the ruined Capel Mair ar y Bryn above the castle.
While the spirits of an unjustly murdered gamekeeper and a blacksmith have been known to stalk the castle and its grounds.
Plas Mawr, Conwy, Wales
Dating from the end of the 16th Century, Pas Mawr is perhaps Britain’s finest town house of the golden Elizabethan age. Built for Robert Wynn, the hard working third son of a local landowner, this meticulously preserved architectural gem is rightfully one of the most beloved buildings in Wales.
However, anywhere boasting this level of grandeur has to have the odd ghost or two to entertain the guests.
Over the years, staff working at the Cadw site have seen a little girl in a white bonnet, and a ‘man and a boy’ in one of the bedrooms. Perhaps the most famous ghost tale is that of Dr Dick.
A young doctor with a ‘highly nervous temperament’ who, having failed to save Robert Wynn’s wife, son, and unborn baby after an accident, fled into the darkness of the complex chimney system and was never heard from again.
Aston Hall, West Midlands
This imposing red-brick Jacobean mansion was built in the 1630s. Its very first resident, Sir Thomas Holte, was a particularly ruthless character who soon went about building up a powerful store of death and tragedy.
He started off by murdering his cook while in a violent rage. He also imprisoned his daughter for 16 years until her death after she fell in love with one of the servants.
Other spectral inhabitants include Holte’s houseboy Dick who was so terrified of his master that he hung himself. And a ‘green lady’, who is thought to be his housekeeper.
The building was badly damaged during the English Civil War so don’t be surprised if you also see some ghostly Royalist soldiers hanging around, too!
After all, several members of the Royalist garrison were murdered here after Parliamentarian troops seized the building. There’s even a cannonball hole in the staircase as a reminder of the hall’s violent past.
Treasurer’s House, York
Founded in 71AD by the Romans, York has a particularly rich and fascinating history. And this picturesque house just behind York Minster in the centre of the city has some strong psychic connections indeed to that time.
But it’s beneath the house you’ll have to journey if you want to witness the spectral evidence for this.
Down in the cellar there’s a reportedly haunted Roman road along which visitors have seen marching Roman military phantoms. These may well be some of the oldest known ghosts on this list!
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Looming high above the Scottish capital, the imposing fortress of Edinburgh Castle is perhaps the most obvious place to go ghost hunting in Scotland, if not the world.
Just some of the numerous paranormal reports include the ghosts of former prisoners in the dungeons, a lonely young boy playing the bagpipes, and a rather grisly headless drummer on the battlements.
Fortunately, most people have just heard the sound of his lonely drumming!
Springhill House, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
A rather sad ghost tale hangs over the pretty 17th Century plantation house of Springhill in Northern Ireland.
Tormented by her husband’s suicide, the kindly spirit of Olivia Lenox-Conyngham is said to have a particularly fondness for children and chooses to only appear during the day. A friendly ghost indeed!
Don’t go ghost hunting without campervan insurance
When setting off on a ghost hunt you’ll need to be well prepared to visit some mysterious but out-of-the-way places.
From lonely forests and moors to quaint villages and busy towns you’ll need to be well prepared for anything the real, and not so real, worlds can throw at you.
Exploring the realms between this world and the next can be a lot of fun. But you’ll want the team of insurance specialists at Motorhome Protect to keep your campervan well covered if you encounter something truly unexpected.
Cover from our panel of leading insurers can come with many benefits including:
- Cover for up to 365 days a year
- Cover for your campervan while you’re converting it
- Discounts if you’re a member of a club
- Up to £3,500 of cover for your camping personal effects
- Value up to £150,000
- Consideration of all claims and convictions
Get a campervan insurance quote from Motorhome Protect today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.