With Halloween around the corner, here are the ‘spookiest spaces’ around the UK, recommended by outdoor experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk.
A spokesman said: “These are places steeped in history, myths and legends, from cursed trees and old battlefields to vampires and witches.”
1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Hauntings have terrified members of staff at Heligan for many years, with one gardener simply refusing to lock up the garden on his own at night. A link is often made between the ‘atmosphere’ at Heligan, and the fact that so many staff were lost in the First World War.
The most haunted areas are the rockery, melon garden and fruit store, where some gardeners prefer to work in pairs. Visitors to the bothy have also reported a strange atmosphere and there have been tales of a malevolent sensation in the grotto area.
2. Green Park, London
A great place to head for a restful afternoon in the sun, but not all of the parkland is as welcoming. Legend has it that there’s one sinister “Death Tree” within the grounds which should be avoided at all costs. It’s said that anyone who falls asleep in the shade of the tree’s branches never wakes up again. The tree has only been identified in the past by claims of a black figure that’s been spotted under the tree, park wardens have said they’ve heard a man’s voice around the area, and moans have been heard coming from the tree.
3. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Home to the twelve Pendle Witches who were hanged at Lancaster Castle in 1612 and buried on the ominous hill overlooking the village of Newchurch, ghost hunters often climb the hill on Halloween to see if they can catch any ghostly activity.
4. Cannock Chase, West Midlands
Cannock Chase is a large densely woodland area that has become known as one the UK’s most active paranormal hotspots. Most famously it’s known for its ‘werewolf’ sightings, and the monster apparently prowls the outskirts of Stafford. There have been numerous reports from people who live in the area who say they’ve seen what they claim to be a ‘hairy wolf-type creature’ walking on its hind legs around the German War Cemetery, just off Camp Road, in between Stafford and Cannock. Several of the witnesses claim the creature sprang up on its hind legs and ran into the nearby bushes when it was spotted.
5. Bovey Heathfield Local Nature Reserve, Bovey Tracey
In the Bovey Heathfield Local Nature Reserve on the edge of Dartmoor an English Civil War battle is said to replay. The original battle took place here on 9 January 1646. Royalist troops, led by Lord Wentworth, were encamped on the heath, the Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell and General Fairfax advanced westwards through Devon, engaging Wentworth’s company here.
6. Queen’s Park, Glasgow
The 150-acre park is situated on the south side of the city and is the site of the Battle of Langside in 1568, which is said to have marked the start of the Marian civil war. Hundreds of the 10,000 men who fought here died, and it’s now said that the ghosts of the dead soldiers are spotted near the boating lake on the anniversary of the battle on May 13th.
7. Jenkyn Place, Hampshire
The ghost of a housekeeper has been dubbed ‘Mrs Waggs’, but a woman in white has often been seen wandering the garden. There have also been reports of the sound of a phantom coach pulling into the drive.
8. Rowton Moor, Chester
The Battle of Rowton Moor took place here during the English Civil War in 1645, and it appears to have left its mark on the land. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the conflict with a huge number of English soldiers brutally killed here.
The area is now said to be haunted by the ghosts of men on horseback, who apparently appear each year around September 24th. Visitors have reported hearing the faint sound of music echoing across the landscape, which is thought to be the ghost of William Lawes, King Charles’ court musician, who was shot down by a parliamentarian.
9. Berry Pomeroy, Devon
No one is quite sure what happened to Berry Pomeroy castle, as the shell of a once great building is all that’s left – hence why it’s made this list as, apart from a café, Berry Pomeroy is creepily empty. Allegedly a ‘Blue Lady’ is known for luring in passers-by only for them to fall of their death, and a ‘White Lady’ also haunts the dungeons after being imprisoned there.
10. Pluckley Village, Kent
The entire village of Pluckley has a reputation for being the most haunted in Britain – and it was named just that by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1989.
Between 12 and 16 ghost sightings have been reported in the village, including a screaming man, a highwayman who appears at Fright Corner, a schoolmaster found hanged by a group of children and an old woman who used to sit on a bridge smoking.
11. Highgate Cemetery, London
In a letter to the Hampstead and Highgate Express on February 6, 1970 a vampire sighting was reported by an onlooker who had noticed it when passing the cemetery. He said he glimpsed “a grey figure” and asked if others had seen anything similar. On February 13, several people replied describing a variety of ghosts said to haunt the cemetery or the adjoining Swains Lane. The ghosts were described as a tall man in a hat, a spectral cyclist, a woman in white, a face glaring through the bars of a gate, a figure wading into a pond, a pale gliding form, bells ringing, and voices calling.