The haunted stories of some of the UK’s most famous tourist attractions
Image credit: Jan Jakub Nanista / Unsplash
The UK is home to some of the most haunted places in the world, from deadly dungeons to grisly cemeteries, but did you know that some of your favorite tourist attractions are haunted too?
Holido, a vacation rental search engine, has compiled a list of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions that are also among the country’s most haunted sites.
Using the Higgy Pop Paranormal Hub database, which has over 350 entries from spooky sites across the UK, Holidu took a look at which of these paranormal places is most popular with tourists.
British Museum, London
The most popular haunted tourist attraction for 2021 is the British Museum in London.
This is a massive museum that exhibits two million years of human history and culture and some of the ancient artefacts and human remains are said to regularly frighten visitors and staff.
Museum guards have reported numerous cases of hearing things knocking at night, inexplicable noises and sudden drops in temperature at opening doors and sightings of ghosts.
A tourist destination that millions of people flock to every year, you might want to have your cool on your next visit.
The Tower of London, London
The Tower of London, located on the north bank of the Thames, is the first of many spooky castles in this ranking.
Founded in 1066, this castle has a macabre past that has left it sowing terror and fear.
Most of the ghosts that haunt this castle are said to be unhappy souls who have met untimely and unjust death.
These gruesome sightings go far beyond mere flickering lights with reports so intense they feature disgusting smells, icy rooms, suffocating sensations, and even grizzly bears.
Millions of visitors line up to visit this castle and hear the sinister tales of imprisonment, torture and execution.
Are you still scared? Pick up a friend and join one of the many ghost tours on offer in the tower to scare you off.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
In third position is a family favorite destination, where you can expect roller coasters, cotton candy and ghosts.
Pleasure Beach began its spooky history in 1930 when the now infamous Ghost Train first opened, the first ride to use the name “Ghost Train” – some might say it was tempting fate.
One of the first ride operators, nicknamed “Cloggy”, was devoted to his role there, so devoted that after his death over twenty years ago, he decided to return.
Mysterious footsteps, moans, scratching noises, and the sound of clog-laden footsteps are not unusual in the ride, noises that staff members say are not part of the experience.
Aside from the ghost train, you can also expect to be spooked by a ghost hanged man and a bloodstained woman on other rides in the park. Who wants to say hello to Cloggy and his friends?
Heathrow Airport, London
The haunted history of Heathrow Airport might not be what you know and it might be one of the last places you’d expect to see on this list of paranormal places – but you would be wrong.
The main story is about a plane crash in 1948 and a man who arrived at the scene asking if anyone had seen his briefcase.
Firefighters later reported seeing the same man’s body in the wreckage. Since that day, the ghost carrying a briefcase has been seen several times on the airport runways.
Not convinced? In 1970, the Heathrow Airport Radar Office picked up a signal that looked like a person on the runway, but found no one there when emergency services rushed to the scene.
Ghost hunting might not be your typical activity at the airport, but keep an eye out the next time you find yourself at Heathrow.
Warwick Castle, Warwick
Next is Warwick Castle, a castle with a history dating back to 1068 with settlements on the site also dating back 150 years before.
The castle has been the scene of many bloody battles and tragedies, ranging from attacks to fire damage.
The best-known ghost that is said to haunt the tower is Sir Fulke Greville, a former resident of the castle who was assassinated in 1628 by one of his trusted servants.
If that wasn’t enough, there have also been reports of spooky energy in the dungeon, sightings of poltergeist activity as well as extreme temperature changes and flickering lights.
If you want to take full advantage of the icy atmosphere of this castle, an official Halloween event is held here.
Windsor Castle, Windsor
On its way to a royal residence now, Windsor Castle has its own sinister side.
Up to 25 ghosts are said to have been spotted here, including a sighting by none other than Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Margaret, who claimed to have seen the ghost of Elizabeth I.
Her ghost is said to be heard pacing the library, causing loud footsteps and floor creaks before she appears.
The ghosts of many other members of the royal family were also seen, including that of a hunter of King Richard III in the park outside the castle.
Legend has it that those who meet him are struck by misfortune.
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
Edinburgh is considered one of the most haunted cities in the world, so it’s only natural that Edinburgh Castle, one of the city’s oldest and most iconic buildings, has its fair share of scary stories.
The most famous ghost that lives in the grounds of the castle is a flute player who disappeared hundreds of years ago while playing his flute in the tunnels under the castle.
The Pied Piper was never to be seen again, but is said to still roam the Royal Mile to this day.
Visitors to the castle have also claimed to have encountered the spirits of French prisoners of the Seven Years’ War and colonial prisoners of the American Revolutionary War – and even the ghost of a dog.
Clumber Park, Worksop
Clumber Park is a historic country park near Worksop which is now managed by the National Trust.
The main house in the park was demolished in 1938 after being damaged by a series of fires.
What remained of the area was a Grade I listed chapel, a four-acre walled vegetable garden, and the park itself – oh, and a ghost.
The park is said to be haunted by the Gray Lady of Clumber Park, a woman who wears a long gray cape. If you want to spot it, the best days to visit are foggy days. Do you feel brave enough to seek it out?
Edinburgh Theater, Edinburgh
Then we have the Edinburgh Playhouse which is the largest operating theater in the UK in terms of audience capacity.
The theater is a cultural center of the city, hosting events such as musicals, concerts and ballets all year round. But what about his haunted story?
The resident ghost is called Albert, who has been hiding in the halls of the theater since the 1950s when paranormal activity was first reported. It was then that an officer claimed to have spoken to a man dressed in gray who identified himself as Albert, but there was no staff member with that name.
Since then, sightings of Albert, particularly on the sixth floor, have since been reported.
University of St Andrews, St Andrews
The last is the University of St Andrews. Not only is it one of the best universities in the UK, but it also has its own spooky title of being the most haunted university in the world.
The university dates back almost six centuries, so it’s no surprise that this history comes with gruesome tales.
From the ‘ghostly monk’ at St Rule’s Tower in St Andrews Cathedral to the ‘White Lady of St Andrews’ who is most commonly seen in October and November.
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