The UK’s Spookiest Places

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The UK’s Spookiest Places

 

From Dracula’s castle in Romania to 112 Ocean Ave, Amityville, NY, there are plenty of supposedly haunted locations across the world that paranormal and horror fans flock to, trying to get a glimpse of the spooks within. 

 

However, if you live in the UK, you may be surprised to find that these ghosts, UFOs and even fairies are closer than you think!

 

Using the Paranormal Database, we have analysed the sightings to discover where in the UK is the most haunted. Whether you are looking to hire a campervan for a spooky Halloween road trip and need inspo or trying to decide whether you need to move, this study should help you make that decision!

 

It’s reyt spooky! The most haunted UK counties revealed!

 

Despite seeming like a tiny island, the UK is vast – encompassing four countries, all of which are full of things that go bump in the night. But which region is the most haunted in the UK? 

 

The overwhelming majority of paranormal reports comes from the Northern county of Yorkshire (made up of North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and West Yorkshire). There have been 786 reports of paranormal sightings in this region of the UK making it the UK’s most haunted. It boasts having the most fairy sightings in the UK with 33 reports in the area, as well as 16 UFO sightings, 11 apparent dragon sightings and even one werewolf!

 

In second place (and not a surprising entry) is Greater London – which includes central London too. This area has had 684 reports of paranormal activity. With a rich and horrific history, such as being the place where Jack the Ripper, Dennis Nilsen and The Krays called home as well as being the at the centre of the plague, the great fire of London and countless executions, it is no shock that London scores so highly on the list of spooky UK regions. Most of the reports are haunting manifestations, but there have also been claims of 14 post mortem manifestations, eight UFO sightings and the sighting of a vampire too.

 

For the third most haunted county/region we head up north again to Lancashire, with 585 sightings of the paranormal persuasion, and it is far from a boring mix! With 32 poltergeists, 24 legends, 16 UFOs, 14 fairies, five curses, a dragon and a werewolf, it seems Lancashire is the place to be if you are not satisfied with ghosts alone!

 

Rank County/Region paranormal occurrences
1 Yorkshire 786
2 Greater London 684
3 Lancashire 585
4 Essex 499
5 Sussex 437
6 Dorset 433
7 Devon 415
8 Suffolk 411
9 Wiltshire 402
10 Somerset 396
11 Norfolk 392
12 Derbyshire 327
13 Cornwall 319
14 Kent 310
15 Nottinghamshire 263
16 Lincolnshire 261
17 Hampshire 233
18 Cumbria 230
19 Highland 209
20 Cheshire 194
21 Cambridgeshire 193
22 Gloucestershire 190
23 Northumberland 182
24 Surrey 180
25 Lothian 173
26 Durham 162
27 Shropshire 160
28 Oxfordshire 152
29 Hertfordshire 147
30 Gwent 143

 

Bad news for those that easily frighten in Brighton! These are England’s most haunted places

 

When you think of the spookiest place in England does your mind rush to the fog covered moors in Bodmin? Or to the great tower of London? Well, if it does you would be quite a few miles off.

 

1. Brighton

Photo of Preston Manor, Brighton by The Voice of Hassocks

 

The data revealed that with a hair raising 146 sightings in the city, Brighton tops the most haunted places in England. The majority is made up of haunting manifestations of which there have been 116 sightings, but there have also been 18 poltergeist sightings and even the sighting of a legend. One of the most haunted locations in Brighton, and the UK, is said to be Preston Manor. This location has a long history of ghostly phenomena and supernatural experiences, including the Lady in White, the Lady in Grey, floating four poster beds and more. It is so infamous that the TV show Most Haunted! filmed an episode exploring the manor in 2006.

2. York

The second most haunted place in England is the beautiful city of York, with 80 paranormal spots, including 70 haunting manifestations and five unknown ghost types. With the shambles being the inspiration for the famous wizarding street, Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series, it is no surprise that the city of York has plenty of paranormal activity. One of the most haunted locations is the York Theatre Royal. This Georgian theatre is the basis for many a spooky tale, including that of the ghost of the Grey Lady – a young nun who fell in love with a nobleman, but when found out was thrown into a windowless room that was bricked up with no escape. She is said to haunt the room behind the dress circle.

3. Bristol

Third on the list of spooky places in England is Bristol with 77 paranormal occurrences. These are made up mostly of haunting manifestations but there have also been five poltergeist reports so you may want to consider gluing your valuables down if you live in the area. Of the haunted locations in Bristol, the Old Vic theatre is often brought up. The Theatre Royal, the oldest continually-operating theatre in the English-speaking world, was built between 1764 and 1766. The Coopers’ Hall, built 1743–44, was incorporated as the theatre’s foyer during 1970–72. Together, they are designated a Grade I listed building by Historic England. This location actually has a resident ghost whose name is Sarah MaCready, an actress who died in 1853 of pneumonia and who dedicated much of her life to the theatre.

England’s top 15 most haunted places

 

Rank Area of England (town/city/borough) Paranormal occurrences
1 Brighton 146
2 York 80
3 Bristol 77
4 Nottingham 76
5 Manchester 55
6 Liverpool 54
6 Sheffield 54
8 WC2 50
7 W1 45
7 Derby 45
7 Birmingham 45
8 SW1 42
9 Dartmoor 39
9 Ipswich 39
10 Leicester 35
11 Bath 34
12 Cambridge 33
13 Lincoln 33
14 Exeter 32
15 EC3 30

 

England’s top 20 most haunted regions*

Rank Area of England (county) Paranormal occurrences
1 Yorkshire 786
2 Greater London 684
3 Lancashire 585
4 Essex 499
5 Sussex 437
6 Dorset 433
7 Devon 415
8 Suffolk 411
9 Wiltshire 402
10 Somerset 396
11 Norfolk 392
12 Derbyshire 327
13 Cornwall 319
14 Kent 310
15 Nottinghamshire 263
16 Lincolnshire 261
17 Hampshire 233
18 Cumbria 230
19 Cheshire 194
20 Cambridgeshire 193

*full list of all UK regions can be found at the bottom of this page

There’s a Ghoost Loose Aboot This Hoouse! Scotland’s most haunted places, revealed

It is unsurprising that the home country of the loch ness monster would be the setting for so many creepy goings on, but instead of the misty lochs or the expansive forests, it seems the most paranormal occurrences actually happen in the urban cities.

 

1. Edinburgh

Photo of The Edinburgh Vaults by Kjetil Bjørnsrud

 

In first place is the beautiful city of Edinburgh with 106 paranormal sightings, and although the majority is also haunting manifestations, there have been 9 poltergeist sightings and even 2 sightings of fairies! Although there are a few notably haunted locations in Scotland’s capital such as the castle, the Edinburgh South Bridge vaults get extra points for being creepy with and without ghosts. The vaults, located beneath Old Town, date back to the early 18th century and have been rumoured to be connected with the persecution of witches, serial killers Burke and Hare as well as being the location of many ghost sightings and unexplained events. A special mention for The Banshee Labyrinth, Scotland’s most haunted pub which is also located in Edinburgh.

 

2. Glasgow

Photo by Dan Forrest

 

The second most ghoulish place in Scotland is Glasgow, which is quite a way behind Edinburgh with just 44 sightings reported on the database. One of the spookiest spots is said to be Scotland Street School. First opened on 15 August 1906, it educated the children of families mainly working in shipbuilding and engineering on the south side of Glasgow, but since then the now museum has become a hotbed for paranormal activity, with full bodied apparitions, poltergeist activity and children’s laughter and talking heard.

3. Aberdeen

Third in Scotland is the city of Aberdeen with 19 sightings, including sightings of a UFO and something cryptozoological. Most of the haunted places in Aberdeenshire seem to be castles, however, the story of one ghost is more gruesome than the others. Castle Fraser, which has the appearance of a castle straight out of a horror story, is said to be haunted by a princess who was murdered while she slept in the Green Room. After, her body was dragged down the stairs, staining them so severely that wooden panels were needed to cover it.

 

Scotland’s top 7 most haunted places

Rank Area of Scotland Paranormal occurrences
1 Edinburgh 105
2 Glasgow 44
3 Aberdeen 19
4 Dundee 14
5 St Andrews 10
6 Inverness 9
7 Selkirk 7

 

Scotland’s most haunted regions

 

Rank Area of Scotland Paranormal occurrences
1 Highland 209
2 Lothian 173
3 Fife 87
4 Aberdeenshire 85
5 Lanarkshire 85
6 Argyll and Bute 84
7 Dumfries and Galloway 78
8 Borders 68
9 Perth and Kinross 57
10 Angus 53
11 Orkney 42
12 Ayrshire 42
13 Outer Hebrides 38
14 Moray 36
15 Shetland 24
16 Stirling 20
17 Inverclyde 12
18 Clackmannanshire 12
19 Renfrewshire 11
20 Dumbartonshire 6
21 Falkirk 5

 

Does gen i ddim ofn dim ysbryd! These are the spookiest places in Wales 

Legend has it there were two dragons in Wales in the 5th century. Now, we can’t vouch for this being true but several sightings recorded on the paranormal database show that Wales may be home to some spooks.

1. Cardiff

Topping the list of Wales’ spookiest places is the capital, Cardiff. This coastal city has been the setting for 23 paranormal occurrences, including cryptozoology and crisis manifestation. But where can you see these ghouls? Branded the UK’s most haunted hospital, Cardiff Royal Infirmary dates back to the 1880s and is renowned for scary experiences. Over the years there have been various accounts of vanishing matrons, wounded soldiers and playful children who tap visitors on the shoulder or ankles as they walk up the stairs. The hauntings got so bad that at one point the Pathology ward doctors and nurses had to have an exorcism. 

 

More recently (2021), there have been several ghostly sightings at The Lansdowne pub in Cardiff, where the ghost dubbed ‘Lady Lansdowne’ makes her presence known to patrons.

2. Monmouth

Second in Wales is Monmouth with 14 sightings; not a huge number but for those that are easily scared anything higher than zero is unnerving. Despite a lower number, Monmouth can brag about having a sighting of its very own VAMPIRE, as well as haunting manifestations. One building said to be particularly rife with paranormal activity is the listed building, Shire Hall in Monmouth Town. It was built in 1724, but there is a smaller timber frame courtroom which dates all the way back to the 1500s. It is said to be haunted by numerous ghosts, including a judge seen in his wig and robes, mysterious lady who wanders the halls, a pair of disembodied legs and often doors close on their own.

3. Conwy

Third in Wales is Conwy with 12 sightings. Excitingly though, unlike the capital, one of these reported sightings was in fact of a DRAGON. Another location that appeared on Most Haunted (in 2006) is Plas Mawr, located in Conwy. This Elizabethan house is said to be the best standing house of its time in the UK, but is also haunted by the former residents – most notably Robert Wynn. Both of Wynn’s wives died prematurely, one whilst pregnant. The doctor who was called to help his pregnant wife said nothing could be done and while Wynn was out, both his wife and unborn child died. In order to escape the wrath of Wynn, the doctor attempted to escape via the chimney only to get stuck and suffocate. All ghosts have been spotted during visits to the house.

 

Wales’ top 7 most haunted places

Rank Area of Wales Paranormal occurrences
1 Cardiff 23
2 Monmouth 14
3 Conwy 12
4 Swansea 10
5 Newport 9
6 Llangollen 8
7 Aberystwyth 7

 

Wales’ most haunted regions

Rank Area of Wales Paranormal occurrences
1 Gwent 143
2 Dyfed 140
3 Clwyd 132
4 Gwynedd 125
5 Powys 66
6 South Glamorgan 60
7 West Glamorgan 50
8 Mid Glamorgan 40

 

What’s the craic? Ghosts apparently! Northern Ireland’s top three most haunted places

Northern Ireland’s paranormal presence is less than other UK countries (or at least there have been fewer people reporting sightings), however, there are still four places that make the top three most haunted places in Northern Ireland.

1. Belfast

Let’s start with the capital, which boasts 24 spooky reports. This Irish city is infamous for being the birthplace of the HMS Titanic, but more recently, it is known for being the location of perhaps the most well-known haunted place in Northern Ireland, Crumlin Rd Gaol. The Gaol’s history dates back to 1845 and has a grizzly history to boot. For example, 17 men were executed within its walls over its 150 year history, and as a result of the terrors that occurred within these walls, visitors have experienced strange sightings, noises and unexplained happenings. 

2. Dungannon

Those in Dungannon shouldn’t be packing their houses up just yet as according to the paranormal database there have only been five reported spooky sightings in this area of Northern Ireland. Still, if in the area and desperate to see something ghoulish, visitors should make a stop at the defunct former Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks; there is the story of the so-called Black Sergeant, who was stationed at the barracks and tried for a gruesome murder in the late 1800s. He was found guilty and hung here, and the legend goes that he now haunts the place.

3. Ballymena & Lisburn

Photo by Albert Bridge

 

In joint third place are Ballymena and Lisburn, both with four paranormal sightings reported on the database. In Ballymena, visitors checking into the Tullyglass Hotel will be shocked to find that the establishment has its own permanent resident – the ghost of a young girl named Carrie who died in the bell tower and is now seen wandering the halls.

 

Lisburn has its own paranormal spotting group on Facebook called Lisburn Paranormal. Ghost enthusiasts can stop off at Union Bridge / civic centre area, Bridge Street, the Irish Linen Centre and Museum and Wallace Park to potentially see some ghostly apparitions.

 

Northern Ireland’s most haunted regions

Rank Area of N.Ireland (county) Paranormal occurrences
1 County Antrim 64
2 County Tyrone 19
3 County Down 18
4 County Armagh 14
5 County Derry / County Londonderry 12
6 County Fermanagh 8

 

Ghoulish UK road trips

 

If like Ray Parker Junior you ‘ain’t afraid of no ghost’ and in fact want to see to believe, we have put together a south to north route both east and west in the UK, so rent a campervan and get ready for your ghoulish UK getaway!

West road trip from Plymouth to Glasgow

Stop Location Hauntings Notable Place
Start Plymouth 22 The Minerva Inn
1 Exeter 32 Prospect Inn
2 Bristol 77 Old Vic Theatre
3 Bath 34 The Royal Crescent
4 Oxford 29 The Black Drummer Inn
5 Birmingham 45 Birmingham Council House
6 Chester 30 The Pied Bull
7 Liverpool 54 Speke Hall
8 Manchester 55 Barnes Hospital
9 Burnley 25 Muncaster Castle
10 Bolton 29 Old Three Crowns
11 Carlisle 16 Old Cumberland County Courthouse
Finish Glasgow 44 Scotland Street School museum
Mileage 672

 

East road trip from Brighton to Edinburgh

Stop Location Hauntings Notable Haunted Place
Start Brighton 146 Preston Manor
1 London 684 Tower of London
2 Cambridge 33 Little St Mary’s Lane
3 Peterborough 22 Haycock Hotel
4 Leicester 35 Leicester Cathedral
5 Nottingham 76 Galleries of justice
6 Sheffield 54 The Old Queen’s Head
7 York 80 York Theatre Royal
8 Newcastle Upon Tyne 27 Newcastle Castle
Finish Edinburgh 105 The South Bridge Vaults
Mileage 538

 

How haunted is your hometown?

Deciding whether or not you need to move? Use the map below to browse the UK areas with sightings listed.

 

https://view-awesome-table.com/-Mhrs2WqaemuX5ZSGwnG/view

 

Full List of UK Sightings by County

 

Rank County Paranormal occurrences
1 Yorkshire 786
2 Greater London 684
3 Lancashire 585
4 Essex 499
5 Sussex 437
6 Dorset 433
7 Devon 415
8 Suffolk 411
9 Wiltshire 402
10 Somerset 396
11 Norfolk 392
12 Derbyshire 327
13 Cornwall 319
14 Kent 310
15 Nottinghamshire 263
16 Lincolnshire 261
17 Hampshire 233
18 Cumbria 230
19 Highland 209
20 Cheshire 194
21 Cambridgeshire 193
22 Gloucestershire 190
23 Northumberland 182
24 Surrey 180
25 Lothian 173
26 Durham 162
27 Shropshire 160
28 Oxfordshire 152
29 Hertfordshire 147
30 Gwent 143
31 Northamptonshire 141
32 Berkshire 140
32 West Midlands 140
32 Dyfed 140
33 Staffordshire 137
34 Leicestershire 136
35 Hereford & Worcester 135
36 Clwyd 132
37 Warwickshire 130
38 Buckinghamshire 128
39 Gwynedd 125
40 Bedfordshire 123
41 Isle of Wight 107
42 Fife 87
43 Aberdeenshire 85
43 Lanarkshire 85
44 Argyll and Bute 84
45 Dumfries and Galloway 78
46 Isle of Man 69
47 Borders 68
48 Powys 66
49 County Antrim 64
50 South Glamorgan 60
51 Perth and Kinross 57
52 Angus 53
53 West Glamorgan 50
54 Orkney 42
54 Ayrshire 42
55 Mid Glamorgan 40
56 Outer Hebrides 38
57 Moray 36
58 Shetland 24
59 Stirling 20
60 County Tyrone 19
61 County Down 18
62 County Armagh 14
63 Inverclyde 12
63 Clackmannanshire 12
63 County Derry / County Londonderry 12
64 Renfrewshire 11
65 County Fermanagh 8
66 Dumbartonshire 6
66 Rutland 6
67 Falkirk 5

Fancy a frightful UK staycation to some of these spooky spots? Why not rent a campervan from owners through a safe and secure platform where all those that rent a campervan out with us are pre-approved.

 

Methodology

We scraped the Paranormal Database to collect all of the UK reports and analysed which locations had the most sightings by county and individual place.

 

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