Britain’s most haunted places this Halloween
HALLOWEEN is back and for people who scare easily, haunted houses and spooky woods are best avoided.
But on the scariest night of the year, ghosts lurk closer than you might think, and everyday locations can hide terrifying stories from the past as well.
From a furniture store at the site of Sweeney Todd’s first horrific murder to spooky nights in a museum and bistro built on a brutal crime scene – would you like ‘death’ to begin?
We have collected places in Britain with the most gruesome stories. Definitely a pumpkin to speak of.
Sweeney Todd’s Slaughterhouse
1. Balfour & Byrom, Hastings Old Town
Everyone has heard of Sweeney Todd.
He’s the murderous barber who slit the throats of unsuspecting customers and served them as pie fillings.
At the age of 12, Todd visited Hastings and found work with Harris, the Butcher on Main Street.
He met and fell in love with Mr. Harris’s daughter Elizabeth and quickly proposed. But she categorically refused.
Shivering, he crept into her room, slit her throat, and baked her pies in the store downstairs.
Ladders moved by a ghost librarian
2. Leeds Library, Commercial Street
Founded in 1768, it is the oldest subscription library in the country.
It is also haunted by the ghost of a former chief librarian, Vincent Sternberg, who was described as “pale and hairless” when he was first seen in 1864.
In 2017, ghost hunter Sean Reynolds filmed a ladder moving by itself along one of the bookcases.
Watering hole for ripper victims
3. The Ten Bells pub, in East London
This Victorian boozer in Spitalfields is always packed with an eclectic mix of punters.
The fact that Annie Chapman, victim of Jack the Ripper, had her last drink here is of great interest.
And the pub was also the home of another victim, Mary Jane Kelly.
His mutilated body was discovered across the road from the Ten Bells.
Ghost walks regularly pass by this haunting pub for good reason. A pint of chills please.
“The most haunted village”
4. Pinnock Bridge, Pluckley Village, Kent
Pluckley claims to be England’s most haunted village with several ghostly residents, including a ghost highwayman and a ghostly miller.
One of these spirits, “the watercress woman,” sits on the bridge and smokes her pipe.
The woman once made a living selling watercress from the river until it burned alive on the bridge.
Some witnesses describe a faint pink glow hovering in the air at this location. A bridge over troubled waters.
“Staff are afraid to work on Halloween”
5. Cooperative, Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire
This unsuspecting convenience store is said to be so haunted that many employees book Halloween out of work out of sheer terror.
While the store itself looks pretty normal, the basement below is spooky.
Doors slam, stock mysteriously moves, items fly off shelves and lights flicker, according to staff.
Last year on Halloween, the manager closed the store early after staff complained about feeling followed.
Spirits scream and throw things
6. National Museum of Emergency Services, West Bar, Sheffield
Prepare for a spooky night at the museum.
This working museum and tourist attraction would be riddled with suspicious shadows, moving objects and loud, angry voices from empty rooms.
Visitors also reported regular cold spots.
The building dates from 1900 and was once a police and fire station.
The ghosts – including a man named Cain and a young pickpocket – are believed to be ex-inmates once held in cells here.
A dead woman found with her heart still beating
7. Bleeding Heart Restaurant, London
With its dark red walls and bleeding heart logo, this French restaurant does not hide its macabre past.
According to legend, Lady Elizabeth Hatton hosted a winter ball at Hatton Garden in 1626.
A mysterious man with a hunchback and a clawed hand danced with Hatton, then took her outside.
She was reportedly found the next morning, murdered, her heart still pumping blood on the site of this bistro. Enjoy your meal !
Railroad haunted by screaming workers
8. The Box Tunnel, near Bath
The tunnel, built in 1841, connects Bath and Chippenham and is considered one of the scariest parts of the British rail network.
Several different ghostly sightings have been reported over the years.
In 2011, four men working on the track heard screams at the east exit and spotted a woman in a nightgown staring down at them.
She then vanished into thin air.
The sounds of a ghost train also echo along the tracks here.
Devil worshiper burnt at the stake
9. The Grassmarket, Edinburgh
A hot spot for the city’s retail and nightlife, but it was once the site of public executions.
Pub names like The Last Drop hint at its grim past.
And it’s said that a carriage drawn by headless horses drives Major Weir’s ghost along the west bow to the Grassmarket every May.
Previously a respected resident of Edinburgh, in 1670 he caused shock when he admitted to a series of gruesome crimes and confessed to being a wizard and devil worshiper.
He was strangled and burnt at the stake there.
Ghost traces & ghostly girl
10. The Confectionery, Taunton, Somerset
CCTV footage from this confectionery shows jars of confectionery floating through the air in the dead of night, before arranging themselves in a circle on the floor.
Scary surveillance footage also shows the silhouette of a ghostly little girl in the shop.
The building dates from the 1500s and was originally used by the Taunton monks and was the naval and military pub.
Other ghosts include ghost footsteps in the hallway. Trick or sweet?
In 2018, The Sweet Shop moved from its original location on East Reach to Crown Walk – it is not known if any other hauntings occurred in the new location.
Worker grabbed by freezing hand
11. Debenhams, Salisbury
Residents of Salisbury must be delighted that Debenhams moved online in May.
The store was reportedly haunted by the ghost of Henry Stafford, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham who was beheaded in 1483 after being convicted of treason against King Richard III.
It is said that his last hours alive were locked in the attic of this building.
An electrician who worked alone ran out of the store, never to return after feeling an icy hand grab his shoulder.
Hopefully a ghost store then moves in.
Plague victims haunt the metro
12. Liverpool Street Station, London
As if Londoners don’t have enough reason to dread the morning commute, it’s a real rail bite.
In 2015, a plague pit containing the piled up bones of suspected plague victims was discovered under this large British train station.
If that doesn’t scare you, the ghost will.
Staff and railway workers complained about the ghost of a man in overalls pacing the eastbound central line platform during closed hours, waiting for a train that never comes.
Others have spotted strange figures on the CCTV system. Did someone say freight train?