Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ghostly Travels: Haunted Places in the UK

Tragic tales of murdered lovers, grisly hangings of innocent witches, and stories of vampires, demons and more can be found through Britain’s history. For the curious amateur ghost-hunter, the UK is a dream destination filled with dreary old castles, pubs and houses populated with spectral inhabitants. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, spooky stories are always fascinating. Here are some of the best spots in the UK for scaring the living daylights out of yourself:

Highgate Cemetery, London

This spectacular gothic cemetery features many impressive examples of Victorian architecture, and its sombre atmosphere is made even more unnerving by the stories from the 1960s of the dark figure with glowing red eyes who was reported by several passersby. The stories also include tales of mutilated animals, leading many to believe that the spectre was actually a vampire.

The Friends of the Highgate Cemetery offer tours throughout the cemetery, sure to be filled with many spooky tales.

Pendle Hill, Lancashire

The Lancashire countryside was where the most famous witch trial in British history took place, and ten so-called “Pendle Witches” were sentenced to death by hanging in 1612. These women, who were only innocent victims in a witchcraft-obsessed era”, are said to haunt the nearby village of Newchurch at the base of the hill. Pendle Hill is located near Clitheroe, Burnley and Colne, and Newchurch village is located only a mile away from Rawtenstall.

The Red Lion, Avebury, Wiltshire

© Copyright andy dolman
If you are looking to go grab a pint in a historic pub with a few ghostly drinking partners by your side, this 400-year-old inn certainly has its share of long-dead patrons. The pub itself is located within the famous stone circle of Avebury, and is surrounded by many rumours of witchcraft and superstition. Keep an eye out for Florrie, an apparition who seems to have a soft spot for men with beards. The story goes that her husband was a soldier who went to war. When he returned and saw her in another man’s arms, he snapped and killed both her and her lover and dumped them in the well which is now the main attraction in the pub. Guests have also experienced cold spots, orbs of light, and visions of ghostly children. It’s £40 per night to stay over, if you dare.

Minsden Chapel, Hertfordshire

A small walk from the town of Hertfordshire leads to this chapel, built in the early fourteenth century to ease the passage of pilgrims. The chapel is now in crumbling disrepair, and is rumoured to be haunted by a ghostly monk who walks up and down the stairs on Halloween night. His phantom presence is always accompanied by tinkling chapel bells and solemn music, and sometimes even the vision of a glowing cross on the church wall.

These are just a few of the fascinating haunted destinations that you can visit if you are curious about the supernatural and want to learn more about the sombre and spooky history of the UK.

Simon Grant produced this content on behalf of Etihad Airways, who are proud to be operating flights to the UK among their portfolio of worldwide destinations.