ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Britain is so ancient that supernatural goings on seem to have embroidered themselves into the very fabric of the island. In fact, there are so many haunted places that only a serious ghost hunter will have heard of all the chilling locations on the list below.

So, let's take a tour through centuries of barbaric acts and restless spirits and discover which pubs, hotels and forests the faint of heart should avoid on their British vacation!

1. Ancient Ram, Wotton-under-Edge

The Ancient Ram Inn, in the quaint village of Wotton-under-Edge (population 5,000) is said to be crawling with over 20 spooks who terrify brave B&B Guests in the 12th century home.

The Inn, which just so happens to be built on an ancient burial site (complete with plenty of skeletons still buried under the pub), has a colorful history, including alleged pagan child sacrifices, and a woman who used to lodge in the rooms in the 1500s being burnt at the stake as a witch.

Past guests have fled from the house in the middle of the night after claiming to have seen furniture flying around the bedrooms, visions of a little girl wandering the hallways, and have even been pushed down onto a bed by invisible forces.

The patriarch of the house claims he never walks around the property without his bible because of the malevolent spirits.

2. Ye Old Man & Scythe, Bolton

The Old Man & Scyth public house has been standing proudly in Bolton for over 750 years, and it's famous ghost has been musing over unfinished business inside the four walls for almost half of that time.

The 7th Earl of Derby, James Stanely, owned this pub back in the 1600s and was clearly reluctant to leave it, even after he was beheaded toward the end of the British Civil War in 1651.

After spending his last hours on earth in The Old Man & Scyth, Stanley is now reported to have settled in for the afterlife too.

The earl's ghost has even been caught on CCTV by bar manager Tony Dooley who checked the overnight footage when he found glass on the floor one morning. Instead of seeing thieves or vandals, Dooley was shocked to see a mysterious figure looming at the bar before the recording shut off.

There is no word on whether he still works there...

3. The Well House Tavern, Exeter

The Well House Tavern in Exeter looks like any other old fashioned British pub... Until you ask the staff if you can take a look at the basement.

Downstairs, unbeknownst to many of the customers boozing upstairs, there is an ancient well and two human skeletons in a glass case.

Rumor has it that the bones belong to a star-crossed monk and nun who threw themselves down a well so they could be together in death.

I hail from relatively close to this town and I can assure you this one is true. I've seen the skeletons with my own two eyes... and I had my contact lenses in and everything!

4. The Mermaid Inn, Rye

The Mermaid Inn is often reported as having a ghost for every room, and they have had a long time to accumulate, seeing as the cellars of this 14th century building hail from 1156.

Some of the supernatural phenomena that have been reported by bewildered guests include a duel between two men in 16th century clothing, a man who can walk through walls in room 16 and the ghost of a maid who was killed by smugglers who feared she might expose them.

One of the inn's most famous features was a chair that could be seen rocking on its own in the middle of the night, but this item has since been removed due to the hysteria it was causing in paying guests.

5. Wychwood Forest , Oxfordshire

Wychwood forest is said to be haunted by a cloying feeling of dread and paranoia, as opposed to just the run-of-the-mill apparitions.

The forest, which was once the location of the local boroughs hanging tree is said to have the uncanny ability to make you feel like you are being watched, or even touched, by an unseen presence.

Along with the feelings of dread and nausea contained within the ancient woods, there are also auditory hauntings in the form of invisible horses' hooves and whispers.

6. The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Abergavenny

Any pub with a noose in it is clearly going to be bad news and the Skirrid Mountain Inn in Wales is no exception!

This ancient building has a long and grim history dating back to the Norman Conquest. The first floor of the inn was once used as a very macabre courthouse... 180 felons were convicted in the quaint inn and then hung for all to see from the solid oak beam over the staircase.

The markings made by people struggling for their lives before they were hung can still be seen on the bannisters of the staircase, but there is small mercy in the fact that the noose is an imitation!

7. Marsden Grotto, South Shields

This pub/restaurant is embedded into the cliff and is only accessible by an elevator or staircase that you can see in the image above.

The unusual cave bar is said to be haunted by the ghost of a smuggler named John the Jibber who was murdered by fellow criminals after he sold information about them to the authorities.

Being hardened criminals, the murderous group thought of a particularly grim method to kill Jibber and he was reportedly hung in a locked barrel in the cave and left to starve to death.

The old landlord was superstitious and used to set a tankard of beer out on the bar for the ghost of Jibber every evening at closing, and he always maintained it would be empty in the morning.

When a local DJ drank from the tankard for a radio show, he allegedly sparked a series of supernatural phenomena that eventually forced the landlord to quit, including beer taps turning on overnight and flying ashtrays.


How many of these haunted British locations have you heard of before?

(Source: The Daily Mail, Hub Pages, Metro, The Guardian)


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