With Halloween on its way, we thought we’d take a peek at some of the country’s most haunted houses. Britain is positively overflowing with ghosts and ghouls.

There’s even a haunted village – Pluckley in Kent, where there are almost as many ghosts as there are inhabitants. As you’d imagine, there’s also plenty of haunted castles and palaces. At Hampton Court, for example, a ghostly medieval figure was recently caught on CCTV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sjzjyfPJqA). However, we’re going to concentrate on more domestic dwellings, where the bumps in the night and the weird goings on are happening in the kinds of places some of us call home!

1)      Wymering Manor, Hampshire

Like all good haunted houses, Wymering Manor is old and comes with a rich and colourful history. As Portsmouth’s oldest house, it was mentioned in the Domesday book (http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/) of 1042 and was originally owned by King Edward the Confessor. In latter years, it became a youth hostel but was recently gifted to the Wymering Manor Trust (http://www.heritagetrustnetwork.org.uk/our-members/wymering-manor-trust/) after its fame as a haunted house made it unsaleable. There are a number of different ghosts associated with the house, the most famous of which is the brilliantly named Reckless Roddy. According to legend, in medieval times, Reckless Roddy rode to the manor to have his wicked way with a new bride after her husband had been called away on an emergency.

Unfortunately for Roddy, the husband returned just in time to run him through with a sword. Now it’s said Reckless Roddy makes an appearance every time there’s a new bride in the house. Another famous resident is the bloody nun. There are rumours the attic was once used for illegal abortions, allegedly the result of illicit unions between nuns and monks. Now a nun often appears at the top of the stairs, with her hands covered in blood.

Many visitors also report the cries of children, sudden changes in temperature and unseen hands that reach out and touch passers by.

2)      Woodchester Mansion, Gloucestershire


Woodchester Mansion is a vast Victorian gothic pile, built in place of a much older building, Spring Park. Unusually for a haunted house, Woodchester was never occupied because, owing to financial problems, its original owner died before it was completed. With its missing floors, stairs that lead nowhere and large community of bats, it’s certainly spooky. However, it seems it’s the ground it sits on that is the source of its many manifestations. From the very beginning the house seemed cursed – during its construction, it is said 6 people died and one man was murdered. After the workers had downed tools, the house was then abandoned for many years, until, just before the war it came close to becoming an insane asylum. Instead, at the last minute, it was requisitioned as a base for American soldiers.

Whilst training for the D Day landings at a nearby lake, twenty of those soldiers were killed when a pontoon bridge collapsed and the tank they were in sank into the freezing waters. Their ghosts are just some of the many apparitions that inhabit the house. The cellar is reputed to be the most haunted area, although there are plenty of reports of ghosts in the chapel, where satanic rites are said to have taken place in the 80s. There is also a young girl who is regularly spotted running up and down the stairs, a woman singing soulful Irish songs in the scullery and a clock that, although  not used, often chimes unexpectedly. Over the years, the house has been the subject of a number of TV programmes, including Most Haunted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b4gaEGoM8w).

3)      The Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire

Reputedly one of the most haunted buildings in Britain, The Ancient Ram Inn was built in 1145. Originally the property of the nearby St Mary’s Church, it is now owned by John Humphries, who runs it as a place of pilgrimage for ghost hunters and spiritualists. Not only is the house on the intersection of two ley lines, it is also directly above an ancient pagan burial ground. And, to add to its many myths, children’s bones and sacrificial daggers were recently discovered buried at the bottom of the stairs. It is therefore no surprise to find the place is home to a whole host of malevolent spirits. One of the best known is the ghost of a witch who hid in the house before being caught and burned at the stake in the 1500s. She even has her own room – the aptly named Witch’s Room.

However, the most haunted room of all is said to be the Bishop’s Room. There you might be confronted by the sight of a previous innkeeper’s daughter hanging by a noose from the ceiling, a shepherd, several ghostly nuns, or, if you are really unlucky, an incubus (male sex demon) and a succubus (female sex demon). There are countless stories of hardened spook hunters running screaming from the house, but what is perhaps most unnerving of all are the physical aspects of some of the hauntings. Furniture is said to regularly fly around and the owner, John, and a number of visitors also describe having been dragged around by unseen forces. During the making of Most Haunted, one of the crew was filmed as he was attacked in the barn. And it seems those spirits are there for keeps, as a few years back, the Bishop of Gloucester tried and failed to do an exorcism, describing the Inn as “the most evil place I have ever had the misfortune to visit.” The Ancient Ram Inn on Most Haunted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3iQgGEcvc)

4)      The Cage, St Osyth, Essex

The Cage was originally a small prison. Notorious witch, Ursula Kemp (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_Kemp) and six others were kept there prior to their trial and execution in 1582. It was later used to house the victims of the plague, after which there was a steady stream of drunks and petty thieves until it was finally decommissioned in 1908. It has now passed into private hands, but it seems it has retained many echoes of its dark past and has rarely been owned by anyone for more than four years at a time. One of its longest standing custodians is Vanessa Mitchell, who bought the place back in 2004, unaware of its history.

There have been a whole host of unexplained incidents, including frequent poltergeist activity. The house is also blamed for producing feelings of suicide and despair among those who live there. Whilst pregnant, Vanessa says she was pushed to the floor by some unseen force and, another time, was beaten on the backside. When she saw a ghostly figure bent over her child’s cot and blood splatters on the floor she decided she’d had enough.

She initially turned to a series of spiritualists and paranormal investigators in an attempt to get rid of her unwanted guests, but without success. She then rented it out, but, unsurprisingly, the tenants never stayed long. In 2016, after a CCTV camera captured an image of a satanic goat’s head, she put the house on the market for £180,000. With buyers thin on the ground, she started giving tours to ghost hunters, as well as the morbidly curious.

Notting Hill, is full of history and plenty of it spooky, too, If you have a ghost story you’d like to share, or just want to buy, sell or rent a home in any of the following areas – just let us know:
Notting Hill, Bayswater, Kensington, Holland Park