Our country has a long and varied history of haunted British houses with hundreds of tales of witches, folklore, and legends.
There have been strange events and sightings up and down the country in Pubs, Inns, Airfields, Forests, and Castles. As some buildings are centuries old it’s no surprise that many come with a past, and sometimes, unwanted guests.
This article takes a look at 10 haunted British houses. Some are stately homes, some are the typical house down the street. From poltergeists to apparitions all of these houses have had some kind of reported paranormal activity.
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Wymering Manor, Portsmouth
Recorded in 1042 owned by King Edward the Confessor and a Grade II listed building which makes it one of the oldest haunted British houses on this list.
Parts of it date as far back as Roman and Medieval times. The cellars are of Saxon origin. There have been several reported ghost sightings at this location. Reported apparitions are a Bloody Nun, a ghostly horseman, and Jane Austen’s brother.
Reckless Roddy, The Bloody Nun, and Francis Austen
The ghostly horseman known as ‘Reckless Roddy’ was apparently a bit of a cad. He rode to Wymering Manor to take advantage of a newly married bride. Her husband had been called away and she was home alone. Unfortunately for Roddy the husband returned and chased him out of the house. Then he ran him through with his sword as Roddy attempted to get on his horse to flee. There are reports of visitors hearing horses hooves outside at night. When a new bride comes into the home Roddy appears.
The ‘Bloody Nun’ stands outside a room known as ‘Noahs Ark’ with blood on her hands. It’s a room where abortions were performed. Possibly to cover up illicit relationships between nuns and monks.
Sir Francis William Austen has appeared several times. He even smiled at a staff member of the home. Nice chap!
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Woodchester Mansion, Gloucestershire
A Gothic revival manor house abandoned mid-construction by workers amid rumours of a murder in the mid-1800s. No -one really knows what happened for sure, but the workers downed tools and never returned.
Ghost sightings date back to 1840 when the 2nd Earl of Ducie threw a dinner party. When the ghost of his late father appeared and took the seat at the head of the table the party was interrupted. Rumour has it that the Earl fled the house never to return.
American soldiers used the nearby lake for training exercises during the war. The bridge collapsed and several of the men drowned. Their bodies were brought to the house. People have reported hearing 1940s music echoing through the old building and several mediums have sensed military people.
In the chapel, an apparition of a short man, and the smell of recently extinguished candles have been reported. An Irish woman sings in the kitchen and a tall man stands in the doorway. He appears to be searching for someone. He leans towards the corner. The same corner where young man crouches as though hiding.
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A young woman has been heard and seen on the upper floor corridor. Sometimes standing at the window and looking down below, and a young girl has been seen skipping up and down the stairs.
Movie scenes have been filmed in the home. Twice it’s been featured on the popular Most Haunted Live and featured on Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Hunters International, making this one of the most haunted British houses on this list.
39 De Grey Street, Hull
Known as ‘The Hostel’ this house is reputed to be the most haunted home in the city and definitely one of the most haunted British houses in the entire country.
It has been uninhabited for a decade. A 7 bedroomed terraced property possibly used as a care home for children. Over the years many tenants have occupied the home but all have left. Many terrified to ever return. The last occupant lasted just 4 days before abandoning the property.
There are reports of seeing ghostly children. Psychics sense mistreated children locked in an eerie cupboard underneath the stairs. People have claimed to have had their hair and clothes pulled on in the cupboard. One medium sensed a drugged woman on the stairs with a child standing by her, and an evil entity in the house.
One tenant living there reports being dragged from her bed in the middle of the night and strangled by intruders. She called the police in terror. When the police arrived they accused her of time-wasting and went to leave. Just as they did so a bookcase crashed down towards them – they left even faster!
Another man was grabbed and pinned against a wall by ‘unseen hands’. One tenant went to the kitchen and found steak knives balancing on plates in the drying rack, after they had been put away in the drawer. He was in the house alone.
Faces at the Window
Add to this the reports of phantom faces of children at the window, chairs and other objects flying across the room, and a clairvoyant describing the energy in the home as ‘horrific’; maybe it’s for the best that the house known as ‘The Hostel’ has remained standing empty?
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284 Green St, Enfield
Reported as haunted by a poltergeist in the mid-1970s, this located on Green St is a council house in Brimsdown, Enfield. Two sisters aged 11 and 14 living in the house were terrorized for 2 years by an unseen entity.
The sisters, along with neighbours, psychics. and researchers, reported seeing furniture moving and shuffling, heard unexplained knocking and voices. In one case there was an incident recorded where one of the girls appeared to levitate in this scary haunted British house.
While documenting the strange happenings, a gruff, rasping male voice was caught on tape. It is thought to be Bill Wilkins (a former occupant of the house) but terrifyingly his voice was coming from 11-year-old Janet, the younger of the 2 sisters. It appears to describe Bill’s moment of death “Just before I died, I went blind, then had a hemorrhage and fell down the stairs”
In addition, there have been reports of physical assaults, matches lighting all by themselves, and graffiti and water appearing on the floors of this haunted British house.
The Enfield Haunting is on record as one of the most dramatic incidents of poltergeist activity and it one of the most famous British haunted houses. The events in the home have been used as the basis for the major movie The Conjuring 2.
30 East Drive, Pontefract
Another site with malevolent poltergeist activity is 30 East Drive in Pontefract. Also used as the subject for a movie and a book. The family took up residence in the summer of 1966 when things started happening almost immediately. Much of the activity seemed to revolve around Diane the family’s 12-year-old daughter.
The poltergeist that the family named “Fred” displayed a range of activity. Lights turned on and off, plants taken from pots and strewn about, furniture shaking, photographs slashed, an oak sideboard levitated and green coloured foam oozing from taps and toilets.
Once, an auntie that was very skeptical about the paranormal phenomena came to visit the house. Fred dispelled any doubts when he poured a jug of milk over her. Poltergeists don’t typically cause physical harm but Diane experienced a terrifying incident and was dragged kicking and screaming up the stairs. Her throat displayed finger marks after the event.
Exorcisms were attempted in this haunted British house but they seemed to irritate “Fred”. He pushed people down the stairs, slapped them across the face, and “Fred’s” hands appeared to conduct the Christian songs being played – wearing women’s large white fur gloves!
The Black Monk
The evil entity maybe a Black Monk. The monk was hanged for rape and murder in the time of Henry VIII. Beneath the site of 30 East Drive, an old well was discovered. The body of the monk and his victims had been disposed of there. There have been newspaper accounts of poltergeist activity at the site prior to Diane’s family moving in.
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The Cage, St Osyth
A witches prison where women were held and executed by hanging. The most notable was a local witch by the name of Ursula Kemp who was executed in 1582. There is also evidence of plague victims being sent to The Cage to die, a suicide, and a sighting of a satanic goat!
In the 1920s a man found two skeletons in the garden. Both had metal rivets through their knees and elbows – a procedure done during the time of witches to prevent them from rising from the grave.
The most recent owner, Vanessa, witnessed some intense paranormal activity at the house before she moved out. She claims to have seen several apparitions, objects moving, doors opening and closing, items going missing and then turning up later in odd places.
Several spirits reported
The house has been investigated several times by paranormal researchers and there are reports of several spirits; a jailer, a young child, a suicide victim, and Ursula Kemp herself – among others.
When Vanessa moved out there was no interest from anyone in buying the home. Until the time of a sale, an investigator moved in to undertake a full-time paranormal study of the place with cameras set up and other activity detection equipment. You can see a summary of some of his experiences towards the end of this blog HERE.
50 Berkley Square, London
This haunted British house is located in the prestigious Mayfair area it became known as one of the most haunted houses in London by the late 19 century. Built in 1740 and the home of George Canning the former Prime Minister. Later purchased a man suspected to be Thomas Myers; a member of Parliament and an eccentric recluse.
Later on, a man moved in with his 2 daughters who reported that the house had a strange smell. Captain Kentfield was the fiancé of one of the daughters and was visiting later that day.
Don’t let it touch me!
A maid went to prepare his room. Shortly after the family heard terrifying screams and rushed upstairs. The maid was on the floor, cowering in fear begging to ‘not let it touch me.’ She was taken to the hospital where she died the next day.
A single gunshot
Unfazed by the events, Captain Kentfield announced he would spend that night in the room. It wasn’t long before terrified screams were heard, and a single gunshot. The family rushed in to assist, but Captain Kentfield was dead, his face contorted in terror.
The Ringing Bell
There was a story of another man that stayed in the room, and as a precaution, he instructed his servants to come to his aid if he rang a bell. Just after midnight, the bell began to ring and ring repeatedly. The servants ran to help and found the man with a look of abject terror on his face. He was rushed to the hospital and, like the maid, died a short time later.
Sailors after a Night of Drinking
For a time 50 Berkeley Square stood empty until the night 2 sailors needed somewhere to stay after a bout of drinking. They broke into the house and slept. Later they awoke to a strange noise. It sounded as though something was dragging itself towards them across the floor.
The 2 men jumped up and the story goes that one of them was grabbed by some sort of tendril-like entity. The other man fled the room in fear for his life. He returned shortly afterward with the police.
The story has changed a bit over time but the friend was dead. Some say the body dismembered, some say impaled on the railings outside the house.
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Springhill, Northern Ireland
A 17-century plantation house that has a mysterious “Blue Room” where most of the paranormal activity takes place. In 1814 George Lenox – Conyngham was on army duty when word came that his children were ill with smallpox.
Wracked with worry George got a fellow officer to cover for him, abandoned his post and rushed home. He discovered his family alive and healthy. His wife, Olivia had nursed the children back to health.
As he abandoned his station George had to face the court marshal. After that, one of his daughters died, sending him into a deep depression.
One night, George went to the Blue Room with his pistol and shot himself. Olivia, suspecting what he was about to do, rushed to try and save him. The gun went off just as she reached the door. Visitors report still seeing her there, outside the door, arms raised in despair.
The Blue Room
A guest staying in the Blue Room awoke one night to hear the whispers of a number of servants filling the room. Objects also move around the Blue Room of their own accord.
LLancaiach Fawr, Wales
Visited by King Charles I in 1645 its a Tudor manor house and a Grade I listed building. Built circa 1530 and voted as one of the top 10 haunted buildings in the country. Strange smells ranging from lavender to roast beef, and a mysterious pentangle carved into a stone wall add to the mysteriousness.
Housekeeper and a small child
The most common spirit is ‘Mattie’; a housekeeper from the 19th century. People claim to hear her petticoats rustling as she passes by. There is also the spirit of a small boy who reportedly fell to his death from one of the upper floor windows. Visitors report feeling their sleeve pulled or a sensation of a small child holding their hand.
Llancaiach Fawr as a known haunted British house, is under constant surveillance. There is a 24 hour ‘Ghost cam’ permanently recording the interior of the property owing to the reports of paranormal activity, and the house is now a museum.
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Queensbury House, Scotland
A 17 century listed building constructed in 1667 and used as a hospital from 1803 to 1966. Most notably during the 1830s to treat victims of the Cholera epidemic.
The Duke of Queensbury
In 1707 this haunted British house was occupied by James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensbury. His second was James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Queensbury. Known as the Mad Earl of Drumlanrig. Regarded as an imbecile, violently insane, and kept in the house under lock and key.
The Flesh-eating, Mad Earl
The Mad Earl managed to escape his room one night during some festivities and attacked a young kitchen boy. He roasted the boy alive on a spit and ate his flesh. Earning him another nickname of “The Cannibalistic Idiot”.
As if this weren’t disturbing enough, it’s shocking to know that the Earl was just 10 years old at the time.
The oven used to roast the boy is still in the basement of Queensbury House. The young boys’ spirit still haunts the kitchen today.
This is by no means a definitive list of haunted British houses. The one’s compiled here are the homes that have interesting stories attached and unexplained phenomena.
Psychics, mediums, clairvoyants, spiritualists and paranormal researchers have investigated many of these locations. Is there any credibility to the reports and claims? Who knows, but I’d think twice before staying the night!