After Covid put the frighteners on Hallowe’en events for the past two years, 2022 could turn out to be the scariest yet with people and places pulling out all the stops on costumes, parties and trick-or-treat events.
So where can you go to give yourself the fright of your life on All Hallows’ Eve? We’ve chosen 10 spooktacularly scary spots which may surprise you…
1, The Old Mill Hotel in Baginton
The Old Mill Hotel near Coventry is said to be home to the Grey Lady who has been wandering the property for years. The building, which dates back many centuries and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, was once a water mill. It is said when it was still in operation a woman got trapped under the water wheel and drowned. These days it is a hotel and restaurant, but the Grey Lady still wanders here.
2, Brownsover Hall Hotel, Rugby
This stunning Victorian Gothic mansion has had a long and eventful history and is now under the watchful eye of ‘One-handed Boughton’ who lost one of his arms in Elizabethan times. In 1755 a group of 12 clergymen were brought to Brownsover Hall to get rid of this spirit. At the time, it was declared a success as they tricked it into a glass bottle before sealing it shut and throwing it into the lake. However, sometime in the 1880s a fisherman found the bottle and opened it. Not only did the hauntings return immediately, but they were stronger than ever. Now a hotel, staff and guests have reported groans, phantom footsteps and disembodied voices all coming from the empty tower attached to the building.
3, Tudor House Hotel, Tewkesbury
This 16th century building was built in 1540 and was occupied as both a house and briefly as a courtroom for travelling magistrates. It was converted into a hotel in 1926 and is now stuffed to the low beams with several ghosts. One of the most infamous is the White Lady who has been spotted gliding through the corridors. She is said to be the ghost of a young woman who earned her living as a maid at the Tudor House. It was here she was subjected to cruel treatment at the hands of her mistress which led to her flinging herself from an upstairs window. Other guests claim to have been woken in the middle of the night by the sound of drumming. When calling the desk to find out who it is, they are told it is a centuries old drumming of a drummer boy.
4, Salford Hall, near Evesham.
Salford Hall is a stunning Grade 1 listed building dating back to 1470 when it was constructed as a guest residence for monks from the nearby Evesham Abbey. During Charles I reign, it became the family seat of the Stanford Family and it remained so until 1812. It is now a hotel with the added extra of paranormal activity, the majority of which has a religious theme. One of the most common spectres to be seen is probably the ghostly nun who tends to inhabit the lower floor of the hotel. She is thought to be the restless soul of a nun who was brutally murdered here sometime in the 17th century. Also walking through the hotel are a pair of ghostly monks and two phantom priests seen in the hotel’s courtyard. The reception area is said to be haunted by a group of small girls who are often heard giggling or laughing despite the fact that there is nobody there. Finally, there is also the apparition of a young stable boy who is usually accompanied by a rather foul stench.
5, Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe
Sudeley Castle was constructed in 1442 and is believed to have been built on the remains of a 12th century castle. Now owned by the Cubitt family, it has played host to a variety of historical figures over the centuries, including a visitation in 1535 by King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Nowadays those visiting the castle may come across Janet, who sits at the top of the castle staircase. Legend has it she worked at the castle as a maid during the 19th century. As well as making sure the house was in good order, her other job was to keep unruly teenage boys away from the daughters of the castle owner. She took this job very seriously and would sit at the top of the staircase leading to the girls’ bedrooms in the middle of the night.
6, St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry
The Guildhall once held Mary, Queen of Scots prisoner within its walls and has always had a reputation for being haunted. Regular sightings include a grey lady, a little girl and a monk.
St Mary’s has a room known as the drapers room which is rumoured to leave many people overcome with a feeling of sadness and some even bursting into tears for no reason. More recently a ghostly image of a monk was seen in a photograph of an event that took place at the Guildhall as prayers were being said.
7, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Regular accounts are told by staff and visitors at the theatre of the perfumed lady in the upper circle. Old fashioned flowery perfume is said to be frequently smelled when new front of house staff are working their first shift. It disappears almost as quickly as it arrives and is sometimes accompanied by creaking footsteps, in an area where the floor does not creak. Over at the Swan Theatre, a second female figure called the Grey Lady is known to visit. Security guards have reported she switches on the Swan Theatre Bridge lights every night. Even when the team has switched them off, they are always back on by the time they have walked to the Stage Door. Despite investigations and no timer connected to the light, nor any evidence of tampering, staff are mystified. However, the Grey Lady has been spotted on CCTV and on thermal imaging photos. She is always described as wearing a long grey dress and appears to people so real she is often mistaken for a lost patron, and another known as the grey lady haunting the area around the Swan Theatre. Investigations have also been done into the Swan Theatre bridge lights, which turn themselves on every night, but no timer was found connected to the lights and they have not been tampered with. Spooky.
8, Chesford Bridge, between Leamington and Kenilworth
On Sunday August 29, 1819, Sarah Dormer, a farmer’s wife from Ashow was murdered. The crime took place at Dial House Farm and was blamed on Sarah’s maid, 22-year-old Ann Heytrey from Charlecote. Ann was wrongfully hanged for the murder outside Warwick Gaol on Wednesday April 12, 1820. The incident is linked to sightings of an apparition of a White Lady at Chesford Bridge which was built in the 13th century by the Abbots of Coombe Abbey. The earliest sightings date back to the 19th century where a figure of a woman was seen crossing the road from Dial House Farm on the right of the highway before vanishing. She has also been seen walking down the bridge and looking down the river before vanishing.
9, Leamington Spa railway station
Staff and commuters at the station have reported alleged sightings of supernatural activity. Built in the 1880’s, the station is said to be one of the most haunted areas in Britain. Legend has it one worker who stayed in the top office building witnessed paperwork thrown about, doors slamming and lights switching on and off. Other activity includes spooky apparitions, the sound of footsteps and doors slamming. Chiltern Railways, which runs the station, even hired a supernatural liaison officer in 2014 to patrol the platforms and waiting rooms for any ghosts that might appear.
10, Bedworth Road, Bedworth
The road, also known as Rabbit Lane, is said to be haunted by a woman who stands at the roadside. In 2005 she was spotted wearing a white dress with long, black matted hair. In May 2012 a driver said she spotted a figure on the roadside with her hands against her face and in December of that year, two people claimed to have seen a figure by the road dressed in black, again, with long black matted hair. The apparition is believed to be the ghost of a woman who committed suicide after being left traumatised from an attack on the road. Her ghost is said to stand by the roadside waiting for a lift.