In their quest for eccentric locations for their popular hotels, the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison owners picked an 18th Century poorhouse – later known as the ‘˜Bedlam’ or the city asylum – for their Edinburgh vacation spot. Situated in the city’s Old Town, the asylum’s conditions were notorious for being inhumane. Patients were treated as prisoners, locked away in cold cells and denied proper treatment. The famous Scottish poet Robert Ferguson spent time in the asylum before he died at only 24-years-old. After the closure of the asylum, the building was later used as a science laboratory and then Edinburgh’s Blood Donation Centre. Hotel du Vin purchased the building in 2006. Spooky shadows of previous inhabitants are said to have appeared in this now a luxurious retreat for holidaymakers
Why not spend the night in the haunted bedroom of Talliston, located in Great Dunmore in Essex? With a maximum scare rating, the haunted bedroom at Talliston is sure to give you the creeps. The experience recreates the bed chamber of a seven-year-old Edwardian child including heavy drapes, books, toys and ephemera. The room belongs to a Scottish Art Nouveau-style home that’s been labelled “Britain’s Most Extraordinary”. Guests say unexplained sounds and smells add to the paranormal vibe.
The Headland Hotel commands an unrivalled position at the southern end of Fistral Beach. The Hotel opened for business in 1900. Its imposing and slightly foreboding faÃ§ade was featured in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Several uniformed men have been spotted by guests, silently floating around the corridors. These are assumed to be the spirits of servicemen who were sent to the Hotel in the World War 2, when it was requisitioned by the RAF as a military hospital. It isn’t just the men who still walk the Hotel; one of the nurses still tends the living; she has awoken a sleeping guest by gently stroking her cheeks. Another former employee of the hotel who can’t leave is a maid who glides through a wall in the ladies powder room.
The Ragged Cot has been an inn since the 17th century, when it was used as a coaching inn. Parts of the building still date back to the 17th century today and evidence of that old-world charm is seen throughout the hotel. It is said to be haunted by the spirits of a mother and child who died at the property. One night a former landlord of the inn had decided to rob a stagecoach heading to London. His wife tried to dissuade him from doing so and went after him, holding her baby in her arms. As the man pushed her aside, both his wife and child fell to their deaths down the stairs. Mortified, he hid their bodies in a trunk. Guests at the Ragged Cot have reported hearing strange noises at the hotel, and on occasion, there have been sightings of two ghostly apparitions.
Airth Castle overlooks the village of Airth in Falkrik and is one of the most important historical buildings in Scotland. The castle is said to be haunted and reported phenomena include: Sightings of a nanny with two young children who are said to have died in a fire at the castle. The sound of children playing being heard in rooms 3, 4, 9 and 23. People have also reported hearing cries and screams believed to be from a maid who was attacked by her master and left to die. Additionally, a ghost dog, with a predilection for biting ankles, is believed to roam the hallways. A groundsman reportedly haunts the lower floor of the castle.
Investigated by Most Haunted, a British television series about paranormal activity, The Mermaid Inn in East Sussex is known for its alleged supernatural activity. Room 1 (James) is said to be haunted by a lady in white or grey who sits in the chair by the fireplace. Guests have reported waking up in the morning and finding their clothes on the chair wet, despite no windows or pipework being near the chair. Room 10 (Fleur de Lys) is said to be haunted by the ghost of a man who has terrified guests by walking through the bathroom wall into the main room. The ghost of a maid is said to be present in the inn; she was the girlfriend of one of the smugglers of the Hawkhurst Gang and was killed by his fellow gang members as they feared she knew too much and would expose them.
Ettington Park Hotel is set on 40 acres of parkland in Warwickshire. Featured in the 1963 film The Haunting, it has previously been named the most haunted hotel in Britain. Guests and staff have reported several supernatural sightings. The most commonly reported one is the ghost of Lady Emma who is said to glide along the corridors at night and disappearing into walls. Other ghostly spectres include a man and his beloved dog who wander the library, an army officer and a monk who haunts both the grounds and the hotel rooms.
Originally built back in the 12th Century as a monastery, Coombe Abbey hotel, is as spooky and as haunted as you would expect it to be. With many reports of paranormal goings on throughout the years, none more so than the hooded monk. Believed to be the ghost of Abbott Geoffrey who was brutally murdered in 1345. His cloaked figure can be seen wandering the castle grounds, and it is he who people believe to be the culprit behind the poltergeist activity in the kitchens. There’s also a ghost of a young green-eyed girl known as Matilda who was once a stable hand at the Abbey. You may come in to contact with Matilda throughout the hotel, with reports of footsteps along the cobbles, doors slamming shut without explanation, and the feeling of not being alone in your room.
Hazlewood’s halls have a history that stretches back centuries. Ghostly figures and sounds are regularly reported there. Guests who stay in the Tansy bedroom have experienced a black habited monk who has also been sighted making his way from St Margaret’s courtyard and disappearing into the yew tree. Converted in 1997, it offers cosy, traditional rooms. Events throughout the year include Jazz Sunday lunches and champagne brunches ahead of horse race meetings at York and Wetherby.
Dating back to the 1200s, Ruthin Castle is allegedly one of the scariest locations in Wales. Lady Grey of Ruthin Castle is probably the most well-known ghost of the castle, although there are others – visitors have reported seeing a soldier, as well as a little girl. Lady Grey is said to have found out her husband was having an affair with a peasant girl, and then subsequently killed her husband’s mistress. After this, she was tried of murder and sentenced to death and since then, has not left the castle. She’s been seen in the banqueting hall and wandering the castle battlements. The ghostly figure of the soldier has also been spotted wearing just one glove, wandering the ground of the castle. Ghostly orbs have also been seen, which are taken to be an indicator of the presence of one or more human spirits.