Out now on DVD and Blu-ray, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Mia Wasikowska star in visionary director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, the chilling and beautiful, supernatural horror Crimson Peak.
To coincide with the film’s release, we take a look at some of the most haunted buildings in the UK. Wish you were here..?
Borley Rectory, Essex
Borley Rectory was a Victorian mansion in the pretty village of Borley in Essex. It was destroyed in a fire in 1939 but gained a reputation of being heavily haunted after a series of locals reported some unexplained paranormal activity. The hauntings at Borley caught the nation’s attention when the story of what happened was covered by paranormal investigator Harry Price in the Daily Mirror. The first indication that there was something paranormal happening at the house were footsteps heard in the dead of the night in the 1860s. The ghost of a nun, a phantom carriage, the phantom ringing of the servant’s bells and bottle-throwing are just some of the paranormal incidents reported there.
Tower of London, London
London’s famous landmark is said to be haunted by dozens of royal souls, many of who met their end within its grey walls. They include; Thomas Becket, whose ghost has reportedly been sighted here; Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, the young Princes in the Tower who were most likely murdered here in 1483; Anne Boleyn, beheaded at Tower Green in 1536; and Catherine Howard, who was executed six years later.
Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire
The Ancient Ram Inn has often been referred to as the most haunted house in Britain. The house itself is said to have been the location of many sinister happenings, including child sacrifice, suicide, black magic rituals and was also used as a hideout by criminals. A previous owner, John Humphries believes that he shared his home with all sorts of spooks – two demons, a witch, orbs and other ghostly presences, and many people who have visited the property have described it as “the scariest place” they have ever been to.
Samlesbury Hall, Lancashire
Samlesbury Hall is a medieval house that dates back to the 14th century and has been reported to be haunted by the ghost of Lady Dorothy Southworth who fell in love with the son of the neighbouring Protestant noble family. Despite the families refusing to let the young lovers meet, they continued to do so in secret and planned to elope. However, on the night of the escape Dorothy’s brother killed her lover. Dorothy is said to have gone insane before dying at a convent abroad. A further grisly fact is that three human skeletons were found hidden in the walls of Samlesbury. It has been investigated twice by Most Haunted, once in 2004 and once in 2009. It’s also appeared on an episode of Ghost Hunters International where a number of ghosts were supposedly caught on camera.
Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
Berry Pomeroy Castle is known for being a picturesque castle in an even more picturesque town, but the pretty façade hides a sinister secret – the castle is reported as being one of the most haunted castles in Britain. Two female ghosts, the White Lady and the Blue Lady are said to haunt the premises. The Blue Lady is said to haunt the tower, luring passers-by to her aid and if they help her, it is said that they fall to their death. The White Lady is said to haunt the dungeons.
Woodchester Mansion, Gloucestershire
Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished Gothic revival mansion in Gloucestershire. Whilst it looks complete from the outside, inside, several rooms, lots of plaster and whole floors are missing. Over the years it has gained a reputation as a haunted location and several paranormal sightings have been reported, including that of a phantom horseman known as “The Tall Man of the Chapel” and a ghost in the cellar. Some visitors to the mansion claim to have been attacked by ghosts and others have collapsed, whilst women who have been to the bathroom have reported seeing a floating head. The ghost of a little girl and the ghost of an old woman have also been spotted at the site.
Elvey Farm, Kent
Often described as the most haunted village in Britain, Pluckley, near Ashford in Kent, is said to be haunted by at least a dozen ghosts. Ghoulish attractions include “Fright Corner”, where a highwayman met his untimely death, and the Screaming Woods, where it is rumoured you can still hear the chilling cries of the dead. The village gets hordes of ghost-hunters that flock there every Halloween where the majority of visitors stay at Elvey Farm. Ghosts who are said to haunt the farm, which is now a hotel, include that of a man in military uniform who stands on the stairs that lead up to the attic.
Athelhampton House, Dorset
Athelhampton House is located in Dorset and is thought to be one of the most haunted places in the county. A pair of duellists supposedly haunt the Great Chamber, where they once disturbed a female guest by fighting. Tapping sounds have been heard coming from the wine cellar, whilst the ghost of the Grey Lady has been seen around the house on numerous occasions. The padding sound of a phantom cat’s feet has also been heard on the bare floorboards around the house.
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
Chillingham Castle dates back to the 12th century and has its fair share of chilling tales and encounters. It holds frequent ghost tours to allow visitors to spot some of the castle’s other-worldly inhabitants, including that of a blue boy, a tortured child, the ghost of Lady Mary Berkeley and a spooky Royal procession. The castle saw a record 8 executions and the ghosts of the executed are thought to still haunt the castle today.
Jamaica Inn, Cornwall
The Jamaica Inn was used as a temperance house during the early 1900’s and there have supposedly been unexplained presences throughout the years. It has been reported on many occasions that pacing footsteps have been heard in the corridors outside the rooms and a man in a hat and cloak appears from nowhere and then shoots off through solid doors. The years of ghostly reports originating from the Inn prompted an investigation by the Ghost Society that found that there were several areas that evidenced paranormal activity, including the stable bar, restaurant, bedroom four, and the smugglers’ bar.
CRIMSON PEAK is available on Blu-ray™ and DVD from 15th February 2016, courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK).