Nine haunted pubs in the UK to get your spook on
With Halloween just around the corner, what better time to plan a spooktacular weekend break? We reveal nine of the spookiest inns across the nation, where you might even come across a resident ghost or two. Once you’ve made your choice, we have thousands of hotels in the UK that are ideal for your haunted holiday.
1. The Spaniards Inn
Best for: A post-walk pint after strolling around the Heath
Address: Spaniards Rd, London NW3 7JJ
Spaniards Inn is an absolute Hampstead icon, having stood proudly over the Heath for hundreds of years. The spirit of the famous highwayman Dick Turpin is said to roam the accommodations upstairs, causing more than a bit of ruckus with his ghostly bangs. Downstairs, Dick Turpin's horse - Black Bess - haunts the car park. Many have reported the sounds of neighing over the years.
2. Ostrich Inn
Best for: A traditional Sunday Roast
Address: High St, Colnbrook, Slough SL3 0JZ
Image credit: The Ostrich
Another stopping point for Dick Turpin, Ostrich Inn dates back to 1106, making it one of the oldest pubs on this list. According to legend, over 60 murders have taken place at the inn, with the majority occurring at the hands of the pub’s own landlord, Jarman, during the 17th century. Jarman and his wife ran a tidy trade in murdering rich guests in their sleep - but thankfully today’s owners are a more hospitable pair!
3. Jamaica Inn
Best for: Exploring the Cornish Coast
Address: Bolventor, Launceston PL15 7TS
Built as an 18th century coaching inn, Jamaica Inn is most famous as the setting for the iconic Daphne du Maurier novel. This public house was once a haven for smugglers coming to shore on the Cornish Coast and it has its fair share of gruesome tales to tell. Weary travellers on the coastal path have heard strange noises of horses hooves and carriage wheels bouncing off cobbled streets, while a man in a tricorn (pirate) hat has been seen coming through its doors.
4. Drovers Inn
Location: Scottish Highlands
Best for: Walking in the Scottish Highlands
Image credit: The Drovers
Ghost hunters be warned - you may not get much sleep with a stay at the Drovers Inn. Not only does this characterful pub have an incredible location near beautiful Loch Lomond, but there have been numerous records of paranormal activity both in and around the haunted building. From ghostly children and unexplained lights, to shrieking cattle farmers, this pub will keep your spine tingling.
5. Red Lion Inn
Best for: Visiting the nearby UNESCO Heritage Site
Built in the 1600s and surrounded entirely by a stone circle that is older than Stonehenge, the Red Lion Inn is ideal for ghost hunters and pilgrims alike. The pub's indoor well, now transformed into a feature table, is the key to the pub’s oldest ghost story. Legend has it that during the English Civil War, a young man returned from war to find his wife, Florrie, in the arms of another. In a fit of rage, Florrie’s husband stabbed her and threw her down the well; she has haunted the place ever since.
6. The George and Pilgrims Inn
Best for: A pint with some serious history
Address: 1 High St, Glastonbury BA6 9DP
Image credit: The George & Pilgrim’s Inn
George and Pilgrim’s Inn dates back to the 15th century and legend has it that two different ghosts haunt the Glastonbury pub. A ‘woman in white’ and the Glastonbury monk, who fell in love with her, haunt the medieval halls of the inn, searching for each other. An array of spooky noises have been heard by punters over the years, and the pub’s gothic interior helps to increase the eerie ambience!
7. Golden Fleece
Best for: Great beer on draft
In a city that is home to more than its fair share of haunted buildings, it really says a lot that the Golden Fleece pub claims to be York’s ‘most haunted’. Regular ghost hunts take place here, trying to fathom the mysteries of the pub; the sounds of a ghostly child have been recorded, and there have been reports of 14 different ghostly figures, from a Canadian airman from WWII to a young, 19th century Victorian boy.
8. The Stag Inn
Location: East Sussex
Best for: Excellent seasonal food from the on-site fruit and veg garden
Image credit: The Stag Inn
The Stag Inn, on the UK’s South Coast, has a long and varied history. Smuggler gangs would frequent the pub back in the 15th and 16th centuries, while religious oppression caused the inn to become a safeplace. Its timber-frame hides all sorts of intrigue, with many locals speaking of the murdered Dutch sea captain who has been sighted in the cellar. And make sure you say hello to the mummified cats on the bar - these beauties were found stuffed up the chimney in the 1940s!
9. Skirrid Mountain Inn
Best for: Super friendly staff and warm atmosphere
Image credit: The Skirrid Mountain Inn
One of the oldest pubs in Great Britain, and certainly the oldest in Wales, the Skirrid Mountain Inn has enough to satisfy the keenest ghost hunter. Moving objects and strange noises are just the tip of the iceberg; apparently this pub was the site of hundreds of executions, and some of today’s more sensitive customers have reported feeling the vice-like grip of the noose around their necks.