The UK is home to some of the most haunting hives of paranormal activity in the entire world. From friendly ghosts to murdered witches and slaves looking to take revenge, this Halloween you can dedicate a day (or even a whole week) to touring the most ghoulish hotspots across every region for the ultimate fright-fest.
We’re all about encouraging people to feel confident on the road, enjoying road trips and getting out and exploring the nation, which is why we wanted to create the spookiest road trips possible to give people an exciting and haunting way to spend their Halloween in 2021.
We’ve scoured Tripadvisor to find the spots where the most paranormal activity is happening in the UK and planned the perfect road trips to the top spectre tourist spots in each region - as well as one mega trip for the ultimate thrill-seekers.
Each regional day-trip can be done in a day following and you can either follow the itinerary or use the drive times to organise your day yourself. The 818-mile ultimate tour is a lot more extreme so you will benefit from spreading out the stops over 4 - 7 days (a whole week of spookiness for true paranormal enthusiasts!).
Although each road trip is truly chilling, the tours are all rated on ‘Scare Level’ from 1 to 5, so if you fancy a more family-friendly day you can opt for a lower rating or select a scarier trip if you think you can stomach it...
The 5 Halloween Road Trips:
- North East - The Friendly Ghost Tour (136.58 Miles, 3 hours 21 Minute Drive Time)
- North West - The Witch Hunt (136.58 miles, 3 Hours 30 Minute Drive Time)
- The Midlands - The Spectre’s Revenge (122.73 Miles, 2 Hours 36 Minute Drive Time)
- The South - Smugglers and Pirates (145 Miles, 3 Hours 6 Minute Drive Time)
- The 818 Mile Ultimate Road Trip (818 Miles, 18 Hours 36 Minute Drive Time)
11 am: Chillingham Castle, Chillingham (Next Stop: 55 Minute Drive)
Start your day with a cup of tea in the tearoom at the picturesque but deeply haunted Chillingham Castle. The castle is said to have some of the highest levels of paranormal activity in the UK so is not for the faint of heart.
There are multiple friendly ghosts reported to be living within the castle grounds, with visitors reporting that they hear voices calling them, feeling hands touch them in empty rooms, and taking orb-flooded pictures that change when developed.
2.30 pm: Winter's Gibbet, Newcastle (Next Stop: 1 Hour 6 Minute Drive)
From here, drive to Winter’s Gibbet for a walk in the beautiful Northumberland countryside where you’ll find the lone pole used to hang murderer William Winter in 1792.
His body was left to hang until his clothes rotted away and there have been reports of William’s spectre appearing near the pole, said to appear as though he’s mourning his own death.
5.30 pm: The Shakespeare, Durham (Next Stop: 1 Hour 30 Minute Drive)
After your stroll, where better place to stop for a snack than the most haunted pub in Durham. Built in 1190 AD, The Shakespeare pub is truly haunting. Locals have heard everything from random screaming to the old sewing machine in the back squeaking as though trying to pedal itself.
There are more peaceful places to have a pint, but if you’re looking to have an interaction with the paranormal then it’s the perfect place to stop.
9 pm Final Stop: Whitby, Yorkshire
The evening is the perfect time to visit the spooky seaside town of Whitby which is so flooded with tales of ghost sightings that it was a key source of inspiration for Stoker’s Dracula.
Although there are a whole host of spectre sightings, one of the spookiest tales is the old man in the lighthouse that fell to his death down the lighthouse staircase during a bad storm. Many visitors have reported seeing his presence rushing along the pier to his own unknown death.
10 am: Lyceum Theatre, Crewe (Next Stop: 1 Hour 10 Minute Drive)
Being your day in Lyceum Theatre which is so haunted that they attempted an exorcism in 1969 to clear the spirits but to no success. There are 6 ghosts that haunt the theatre including a small boy, a lady in white and the ghost of a distraught ballet dancer that hung herself in the changing room.
Whilst there, keep your eyes out for items going missing, random whistling noises from the stalls, sudden changes in temperature and smells of both smoke and perfume.
12.30 pm: Samlesbury Hall, Preston (Next Stop: 37 Minute Drive)
Samlesbury Hall is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the country. Resident spirits include Dorothy Southworth (the white lady) who died of a broken heart and now aimlessly wanders the Hall and grounds.
And if you’re feeling peckish whilst ghost hunting they also serve delicious tapas...
3.15 pm: Pendle Hill, Lancashire (Next Stop: 1 Hour 58 Minute Drive)
After a relatively short drive, you’ll find yourself at Pendle Hill, home of the Pendle witches that were famously executed for witchcraft in 1612 and are said to still haunt the walkways.
For this stop make sure to bring appropriate shoes as it’s a slightly strenuous walk but well worth it for the views and spookiness along the way.
7 pm: The Black Swan Hotel, York
Finish up a long day of hauntings with dinner in The Black Swan Hotel where sightings of ghosts are so common that the bar staff have even named the small victorian boy who haunts the passageway ‘Matthew’, a pickpocket known for making things go mysteriously missing.
In the kitchen, there’s a figure of a man in horse riding gear that frequently appears singing. His sightings baffled the staff until they realised that the kitchen was built over the original stable yard…
10 am: Croft Castle, Leominster (Next Stop: 1 Hour 33 Minute Drive)
Begin your day in 1,500 acres of haunted territory - Croft castle was owned by the Croft family for over 700 years but when financial problems forced them to sell the property the ghosts of the generations of family came back to haunt the castle and can be seen causing disturbances to this day.
1.30 pm: Aston Hall, Birmingham (Next Stop: 57 Minute Drive)
Perhaps the most troubled ghosts of all the road trip locations, Aston Hall holds many angry ghosts. Spectre sightings include servant ‘Dick’ who hung himself after being caught stealing and ‘Mary Holte’ the daughter of the owner who was locked in a cell for 16 YEARS by her own father after she tried to run away with a servant.
Not only can you tour the manor and gardens but there’s a stable cafe if you want to stop for lunch if you can stomach it.
5 pm Third Stop: Derby Gaol, Derby (Next Stop: 28 Minute Drive)
The gaol (jail) opened in 1756 and has a VERY gruesome history. With nearly 60 hangings in total occurring for crimes as petty as stealing a goose - so there are a whole host of angry ghosts haunting the premise.
The cells are even available for brave souls to spend the night if you can handle it.
7.30 pm: Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Nottingham
Finish your day with a tipple at the most haunted pub in Nottingham. The building and the caves below are thought to date back as far as 1068 AD, with the walls full of scratches from prisoners whose haunted souls still remain in the property. If you arrive at the right time you’ll even hear their screams…
1.30 pm: Berry Pomeroy Castle, South Devon (Next Stop: 1 Hour 25 Minute Drive)
Begin your day at Berry Pomeroy Castle where ghosts have been caught on film and 30% of all visitor reviews say that they’ve had a paranormal experience - so the chances are that you’ll have on too.
Beware of the blue lady in the tower - she will beg and beckon you to join her but if you do legend has it that she will push you to your death.
5 pm: Jamaica Inn, Cornwall (Next Stop: 1 Hour 51 Minute Drive)
Cornwall’s most famous smugglers inn is not for the faint-hearted, even TV programme ‘most haunted’ said the spot gave them one of their spookiest episodes of all time!
Luckily not only is it a hive for paranormal activity, but it has an extensive dining menu so you can fuel up for your final stop.
9 pm: Chambercombe Manor, Ilfracombe
On the 30th of October, you can attend a Halloween special event from 9 pm to 2 am for a fully immersive paranormal experience.
Spectre sightings regularly include pirates - the house’s most famous ghost goes back to 1865 when the then tenant carried out repairs to the roof and came upon the outline of a window that didn’t have a matching room.
Mediums visiting the house have picked up on several spirits including that of a confident man who once tried to possess a woman during a séance held in the manor’s Tudor Room.
If you consider yourself to be the ultimate ghost fanatic, paranormal expert or just a huge fan of Casper the ghost, then why not scrap the day-trip and dedicate a whole staycation to road tripping the UK’s most fearsome, chilling haunted places all in one go.
The itinerary below sends you all over the country on a scenic 818-mile journey that takes just under 19 hours of drive time to complete - so it’s probably a good idea to split the road trip across at least 4 days. From ghosts of suicidal ballerinas to screaming victims and pickpocketing spirits the chance of an encounter is high.
Be sure to bring your camera, Ouija board and a brave face - you’re going to need it.
Stop 1: Chillingham Castle, Chillingham (Next Stop: 55 Minute Drive)
Stop 2: Winter's Gibbet, Newcastle (Next Stop: 1 Hour 6 Minute Drive)
Stop 3: The Shakespeare, Durham (Next Stop: 1 Hour 30 Minute Drive)
Stop 4: Whitby, Yorkshire (Next Stop: 1 Hour 15 Minute Drive)
Stop 5: The Black Swan Hotel, York (Next Stop: 1 Hour 58 Minute Drive)
Stop 6: Pendle Hill, Lancashire (Next Stop: 37 Minute Drive)
Stop 7: Samlesbury Hall, Preston (Next Stop: 1 Hour 10 Minute Drive)
Stop 8: Lyceum Theatre, Crewe (Next Stop: 1 Hour 9 Minute Drive)
Stop 9: Derby Gaol, Derby (Next Stop: 28 Minute Drive)
Stop 10: Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Nottingham (Next Stop: 1 Hour 3 Minute Drive)
Stop 11: Aston Hall, Birmingham (Next Stop: 1 Hour 33 Minute Drive)
Stop 12: Croft Castle, Leominster (Next Stop: 3 Hour 25 Minute Drive)
Stop 13: Berry Pomeroy Castle, South Devon (Next Stop: 1 Hour 25 Minute Drive)
Stop 14: Jamaica Inn, Cornwall (Next Stop: 1 Hour 51 Minute Drive)
Stop 15: Chambercombe Manor, Ilfracombe