Beginning this weekend with the premiere of The Fades (Saturdays at 9/8c), you won’t need to go any further than your television to go ghost hunting. But just in case you do want to go about disturbing the spirits of the dead, Britain is a jolly good place to do it, and you needn’t end up covered in blood like Natalie Dormer, pictured above. (Also: check out the spooky latest Nerdist special, airing Saturday, January 14 at 10:15 pm/9:15 c following The Fades.)
If you’re looking for British ghosts, you might actually want to join the tourists at the Tower of London. Because what is arguably the number one tourist destination in Britain is also the place that Haunted-Britain.com calls “perhaps the most haunted building in England.” It is said to house the ghosts of King Henry VI, Anne Boleyn, and Lady Jane Grey. (Image Source/AP Images)
That’s the name that ghost-hunter Harry Price gave to Borley Rectory in one of three books he wrote about the Victorian-era mansion built in 1863, in the town of Borley in Essex. Skulls were said to be found in brown paper bags in cupboards, servant bells rang out loud, even though their cords had been cut, and residents even reported being mysteriously thrown out of their beds. Sadly destroyed by fire in 1939, it’s still considered by ghost hunters like Real British Ghosts as a mighty eerie location. (Wiki Commons)
Edgehill in Warwickshire was the site of the first battle of the English Civil War in October 1642. After the battle, there were reports of phantom soldiers continuing to fight – and the King is even said to have sent a Royal Commission of investigators, who, it is claimed, not only witnessed the ghosts but recognized some of them. (From the BBC’s Weird Warwickshire )
Perhaps even more frightening than trying to pronounce the name of this manor (“hlan-KAI-ahk VOWrrr” we’re advised) are the reports of the ghosts there, including a housekeeper called “Mattie.” The manor’s website says that even today visitors can smell strange odors – scents “of violets or lavender – and on some occasions, roast beef!” The keepers of the house even installed a Ghost Cam and there are regularly scheduled ghost tours of the property. (Press Association/AP Images)
In England, ghosts appear to enjoy haunting pubs. Makes perfect sense to us. For example, if you visit the website for Nottingham’s Salutation Inn pub , you’ll learn not only about its drinks and buffets, but also about the resident ghost, Rosie, a “4 or 5 year old urchin from Victorian times.” The pub, said to date back to 1240, is built on underground caves, which is where Rosie is thought to reside. Meanwhile, spirits are apparently drawn to spirits at the Skirrid Mountain Inn in Abergavenny, Wales – in 1685, 180 rebels from the Monmouth Rebellion were hanged at the pub.
Why should humans spirits be the only ones to haunt England’s green and pleasant land? Real British Ghosts offers plenty of stories of animal ghosts in the UK. For example, not only is there a pedigree Persian ghost cat in the Tower of London but there’s also said to be a ghost bear. The explanation? The Tower apparently had a menagerie until 1835, when all its animals were sent to the London Zoo. (Corbis/AP Images)
If you’re hunting for ghosts, and all else fails, you’re assured to find one at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, where the musical stage version of the Patrick Swayze movie has been running for quite a while now. And if it’s too difficult or expensive to get a ticket, well, there’s always the movie ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ in movie theaters.