From tales of mysterious apparitions to spectral chills, there’s nothing more thrilling than an old-fashioned ghost story. Since ancient times, tales of the undead have featured in cultural folklore around the world fascinating children and grown-ups alike.


Each of these captivating historic places comes with a ghostly tale from centuries past, so whether you’re easily spooked or a brave sceptic, there’s plenty to explore this Halloween.

Read on to discover the most hair-raising haunted castles and stately homes. We dare you to pay them a visit...

Haunted castles and stately homes to visit in the UK

Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Haunted castles and stately homes
©National Trust Images / John Millar

A part of the Blickling Estate, Blicking Hall has been in the care of National Trust since 1940, but it was previously in the possession of the Boleyn family. The rumoured birth place of Anne Boleyn, her headless ghost is said to return to the estate on the anniversary of her execution.

Longleat House, Wiltshire

Regarded as one of England's most famous stately homes, this Elizabethan prodigy house dates back to 1515. When Lady Louisa Carteret married the Second Viscount Weymouth of Longleat House in 1733, the Viscount quickly became jealous of her relationship with a young footman and ordered for him to be killed. Several members of staff have since sighted Lady Louisa wandering the corridors in search of her murdered lover.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Haunted castles and stately homes
Simon Upton

Chatsworth House is bursting with a mèlange of ancient drawings, paintings, sculptures and other classical antiquities. In 1549, the Chatsworth estate was sold to Sir William Cavendish and his wife Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury. Known as Bess of Hardwick, she was responsible for the building of Chatsworth House - and she is rumoured to still wander the corridors at night.

Find out more about Chatsworth House and take a tour of some of the rooms

Newton House, Carmarthenshire

Haunted castles and stately homes
©National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

In the middle of this 18th-century park is Newton House, which is rumoured to be haunted by Lady Elinor Cavendish. Following an unhappy betrothal, she fled to Newton House where she was followed by her enraged suitor and strangled to death. Staff have reported lights turning off and on by themselves, ghostly whisperings, and the unmistakable scent of cigar smoke wafting through the corridors.

Petworth House, West Sussex

Haunted castles and stately homes
Andrew Butler

The 700-acre grounds of Petworth House are some of the most famous in England, and were a favourite subject of the painter JMW Turner. The most famous account of a haunting at Petworth comes from the 2nd Earl of Chesterfield, who owned the estate between 1632 and 1668. While staying in London, he wrote of seeing a ghostly white figure appear at his bedside. Dismissing it as a dream, he returned home to discover that his wife had seen the very same figure at Petworth the night before.

Ham House, Surrey

Haunted castles and stately homes
©National Trust Images / John Hammond

Situated beside the river Thames in Ham, Ham House is one of few surviving houses built in a style fashionable in the 17th century. It is also thought to be one of the most haunted properties in Britain, with one investigation reporting 15 resident phantoms! Visitors have felt cold spots, heard unexplained footsteps, seen mysterious figures, and even caught peculiar whiffs of rose petals...

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Crook Hall, Durham

Haunted castles and stately homes
Phil Smith Photography

Crook Hall, a small 14th-century listed manor house in Durham city, is not unfamiliar to spooky happenings. A white lady is rumoured to float down the staircase on St Thomas' Eve and inside the medieval hall, where a gallant soldier was killed during a duel, some visitors have felt a mysterious cold breeze.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Haunted castles and stately homes

The principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is the only non-royal residence in the UK to hold the title of palace. The Dean Jones room is also home to a ghostly chaplain, and some visitors have spotted a civil war Roundhead soldier huddled next to a fireplace in one of the bedrooms.

Find out more about Blenheim Palace, its architecture and history here.

Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire

Haunted castles and stately homes
Christopher Drake

Renishaw Hall has been owned by the Sitwell family for over 350 years and is full of characterful extravagance. Dating back to 1625, there have been several accounts of ghostly experiences in the house. A handful of guests have been awoken by the feeling of cold kisses and a strange elderly servant has been seen drifting through the corridors.

Lyme Park, Cheshire

Haunted castles and stately homes
Andreas Von Einsiedel

Dating from the latter part of the 16th century, Lyme is surrounded by vast ornamental gardens and deer parks. Now managed by the National Trust, the estate was previously owned by Piers Legh and his wife Margaret D'anyers. Piers was killed in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and some visitors have been privy to a ghostly enactment of his funeral procession in the grounds, followed by the wailing apparition of his mistress, Blanche.

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Hampton Court Palace


'I have to take somebody else with me because there are some really creepy parts, and it’s renowned for being haunted,' says Lucy Hutchings, former head of Hampton Court Palace. 'About 50 per cent of my staff here have experienced things they can’t explain – doors slamming, hearing footsteps and so on.' Stories persist today that at least two of Henry VIII’s wives haunt Hampton Court Palace: his beloved third wife Jane Seymour who died after giving birth in 1537 and, most famously, his fifth wife Catherine Howard, executed for adultery in 1542. A pale figure is reported to appear on the Silverstick Stairs, which once led up to a room in which Jane gave birth, and died, on the anniversary of Edward’s birth in October 1537.