UK’s most haunted hotels
For some, there’s nothing more exciting than the thought of staying somewhere where things go bump in the night. For others, it’s the sort of thing nightmares are made of. But whether you’re brave, petrified or completely sceptical about all things supernatural, you can’t deny there’s something sort of fascinating about a good ghost story. If such stories are to be believed, here are ten hotels that are so good, some people just don’t want to check out. Ever…
Daphne du Maurier’s The Jamaica Inn, Cornwall
The hotel: Cosy coaching house on Bodmin Moor with cobbled courtyard, beamed ceilings, roaring log fires and real ales, immortalised in Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name.
Who haunts it? Several spirits, the best-known and oldest being the man who sits on the wall outside, believed to be the ghost of the stranger who was summoned outside while drinking in the bar last century. His body was found on the moor the next day, but his killer was never found.
Double room from £80 per night.
Find out more at www.jamaicainn.co.uk
Churston Court Inn, Devon
The hotel: 11th century Grade 1 listed Saxon manor, nestling beside an ancient church. It has original staircases, stone windows, oak panelling and flagstone floors and inglenook fireplaces.
Who haunts it? Many sightings have been reported of monks – one who haunts the kitchen, and others who walk through the passages and rooms. Candles have been known to go out and then relight of their own accord.
Double room from £85 per night.
Find out more at www.churstoncourt.co.uk
Ryde Castle Hotel, Ryde, Isle of Wight
The hotel: A majestic castle building overlooking Ryde Esplanade and the harbour, with views across the Solent, believed to have been commissioned by Henry VIII in 1540 to defend against the threat of a Spanish invasion.
Who haunts it? Paranormal investigations resulting from all the spooky goings on found numerous ghosts living there, including an old lady who died in her room, a man holding a knife and baring all his teeth and a girl of about 14 who likes to hang out by the stairs.
Double room from £69 per night.
Find out more at www.rydecastle-hotel.co.uk
Airth Castle, Falkirk
The hotel: 14th century castle and stables set in 14 acres of wooded parkland and landscaped gardens, once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce.
Who haunts it? Not Robert the Bruce. But previous residents apparently refusing to sling their hook include two children and their nanny who all died in a fire at the castle, a spectral dog that is felt trying to bite guests’ ankles and a maid who was attacked by an enraged master who screams in the night. Rooms No 3, No 9 and No 23 are said to be colder because of the ghost.
Double room from £120 per night.
Find out more at www.airthcastlehotel.com
The Holt Hotel, Near Steepleaston, Oxfordshire
The hotel: Beautifully refurbished traditional coaching inn dating back to the 15th century, with accommodation varying from single rooms to four-poster bedrooms with a jacuzzi.
Who haunts it? The ghost of legendary highwayman Claude du Vall, who often spent his ill-gotten gains from the road at the inn before he was executed in 1670. Guests have often heard heavy footsteps walk the corridors and rooms of the hotel, while female guests have regularly reported the feeling of being watched, mainly in Room 3.
Double room from £59 per night.
Find out more at www.holthotel.co.uk
Kilkea Castle Hotel, Ireland
The hotel: 12th century castle – one of the oldest in Ireland, turned luxury hotel with an impressive leisure centre and 18-hole golf course.
Who haunts it? Previous resident Earl Gerald. Not all the time – he rises from the grave every seven years to rid Ireland of its enemies. So if you’re going to be an enemy to Ireland, careful how you time it. There’s also the young guy who was killed after being caught in the bedroom of the owner’s daughter and still walks the halls looking for his former girlfriend.
Prices available on request.
Find out more at www.kilkeacastlehotel.com
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
The hotel: A medieval fortress, built over 800 years ago to stop the Scots from invading England. Self-catering apartments are available in the actual castle and in the Coaching Rooms, where the coaches and horses were once kept.
Who haunts it? The castle has plenty of restless souls walking the grounds, including John Sage – a sadistic torturer, who accidentally strangled his girlfriend during sex, and Lady Mary Berkeley, whose husband – Lord Grey of Wark and Chillingham – ran away with her sister.
Double room from £140 per night.
Find out more at www.chillinghamcastle.co.uk
Brownsover Hall, Rugby, Warwickshire
The hotel:Grade II listed Victorian Gothic mansion set in seven acres of woodland and garden, with a dramatic interior featuring a sweeping staircase and crackling log fires.
Who haunts it? The manor of Brownsover was owned from 1471 by the Boughton family and one family member, known as ‘one-handed Boughton’ because his hand had been severed, used to drive around the estate in his coach. According to many sightings, he still does.
Double room from £91 per night.
Find out more at www.brownsoverhall.co.uk
Hamlets Hotel, Maidstone, Kent
The hotel: Comfortable and relaxed (unless you’re scared of ghosts) inn-style hotel in an 1890s historic building.
Who haunts it? The ghost of Charlotte – apparently she was a servant girl who died after a botched abortion when the building was a manor house in the 18th century. She caused so much disturbance in the mid-80s that the manager called in a clairvoyant, who discovered Charlotte was one of many ghosts in the building. It turns out there used to be a gallows situated on the site.
Double room from £53 per night.
Find out more at www.hamletshotel.com
Hazlewood Castle Hotel
The hotel: Set in 77 acres of parkland and historic landscaped grounds, Hazlewood is a former monastery, reopened in 1997 after an extensive restoration to turn it into a luxury hotel.
Who haunts it? A habited monk is apparently seen to come from the exit from St Margaret’s courtyard, and disappears into the yew tree, while a priest is believed to walk from the direction of the Great Hall into the Library and disappear (they used to walk from the Great Hall to the tower to go down into the cloisters).
Double room from £145 per night.
Find out more at www.hazlewood-castle.co.uk