- Friday, 26 October 2012
Enjoy Halloween with the National Trust and experience spine-chilling thrills at some of the most hauntingly atmospheric houses and castles across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
With ghostly tales from centuries past, there are plenty of ways to get into the spirit of things with a National Trust day out. Take a walk in a haunted house and see what you can find, or come along to one of our Halloween events and join in with the terrifying trails and spooky stories.
Here our selection of our top haunting Halloween locations, and some of frightfully good events taking place over the half term:
Belton House, Lincolnshire
The tranquil surroundings of this old house belie its numerous ghostly associations. The enigmatic Lady in Black, the contrasting Bright Lady, who appears in a golden ball of light, and the infamous Gentleman in Black, a tall individual clad in a black hat and cape, have all been regularly reported by members of staff, along with a ghostly housekeeper who observes conservation cleaners as they go about their business!
Halloween Happenings, 24-31 October 10.30am-4.30pm
Wear your spookiest costumes and join us for ‘Halloween Happenings’ at Belton. There are adventure trails, masks and crafts activities and Frightening Food in the restaurant all week; plus Fearsome Face Painting and Spooky Stories at the weekends.
Normal admission charges apply, plus small charge for some activities. Booking not needed. For more information, please call 01476 566116.
Blickling Hall, Norfolk
The present Jacobean house stands on the site of the former medieval manor which was home to the young Anne Boleyn, whose unhappy ghost is believed to wander the grounds of Blickling in the form of the Grey Lady. Other ghostly residents allegedly include Sir John Falstofe, and Sir Henry Hobart, whose dying groans can be heard emanating from the West Turret Bedroom on the anniversary of his death.
Halloween, 27 October 6pm-9pm
Costumed mayhem and spooky goings-on in the house and gardens as Blickling opens after dark to celebrate All Hallows Eve. Suitable for families and brave children!
£9 per adult, £5 per child or £25 per family. Pre-booking is essential.
For more information, please call 01263 738030.
Chirk Castle, Wrexham
Unnerving experiences have long been reported at this magnificent Marcher fortress, with a long and exciting history. Unexplained visitors spotted by staff include two soldiers carrying a third on a stretcher through the castle itself, and ‘a happy man, in a brown outfit’. Mischievous spirits also seem to exist in the house’s living area, once the nursery.
Haunted Woodland, 27 October – 4 November, 11am-4pm
Follow the trail through the Haunted Woods. What will you find hiding amongst the trees? Can you find the ghosts hiding inside the castle?
Normal admission charges apply. Booking not needed.
Castle of Mysteries, 31 October 7pm-9pm
Join us for this interactive outside tour on the spookiest night of the year. You never know what you might see or hear…
£10 per person. Booking early is essential.
For more information, please call 01691 777701.
Croft Castle and Parkland, Herefordshire
With centuries of history residing within its ancient walls, it is perhaps no surprise that Croft is reputed to be the most haunted house in the Midlands, with a total of seven spectres supposedly in residence. Of these, the most imposing is undoubtedly a 7-foot figure of a man clad in a leather jerkin, believed to be the ghost of Welsh freedom fighter Owain Glyndwr, from whom the Croft family are descended.
Halloween Trails, 20 October – 4 November 10am-4.30pm
Take part in one of our spooky trails around the gardens; find all the clues to win a prize. Make sure you keep a look out for the bats in the castle!
Normal admission charges apply, plus £2 per trail. Booking not needed.
Evening Ghost Tours, 31 October 7pm-9.30pm
Adults-only exclusive tour depicting the stories of Croft's infamous ghosts followed by supper and wine. £20 per person.
For booking and more information, please call 01568 780246.
East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire
According to local folklore, the chances of bumping into a ghost at this atmospheric manor house are high. A merchant’s murderer is reputed to lurk in reception, the Grey Lady walks the rooms looking for her lover, a small girl in blue weeps in a corner of the yellow porch chamber and there is even a White Lady who drowned in the pond when thrown from her horse.
Ham House, Surrey
Featuring cold spots, sounds of footsteps, inexplicable scents and glimpses of mysterious characters, Ham House near Richmond is thought to be one of the Trust’s prolifically haunted locations. A recent overnight investigation concluded there may be as many as fifteen phantoms in residence, including a number of dogs, giving the house a ‘busy’ reputation.
Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire
With such strong personalities as Benjamin Disraeli and his wife Mary Anne as its most famous inhabitants, perhaps it is no surprise that they appear to have imprinted themselves on the house. On numerous occasions visitors have glimpsed ‘Dizzy’ near the portrait at the foot of the stairs, many assuming he is a costumed actor or interpreter until they realise that the figure has mysteriously ‘dissolved’.
Hallowe'en witchery, 27 October – 4 November 11am-4pm
Spooky activities for all your family. Wear your creepiest costume!
Normal admission charges apply. Booking not needed.
Haunted Hughenden, 28, 30 and 31 October 5.30pm-6.30pm
Explore Hughenden by night with our resident house manager and learn of the spooky happenings in the manor. Includes a spooky themed tea.
£10 per adult and £8 per child. Booking is essential.
For more information, please call 01494 755573.
The largely late-Victorian house has long had a reputation for being haunted by an impressive variety of ghosts. A dapper gent wearing Victorian clothes complete with a top hat is frequently glimpsed; there is a grey lady, and a man supposedly hanged by the Royalist army during the Civil War. In addition there are accounts of sudden whiffs of cigar smoke and the sounds of children’s laughter in other rooms.
Spooky Garden Trail, 27-31 October 10am-5pm
Prize trail in the garden with a spooky theme. Pick up a trail from the gatehouse...if you dare!
Booking not needed. £1.50 per trail.
Lamplight Tours, 19 and 26 October 7pm-10pm
Join our Victorian tour guides for a ‘pre-electricity’ tour around the House and meet some spooky past occupants…
Booking is essential. £15 per person, including a 2 course supper in the restaurant.
For more information, please call 01208 265950.
Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
The Apprentice House at Quarry Bank, home to a number of pauper children in its time, also employed skivvies – female servants – to cook and clean, some of whom appear to still be there… The attics seem to be particularly prone to ghostly encounters, with visitors experiencing strong reactions as they tour the area. In the schoolroom, people have reported the sensation of being watched, while at the Mill itself an apparition of a woman roaming the top floors has been witnessed.
Ssspooky Halloween, 22-26 October, 12pm-4pm
Experience spooky, slithering happenings at the Mill, where you can follow the snake trail through the Mill and make a spooky snake of your own at our free workshops.
Normal admission charges apply, plus small cost for trail. Booking not needed.
Spooky Tours, 26-27 October 6.30pm-9.30pm
Join us if you dare for a ghostly and haunting trip through the Mill performed by the Academy of Live and Performing Arts North. Not suitable for children under 12yrs.
Booking essential. £7 per person.
For more information, please call 01625 445845.
Springhill, Co. Londonderry
Left to bring up their children after the suicide of her husband, George Lenox-Conyngham, his second wife Olivia was so distraught and guilt-ridden that her ghost is believed to roam the atmospheric house to this day. Despite the sad story, staff believe her to be a benign presence, seeming fond of children, although it can be unnerving to see her walk through closed doors.
Twilight Tales, 30-31 October 8pm-10pm
Join us for an evening of spirits and spectres at Springhill, home to Olivia, one ofNorthern Ireland's most famous ghosts. Meet some spooky and spine-chilling characters from Springhill's eerie past…if you dare. Suitable for age 16 years plus.
Booking is essential. £8 per person.
For more information, please contact 028 8674 8210.