I thought that the scariest thing I’d seen was the price of a pint in London, but it turns out there’s a whole host of haunted places in Yorkshire that’ll scare the pants off you much quicker. From old Abbeys, creaky mansions and haunted pubs – Yorkshire’s riddled with ’em all. And if you feel like you want to give yourself a good scare this Halloween, take a look at our list and see if any of these place fit the agenda. Trust us, we’ll be sitting this one out and maybe watching Kes for the 100th time, instead. Enjoy.
1. Bolton Abbey, Skipton
Bolton Abbey is a family favourite due to its beautiful architecture and fun walks. But there’s a spooky aspect to the Augustinian monastery. It is said to be haunted by a monk who died, whose soul has not been laid to rest. Named the Black Canon, he often wanders the rectory in his dark cloak. Look behind you next time you visit.
2. Golden Fleece, York
Known as York’s most haunted pub, The Golden Fleece dates back as far as 1503. There are a few things that have happened in the pub that has earned it the accolade as one of the most haunted places in Yorkshire – and if you’ve ever visited the place, on the walls you’ll find newspaper clippings of seriously strange and spooky happenings. Over the years, things such as keys rattling, cold hands on your back and footsteps seemingly from no one have occured – and it’s enough to scare the living daylights out of anyone.
3. Black Swan, York
The Black Swan Hotel dates back to the 15th century when it was a private house, with alterations and additions been made in the following two centuries. It’s had several sightings of apparitions over the years. One in particular is a pair of legs with no body that wanders around the building. As well as the legless girl, there is a gentleman that appears at the bar waiting impatiently, who eventually disappears. Creepy!
4. Kiplin Hall, Richmond
Around for 400 years, this Jacobean house is riddled with ghastly ghouls, and spirits that are ready to scare the bejeebers out of anyone who dares visit. For those who like to seek out spirits, you can expect chairs piled on tables by poltergeists, wafts of pipe smoke from the Second World War kitchen and sobbing sounds from a young woman – just some of the scariest things to expect, anyway.
5. Hales Bar, Harrogate
Set in the beautiful historic town of Harrogate, Hales Bar is the oldest pub in Harrogate and was founded in the 17th century, before being rebuilt in 1827. This old pub is no stranger to spooky happenings, such as ghostly manifestations, strange sounds and manic laughter. There have been reports of bottles and glasses falling off shelves, and customers have even witnessed shadows walking through the bar.
6. Treasurer’s House, York
The Treasurer’s House is a National Trust beauty, and being pretty old, it has some of York’s most famous ghost sightings. As well as gorgeous gardens, this eerie place is famous for Roman centurion sightings in the 1950s – with a Roman Legion being witnessed in the cellar of the centuries-old townhouse by plumber Harry Martindale in 1953. Rather him than me!
7. Black Bull, Otley
Said to date back to the 16th century, The Black Bull, Market Place is the oldest pub in Otley. There are reports of unexplained activity, such as footsteps going on above the bar. People have also said that they have felt unseen fingers stroking their face… Not ideal when enjoying a swift pint.
8. Stocksbridge Bypass, Huddersfield
Stocksbridge Bypass is renowned for being one of the scariest roads in Britain. There’s a story of two security guards who were watching over building materials, who claimed they saw a group of children dancing beneath a pylon in the early hours. Another tale where drivers claimed they had seen a monk staring blankly over the valley beside the road has been heard by locals, too. Some have even said that the monk appeared beside them in their vehicle! Imagine that in a traffic incident report…
9. The Fleece Inn, Elland
The Fleece Inn is known as one of the most haunted pubs in Britain, never mind haunted places in Yorkshire. The 400-year-old pub has had many tales spun about it – and with all those years under its belt, we’re not surprised. Alleged stories of murder, secret tunnels and a headless horseman are just some of the rumours told over the years about this West Yorkshire pub. Probably won’t be going the loo on my own, then.
10. Bolling Hall, Bradford
Bolling Hall is the oldest building in Bradford, owned by the Bollings from 1316 until the 15th century. And over the years, it’s had a range of ghost sightings recorded, from a child’s crib rocking back and forth on its own, to a lady in white that was floating in mid-air and disappearing into the fireplace.
11. East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley
This historic 17th-century mansion was featured on TV show Britain’s Most Haunted Houses, with the mansion said to have a resident ghost that haunts the grounds of the castle. Apparently, the Grey Lady wanders the castle ruins like something out of a Susan Hill novel. I have chills running down my spine just thinking about it.
12. Hodroyd Hall, Barnsley
Hodroyd Hall is a Grade II Elizabethan manor house that’s been around since way back in the 12th-century. It’s been alleged that a maid who worked at the hall was murdered and burned in a huge fireplace at the hall, and now, her spirit lingers the premises. The Hall hosts events to do with the hauntings, where guests can stay over and experience the frights for themselves. Reckon we will just stick to Travelodge though, to be honest.
13. The National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield
Opening in Sheffield in 1984, the Sheffield Fire and Police museum is a former police and fire station (hence the name). It’s run by volunteers and tells the story of the police, fire and ambulance services – with some great tales over the years of hauntings and suspicious goings-on. Apparently, there is a former prisoner, Cain, who is known to toss and break objects if anyone enters his cell. Angry little poltergeist, indeed.
14. Wentworth Woodhouse, Rotherham
Found in the village of Wentworth, Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed building, now owned by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. There are stories of numerous ghost and ghoul encounters within the estate, all of which make it one of the most haunted places in Yorkshire. One story is of a ghostly monk and the ghost of a man that stands still as people walk past. Children laughing and people being grabbed by unseen hands are also things to be wary of when visiting. There was an incident of staff hearing a door handle being rattled, as well as deep creepy voices and loud bangs heard somewhere in the house…
15. Nafferton Slack, Driffield
The Barrow Witch is the tale of a woman in Driffield who used to terrorise kids, and would make horses freeze in terror. She died in 1826, and people have said she sold her soul to the devil at a building that used to sit on Naff’ Slack. She escaped the devil and sailed away over the tower of Driffield Church on a fiery broom, and now, you might witness her spirit lingering if you stop somewhere on the Slack. Probs best to just keep on driving though, she sounds a bit mad to me.
16. Burton Agnes Hall, Driffield
An Elizabethan Manor House near Driffield in East Yorkshire, Burton Agnes Hall is the home to the ghost of Katherine Griffith, who died in 1620 after being attacked by some ruffians. The story goes that as long as her skull wasn’t moved from the hall, all was well. It has previously been thrown away and buried, and each time tremendous noise and upheaval has begun. It is now said to be built into one of the old walls, so, all is well.
17. Saltmarshe Hall, Howden
Saltmarshe Hall is a 19th century Grade II listed country house in Yorkshire. It’s set within a 17-acre estate, and the present hall was built in 1825. There’s a five-bay servants’ wing which was abandoned in the 1930s, and is still unoccupied to this day. And it’s not exactly for lack of servants. It’s said that shadowy figures move from room to room, and there are accounts of echoing voices and doorknobs and other items being thrown across the room. I’d probably leave it abandoned, too.
18. Whitby Abbey, Whitby
Whitby Abbey is a 7th Century monastery, and arguably one of the most haunted and creepy places in Yorkshire. It’s said to be haunted by the one and only Dracula, and not only that, but if you look into the Abbey’s well at midnight, those who are pure heart will be greeted by the reflection of St. Hilda. If you aren’t considered pure, the Devil will be waiting to drag you to hell. So maybe take a long, hard look in the mirror before sticking your head in there.