Real Life Haunted Houses- Secrets behind the UK’s Listed Buildings

The UK's listed buildings are steeped in a rich history and when you start to unfold the stories behind their walls, you begin to uncover some unnatural occurrences seemingly caused by residents passed. As providers of listed building insurance, we've decided to celebrate this spooky season by taking a closer look at some of the UK's most haunted houses.

The older a building is the more likely it is to be listed but what does that really mean? A listed building is of national importance and given this status, it is preserved on a special register (an actual list) called The List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest

Categories of listed buildings

“Listing helps us acknowledge and understand our shared history. It marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system so that some thought will be taken about its future.” – Historic England

  • Grade I listed buildings- of exceptional interest, only 2.5% of all listed buildings

  • Grade II* listed buildings- particularly important buildings, more than just special interest- 5.5% of all listed buildings

  • Grade II buildings- of special interest, 92% of all listed buildings are in this class

With listed buildings dating back to as early as the 12th century; the history surrounding some properties is colourful and varied. From royalty to scandals and battles to family life, everyone who has interacted with these buildings in the past has had an impact on their history today. Naturally, or unnaturally, depending on how you look at it, these buildings are some of the most haunted places in the UK. Paranormal activity has been witnessed at many of Britain’s listed sites and it’s unsurprising that some are deemed the most haunted buildings in the UK. We've uncovered the top five most interesting to give you a fright or just send your curiosity soaring.  

Our Top Five Most Haunted Buildings UK

1. 50 Berkeley Square - London

Grade II listed

Now a book store with no abnormal activity to be reported, no. 50 is one of the best preserved properties in Berkeley Square. It's passed however is quite disturbing. A Mr Myers lived at the address but was jilted at the altar. He is said to have become a recluse after suffering this heartbreak and only left his upper chambers to stroll the corridors at night. There had been sightings of candlelight flickering from room to room long after the house became empty.

Later, a family whose eldest daughter was engaged to a Captain Kentfield resided in the home and heard terrified screams as a maid was preparing one of the upstairs rooms. She was found in a near catatonic state muttering “don’t let it touch me”, she died later in hospital. Captain Kentfield took it upon himself to disprove any mystery surrounding the room and decided to stay in the room. No sooner had he gone to bed than everyone heard screams and a gunshot the Captain was found convulsing in terror with his eyes fixed eerily on one corner of the room. He is said to have recovered and lived on but would never speak of what happened that night.

2. The Ancient Ram Inn- Gloucestershire

Grade II* listed

Location seems to be a contributor to the creepy goings on at the Inn. It sits on an ancient Pagan burial ground (always bad news) and its reputation for menacing paranormal activity leaves many locals in fear of even walking past it at night. It’s unsurprising, there are mysterious invisible hands that reach out and touch you, if not push you on the stairwell and in 1999 an image was captured of a ghostly mist climbing the staircase. Babies crying and men screaming can be heard as well as the disturbing sound of ‘something heavy’ being dragged across the floor.

It has bare walls and creaky floorboards and guests have described the building as having a ‘dark and heavy’ atmosphere. One of its rooms has been dubbed ‘The Witches Room’ where a woman had been on the run and taken refuge at the Inn before she was captured and killed. Another, named ‘The Bishops Room’ was frequently rejected by guests at the Inn and those who attempted to stay often fled in the middle of the night. When John Humphries took over the building he found the skeletal remains of children under the stairs and if that’s not enough to entirely put you off the place there were also relics from times of sacrifice and devil worship. Mr Humphries still lives in The Ancient Rams Inn and says he regularly experiences paranormal activity to this day.

3. Wymering Manor - Hampshire

Grade II* listed

Wymering Manor is even mentioned in the Domesday Book. The house has been continually renovated but as a listed building, it’s still retained many of original features, present since medieval and even ancient Roman times. Leonard Metcalf, was a resident who seemed to be in tune with the spooky goings on at the manor. Despite having no knowledge of the building’s history, he repeatedly heard and saw ghosts of previous inhabitants. The house attracts curious visitors hoping to experience some of the ghostly goings on, so much so that security guards are required to protect the building but due to the sinister goings on, none will be on patrol alone at night time. In fact the Manor is so renowned for its threatening paranormal activity that the local council could not sell the building and instead donated it to a trust along with £30,000 to make repairs. Sounds like they couldn't wait to get rid.

4. Chillingham Castle - Northumberland

Grade I listed

At Chillingham Castle the dungeon is very small and has markings scratched into the walls where prisoners have counted down the days until their death. No wonder, as prisoners sentenced to death could expect their arms and legs to be broken before they were pushed 20ft into the Oubliette (a dungeon that can only be accessed through the ceiling). If you look over the edge into the Oubliette you can see the remains of the last victim staring back at you. In addition there’s a torture chamber with the original implements used to harm those who were captured in held in the castle. Today, the castle is looked after by Sir Humphry Wakefield and his wife Katharine, who have lovingly restored the property and still live there today.

5. Plas Teg – Flintshire Wales

Grade I listed

One of the most haunted buildings in the whole of Wales, Plas Teg boasts an array of ghostly characters. Most notably, Dorothy whose home was Plas Teg many years ago. She fell in love with a local farmer’s son Iorwerth. Dorothy was besotted and decided to leave her life of luxury and run away and elope with Iorwerth. Unfortunately, she slipped and fell down a well to her death and Irowerth, fearing he would be blamed (and presumably because his heart was broken) hung himself. Apparently her ghost is frequently spotted on the A541 (which runs past Plas Teg) trying to run to her lover. A gardener tending to the grounds at Plas Teg reported feeling hands on his shoulders trying to pull him down into the well but saw nothing.

If you require Listed Building Insurance, haunted or not, you can find more information here.

Sources

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/northeastwales/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8545000/8545553.stm
http://www.haunted-london.com/50-berkeley-square
http://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1066467
http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/439810/Is-this-Britain-s-most-haunted-house
http://aberdareonline.co.uk/news/rhondda-valley/poltergeist-forces-family-flee-haunted-home
http://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk/product/the-ancient-ram-inn-wotton-under-edge-gloucestershire
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1310763/Wymering-Manor-Britains-haunted-manor-house-auction.html
http://paranormal.about.com/od/hauntedplaces/a/Wymering-Manor.htm
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1310763/Wymering-Manor-Britains-haunted-manor-house-auction.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9857121/Council-gives-away-375000-manor-because-it-is-haunted.html
http://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1042387
http://www.ghost-story.co.uk/index.php/haunted-castles/200-chillingham-castle-northumberland-england
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/londons-3m-haunted-building-damned-once-home-nazi-rudolf-hess-poor-orphans-even-duran-1509746
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/3762015.stm
http://www.oceanfinance.co.uk/Halloween/blog/1-in-7-uk-homes-are-haunted-0-4227-0.htm
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/1app/guidance/guidance_note-listed_building_consent.pdf
http://www.haunted-britain.com/ancient-ram-inn.htm

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