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If you are a believer in the paranormal, then it's safe to say that you believe (or know) that there are real haunted houses out there. England often is regarded as one of the most haunted countries in the world.
Fans who want to tour Europe's paranormal landscape should definitely stop by England if they want to see the creepy, spooky, and potentially royal ghostly tenants of their haunted venues.
Most haunted houses aren't haunted by anything except costumed college kids who probably regret their decision to be a paid ghost at a tourist trap. So, we're going to avoid looking at those.
According to paranormal investigators, these are the best haunted houses in England to visit — if you're looking to see real ghosts, anyway.
Borley Rectory - Essex, UK
Some of the best haunted houses in England don't really look like much at all. For example, Borley Rectory doesn't have much left of it aside from a pile of rubble, a fence, and a path winding through an old graveyard. Despite it being in ruins, it's still one of the best haunted locations in England for paranormal investigators.
At one point in history, Borley Rectory was considered to be one of the most haunted houses in the world. The eerie church house was known for being home to a number of ghosts, including the ghosts of former owners, a ghost of a nun who was buried alive as punishment for her love affair with a monk, and a spectral stage coach.
Around the 1930s, Borley Rectory's haunting came to a head for reasons unbeknownst to those living in the house. Poltergeist activity would regularly pick up and throw people from their beds. Rocks, pans, candles, and other items would seemingly fly of their own accord.
One resident, Marianne Foyster, found herself in a strange trance which caused her to write pleas for help throughout her journals in a handwriting that wasn't her own. People began to get attacked inside the house — often to the point that they feared for their lives.
Eventually, a mysterious fire ran through the house and it was demolished. That, however, didn't stop the paranormal activity. Today, the site of the rectory regularly sees its fair share of ghosts.
A ghostly stagecoach still pulls up being drawn by spectral horses at night. The apparition of a nun with a blank expression on her face continues to walk the path she always walked. Disembodied voices, often sounding like a group of people in the middle of a party, still echo through the area.
As a result of the Rectory's staying power, it's hard to deny it's one of the best haunted houses in England. After all, it takes a lot of spookiness to keep ghosts in a house that no longer exists.
The Ancient Ram Inn - Gloucestershire, UK
Some of the best haunted houses in England for those interested in doing some paranormal research can be found among the old inns that have been in business for centuries. Considering how tumultuous British history has been, it's unsurprising that an inn as old as the Ancient Ram would end up on this list.
Truthfully, it's the Ancient Ram Inn's history that makes it unsurprisingly haunted. Over the centuries, this seemingly picturesque and inviting house has seen quite a large share of history involving death, black magic, tragedy, and suffering.
One of the first ghostly tales surrounding the Ancient Ram Inn involves a woman who had fled religious persecution in the 16th century. The woman was a pagan, or a "witch," who was going to be sentenced to death due to her beliefs. Legend has it that she hid in a room in the inn, only to have the inn owners betray her — causing her to be burned at the stake by church officials.
The room where she hid is known as "the Witch's Room," and it's pretty heavily haunted. People regularly get a feeling of dread, feel unseen hands touching them, and get nightmares of being dragged out of the room by other people.
Another room, "the Bishop's Room," has become famous for its ghostly tenant — a monk who regularly gets seen staring out the window forlornly. No one knows who he is.
Rumors of child sacrifice and demon worship plague the Ancient Ram Inn, too and if you want to believe current owner John Humphries, they're very real. Humphries claimed that he was attacked and dragged across the floor by a demon on his first night in the inn.
The Ancient Ram Inn regularly does tours and ghost hunts, which makes it one of the best haunted houses in England. However, if you are sensitive to bad energy, you might want to skip this one.
The Tower of London - London, UK
One of the best haunted houses in England wasn't only a house; it was actually a royal palace which ended up being used to house the biggest criminals in England.
Though it was originally a home away from home for British royals like Edward I, as centuries marched on, it ended up being turned into a prison. By the 16th century, it became known for being a hotspot of torture, death, and mayhem — especially if you were so unlucky as to be poor or unpopular.
Over the years, many famous historical figures were executed around the Tower, including Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn, and Lady Jane Grey. Many, many more were tortured through pretty brutal and horrific methods. Among the most common torture methods were the rack, flaying, and the Scavenger's Daughter.
Rumor has it that all the torture and death the Tower of London has seen caused it to be a vortex with many ghosts who never left their final home in life. As one would expect, this is one of the best haunted houses in England for people who want to see a ghostly royal wandering around.
One of the alleged ghosts of the Tower of London was Henry VI, who officially "died of a broken heart," but was much more likely to be a victim of foul play. Another couple of princes who died onsite were the two Little Princes, who were murdered as part of a plot to gain access to the throne.
Henry VI usually appears as a forlorn man in period clothing who paces around the Tower on the anniversary of his death. The Little Princes, on the other hand, appear as children playing throughout the premises.
Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded at the Tower on the whim of her husband, Henry VIII, also happens to make appearances from time to time. Most of the time, she's a headless ghost who wanders around the Queen's House.
One particularly gruesome death happened to Countess Margaret de la Pole, who paid the ultimate price when her son angered Henry VIII. She refused to kneel for an execution, and she ran to escape. The executioners kept hacking away at her until she died, and people claim they can hear her screams to this day. Some have even seen the gory event themselves.
Lastly, this lonely castle of terror happens to be one of the best haunted houses in England if you want to see animal ghosts. The royal menagerie is said to haunt this tower, and the cries of ghostly monkeys are occasionally heard at night in the courtyard.
Woodchester Mansion - Gloucestershire, UK
In many ways, Woodchester Mansion has all the makings of a classic horror movie setting. That alone makes it one of the best haunted houses in England. However, unlike the ones you'd see in horror movies, Woodchester Mansion is legitimately haunted.
Originally supposed to be a Gothic reconstruction home built in the 1870s, the construction was inexplicably abandoned halfway through the project. Despite everything it offered, no one ever wanted to buy the mansion, nor did anyone ever try to finish the project since then.
No one knows why the crew abandoned it, but legend has it that something was very, very wrong with that plot of land. Sooner rather than later, the dead had decided to make Woodchester Mansion their own home.
By the turn of the century, people began to notice strange happenings around the Mansion. In 1902, a local vicar noticed a strange figure walking outside the gate...only to vanish as he approached the ghost.
The mansion was built with its own private chapel, as was the trend in Victorian England. However, since Woodchester Mansion was abandoned, the chapel inside had become a hotspot for Satanic rituals and witchcraft. Soon, people who were brave enough to go inside the chapel would report seeing a tall man with no eyes walking near the pulpit.
Inside the mansion, it seems like ghosts decided to claim each room for their own. A woman singing Irish folk songs has been heard in the scullery. More alarmingly, some also see a boy hiding from an unseen force in the same area — while others claim to see a tall, angry man looking for someone in the scullery's doorway.
People who go into the bathroom often report a floating head looking at them in the mirror.
Meanwhile, in the main floors of the mansion, people have claimed to see the soldiers who died in World War I lingering in the house. Others smell recently burned candles or hear 1940s music in the hallways. This makes sense since the Mansion was used as a makeshift base prior to D-Day.
Sometimes, the ghosts attack people.
Despite the danger, the Mansion is open for ghost hunts and regularly gets photos of ghosts in it. Basically, if you're looking for terrifying ghosts, this is one of the best haunted houses in England.
Snowshill Manor - Gloucestershire, UK
One of the best haunted houses in England, by reputation alone, is Snowshill Manor. This sprawling mansion is the kind of place that, at first glance, everyone would want to live in. However, when you actually go there, it's a different story.
Something about Snowshill feels strange, or even downright ominous. Each room in the Snowshill Manor was beautifully named and decorated, but even with names like Seraphim and Dragon, this Manor never quite seemed to be what it was meant to be.
Many people feel cold spots throughout the Manor's lands, and often feel like they are being watched. One particular hut in the area is allegedly haunted by a monk who lived on the property — and people still see him wandering the area in his long brown robe with a scowl on his face.
Another person who haunts Snowhill is a woman by the name of Ann who died there after being forced to marry a man she didn't want. No one knows how she died, but you can see her forlorn shadow walking past windows from time to time. Visitors also claim to her her crying from time to time.
A duel also happened in the Zenith room at one point, and one of the fighters was mortally wounded. At night, those who visit claim to hear the clash of swords, and occasionally, an agonizing groan.
Ghosts don't seem to attack people here. If you're looking for a safer place to check out ghosts, then this is one of the best haunted houses in England to visit.
Hampton Court Palace - London, UK
The former residence of King Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is one of the best haunted houses for people who want to see ghosts that have seriously messed up stories. Henry VIII was a sadistic man, so it makes sense that he'd live in a place that's now very heavily haunted by tortured folks.
One of the ghostly residents, Skeletor, gained international attention after the Palace's CCTV showed the skeletal apparition opening and closing a door that was locked by staff. No one knows who this ghost was in life, but he definitely seemed to stick around after death.
Another one of the ghosts you might spot is Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour — or his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Both former queens, along with a royal seamstress and nanny by the name of Sybil Penn, are alleged to be women who haunt the venue.
All three ghosts have been described as women wearing black or grey dresses, with a mourning shroud covering their faces. Jane Seymour's ghost is often seen descending staircases while pregnant. Sybil Penn's ghost was also linked to a spinning wheel that spins on its own accord.
Catherine Howard's ghost seems to be much more unrested than the others. Her ghost is heard screaming, with echoes of a woman's body being dragged through the gallery. It makes sense, considering she was executed for adultery.
Overall, it seems like many of the best haunted houses in England have royal backgrounds — or just look fancy as can be. Either way, it seems like enough history has happened here to make us all feel a little bit spooked while we travel abroad.