Though London and York are widely considered the most haunted locations in England, there are some truly terrifying accounts of ghosts and other paranormal activity from all across the country. From aggressive apparitions to ghostly stalkers, here are a few well-known English hauntings which are bound to make your skin crawl!
The Yell Hounds of Dartmoor
These large, black hounds with blood red eyes are said to have long roamed the desolate moors of the north. There have been many sightings over the centuries and local folklore says that if you are foolish enough to venture out onto windswept moors after dark, then you will be hunted by packs of these fearsome beasts. If that wasn’t horrifying enough, apparently they have a blood curdling, inhuman scream which drives people mad with fear. According to local legend, the hounds are actually the tormented souls of unbaptised babies who died during birth, and if you should be unlucky enough to encounter one of these creatures, you must lay flat on your face and repeat the Lord’s Prayer over and over until it leaves you alone.
In 1878 the HMS Eurydice was returning from a three-month tour of the West Indies; the vessel was caught in a storm just off the coast of the Isle of Wight, in which it capsized and sank. Only two sailors of a crew of 319 survived. Reportedly the captain gave the order for everyman to save himself, before kneeling in prayer and going down with his ship. However, this was not the last time the ship would be seen sailing these waters. A phantom ship which bares a striking resemblance to the Eurydice has been seen by many sailors over the years, with many stories of ships having to avoid it, only for it to vanish. Perhaps the most notable sighting was by Prince Edward in 1998 while filming a BBC documentary. As he and the crew watched, a massive ship with 3 masts appeared form the fog only to vanish again soon after. Apparently they caught the event on film, but the footage was mysteriously corrupted…
The Screaming Skull
In Bettiscombe Manor, there is a skull that must not, under any circumstances, be taken from the house; if it were to be removed, dire and terrifying consequences would surely follow. Local legend has it that the curse dates back to the 1600s, when the then owner of the estate John Frederick Pinney kept a number of slaves from the West Indies. When one fell ill, Pinney refused to honour the man’s final wishes to be repatriated in his homeland. Unluckily for Pinney, the servant swore never to rest until he was returned home… Soon after the servant was buried, terrible screams began to emanate from the cemetery and the corpse was quickly exhumed and kept in the manor. As the years wore on, Pinney was eventually left with nothing but a skull, which would scream horribly if he tried to remove it from the house… Today, the manor still has the skull, and it is written, “That if the skull is ever removed from the house, the house itself would rock to its foundations, whilst the person whom such an act of desecration was committed would certainly die within the year.”
If these spooky tales have piqued your interest and you would like to know more about the paranormal entities that haunt our country, join us on one of our tours. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides will show the stomping grounds of the capital’s most notorious ghouls and ghosts!