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Spooktacular historical buildings to visit this Halloween

Halloween blog

In the spirit of Halloween we have listed some of the top historical buildings in the UK that are renowned for their haunting atmosphere and spooky stories.

Halloween, a well known traditional holiday, is a celebration observed in several countries on 31st October, the eve of the Christian feast of ‘All Hallow’s Day’.

Halloween is well known for trick or treating, carving pumpkins, telling scary stories and visiting haunted attractions. Although people share fictional horror stories and watch scary movies, we forget to appreciate the history behind some incredible buildings in the UK with real-life paranormal activity. In light of this, we’ve gathered together our top 5 historical buildings in the UK.

1. Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex
Arundel Castle

“Arundel Castle, located in West Sussex, England, is believed to be the home of four otherworldly beings who have called the castle home for centuries. Each alleged spirit has its own history, which has been told throughout the decades. The imposing structure looks like a scene right out of medieval history books, which somehow seems fitting considering the stories its paranormal profile hints at. As the years go by, remnants of Arundel Castle’s past seem to cling to it, regardless of any changes that occur around or within it.” (1)

The Castle has even been featured on TV show ‘Most Haunted’ which featured ghostly footsteps in the castles main staircase and has previously hosted a Ghost Experience Tour which built up brilliant ratings on Trip Advisor.

Find out more about the history of Arundel Castle and what it has to offer at https://www.arundelcastle.org/history/

2. Ham House, Surrey, England
Ham House

“Set on the banks on the River Thames, Ham House, near Richmond, was once home to the fiery Duchess of Lauderdale, whose ghost is believed to roam the corridors to this day.

After her husband died in 1682, the Duchess, who had always lived in splendid style, was forced to sell many of her priced possessions. She ended her days in penury, writing: ‘I am a prisoner now in my beloved Ham House, and I will never leave’.

The Duchess’s Bedchamber now has a strangely oppressive atmosphere – visitors have heard footsteps and glimpsed the reflection of a malevolent-looking figure in the Duchess’s mirror. To be on the safe side, some of Ham House’s staff take the precaution of murmuring ‘Good afternoon, your ladyship’ before entering.” (2)

3. Chartwell, Kent
Chartwell House

“Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill from 1924 until his death in 1965, remains very much as he left it – visitors have even reported the faint smell of cigar smoke emanating from the rooms as they tour the building. But the most fascinating ghost story associated with Chartwell was told by Churchill himself.

In an article entitled ‘The Dream’, written in 1947, Sir Winston gives a moving account of seeing an apparition of his long-dead father, Randolph, sitting in his favourite red leather armchair.

He describes their conversation, in which he fills his father in on everything that has happened since his death, including two World Wars. The tale ends with Randolph taking a match to light his cigarette, striking it and then vanishing.” (3)

4. Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk
Felbrigg Hall

“Almost 200 years ago a, fire broke out at Felbrigg. Its owner, William Windham III, was a great bibliophile, and risked his life trying to rescue his books from the blaze. He died weeks later from his injuries, but it’s said that he still visits Felbrigg’s magnificent library in order to read all the books he didn’t have time for while he was alive.

William’s ghost has been seen sitting at the library table, book in hand, and also relaxing in the library chair. But apparently, the ghost will only appear when an exact combination of books is placed on the library chair.” (4)

5. Speke Hall, Liverpool
Speke Hall

“The chilling tale in Speke’s history comes from the 1730s, when its owner, Lady Mary, married the notorious ‘Worthless’ Sidney Beauclerk. Lord Sidney was so fond of the high life that he eventually gambled away the family fortunes, and had to confess to his wife.

Lady Mary was apparently so overcome with grief and anger that she picked up her infant and threw him from the window into the moat below. She then went down into the Great Hall and killed herself.

Recorded fact, however, tells a different story: Lady Mary survived her husband, while her only son lived till 1781. Nevertheless, the rumours of a ghostly lady in white, believed to be Lady Mary, date back more than a century.” (5)

Architecture Recruitment Consultant and history enthusiast Miranda says:

“Whilst the protection of ancient architecture is important from a conservation perspective, it is also incredibly important for the preservation of our history – especially when that history involves intrigue, ghost stories and hauntings. October is a popular month to get out the National Trust or English Heritage card and visit the most haunted castles, houses and even pubs of the UK. Even the most sceptical cannot deny looking out for the flutter of a curtain, feeling a cold spot in the room or a flash of light, and the best thing is you really don’t have to look much further than your front door for a local haunted spot!”

Architecture Recruitment Specialists

As one of the leaders in the Architecture Recruitment Specialist market, Hunter Dunning provide its customers with not only second to none recruitment solutions, but also the latest industry insights, statistics and news. Check back on our architecture blog regularly for updates such as these.

Want to submit your own favourite haunted spots? Likewise if you have written an article that you would like us to feature on our Architecture news, email marketing@hunterdunning.co.uk.

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  1. Fringe Paranormal – https://fringeparanormal.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/englands-haunted-arundel-castle/ 29th July 2011
    Image: https://www.reddit.com/r/castles/comments/b0upcc/arundel_castle_west_sussex_england
  2. Emma Hughes – https://www.countrylife.co.uk/author/emma-hughes – 31st October 2018
    Image: https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2015/01/The-north-front-of-Ham-House-%C2%A9National-Trust-Images-John-Hammond.jpg
  3. Emma Hughes – Countrylife.co.uk – 31st October 2018
    image: https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2015/01/walking.jpg
  4. Emma Hughes – Countrylife.co.uk – 31st October 2018
  5. Emma Hughes – Countrylife.co.uk – 31st October 2018
    image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8b/Speke_Hall%2C_Liverpool.jpg/800px-Speke_Hall%2C_Liverpool.jpg