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From witches to poltergeists, Great Britain, with its desolate moorlands, crumbling castles and grisly history, is a must-visit destination for horror fans. Since humans first settled on the island, tales of faeries, stalking cryptids and spirits seeking retribution have plagued the populace. As Halloween approaches, there’s no better time to experience the thrill of being frightened. With this in mind, we rank England’s most haunted counties and spotlight some of their scariest locations.  

The most haunted counties in England: Mapped

Greater London 

It’s no surprise that Greater London topped our list of the most haunted English counties. With an eclectic historical legacy stretching back to the Ancient Romans, London is home to some of the most spooky locations in the country. 701 unique paranormal occurrences, in fact, have been documented over a mere 606 square miles. The Tower of London alone, a historic castle on the River Thames, is thought to be home to an impressive 13 ghosts, most of whom are thought to linger after an untimely, grisly death. Explore at your peril. 

Other haunted London locations

  • The Langham Hotel, Marylebone 
  • The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead 
  • Bank Underground Station, Bank 
  • Bruce Castle, Tottenham 
  • Highgate Cemetry, Highgate 

Isle of Wight 

The Isle of Wight ranked second. Widely recognised as one of the world’s most haunted islands, the Isle of Wight is tormented by a host of poltergeists, apparitions and spirits. This tiny island, occupying just 127 square miles, boasts an array of historic homes and imposing castles. Ley lines, which run below the island, are thought to increase the psychic potential for paranormal sightings. Avoid visiting Appuldurcombe House after dark. Constructed in 1702, this formidable home was built on the site of a former monastery. Shadowy entities are frequently spotted in the cellar, and some report being overtaken by a carriage from a bygone age when visiting the house. 

Other haunted Isle of Wight locations 

  • Arreton Manor, Arreton 
  • Carisbrooke Castle, Newport 
  • Ventnor Botanic Garden, Ventnor 
  • Whitecroft Hospital, Gatcombe 
  • Knighton Gorges Manor, Newchurch 

Dorset 

Stately homes, spooky pubs and desolate coastlines, Dorset is no stranger to paranormal activity. Langtry Manor, now a hotel, was once home to Lillie Langtry, a famed vaudeville performer. Langtry is said to remain at the hotel, tormenting unfortunate guests. Corfe Castle, occupied for an estimated 6000 years, has been forced to bear witness to centuries of grisly history. A headless woman wearing a white nightdress has been documented at a bridge below the castle and the cries of a weeping child have been heard when the air around the site is calm. 

Other haunted Dorset locations 

  • Trent Barrow, Trent 
  • Durdle Door, Lulworth 
  • The Boot Inn, Allington 
  • The Esplanade, Weymouth 
  • Tyneham, Steeple with Tyneham 

The Most Haunted UK Counties – The Top 20 

Region County Number of Paranormal Events Square miles Hauntings/ 100 square mile
Greater London Greater London 701 606 115
South East England Isle of Wight 108 150 72
South West England Dorset 434 1,024 42
West Midlands West Midlands 146 348 41
North West England Greater Manchester 185 493 37
East Of England Essex 507 1,420 36
Nottinghamshire 265 804.9 33
North West England Merseyside 81 250 32
North East and Yorkshire Tyne and Wear 66 210 31
East Midlands Derbyshire 311 1,014 30
South East England Sussex 438 1461 30
North West England Lancashire 355 1,187 30
South East England Berkshire 141 487 29
South East England Surrey 183 642 29
South West England Wiltshire 379 1,346 28
East Of England Suffolk 412 1,468 28
East Of England Bedfordshire 122 477 26

 

Methodology 

To determine the most haunted county in England, we trawled the Paranormal Database, the home of an ongoing project to document locations with paranormal, folkloric and cryptozoological significance. We trawled through over 10 000 entries and recorded the number of documented hauntings for each county. We then identified the surface area of each county and this by 100. We then divided the number of hauntings by this figure to determine the number of documented paranormal occurrences per 100 square miles.