3 UK Haunted Hotels for Halloween

It’s almost time for Halloween, a holiday with origins tracing back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would wear costumes and light bonfires to ward off any spirits returning to their homes. Today, popular Halloween activities include trick or treating, carving pumpkins, lighting bonfires and watching spooky films. But if you fancy doing something a little different this Halloween, why not stay in one of the UK’s most haunted hotels? We double dare you.

Most Haunted Hotels in Britain

Britain certainly isn’t short of historic hotels with resident ghosts and ghouls. Enjoy a scary staycation this winter at one of these spooktacular locations…

Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh

It's gone from being a 13th-century fortress to a boarding school and a hotel and spa, but if there's one thing that's remained the same throughout the years is Dalhousie Castle's spooky residents. While many choose Dalhousie Castle for its fascinating history and relaxing spa, others visit for another reason entirely. The ghosts.

Yes, Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa is considered the most haunted hotel in Scotland and one of the most haunted hotels in the UK. Several mysterious characters are said to reside there, including Sir Alexander Ramsay, who was starved to death in the castle towers in 1342 and is said to have roamed the castle halls and grounds ever since.

Another spirit is known as the 'Grey Lady.' Her real name - Catherine. While some say Catherine was a former Laird's mistress locked in the tower by the Laird's jealous wife and left to die, others say she was, in fact, a Lady of just 16 who was banished to the castle tower after getting caught with a stable hand. Either way, Catherine is said to have been spotted on many occasions stalking the castle corridors at night, appearing at weddings at the hotel, waving at passers-by from the turrets and, worst of all…perching on the end of guests' beds!

The Scottish hotel thrives on its petrifying paranormal activities, offering regular ghost tours to those brave enough to join in the fearsome fun.

The Mermaid Inn, Rye, East Sussex

The Mermaid Inn is a Grade II historic inn dating back to the 12th century. Not only is it one of the oldest buildings in the country, but it’s also said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the UK. And looking at it, you wouldn’t exactly be surprised!

Located in the historic mediaeval town of Rye, The Mermaid Inn has a stereotypical haunted house look about it, complete with secret passages and sliding walls. But it’s not all about the eerie aesthetics. The Mermaid Inn is reportedly haunted by several members of the Hawkhurst Gang - famous smugglers who used the inn as one of their bases between 1730 and 1740.

Others have spoken of a lady who appears in the middle of the night on a rocking chair in Room 17. The ghost is thought to be the wife of Hawkhurst Gang Founder George Gray. Along with spooky sightings, guests often report a sudden drop in temperature and notice the rocking chair moving without anyone touching it. The room is so scary that even the cleaners won’t venture in alone, instead choosing to work in pairs.

Interestingly, only 6 out of the 31 rooms at The Mermaid Inn are haunted - rooms 1,5, 10, 16, 17 and 19. So they are the ones to avoid…or book, depending on how brave you feel!

Jamaica Inn, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

Located on the breathtaking borders of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, the Jamaica Inn is an 18th-century coaching inn known for its history of smuggling. And if the name rings a bell, it’s likely because it’s the location of the best-selling novel (and later, film) ‘Jamaica Inn,’ by celebrated author Daphne du Maurier.

While the Jamaica Inn prides itself on its dark history, with a museum showing off some of the best smugglers’ artefacts in Britain, it’s also famed as the most haunted hotel in Cornwall.

A few years back, it was featured on the TV show ‘Most Haunted,’ with producers claiming it was one of the most sinister episodes they’d ever recorded. Jamaica Inn is also a popular pilgrimage for paranormal investigators worldwide and regularly hosts ghost hunts for those who dare to join.

Guests of the Jamaica Inn have reportedly seen a man in a tricorne hat and cloak who appears and walks through solid doors. They’ve also heard conversations spoken in a foreign tongue, thought to be Old Cornish and heard phantom footsteps coming from empty rooms.

In 1788, the inn was extended to incorporate a coach house, stables and tack room. It’s believed that the spirit of a man killed at the inn more than 200 years ago is still trapped in the converted stables. Others have reported seeing a ghostly character sitting on the wall outside the inn. Many believe this is the ghost of a man murdered on Bodmin Moor. His last sighting was at Jamaica Inn, where he’s thought to return to often to finish his drink.

Along with the Dalhousie Castle Hotel & Spa, The Mermaid Inn and Jamaica Inn, other spooky hotels in the UK, each with their own fascinating tales, include:

  • The Langham in London
  • The Golden Fleece in York
  • Ruthin Castle in Ruthin, North Wales
  • Malmaison in Oxfordshire
  • The Black Swan Inn, York

Book a Halloween hotel break with Plans Change

Are you looking for haunted places to stay overnight? Book a Halloween hotel break at one of the UK's most haunted hotels with Plans Change.