7 haunted locations that will give you a Halloween fright
- Credit: Wikimedia Commons
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to look at some haunted locations in our area where spirits still roam. Here are 7 spooky spots where ghosts might give you a fright.
1. Sun Hotel
A former 16th century coach inn, the Sun Hotel has plenty of spirits that roam the property.
The old coach entrance is believed to be haunted by three robbers who were hanged for holding up the inn at gunpoint in 1772.
The spirit of Lord Havisham, who took his own life in the building in the 1800s, if often seen holding a fish, while a barmaid has claimed to see the ghost of a monk walk across the bar and pour himself a drink.
The Sun Hotel has lots of history, and it would appear, lots of ghosts too.
2. Hitchin Priory
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More than one apparition has been seen at the Hitchin Priory.
The most common is the mysterious grey lady, who has often been spotted floating above the stairs on the top floor of the 14th century building.
It is believed that two more ghosts haunt the Priory grounds, so it is certainly not a place you want to be after dark.
3. Minsden Chapel
Even before taking the ghost stories into consideration, Minsden Chapel is already scary and mysterious.
Located in a wood deep in the fields just south of Hitchin, the 14th century chapel was a popular stop for pilgrims en route to St Albans, but has been abandoned since the 18th century and since fallen into ruin.
Walkers in the area have reported hearing the sound of bells and music coming from Minsden, but it’s the sightings that really send a shiver down your spine.
People have seen a ghostly figure walking up a set of stairs that crumbled away years ago. Some believe it to be the spirit of a monk, while others think it’s historian Reginald Hine, who promised to protect his beloved chapel and haunt it after his death.
4. Knebworth House
Standing since 1086 and home to the Lytton family since 1490, one of their spirits is said to roam the halls of the Grade II listed country house.
Writer, politician and keen occultist, Sir Bulwer Lytton performed seances at the house while living there, and his ghost is said to haunt the property, with his presence felt most strongly in the study and drawing room.
Lytton isn’t the only ghost of Knebworth House, with witnesses also reporting a foreboding spirit who you really don’t want to lay eyes on.
The ‘yellow boy’ is often seen in the Queen Elizabeth Room, and it is believed that seeing him foretells an impending gruesome death.
5. The Six Hills Burial Mounds
Ever wondered what the mounds next to Six Hills Way are? Well, historians would have you believe they are Roman burial mounds dating back to AD 100.
But local legend claims they were the work of the Devil, who, looking down on the Great North Road, began to amuse himself by throwing earth at those passing by.
He missed six times and, in a temper, threw a seventh over his shoulder, hitting the spire of Graveley church and knocking it askew, with the spire still crooked to this day.
The holes in Whomerley Wood show where the Devil dug out the mud he threw, and the six failed shots landed in a line alongside the road and form the Six Hills.
People have reported seeing hell hounds near the mounds, while a bloodstained male figure has been seen in the roadway running parallel to the burial mounds.
6. The Mulberry Tree
Formerly known as The White Lion, the current building dates back to the 18th century, but a coach inn stood on the site far earlier.
During the time of the Napoleonic Wars, French POWs being marched north through Stevenage to a prison camp at Norman Cross near Peterborough were often held in the White Lion’s stables overnight and in the now-blocked tunnel that connects the cellar of the pub to the Cromwell Hotel.
Footsteps, scratching, rustling, banging and crashing sounds have been heard by staff at the pub, while doors have been seen to open and close by themselves.
The most compelling paranormal evidence came in 2014, when a glowing white shape was caught on CCTV during a thunderstorm.
7. Monks Wood
Now part of Stevenage new town, the Monks Wood area is believed to have been the site of a monastery, although there is no historical record of this.
Black, cloaked figures, believed to be monks, have been seen by the ponds in the wood, returning every six or seven years to float silently over the water.
The most prominent sighting was reported by two schoolboys in 1974, who claimed to have spotted a faceless figure drifting between the trees.