Is Shropshire the UK's Most Haunted County?
With a history as rich as Shropshire's, it is not surprising that it is said to be one of the UK's most haunted counties.
Home to castles, medieval cobbled streets, listed buildings and historic pubs, sometimes it may seem that these buildings are trying to tell us the tales of their past!
From spooky stories of 12th-century serial killers to legends of curses and haunted paintings, do you dare read on to find out more about these ghostly and ghoulish goings-on?
If you're looking for something more unusual to do in Shrewsbury when staying at our Oxon Hall Touring Park, why not book a ticket to a ghost tour? Hosted by Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, the tours run in selected evenings throughout October and November.
Dating back over 1000 years and located in the town centre, Shrewsbury Castle is rumoured to be home to the ghost of a 12th-century serial killer who murdered at least eight women.
"Bloody Jack", a castle keeper who lured his victims to the castle before killing them, was eventually caught and sentenced to death. He was hung, drawn and quartered and his head was displayed for all to see.
Over the years there have been many reports of a ghost in the castle grounds who has been seen dragging a woman's body behind him.
Moreton Corbet Castle
The grand ruins of this 15th-century house can be found just 10 miles outside of Shrewsbury.
During the reign of King James I the Corbet family sheltered a Puritan, Paul Holmyard, before eventually asking Paul to leave when his views became increasingly fanatical.
Paul survived for some time in the local woods, before returning to the house and cursing the family, saying, "Rejoice not in thy riches, not in monuments of thy pride, for neither thou, nor thy children, nor thy children’s children shall inhabit these halls."
Despite the building of Moreton Corbet Castle not yet being complete, the Corbet family were so terrified of the curse that they fled the house and it fell into ruin.
Local legend tells tales of a ghostly figure patrolling the grounds on a moonlight night, making sure that the building remains forevermore in ruin.
Prince Rupert Hotel
Dating from 1150 and once the home to the grandson of James I, visitors to the Prince Rupert Hotel have reported several spooky activities and unexplained occurrences over the years.
The most famous tale is the supposed haunting of a jilted bride who killed herself on her wedding night. Now a conference room, it is said that visitors have seen a ghostly apparition of the bride herself in the room, as well as reports of objects being moved around.
Among the other spectres sighted at the hotel are a young man who killed himself, an invisible figure sitting on the bed in the Prince Rupert Suite, the ghost of Martha, a hotel maid, who can be spotted on the stairs, and a ghostly figure disappearing through a wall who was spotted by a director of the 1984 film "A Christmas Carol".
An initial glance might give you the impression that the Nags Head is like any other cosy 17th-century coaching inn, but you may not know that this particular pub is home to a supposedly cursed painting.
The origins of the painting are a mystery. It was painted into the back of a cupboard in a top floor room and depicts a man with a trident, who some say could be Poseidon, whilst others believe it to be the Devil.
Three suicides have been reported in that room over the years. The first was a coachman, the second a young woman who threw herself out of the window on the evening of her wedding, and the third was a soldier on leave during WWI. Their ghosts are now said to haunt the walls of the inn.
Legend now has it that any who look at the painting will suffer misfortune, although there have been no more reports of deaths in the room.
Titled the "6th Dark Tourism Destination in the World", Shrewsbury Prison embraces its sometimes grisly past and now offers evening ghost tours where visitors can learn about the ghosts of the past 200 years!
Once a working prison that held public executions in the Georgian period, the prison has a macabre history with visitors today reporting unexplained occurrences such as cell doors crashing shut and disembodied wailing!
The most haunted part of the prison, the C Wing, is home to the Grey Lady, a ghostly figure who can be spotted at night, and a Georgian boy who would have been held in the underground Georgian section of the prison, which can be experienced in total darkness on the tour.
With many reports of ghostly figures and spooky goings-on, Shrewsbury Prison is not one for the faint-hearted!
Considered by some as the most haunted town in Shropshire, do you dare to visit Bridgnorth when staying at our Stanmore Hall Touring Park? Why not check out the Ghost Walk, held on select dates at the end of October, and experience a 30 minute stage show featuring grisly tales from the ghosts themselves!
Ye Olde Punchbowl Inn
It's no surprise that ghostly figures have been spotted at Ye Olde Punchbowl Inn with a history dating back over 700 years!
The two spectres that are most often sighted are believed to be linked. A gentleman called Harold was rumoured to have killed his wife and a little girl called Jesse.
Harold apparently now roams the pub with his Irish wolfhound, whilst Jesse is also believed to haunt the pub and has been heard crying. The current landlords claim that their son would talk to Jesse when he was two years old!
The Bassa Villa
A 16th-century inn that is now a cosy, traditional pub, the Bassa Villa is also known in Bridgnorth for its spooky stories and strange occurrences.
Once known as the Magpie House, the building is said to be haunted by the spirits of two children from the 1600s, Charlotte and William, who were accidentally locked in the cellar whilst playing hide and seek and sadly drowned when the river burst its banks and flooded the cellar.
There have been multiple reports of unexplained sounds and activity over the years, such as the sound of children crying and glasses falling off shelves, and the ghostly figure of Charlotte and William's mother is said to roam the building dressed in black and crying for her lost children.
The Acton Arms
Located between Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock, the Acton Arms is said to be the most frequently haunted pub in Britain.
If you visit this haunted inn, you have a good chance of encountering the ghostly figure of a Benedictine monk who is supposedly seen every day roaming an upstairs corridor.
Although little is known about who this figure might be, some locals believe it to be the ghost of Richard Manners, Abbot of Shrewsbury.
From the ghostly figure of Catherine of Aragon to stories of poltergeists, many buildings in Ludlow are said to be haunted. If you're staying at our Ludlow Touring Park over this Halloween period, why not brave a ghost tour of Ludlow? Learn about the darker side of the town's history and be entertained by sinister characters from tales of old.
With a history dating back to Norman times, Ludlow Castle has seen its fair share of ghostly apparitions through the ages!
The most famous is the spirit of Marion La Bruyere who has reportedly been seen wandering the grounds of the castle, or her screams have been heard as she falls from the Pendover Tower.
Marion is said to have lived in the castle and one night lowered a rope from the tower for her lover, a knight from the enemy army, to climb the tower.
However, the knight betrays Marion and lets 100 other soldiers climb the rope to invade the castle. Grief-stricken, Marion killed her beloved by cutting his throat with his own sword, before throwing herself out of the tower.
The Feathers Hotel
An iconic building in Ludlow town centre, the striking black and white timber facade of the Feathers Hotel contains a fascinating history dating all the way back to the 1600s.
A building of that age is bound to have collected a few ghost stories through the years, and the Feathers Hotel is no exception, with some believing it to be one of the most haunted places in Shropshire.
The room with the most unexplained tales is room 211, where the ghost of a jealous female figure has reportedly made herself known on many occasions.
She is said to take a particular dislike to female guests, with one guest recalling a particularly terrifying tale where she experienced being pulled violently out of the bed by her hair, as well as being awoken by the sensation of ice water being poured on her. In contrast, her male partner experienced no disturbances through the night and slept soundly!
Other ghostly figures spotted at the hotel are a man in Victorian clothing walking his dog along the corridor, and sounds of children playing when there was nobody else around.
Blue Boar Pub
A soldier from the nearby castle has been seen at the Blue Boar pub and is named as the Officer of the Tower. When last seen in the 1950s, he wore a blue tunic with shiny silver buttons. Other ghosts said to be residing here include a Cavalier soldier, an ageing Victorian woman, a pipe-smoking man and a teenage girl.
A Grade II listed building, the Blue Boar Pub is another building with a rich and fascinating history, including some spooky stories!
Supposedly haunted by a variety of ghostly figures, these include an office from the nearby Ludlow Castle, dressed in a blue tunic with shiny silver buttons, as well as the spirit of a woman in Victorian clothing and a man smoking a pipe.
Poltergeist activity has also been reported at the pub, with tales of clock hands going backwards, doors opening by themselves and glasses being knocked over by some unseen force.
St Lawrence’s Church
St Lawrence’s Church is supposedly haunted by an old woman, wearing a long robe and having grey hair. She moves through the churchyard between the graves and also near the rectory. It has been suggested that she may appear more often on summer evenings and sometimes screams.
This impressive church dates back to 1100AD, so it comes as no surprise that St Lawrence's history includes tales of a ghostly figure.
Supposedly haunting the churchyard, the spirit of an old woman wearing a long robe and with grey hair has been spotted roaming around the graves and near the rectory.
She is most often seen on summer evenings and has reportedly been heard screaming.
Have you had any ghostly encounters when staying at our parks? Perhaps keep an eye out when you next visit these historic Shropshire towns as you might encounter something you just can't explain...More Stories