Whether you choose to believe in ghosts or not, the spooky atmospheres and colourful histories of these grand houses, castles and hotels are bound to get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Why not pay a visit to a haunted location near you? (You may even come face to face with one!)

If ghouls, ghosts and apparitions don’t do it for you, then simply take in all the history present at these properties. Think back to all the people who once lived there, be they servants or lords and ladies of the manor, and bring them to life again with your imagination.

Leap Castle in County Offally is often described as the most haunted castle in the world

1. Leap Castle, County Offaly

How old? Built in the 15th century, the castle has a bloody history, standing up to a number of attacks as well as deadly feuds between members of the ruling O’Carroll clan. The castle also had a dungeon where prisoners were left to die
Reported apparitions Often called the most haunted castle in the world, Leap is inhabited by a large number of troubled spirits, including the Red Lady who clutches a dagger in a threatening manner. Shades of The Addams Family occur with the glimpse of a small creature called ‘It’. Occasionally you may see or hear two young girls, Emily and Charlotte, playing in the castle, after Emily fell to her death from the battlements
Open Enquire here about taking part in a ghost hunt around Halloween

The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow, Shropshire, is haunted by an evil spirit

2. The Feathers Hotel, Ludlow, Shropshire

How old? This handsome coaching inn was built in 1619 by a local attorney. Motifs of feathers once decorated its timber beams, showing support for the Prince of Wales, hence the hotel’s name
Reported apparitions An evil spirit lurks in room 211 that reportedly once dragged a woman our of bed by her hair. A man and his dog are often seen walking through the walls of rooms 232 and 233. Perhaps the most peculiar spirit is the woman dressed in nothing but clogs who sometimes appears in the car park
Open Contact for hotel rooms at Halloween. Café and bar open daily for non residents

The Tower of London plays host to a number of ghosts

3. Tower of London

How old? William the Conqueror started building the Tower in the 1070s after the Norman invasion of England. It was created primarily as a fortress-stronghold, but many members of the royal family stayed there over the centuries.
Reported apparitions Lots, including the Princes in the Tower, Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Pole and Henry VI. Anne Boleyn has reportedly been seen carrying her severed head under her arm
Open 9am-5.30pm Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-5.30pm Sunday and Monday. Adults £25, children £12. Find out more

The Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, sits on an ancient pagan site

4. Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

How old? Built in 1145 on an ancient pagan site at the crossing of two ley-lines (a spot believed to have high spiritual energy), the Ancient Ram Inn was once used by priests to house the slaves and workers who built the local church
Reported apparitions A witch who was burnt at the stake in the 1500s makes regular reappearances along with various victims of devil worshipers
Open Unfortunately, it’s fully booked up for Halloween, but it’s worth checking out for future haunted occasions

Hampton Court Palace

5. Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames

How old? The palace as we know it today was built by Cardinal Wolsey in the early 16th century. The extravagant design included three suites for the royal family. When Wolsey fell out of favour, Henry VIII gained possession of Hampton Court and carried on with its expansion and sumptuous decoration
Reported apparitions Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII and was beheaded in 1542. Known as the Screaming Lady, she roams the Haunted Gallery. Another ghostly figure is the Grey Lady, Dame Sybil Penn, who was the servant to four Tudor monarchs. In addition, a rather famous apparition was caught on CCTV in 2003 and has been dubbed ‘Skeletor’
Open 10am-4.30pm, Monday to Sunday. Adults £21, children £10.50. Find out more

Llancaiach Fawr in Nelson, South Wales, is home to Civil War spirits

6. Llancaiach Fawr, Nelson, South Wales

How old? This semi-fortified manor house was built in 1550 by the Prichard family, and was designed to stand up to the tumultuous reigns of Tudor kings and queens. During the English Civil War, Charles I visited the manor house to rally support, but Colonel Prichard, who had previously been a royalist, was so unimpressed with the king that he, like many prominent Welsh figures, switched sides
Reported apparitions The English Civil War is still raging on in spirit at Llancaiach Fawr, several ghostly children have been sighted and there are plenty of disembodied voices to be heard
Open 10am–5pm Tuesday to Sunday, Ghost tours take place most Friday and Saturday evenings, priced £16 per person, while there is a special Halloween ghost tour on 29 and 31 October, priced £30 per person. See here for booking details

Charles Fort in Kinsale, County Cork, is haunted by the White Lady of Kinsale

7. Charles Fort, Kinsale, County Cork

How old? The fort, named after King Charles II, was built in the 1670s on the site of an earlier stronghold, Ringcurran castle, to protect against enemies that might attack from the sea
Reported apparitions The White Lady of Kinsale haunts this star-shaped fort. In a tragic tale, her husband was shot dead for falling asleep on their wedding night, when he was supposed to be on watch duty, and she threw herself off the walls to her death. She also frequents the town of Kinsale in her wedding dress
Open Now in ruins, the fort is open for guided tours throughout the year, priced €4 per person. See here for details

50 Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London, is now a booksellers

8. 50 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London

How old? The four-storey townhouse was built in the late 18th/early 19th century and was once the home of Prime Minister George Canning. Between 1937 to 2015 it was occupied by antiquarian booksellers Maggs Bros
Reported apparitions Various apparitions have appeared over the years in the attic, including the ghost of a young woman who threw herself out of the attic onto the street below. Other spirits include a man who was locked in the attic until he went mad and died and a little girl who was killed by a servant
Open Maggs Bros have sold the property, so for now it’s only viewable from the outside

Margam Castle in Port Talbot is haunted by several ghosts

9. Margam Castle, Port Talbot

How old? This Gothic property was built in 1830, and is in fact not a castle at all, but a country mansion. It belonged to the Talbot family until the 1940s, and in the 1970s it was devastated by fire and has since been carefully restored
Reported apparitions Robert Scott was a gamekeeper at the property for many years, before he was killed by a poacher, and his ghost has been spotted roaming the grounds and climbing the staircase to the tower. In addition, giggling children are often heard in the family areas and long corridors, and sometimes seen in Victorian dress
Open Entry to the park is free and the grounds are open all year, with a Spookfest taking place this Halloween week for children, priced £3 per child. See here for visiting information

Charville Catle in Tullamore, County Offaly, is open for Halloween

10. Charleville Castle, Tullamore, County Offaly

How old? The Gothic-style castle was built in 1798, reportedly on a sacred Druid site worship or medieval monastery, depending on who you ask
Reported apparitions Harriet, daughter of the Earl of Charleville, fell to her death off the Grand Staircase and has since been accused of causing mischief with a spectral young boy of unknown origin. A ghostly flock of monks has also been reported, gathering to bless visitors in their beds
Open 3-6pm on 31 October for Halloween fun for kids. Adults €8, children €5

Bruce Castle in Totteham

11. Bruce Castle, Tottenham, London

How old? Formerly known as the Lordship House, this 16th-century manor is now named after the Bruces of Scotland, who used to own the land, until in 1306, when Robert I of Scotland had to forfeit his lands in England. The castle has had a number of titled owners, including the Barons Coleraine in the 17th and 18th centuries. After a stint as a school in the 19th century it received a large extension. It is now a museum
Reported apparitions At least two ghostly ladies have haunted the house over the years, including Constantia, the wife of one of the Barons, who threw herself off the clock tower with babe in arms after her husband spitefully locked her away upstairs
Open Free to visit, the museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 1-5pm. Guided tours of the castle can be booked at a cost of £5 per person

Belgrave Hall in Leicester is haunted by the White Lady

12. Belgrave Hall, Leicester

How old? A Queen Anne-style house, built in 1709 for the Craddock family, who both died within two years of its completion. It then changed hands a number of times before becoming a council-owned museum, then heritage site
Reported apparitions A star of CCTV from 1988, a White Lady in Victorian dress has been seen as well as the ghosts of a child that had died of tuberculosis and a man who died in a fall. Visitors also report feeling cold spots
Open The two-acre gardens are open during the summer, but the hall itself is only open for special events and guided tours. See here for more information

Ballygally Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

13. Ballygally Castle, County Antrim

How old? The baronial-style castle was built in 1625 by Scottish owner Lord James Shaw. It is now a hotel
Reported apparitions James’ wife, Lady Isobel Shaw, who had reportedly fallen to her death from the window after her husband had locked her in her room and starved her, has been haunting the castle for 400 years. Madame Nixon is another ghost who lived in the hotel in the 19th century and can be heard walking around the hotel in her silk dress
Open Prices start at £100 per night for a room. Book here for Halloween