Updated: Nov 8, 2022
Written by Imogen Tomlinson
Counting down the days until quarantine (hopefully) ends? To help you plan your first ghost-hunting exploration post-Covid, here are four haunted locations in the UK that might be new to you.
1. Boggart Hole Clough
In the north Manchester suburb of Blackley lies 190 acres of ancient woodland called Boggart Hole Clough. The park has long been popular with Mancunians wanting to enjoy the fresh air, but there’s something sinister lurking in the woods, and visitors are warned by the name itself. In Lancashire folklore, a boggart is a malevolent goblin, similar to a poltergeist, that, amongst other mischiefs, turns milk sour, causes objects to disappear – and steals children. The boggart of Boggart Hole Clough first arrived in the 1600s, taking residency in a farmhouse. The human residents, driven to despair by the boggart’s antics, tried to leave in the middle of the night. When asked by their neighbour if they were ‘flittin’ (leaving), a demonic voice replied for them: “Aye, we’re flittin”. Realising that they would never be rid of the boggart, the family remained at Boggart Hole Clough for the rest of their lives. The farmhouse has since been reclaimed by the ancient woodland, providing the perfect quiet hiding place for the boggart of Boggart Hole Clough.
2. Glasgow Subway
Glasgow’s Subway system might only be 6.5 miles in circumference, but it’s got enough chilling urban legends to rival the well-documented hauntings of the London Underground. The system’s oldest haunting originated during its construction in the 1890s. Workmen excavating the tunnel between Shields Road Station and West Street Station discovered fragments of human bones and teeth – they had stumbled upon one of the city’s many medieval plague pits. In the same part of the tunnel, a small orb would manifest, enlarging suddenly and engulfing everything – and everyone – in it
s path. The orb would produce a loud clattering, like the sound of pots and pans falling, and leading the phenomenon to be christened ‘the Clatter’. Even more terrifyingly, some workmen repo
rted seeing the spectral faces of plague victims in the mist that accompanied the Clatter. Tales of the Clatter disappeared following the Subway’s opening in 1896, when the workmen finished building the tunnels. Perhaps the Clatter is still there, waiting for a new generation to witness its creepy phenomenon?
3. The Skeleton Bride
Nant Gwrtheyrn, on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, is today home to the National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre. However, the former quarrying village is also the setting for a tragic love story reminiscent of Corpse Bride. This secluded area once had a tradition named ‘the Wedding Quest’: on the morning of their wedding, the bride would run and hide from her groom, who would find her and take her back to the church to be wed. Such was the case with childhood sweethearts Rhys and Meinir – only Rhys could not find his bride. Over the following months, Rhys searched tirelessly for Meinir, losing his mind in the process. One night, as a storm raged overhead, he sheltered under a tree he and Meinir had often visited during their courtship. A bolt of lightning struck the tree, splitting its trunk and revealing a tragic sight: his bride’s skeletal remains, still wearing her wedding dress. Rhys was so overcome with grief that he died beneath the tree. A memorial to the couple has since been erected. However, there continues to be sightings of a skeleton bride hand-in-hand with a dishevelled man.
An evening stroll along Blackpool’s promenade might reveal more than the town’s famous Illuminations and the sounds of fairground attractions. Somewhere off the coast lies the remains of Kilmigrol, a village swallowed by the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages. Geologists believe that the disaster occurred due to a sudden rise in sea levels, possibly caused by a sudden and catastrophic storm. Lacking, of course, the weather predicting technology that we have available today, the only warning the inhabitants of Kilmigrol had of their impending doom was the ringing of the church bell: the entire population lost their life. Today, it has been reported that spectral lights can sometimes be seen twinkling on the horizon, and on stormy nights the lonely tolling of a single church bell can be heard.