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The top five most haunted places to visit in Yorkshire

Written by on 24/10/2020

Yorkshire is home to many fascinating historical buildings, but how many of them are also home to ghoulish spirits of the past?

For those who believe in all things supernatural, chilling stories and sightings of strange apparitions could inspire some spooky road trips this Halloween!

From the ghosts of monks to the spirits of jilted brides, a spooky link to Bram Stoker and strange sounds being heard that cannot be explained, these Yorkshire sites are known for the chilling experiences visitors have had.

Here are our top five ghostly Yorkshire landmarks. Are you brave enough to pay them a visit?

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales
Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales
(Image: Flickr: James West / EJW West)

Bolton Abey is the only remaining evidence we have of Augustinian monastery within in the UK.

Although deconstructed work has taken place, to preserve the east end following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the reconstruction hasn’t taken away it’s eerie presence.

The Monastery is known as one of the most haunted buildings in Yorkshire.

Legend has it that the existing structures are haunted by the ghost of a deceased monk who died shortly before the Dissolution. He’s been named the Black Canon due to his dark cassock, hat and cloak. It is rumoured you can even hear his footsteps wandering around the rectory.

Hodroyd Hall

Most haunted places in Britain: The Fleece, Elland, (left) and Hodroyd Hall, near Barnsley
Most haunted places in Britain: The Fleece, Elland, (left) and Hodroyd Hall, near Barnsley
(Image: Tim Green/Flickr (right))

Hodroyd Hall which sits on the outskirts of Barnsley, has existed in various forms since the 12th century.

It is now split into three living spaces but cannot shift the eerie stories of it’s past. It is believed many spirits still reside within.

Over the years there has been many rumoured sightings, the most frightful being that of a murdered kitchen maid who is said to have scarring from being killed in one of the old fireplaces.

The other most significant sight is of a man named Dr Bell who is said to roam the staircases.

There have also been further alleged sightings of a nun and a monk.

The Black Swan

The Tudor lounge at the Black Swan, Helmsley
(Image: Black Swan Helmsley)

The Helmsley pub, bar and restaurant is renowned for it’s a reputation as one of the most haunted places in North Yorkshire.

Dating back over 500 years there are many fascinating ghost stories, the most regular sighting is of a gentleman wearing a bowler hat who sits at the bar and appears to be impatiently waiting for someone.

Another sighting common at the early 15th century merchant’s mansion is that of an attractive, young, blonde female, thought to be a jilted bride, found starring into the fire in the bar.

Among the ghosts who regularly appear is a small boy, known to the staff as “Matthew”, he is dressed in Victorian clothes and is known as being a pickpocket. The staff often notice things going missing from behind the bar.

The kitchen that was built over the original stable yard is frequented by the spirit of a highwayman “Jack”, who interestingly is dressed in a long black coat and riding boots. It is said he can be heard singing along to Irish folk songs late at night.

The Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotel in Bradford
The Midland Hotel in Bradford

Popular Bradford hotel The Midland, built between 1885 and 1890, is a a classic example of a Victorian railway hotel.

There is a significant amount of history attached to the hotel, but the most memorable story is that of Sir Henry Irving, a famous Shakespearean stage actor who died on the main staircase after his appearance at the nearby Theatre Royal in 1905.

He was accompanied by his manager and famed Dracula writer, Bram Stoker.

It is said that the ghost of Henry Irving remains within the hotel, with many rumoured sightings both in the hotel lobby and in the room he slept in the night before his final performance.

Bollin g Hall

A ghostly image said to be of Commander Charles Wood and his wife who lived in Bolling Hall in Bradford in the 18th century. Commander Wood died of his injuries after a sea battle in the war with the French. The image was taken by Robert Crabtree during a ghost hunt event organised by Pauline Day.
(Image: Robert Crabtree)

Bolling Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Bradford, built in the 14th century.

The hall is now used as a museum and education centre but was home to many different residents for over 500 years.

The former residence has connections to the infamous Leeds Witch, the Knights Templers and Oliver Cromwell.

There has been countless accounts of paranormal activity and chilling experiences, including reports of the feeling of being pushed by unseen hands on the main staircase and the smell of pipe smoke in the main hall.

The most common sighting is said to be that of a lady dressed in white who floats around the hall in mid-air.

There have been sightings of a child’s crib rocking back and forth as people enter the room and the sounds of a baby crying heard on many occasions.

Do you have a spooky location to add to our list – or a ghostly story to tell? Comment below.