By journalism student Callum Stuart.

As it is Halloween, there’s no doubt many of you are on the lookout for some spooky destinations to visit. So fear not, for we have put together a nice long list of some of the creepiest places in all of Gloucestershire that are pure nightmare fuel. Hats off to any who are brave enough to visit them all…

The Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-Under-Edge

Recently declared the most haunted destination in the UK, The Ancient Ram Inn has many a scary story to tell. Built in 1145, it has ghostly children, witches, monks… even demons have been accounted for!

The Bishop’s Room is especially notorious - back when the inn was a bed and breakfast, many guests would not want to stay there, and those who did often wouldn’t last the night. They were probably scared off by the ghostly cavalier said to haunt the room.

All this activity may sound unusual, but the inn is built on the site of a Pagan burial ground, so what did you expect?


Prestbury, Cheltenham

Said to be the most haunted village in England, Prestbury has a spine-chilling variety of spooks.

The most famous of them all is the Black Abbot, who is regularly seen in both the church and the churchyard. He especially likes to put in an appearance around Christmas and Easter.

The Black Abbot is not alone however, with Prestbury being home to many other ghouls, including a young girl who plays a spinet in Sundial Cottage. It’s also the haunt of two ghostly horsemen - one with a head, the other without.

Woodchester Mansion

There’s so many ghosts haunting Woodchester Mansion that I could go on about them all day. Construction of the mansion commenced in the mid-1800s, but it was never finished, leaving Woodchester an empty shell. As a result, it’s probably been a residence for more ghosts than actual people.

We’ll start on the outside of the mansion, where a ghostly horseman has been witnessed on the driveway. Venture in and you might be able to spot a disembodied head floating in one of the bathrooms. The ghost of a very tall man has also been spotted in the chapel.

But those are just a few examples of the many harrowing spirits said to reside at Woodchester Mansion. You might get to meet them all if you pay them a visit. Go on, I dare you…


Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle is the setting for one of the most terrifying ghost stories in history. It follows the sad tale of Edward II, who met a grisly fate.

Ordered to death by his own wife, Queen Isabella, Edward was brutally killed on September 21 1327 when a red hot poker was forced into his anus. His death was so painful that his screams could be heard for miles.

It is these screams which, on the anniversary of his death, can still be heard echoing around the halls of the castle, in a terrifying re-enactment of the horrific events that took place all those years ago.


St Briavels Castle

If you thought Berkeley Castle was terrifying, you need to check this place out - it’s not one for the faint-hearted. St Briavels Castle is believed to be one of the most haunted castles in the UK, and its violent past still lingers in the form of many different ghosts. It’s also a hotel, so if you’re brave you can stay the night.

I’d go as far to say that almost every room in this castle must be haunted. In King John’s Bedroom, the disembodied cries of a baby have been known to keep frightened guests awake at night. Outside, the ghostly figure of a knight in shining armour is seen on a regular basis.

But the most terrifying room in the castle has to be the Oubliette Room, which is said to have such an unbearable atmosphere that guests have been known to flee the room in terror in the middle of the night.

Would you stay the night here? I’m not sure I would.


Owlpen Manor, Uley

Owlpen Manor is the haunt of four terrifying ghosts, the most famous being Queen Margaret of Anjou.

Margaret stayed at Owlpen on one of the last nights before her devastating defeat at the Battle of Tewkesbury, where her Lancastrian Army was overwhelmed by the forces of Edward V. From then on she lived out the rest of her years in exile, but in death she is known to return to Owlpen Manor, the place where she spent the last happy night of her life.

If you want to catch a glimpse of her, she is often seen on May 1 - the eve of the Battle of Tewkesbury.


Chavenage House, Beverston

During the Civil War, Chavenage was the home of Nathaniel Stephens. Stephens was a Parliamentarian, but he was sceptical of Oliver Cromwell’s plans to execute King Charles.

Nevertheless, Stephens was forced to get behind his distant cousin when Henry Ireton, Cromwell’s son-in-law, paid a visit on a winter night in 1648 and stayed up into the dark hours until Stephens reluctantly agreed to the plans.

This decision proved fatal. Soon thereafter, Stephens’ daughter Abigail laid a curse upon her father for bringing shame upon the family. He then became terminally ill, and died within months.

But this was not the last anyone would see of Stephens. At his funeral, it is said that mourners witnessed a phantom coach and horses appear before their eyes. Out of the coach stepped the headless ghost of King Charles himself, followed by the spectre of Nathaniel Stephens rising out of his coffin. The two phantoms then entered the coach before it departed at breakneck speed and erupted in flames.


The Black Horse, Cirencester

There’s definitely been some strange goings on in this pub.

Many people have experienced the unusual smell of lavender in the vicinity of the pub’s fireplace. Whilst there’s no earthly explanation for this occurrence, there is perhaps a paranormal one - many put the smell down to the ghost of a former cleaner who would always spray lavender polish near the fireplace. Sounds creepy, but at least it keeps the place smelling fresh.

It’s in one of the bedrooms where something a bit more spine-chilling once happened. The story goes that in 1933 Ruby Bower, daughter of the then licensee, was staying at the pub. In the middle of the night, she suddenly awoke to see an evil looking old woman staring directly at her. When she screamed, the spectre disappeared, but not before scratching a sinister signature onto the window.


The Ragged Cott Inn, Minchinhampton

The story here is of Bill Claver, landlord of the pub in 1760. One night, Bill decided to rob the midnight stagecoach on its way to London.

As he was making his way out to the coach, he was confronted by his wife, who desperately tried to stop him in his tracks whilst holding their child in her arms. Bill however managed to overpower her, sending both her and their child tumbling down the stairs.

When he arrived back later, he was horrified to discover the bodies of his wife and child lying at the bottom of the stairs. In a state of panic, he hid them in a trunk.

When the police arrived at the hotel, they were confronted by the sorrowful apparitions of Bill’s wife and child. Upon further investigation, their bodies were discovered and Bill was sentenced to death.

To this day, the ghosts of Bill’s wife and child are still seen at the pub. Their spectres serve as a tragic reminder of what happened on that fateful night all those years ago.