Our favourite Halloween-inspired events

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The nights are drawing in, autumn’s in full swing, and Halloween’s on the horizon. We’ve put together Halloween-inspired events near our country houses – plus a few of our favourite ghostly tales to get you into the spirit.
Carlisle Castle

Cumbria and the Lake District

The turbulent history of Carlisle Castle in the Lake District has cursed it with many a dark tale to tell. When remodelling work began in the 1800s, soldiers were horrified to discover the skeletal remains of an unknown female entombed between the walls. Since disturbing her remains, rumours claim that a phantom woman holding a baby often appears near the Captain’s Tower.  

What’s on  

Ghost tales from 28 to 31 October bring all of Carlisle Castle’s past horrors to light, from supernatural sightings to eerie stories. Tours start after dark, so be sure to take your torch.

Whitby Abbey

North Yorkshire

It’s a good thing Yorkshire is known as God’s country; you might need some divine protection, particularly in Whitby. This famous North Yorkshire resort is not only the inspiration and setting for Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, but also a playground for paranormal activity. The hauntingly beautiful ruins of Whitby Abbey are frequented by the spirit of Constance de Beverly – a nun punished by being bricked up in the walls, alive.  

What’s on 

See the abbey in a whole new light with Whitby Abbey Illuminations taking place from 21 to 31 October where the ruins and relics are lit up the colours of the rainbow. It promises to be a spectacle – and if you’re there on Friday 27 October you can join in the town’s famous Goth Weekend celebrations, too.  

Chatsworth House

Peak District

One of the Peak District’s prime ghoul-spotting locations is Eyam. The little village in the heart of the Peak District National Park became famous following its battle against the Great Plague in 1665. You can get the warts-and-all history on this real-life Village of the Damned with a visit to Eyam’s plague cottages and museum.   

What’s on 
Chatsworth House is lighting the skies with Halloween-themed bonfire and fireworks nights on the 28 and 29 October. Expect spooky entertainment and music plus warm food and drink to keep the chill away.

Chatsworth House

Cornwall

Given Cornwall’s plentiful supply of centuries-old inns that are supposedly haunted, it takes something seriously dark to stand out. The Bucket of Blood in St Ives earned its name after the bloodied body of an unfortunate customs and excise inspector was found shoved into a nearby well. Since then, locals have reported strange happenings and ghostly figures lurking around the bar.  

What’s on 

Cornish pubs aren’t the only places you’ll find spirits, though. Down in Falmouth, there’s Pendennis Castle where the halls regularly rattle to the sound of long-gone Royalist soldiers that suffered at the hands of a siege in 1646.  

Halloween at the castle (21 to 29 October) brings spooky stories of sea monsters and long-dead kings to life, and the chance to gather around the cauldron to conjure up potions from centuries past. 

Chatsworth House

Exmoor

Though it’s the Beast of Bodmin Moor that gets all the press in this part of the world, the Beast of Exmoor is equally fearsome. When the sea mist rolls in from the Bristol Channel, the brooding plains of Exmoor can look like one of England’s most unforgiving landscapes – a fitting home for the huge panther-like cat that’s been sighted several times roaming the lonely moors.  

What’s on 

As the nights get darker, the corridors at Dunster Castle creak and crack with ghostly apparitions. Join a ghost tour on the 30 or 31 October where a storyteller takes you to its most haunted corners.

Chatsworth House

Cotswolds

During the day, people come to the pretty Cotswolds town of Bourton-on-the-Water for its chocolate-box cottages and charming tearooms. But by night, it’s prone to the occasional visit from a headless horseman. 

What’s on 

There’s also a royally good ghost story at nearby Sudeley Castle. The only one of Henry VIII’s six wives to outlive him, Catherine Parr passed away here in 1548, but is often seen strolling the corridors and gardens.  

Visit during Halloweek at Sudeley (28 to 29 October and 4 to 5 November), and you’ll encounter the Wise Woman from Past-Times Living History regaling you with stories on the power of plants – plus a few chill-inducing remedies throughout the ages.

Chatsworth House

Isle of Wight

Packed with battle-worn castles, ancient megalithic monuments, and WWII relics, the Isle of Wight is a perfect setting for the paranormal.  

What’s on 

Now and again, a shadowy apparition is spotted at Carisbrooke Castle on the same bowling green where King Charles I passed time in the days leading up to his execution in 1649. Alongside the ill-fated monarch, there’s a nameless ‘grey lady’ and a spectral pack of hounds said to roam the grounds, too.   

It’s after dark that the castle comes to life. Ghost tours from the 28 to 31 October take you on a journey of the supernatural and all things ghostly at Carisbrooke.  

Chatsworth House

Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog), Wales

Wales is a roughhewn region steeped in proud mining history and sadly, a fair share of tragic mining disasters, too. After an explosion at Port Talbot’s Morfa Colliery claimed the lives of 89 miners in 1890, there were reports of strange noises and shadowy figures standing at the end of mineshafts, which earned Morfa the nickname ‘The Pit of Ghosts’.  

Where to visit 

You can find out exactly what life was like for the tough Welshmen – and what it might have taken to terrify them – at the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, near our country house in the Brecon Beacons. 

7-night Brecon Beacons Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Nythfa House, Brecon

Departures: Oct & Nov 2023, Mar-Nov 2024, 7 nights

Price from: £749pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

3-night Exmoor Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Holnicote House, Exmoor

Departures: Oct-Nov 2023, Mar-Nov 2024, 3 nights 

Price from: £349pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

3-night North York Moors Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Larpool Hall, Whitby

Departures: Oct-Dec 2023, Feb-Nov 2024, 7 nights

Price from: £349pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

4-night Cornwall Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Chy Morvah, St Ives

Departures: Oct-Dec 2023, Mar-Dec 2024, 4 nights

Price from: £429pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865