No doubt as Halloween creeps closer you’ll be looking for the spookiest places to visit while in Devon. If you fancy some scares and thrills while you’re in the county, we’ve compiled a list of some of the county’s most haunted places – do you dare pay them a visit?
Berry Pomeroy Castle
We can’t do a haunted spots in Devon list and not mention the most haunted castle in England! Berry Pomeroy Castle was once the family home of the Seymours who history fans will know were a very prominent family during the Tudor era. Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s third wife and the mother of Edward VI. The castle began construction in the 1560s but it was never completed and was abandoned in the early 1700s. Ever since then, it has had a reputation for being the most haunted castle in Britain. Among the spirits that are said to live there, is a White Lady and a Blue Lady who like to lure people to their deaths, a child called Isabella who follows people home, a guard who can be seen walking around the ramparts, a gardener and at least two ghostly dogs.
The White Lady is said to be the ghost of Lady Margaret Pomeroy who was imprisoned in the castle dungeons by her jealous sister.
St Anne’s Chapel, Barnstaple
Located near the town’s famous Pannier market is this quaint 14th century chapel and its graveyard which is thought to be one of the most haunted areas in Devon. Today the chapel is used as an arts and community centre and is hugely popular with local residents. However, the grassland surrounding the chapel features a series gravestones at an angle with historians thinking that there are around 1500 graves there and the stones are placed in such a way to hold the bodies in. It is believed that some of the bones are just six inches below the surface!
St Nicholas Priory, Exeter
Tucked behind a pub and having stood in the city for over a 1000 years, St Nicholas’ Priory has been the subject of several paranormal investigations. At one time, it was the heart of the city but that ended when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in 1536. Since then, it has been said that the site is haunted by a number of Benedictine monks who once called it home.
Okehampton Castle, Okehampton
If you want to avoid vengeful spirits, stay away from Okehampton Castle which is said to be the home of Lady Howard who, in life, murdered four of her husbands. According to the stories, as punishment for her crimes she has been forced to spend her afterlife making a nightly journey from the castle grounds to Dartmoor where she is to pick a single blade of grass and she will only be allowed to rest once the hillside is bare. The story likely comes from the fact that all sightings of her happen at night.
Powderham Castle, nr Exeter
Still the family home of the prominent Courtney family, Powderham Castle was built sometime between the 14th and 15th centuries and has generations worth of family history hidden behind its walls. These days the castle doubles up as a tourist attraction and visitors have reported seeing a Grey Lady who likes to float around the castle library and is said to be a harbinger of doom. Around 200 years ago, while excavation work was taking place, builders found the bodies of a young mother and her child, weirdly, sightings of their spirits were reported long before the discovery.
Buckland Abbey, nr Yelverton
Buckland Abbey is the former home of Sir Francis Drake and is now owned by the National Trust. The story is though that Sir Francis never actually left. He bought the abbey in 1580 after returning from a three year voyage, much to the upset of the locals who believed that he made a pact with the devil.
Whistman’s Woods, Dartmoor
There are hundreds of spooky stories associated with Dartmoor, from the mysterious Kitty Jay’s grave to the Hairy Hands but there is one location on the moor that has appeared in lists of the UK’s most haunted places and that is Whistman’s Woods. According to local legend, Whistman’s Wood was an area that was sacred to the Druids and that they held Pagan rituals there. There is a Druid’s Stone, also known as the Buller Stone that can be found there too.
Will you be hunting for ghosts and ghouls this Halloween? If you’re looking for fun things to do in Devon over Halloween, click here.