Planning a spooky getaway to Northumberland? Dive into our latest guide and craft your very own Northumberland Ghost Tour, thanks to paranormal author and host of “How Haunted?” podcast, ROB KIRKUP
Plan Your Own Northumberland Ghost Tour
Many people log on to Spooky Isles when deciding what places they should visit for a haunted holiday. To make it easier, we’re creating “Plan Your Own Ghost Tour” guides and put all the spooky stuff you’re going to want to visit in the one spot.
Today we start it all off thanks to Northumberland-based author, ghost hunter and host of the “How Haunted?” podcast Rob Kirukp with his recommendations for your own ghost tour of England’s most northern county.
Northumberland has been shaped by its rich, and troubled history, from the Romans and Vikings, to the bloody border wars. As you can imagine, this makes Northumberland the perfect hunting ground for anyone in search of ghosts and ghouls.
History of Northumberland
The Romans were here, with Emperor Hadrian famously building a wall in 122AD, 73 miles long, east to west, which runs right through Northumberland.
The Vikings arrived on the shores of Northumberland on the 8th June 793 AD, launching a bloody attack on Lindisfarne. This was the first major Viking raid on Britain.
The Norman conquest in 1066 would leave its mark on the county, and the Anglo-Scottish wars throughout the 14th to 16th centuries, would hit Northumberland particularly hard, due to being the most northern county in England.
Considering its bloody history, it’s hardly surprising that Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England, and the greatest number of battle sites.
The turbulent past has left its mark on the landscape, not only in the form of the ruined castles, pele towers, and manor houses scattered across the county, but also in the shape of the phantoms and spectres that haunt every corner of Northumberland.
Just waiting to be explored in Northumberland is a castle, considered by many to be the most haunted in all of Britain, a hotel home to over 60 individual ghosts, and even a country park believed to be home to the north east’s very own bigfoot.
A part of the world as beautiful, as it is terrifying, let’s look at some of the scarier places to be found across Northumberland.
Spooky Places to Visit in Northumberland
Here are just some the spooky places you can visit in Northumberland.
- Flodden Field is the site of the bloodiest battle in the history of England. On 9 September 1513 around 14,000 men were slain here in just three hours, including King James IV of Scotland. Ever since the spectral replay of the battle has been reported, with the sights and sounds of swords clashing, and men breathing their last.
- Winter’s Gibbet stands high up on the Elsdon moorland and is a monument to murder. William Winter and two sisters, Jane and Eleanor Clark, brutally killed an old lady on the night of 29 August 1791. They were hung and Winter’s body was hung in a gibbet cage. His ghost covered in rusty chains, with putrid green flesh and hollow eye sockets has been seen ever since in the area.
- Bolam Lake Country Park is a delight in the daylight hours, but hit the headlines in early 2002 when an eight feet tall creature covered from head to toe in thick dark hair, with glowing red eyes and huge sharp teeth was reported on a number of occasions.
- Dunstanburgh Castle is a spectacular ruin set against a rugged seascape in the heart of Northumberland. The phantoms to be encountered here include the headless spectre of it’s creator Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, Margaret of Anjou who was the wife of Henry VI, and most famously, the knight, Sir Guy the Seeker.
- Chillingham Castle is widely regarded as one of, if not the, most haunted places in the country, a place or torture and death, the cast of spectral characters to be found here, lurking in the darkness, include the torturer, John Sage.
Haunted Places to Stay in Northumberland
- The Schooner Hotel, in Alnmouth, a small village at the mouth of the River Aln, claims to be one of the most haunted hotels in Britain, with over sixty individual ghosts.
- Haggerston Castle Holiday Park is a caravan park that surrounds a castle built “some time before 1311”, and is the haunt of a young girl in Victorian clothing, a young boy, and the man once owned the estate and designed the Italian Gardens.
Spooky Places to Eat and Drink
- The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland dates from 1165 , the famous ghost who has stalked these ancient walls ever since is Dorothy Forster. In 1715 her brother Tom was taken prisoner in Newgate, London, due to his part in the Jacobite rising. Dorothy courageously hatched a plan to save him from certain execution.
- The Dirty Bottles in Alnwick. Over 200 years ago the innkeeper died while placing bottles in the window. His widow claimed soon after that whoever attempted to move the bottles would be cursed with bad luck and would die. They’ve never been touched since, being sealed between two panes of glass, and the old bottles are thick with dust and cobwebs.
Nearby Haunted Excursions
- The historic border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed is the most northerly town in England. Few towns in Britain have experienced such a turbulent past. Between 1018 and 1482, Berwick was besieged on more occasions than any other town in the world with the exception of Jerusalem, changing hands between England and Scotland thirteen times. The walled town is home to a number of spirits including a piper and a soldier, and was terrorised by a vampire on two separate occasions.
- Holy Island is the birthplace of Christianity in Northumberland. It is a small island a few hundreds metres off the coast, and is separated from the mainland by a three mile long causeway which floods twice a day. The island was called Lindisfarne, its Celtic name, until the 11th century and the name is still commonly used by locals. It has a number of ghosts including monks slaughtered in Viking raids, Saint Cuthbert, and the coast guard station is the haunt of a man with a skeletal face, partially covered in shrivelled leathery green skin. He has no eyeballs, just holes where the eyes once were.
Recommended Haunted Northumberland Books
Rob Kirkup has written many books about the paranormal throughout the north of England. Here are some about haunted Northumberland that you might want to grab when planning your Northumberland Ghost Tour! You can also read other articles about Northumberland on Spooky Isles!
Enjoy Your Trip!
Northumberland is as haunted as it is wild and beautiful, and is the perfect location for anyone interested in dark history and the paranormal to visit.
Some horrendous tales of torture, death, and tragedy have happened here occurred right over the long history of the county, lending itself to the countless spooky places to be found here worthy of your time.
Have you visited Northumberland for a ghost tour or made your own ghost tour itinerary? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
And please do tell us if we’ve missed something that you think we should add to this Northumberland Ghost Tour Guide.