Halloween is the time to embrace the spooky and we’ve found five great walks, perfect for the children over half term. Each route has its own haunted story to tell, providing the source of a truly chilling conversation on your Halloween walk!
Borley Rectory, Essex
Often referred to as the most haunted house in England, Borley Rectory has been steeped in paranormal events from as early as 1863. Sightings have ranged from a phantom coach driven by two headless horsemen, to the apparition of a young women’s skull in a brown paper bag!
In 1939 the rectory was destroyed by a fire, and it is said all the ghosts moved to the nearby Parish Church, which dates back to Norman times. We recommend you try Walking World’s circular route starting in Sudbury and passing through the water meadows and along a disused railway track over to Borley, where you pass by the haunted Parish Church of Borley.
Pendle Hill, Lancashire
The spooky tale of the Pendle Witches dates back to the 17th century, and is a favourite with people celebrating Halloween. Twelve people were accused of the murder of ten individuals by witchcraft. Eleven of the twelve were found guilty and executed in 1612.
The area was strongly associated with witchcraft after this time and is still thought to be haunted. The hill has also played host to Living’s Most Haunted show live in 2004. If you’re brave enough to go on such a scary walk we suggest you try Dave Carr’s Pendle Hill Circular, which reaches the summit of the hill with spectacular views of the surroundings.
Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire
Dating back to 1393, Old Wardour Castle became an extravagant home for several hundred years until its ruin during the Civil Wars. Lady Blanche Arundell and a handful of men fought Cromwell’s army at the castle door, but after a 25 day battle were forced to surrender when their supplies began to run out.
It is said the terms of Lady Arundell’s surrender were not met and she was imprisoned and later put to death. Her ghost still haunts the castle ruins today, and there have been several reports of her walking to the nearby lake at dusk, accompanied by the men she fought with.
To see if you can spot Lady Arundell, we recommend Daley Bree’s circular walk of Old Wardour Castle. The route is on footpaths and bridleways, taking in the beautiful woodland at this England Heritage site.
Lud’s Church, Staffordshire
Considered a sacred site by early Pagans, Lud’s Church is a deep chasm created by a massive landslip on the hillside above. It is a dark, mossy and eerie place, and is over 100 metres long and 18 metres deep. Legend tells us that Lud’s Church was named after a horse, Lud, who threw his rider off into the chasm to his death, after he tried to hunt a deer in the forest. It is said the rider is covered from head to toe in moss and is known to locals as The Green Man.
If you want to search for The Green Man, and investigate this sacred site we suggest the AA’s circular route which takes in Lud’s Church as well as the Roaches - a combination of crags very popular with climbers.
Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire
Wicken Fen is one of the last undrained fens and is Britain’s oldest nature reserve. Just north of the fen there used to be an Augustinian Priory, and occasionally the sounds of monks chanting can be heard across the fens. Roman soldiers and phantom armies have also been spotted emerging from the fens. However the most scary supernatural to inhabit the fens is a huge black dog, and legend says anyone that sees the dog will soon be dead!
If you want to take on the challenge of facing the Fen’s Black Dog, we suggest you try Nina Beadle’s Wicken Fen Ghost Walk, which covers four miles of the National Trust site.
If you go out for a spooky walk this Halloween be sure to let us know of any mysterious sightings or feelings. And if you’re really worried, you could always use our Buddy Beacon feature so friends and family know where you are – just in case!