Bath’s Must-Visit Spookiest Locations
Known as a picturesque city in the county of Somerset, many would be forgiven for thinking Bath isn’t a spooky place to visit. But they’d be wrong. Bath is full of history and historical buildings, and because of this, there are many rumoured sightings of ghostly activity and eerie goings-on.
And, with Halloween quickly approaching, in case you fancied an eerie, haunted weekend away, we’ve listed the top spookiest places you have to visit when in Bath.
Best known for its fantastic zoo and famous safari park, Longleat House is an Elizabethan stately home and one of Bath’s most haunted destinations. It is said that the ghost of Lady Louisa still wanders the grand halls of Longleat House, searching for her long-lost footman lover. The story goes that her jealous husband confronted the footman and pushed him down the stairs before burying him in the cellar, unbeknownst to Lady Louisa. So, if you see someone in a green dress floating around, you may have just run into Louisa.
Although not a set location, if you dare mention Sally in the Woods to locals, even they will tell you they don’t go down there after dark. Just outside of Bath, you’ll find this country lane just over the border in the parish of Bathford, by Folly Woods. This area is haunted by a girl from the 18th century, with legend’s saying birds don’t sing, and you can even hear a child’s scream. There’s been a sighting of the young girl running out onto the road. If you wish to visit, you may find very few from Bath who will join you. Whether you believe it’s haunted or not, it’s an eerie place.
If you’re a fan of the theatre, this may be one to miss. It’s rumoured The Grey Lady haunts the Theatre Royal and the gastropub next door, the Garrick’s Head. After falling in love with an actor, ‘The Grey Lady’ hung herself when her feelings weren’t reciprocated and has haunted the place ever since. There have been rumours of mysterious knocks and poltergeist activity in the theatre followed immediately by a strong scent of jasmine.
Next door to the Theatre Royal, and also haunted by The Grey Lady, is the Garrick’s Head. This gastropub’s ghostly activity doesn’t end there. It has been reported by staff and landlords several incidents of a poltergeist throwing candles and even cash registers being opened and thrown across the bar. Not to mention the bloodstain which appears on the pub floor each year in the exact same place. There’s a reason it’s dubbed one of the most haunted pubs in Bath.
The restaurant Amarone has a relaxed atmosphere, with tasteful menus and impressive decor. The menu ranges from pasta dishes to locally sourced steaks and fresh fish from the Dorset coast. You’d be mistaken for wondering how this restaurant ended up on this list. But, this restaurant is in the former home of Beau Nash’s lover, Juliana Papjoy. She was so upset when he died, she decided to live the rest of her life in a hollowed-out tree, never to sleep in a bed again. So, while dining, keep your eyes peeled for a woman in period clothing eating alone.
You can find the Francis Hotel in Queen Square, and while it is one of Bath’s most luxurious hotels, it is also rumoured to be haunted by a ghostly housekeeper. The former housekeeper has haunted the building since she sadly hung herself, with guests having reported being kept awake by her scratching and tapping from inside their room. With one guest even claiming their water bottle was flipped from the table by the unforgiving spirit. If you’re after a spooky overnight stay, Francis Hotel won’t disappoint.
Another haunted hotel, The Royal Crescent Spa and Hotel, was built between 1767 and 1775 and sits within a 500-foot-long sweeping crescent of terraced houses. It remains one of the most incredible pieces of Georgian architecture in the UK. You may recognise this location if you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s Persuasion or the 2008 film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley, where many shots were filmed here. But this Grade 1 listed building also has a ghostly past, with several people claiming to have seen a phantom horse-drawn carriage outside and heard the singing of a lady inside the walls.
Although not within Bath, it’s only a 35-minute drive to HMS Shepton Mallet, a now-abandoned prison that is haunted. Having closed in 2013, it once housed prisoners such as the Kray Twins. When it was built in 1610, death sentences were performed on-site, with the bodies of these prisoners being buried on the prison grounds. These spirits now haunt the place, having terrorised prisoners and guards until its closure. One, in particular, is the heartbroken murderess, the “White Lady” who brings a cold wind in her wake. There are evening ghost tours that run all year round.
Having run guided tours since 1974, Ghost Walks of Bath mix famous places noted for their strange events with the charming Georgian buildings which make Bath what it is. With their tours having been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are happy to inform you they are returning this Halloween, 2021, for their first guided tour.
We mentioned this briefly above, but visiting Shepton Mallet is a must-visit if you don’t mind a 35-minute drive outside Bath. Running every Thursday in the evenings, the guides will take you on a tour of the now-closed prison, filling you in on the ghostly tales, the legends and the creepy experiences that regularly occur. They ask you to book in advance to avoid disappointment, as the slots fill quickly.
Although not haunted, Bath Escape is still a creepy place to visit. With live escape rooms, where you’re locked in a haunted house room, you and your teammates must find clues and find the solutions to get out. If you don’t have the stomach, they also host Detective Tours.
If you fancy visiting a range of places in Bath, then joining one of the Bath Ghost Tours is a must. They run each week throughout the year, with more frequent tours during October. The two guides mix history, theatre and paranormal experiments to create a ghost tour you’ll never forget.
Being filled with so many historic buildings, the city of Bath should be a first-stop for anyone looking for an unforgettable Halloween trip or a spooky evening away. All you need to decide is whether you’re going to chance a ghostly sighting, hear spooky stories, or if you wish to walk the nightly streets of Bath with a guided tour. Which will you try first? Let us know on Insta or tweet us @justhooit!