Although Halloween comes once a year, the spooks and ghouls are present all year round; and with dark nights getting earlier, the things that go bump in the night will surely be making their appearance well known.
At Funky Pigeon, we have analysed paranormal sighting data to discover where you are most likely to spot something out of the ordinary.
Most haunted places in the UK
Most haunted cities, towns and boroughs
While a 2021 study revealed that Brighton was dubbed as the most haunted location in the UK, this year, the city has lost its spooky crown to…
York has taken the top spot for 2022 with 160 sightings reported in this cobblestoned city. The sightings were mainly made up of haunting manifestations of which there have been 140 reported in this location.
The spooky sightings included that of the ghost of Mary Bateman, who is said to haunt the debtors’ prison. The entry reads: “The ghost of Mary Bateman would appear during the witching hour and could have been the entity that became well known for playing pranks on prisoners.”
In second place was the previous number one, Brighton, with 146 sightings recorded in the coastal city. Of these, 146 there were 116 haunting manifestations and 18 poltergeists, suggesting those living in the East Sussex city should ensure their furniture is bolted down.
But potentially more terrifying than cupboard doors being swung open is the alleged sighting of a ghostly armoured knight on horseback. The spirit is said to appear during moonlight nights haunting the grounds of the St Nicholas Church.
The third most haunted place in the UK is the Scottish city of Edinburgh, which is the location of 105 recorded run-ins with the paranormal. The majority of these were haunting manifestations, but the folk of Edinburgh could be lucky enough to also spot a fairy too, as two of the 105 sightings were of fairies!
If you are in the area and fancy a pint then heading to the Nicol Edwards public house may put you face-to-face with the ghost of a young chimney sweep who is said to haunt the pub.
20 most haunted cities, towns and boroughs in the UK
|City/borough||County||Number of sightings|
|Covent Garden, Holborn, Strand||Greater London||54|
|Mayfair, Marylebone, Soho||Greater London||47|
|Westminster, Belgravia, Pimlico||Greater London||44|
Most haunted UK counties
As for the more general parts of the UK that are most haunted, it should come as no surprise that Yorkshire comes out on top as the UK’s most haunted county – with 786 sightings being recorded in this region.
Greater London, being the setting of such horrendous historical events such as the Blitz, the plague and Great Fire of London, to name a few, means it doesn’t make for a surprising second place. This area has had 684 reports of paranormal activity.
In third place is Lancashire with 585 paranormal sightings across the county.
|Rank||County||Number of paranormal sightings|
Where to spot…
Maybe your average ghost doesn’t excite you and you want to increase your chances of experiencing a different kind of paranormal. These locations are where you are most likely to spot things a little less ordinary than your common haunting manifestation.
They’re here… in Lancashire! If you are looking to experience spirits which like to communicate through moving furniture, slamming doors and stacking items then Lancashire should be top of your list.
Poltergeist activity has been reported in the Old Three Crowns public house in Deansgate, with one experience from the Paranormal Database stating: “The sound of running footsteps and breathing have been heard in this pub. An engineer working in the cellar refused to return after he felt an icy hand pass over his shoulder and turn a nearby tap. The investigative team ‘Haunted History of Bolton’ recorded EVP (electronic voice phenomenon), footsteps and poltergeist activity.”
The truth is out there, in Suffolk! This East Anglian county tops the list of UK counties for UFO sightings, with 20 being reported in the area.
One Suffolk UFO report reads: “Two witnesses in a car spotted a triangular craft around the size of a house hovering above a field. Soft lights were visible under the UFO. The witnesses also noticed other road vehicles slowing down to look at the object.”
Faith, trust and a little pixie dust, plus a dash of Henderson’s relish it seems- Yorkshire is the top county for fairy spotting. There have been 33 sightings of fairies recorded in Yorkshire, which is over 20 more than the second location, the Isle of Man.
Diddersley Hill, in Melsonby, Yorkshire, is said to often be frequented by fairies who are believed to live underneath it.
|2||Isle of Man||18|
Boo-zers to be frightened of
Names of pubs most likely to be haunted
While analysing the paranormal occurrences it became apparent that there were many instances of hauntings in pubs, and of those, similarly named pubs kept coming up. So which British boozer names are the most likely to be host to ghostly patrons?
Having previously been crowned the most popular pub name in the UK, it may come as no surprise that The Red Lion came out on top with reportedly 18 haunted Red Lion pubs in the UK.
Next was White Hart which was found to be the name of 16 haunted pubs and then very similarly named White Hart Inn which boasts 15 haunted locations of the same name.
|Red Lion public house||18|
|White Hart public house||16|
|White Hart Inn||15|
|Royal Oak public house||13|
|King’s Head public house||10|
|Black Horse public house||8|
|Black Lion public house||5|
|Wheatsheaf public house||5|
|Cross Keys public house||5|
So if you are looking for a quiet pint, it may be best to give pubs with these names a wide berth and perhaps send your mate a boozy gift instead?
County with the most haunted boozers
But where in the UK are you most likely to get a side of scares with your G&T? Yorkshire comes out on top once again. This county is home to a whopping 89 haunted boozers, according to the data.
At the Three Nun’s Public house in Mirfield, Yorkshire, it is said that doors have opened unaided and shadowy figures are spotted in this building. Ghost Chasers UK reported that the building was haunted by two spirits; a nun named Katherine Grice and the Prioress of Kirklees who is well-known for being the person responsible for killing the famous Robin Hood.
In second place is Lancashire with 77 haunted pubs and Devon in third with 65.
|County||Region||Haunted pubs in county|
|Yorkshire||North East and Yorkshire||89|
|Devon||South West England||65|
|Sussex||South East England||64|
|Greater London||Greater London||58|
|Essex||East of England||42|
|Kent||South East England||42|
|Hampshire||South East England||37|
|Dorset||South West England||36|
|Suffolk||East of England||31|
|Somerset||South West England||30|
|Cornwall||South West England||27|
|Bedfordshire||East of England||26|
|Gloucestershire||South West England||25|
|Norfolk||East of England||25|
|West Midlands||West Midlands||23|
|Surrey||South East England||24|
Talks with the dead
How about those of you that wish to speak to the dead? Through the analysis of Yell business listings we were able to analyse which locations had the most mediums and psychics, allowing locals to have conversations with spirits.
Top locations for conversing with spirits
Out of the cities, the capital takes first place with 33 psychics/mediums listed in this location. More surprising, however, is Glasgow in second place – which despite coming in 14th in the list of most haunted cities had 11 psychics/mediums listed on Yell.
In joint third place is Manchester and Newcastle Upon Tyne, both having seven clairvoyants in the cities.
|City||Number of psychic/mediums|
|Newcastle Upon Tyne||7|
So there we have it – whether you are looking for a spooky location to celebrate Halloween, or want to spot a UFO, the UK is filled with paranormal hotspots to visit. Alternatively… you now know which pubs to avoid unless you want an extra guest at your birthday celebration!
Funky Pigeon scraped the Paranormal Database to collect all of the UK reports and analysed which locations had the most sightings by county and individual place – as well as filtering out those reports which took place in a pub.
To find the number of psychics and mediums, Funky Pigeon scraped Yell categories for Mediums and Psychics.