Historic Houses Association launch Haunted and Horrible Histories trail

Garden of Ilford Manor
Garden of Ilford Manor

Are you ready to step into a world where everything is not always as it seems? Where the current occupiers of beautiful historic houses share their quarters with the ghosts of their generations past? Where spirits roam their former bedrooms, kitchens and gardens, and where walls and floorboards have seen death and tragedy?

The Historic Houses Association (HHA) announces today the launch of a Haunted and Horrible Histories Trail, linking our Members’ properties around the country which are either believed to be haunted by the spirits of yesteryear, or have seen misfortune and troubles!

Cromwell Room at Chavenage House
Cromwell Room at Chavenage House

The HHA represents over 1,600 properties, all of which have stood proudly for many hundreds of years, and most of which are still lived in, often by the most recent generation of its original inhabitants. It is therefore no surprise that tales of ghostly sightings and stories of mishaps are plentiful. Delve in and tread the floorboards that former staff roam, and where lovers have met their tragic end. Explore rooms in which soldiers have stayed and not yet left, visit the chapels that still hear monks praying, and feel the torment and humiliation of witch trials. Whether you’re an avid ghost hunter, a lover of historic houses, or just looking for an adventure, we dare you to go on a Haunted and Horrible Histories Trail!

Sir Humphry Wakefield Bt. of Chillingham Castle in Northumberland writes:
“Chillingham has been famously haunted for centuries. After a thousand years and a thousand murders, eight executions and constant Castle attack and assault, of course we have ghosts.  My family relations have been in the thick of that military and romantic action for eight of those centuries, so we see and feel those ghosts and most certainly have their protection.  Our ghosts vary from courtly to common, from infant to ancient.  A sceptical Maori visitor had thought Kiwi spirits were the only ones….. but no longer!  At the Castle, we invite you to see a rather different side to our ancient and historic house.  Come and see what the Maori saw!”

Professional Ghost Hunters and Mediums have themselves been scared by what they have experienced in these houses, and some of those featured offer overnight ghost experiences for the most daring.

Please check opening dates and times before visiting.

Historic Houses Association has some spooky adventures awaiting visitors
Historic Houses Association has some spooky adventures awaiting visitors

Properties featured include:

East of England: Woburn Abbey, Knebworth House, Walsingham Abbey, Harlington Manor
East Midlands: Tissington Hall
London: Fulham Palace
North East: Chillingham Castle
North West: Muncaster Castle, Levens Hall, Salmesbury Hall, Astley Hall
Scotland: Inveraray Castle, Craigenputtock House, Glamis Castle
South East: Dorney Court, Beaulieu
South West: Chavenage House, Athelhampton House, Iford Manor, Longleat House, Tiverton Castle, Prideaux Place, Old Bowlish
House, Powderham Castle
Yorkshire and the Humber: Newby Hall, Kiplin Hall, Ripley Castle, Goldsborough Hall, Burton Agnes Hall, Norton Conyers

The Historic Houses Association

The Historic Houses Association (HHA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents over 1,600 of the UK’s privately and charitably owned historic houses, castles and gardens. Around 600 of these open their doors to visitors for days out, special tours, school visits, film locations, weddings and events, or as memorable places to stay. The HHA represents more properties open to the public than the National Trust and Historic England put together and welcomes around 13 million visitors a year. Members range from iconic stately homes such as Blenheim Palace, Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey), Castle Howard, Longleat and Burghley House, to more intimate houses such as Traquair in Scotland, Treowen in Wales and Belle Isle in Northern Ireland. Most are still private family homes.  There are over 40,000 Friends of the HHA. The Association was established in 1973 to help owners conserve these wonderful places in the interests of the nation.

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