This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

How to Make it a Historic Halloween

Halloween isn't all about grizzly costumes, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating and mountains of sweets. The tales enjoyed at this time of year, of witches, ghosts and even a devil dog, are knitted into English folklore and have made their mark on our culture and on hundreds of our historic buildings and places.

We have drawn together a list of places across the country where you can explore our occult, spooky or ghostly heritage. From the buildings which witnessed the trials and deaths of those accused of witchcraft, to marks in the landscape supposedly left by the devil, follow our unique guide for an alternative, historic Halloween.

  • Rear view of Lancaster Castle


    Witch fever swept across the country when witchcraft was made a capital offence in 1563.

  • Ariel photo of Cley Hill, Wiltshire

    Devil Folklore

    The Devil has long featured in British folklore, where his supposed sinister acts have marked the landscape.

  • Black and white rear view of Talbot Hotel, Northamptonshire

    Ghost Stories

    Tales of queens and Roman soldiers to artists and evil masterminds, many of whom are believed to have passed away in unusual ways.

  • Close up photo in the Crypt of Farleigh Hungerford Castle

    Halloween Tales

    Stories of a vampire rabbit perching above a doorway in Newcastle to a Printer's devil crouching in a York shop.

Also of interest...

  • Charnel house remains under a glass floor at Spitalfields, London

    Halloween Reader Event

    Sign up to our newsletter to be in with a chance of winning tickets to a special Halloween reader event at Spitalfields Charnel House, London.