IF it’s spooky goings-on you’re after this Halloween, you needn’t travel far.
Right here in Dorset and the New Forest there are plenty of locations that can give you a bit of a fright on the night.
Here are our top five places to go ghost hunting:
It’s said to be the most haunted place in Dorset. Knowlton Church on the outskirts of Wimborne is regarded as one of the most haunted places in the county. Known for its ruined Norman Church, Neolithic rings and pagan relics, paranormal investigators have recorded sightings of unexplained phenomena and even those who don’t believe in ghosts have had weird experiences.
A theatre team which used the spooky old church as a background for its publicity shots in August claim the building’s most infamous ghost made an appearance in photographs shot to promote a Halloween show.
Mark Goddard who took the picture in March this year was spooked after spotting what looked like the ghost of an old lady in a cloak. He only noticed it once he had transferred the image to his computer.
The Crown Hotel is famously host to several spooky goings on, such as lights turning on and off and the ghostly sound of a piano being played in the former stables and there have also been reports of a ghost at the King Charles pub on Poole Quay. In the nearby high street, in the former Daily Echo building, a ghost by the name of Mr Jenkins was frequently spotted rudely pushing past people on the stairs.
Other haunted buildings include Custom House on the quay, the Guildhall and the waters at Poole Harbour, where bells have been heard ringing at night.
Entire books have been written about unexplained events in the Purbeck area.
Swanage author David Leadbetter collated a host of experiences for Paranormal Purbeck from nearly 70 locations in the region, featuring accounts by more than 100 local people including UFO sightings, ghosts, moving objects, near death experiences and out-of-body experiences.
David researched more about the phantom army at Creech and headless woman Lady Bankes at Corfe, who is reported to walk just outside the main walls of the castle she had bravely tried to hold against besieging Parliamentarians in the Civil War, as well as events at Herston’s Royal Oak pub – where he interviewed nearly 40 people about their ghostly experiences.
In nearby Bovington, Herman the German is a regular ghost spotted at the Tank Museum, often seen dressed in a black uniform from the Second World War. He is said to be a crew member killed in battle who couldn’t leave his Tiger Tank behind.
The ghostly dancers of Lulworth have been seen several times dancing on the beach on a moonlit night, as well as a headless figure driving his coach at dawn down to the beach, believed to have been a highwayman who attempted to hold up a coach but was killed in the process.
Bournemouth is said to be home to “younger ghosts”, including the ghosts of a soldier wearing a Second World War uniform and a horse which both haunt the Town Hall.
One of the town’s most haunted buildings is the Langtry Manor Hotel, built by Edward VII for his mistress, Lillie Langtry.
The hotel is believed to be haunted by Lillie’s ghost, which has reportedly appeared to both guests and staff in the form of a grey shadow.
Footsteps, moving items and voices have also been experienced.
5. New Forest:
Discover the mysterious side of the New Forest with a theatrical ghost tour in Lyndhurst. Hear tales of murder, torture, witchcraft and mystery. Stories include a tale about Walter Tyrell who thought he had killed the King.
Along the way, you will also encounter live actors playing the part of the New Forest’s most notorious ghosts. To book, see supernaturaltoursandevents.com
Ghost sightings in Dorset
Have you spotted a ghost in Dorset? Did you capture it on camera? Are there any locations missing from our list? Get in touch