Hertfordshire is home to more than its fair share of historical landmarks, and residents know and love some of these haunted sites.
The ghosts of monks who enjoy a tipple at some of Herts’ older pubs when no one is looking, as well as beheaded wives of old knights, have been reported in many places across the county.
We’ve found the 15 most haunted places in Hertfordshire, from county homes to old church ruins.
Cold Christmas Church, Thundridge
These church ruins – real name Little St Mary’s Church – are located on Cold Christmas Lane in Thundridge, near Ware, and have been the location of myriad paranormal reports.
Some who have passed the lone church stone tower, which is all that remains after an 1853 demolishing, have heard the sounds of growling and felt an evil presence.
More mysterious still, a number of walkers have spotted a figure in black in the grave yard, while a woman once said she saw an army march out of the church and walk straight through her in 1978.
The White Hart Hotel, St Albans
Back when the White Hart Hotel was a proper coaching inn in the 1800s, a woman broke her neck as a coach came in to the low entrance, a story goes in The Pickwick Papers, Dickens’ first novel.
She is said to haunt the hotel still dressed in her 1820s travelling clothes, wandering around with a forlorn expression.
The ghost of a 12-year-old girl – the daughter of the inn owners – who died in a fire in 1832 is also said to haunt the back stairs of the hotel.
Would you be brave enough to stay there?
Hatfield House, Hatfield
The daughter of King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, is said to haunt one of Hertfordshire’s most famous attractions, having been seen in the Old Palace gateway before vanishing in the churchyard.
A fire in 1835 has left its mark, as the footsteps of a noblewoman who accidentally knocked a candle and burnt to her death have also been heard by some in the same part of the building.
Some people have also reported seeing a phantom carriage and horses sat outside the manor in the dark.
Whatever the case may be, it’s safe to say that Hatfield House can be quite the scary place when night time arrives.
Guessens Court, Welwyn Garden City
Back in the medieval days, long before new towns like Welwyn Garden City had come to exist, the wife of a knight burnt down a farmhouse where her husband had been keeping her mistress.
The knight was said to be so angry he decapitated her, before receiving a royal pardon for services to the kingdom.
Nowadays, thankfully, society has changed a lot in the North of Hertfordshire, but the ghost of a woman is said to still roam around Guessens Court after the atrocities that occurred there.
Strangely, no one is quite sure whether it is the knight’s wife or mistress.
The Cross Keys, Harpenden
Ever fancied hearing a quiet voice beg “help me” in the dark?
If the answer is yes – weirdo! – the Cross Keys might be the pub for you, where loud banging, moving objects and sudden temperature changes have all also been reported.
A former manager also claimed to have seen three ghostly monks sitting at the bar on one occasion, which sound like the beginning of a pretty bad joke.
St Albans Abbey, St Albans
The ghost of St Alban’s Abbey is none other than that of St Alban himself, the first British Christian martyr.
Legend has it, when he was beheaded by the Romans in 304AD where the cathedral now stands, the stream nearby stopped flowing.
People have reported seeing him dressed in white robes with a golden halo behind his head in the abbey.
Others have reported hearing a choir singing and the organ playing while the cathedral has been deserted, as well as seeing hooded figures coming in and out.
The Sun Hotel, Hitchin
The Sun Hotel has tonnes of ghost stories from its old days as a 16th century coaching inn.
Lord Havisham, no relation to the Dickens’ character Miss Havisham, is a regular haunt, often seen holding a fish under his arm by guests, after committing suicide there in the 1800s.
A barmaid claims she has seen the ghost of a monk walk across the bar and pour himself a drink on many occasions as well.
The old coach entrance is also said to be haunted by the spirits of three robbers who held up the inn at gunpoint in 1772 and were hanged.
Cell Park, Markyate
The wicked Lady Ferrers is said to haunt this North Hertfordshire manor, having died from gunshot wounds during a highway robbery she attempted in the 1600s.
Cell Park, or Markyate Cell as it was previously known, is a 19th century manor house built on the grounds of a 12th century priory that was once her ancestral home.
She was said to have turned to highway robbery after her husband died, and her partner in crime was Ralph Chaplin.
There have also been sightings of a nun walking through a well from a group of builders working on the site.
The Olde Kings Arms, Hemel Hempstead
A large, jolly man is said to haunt some of the upstairs bedrooms of this old alehouse in Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town.
He is rumoured to be the ghost of Henry VIII, who had strong links to the Old High Street and frequented many of its inns and pubs.
Another ghost, ‘The Brown Lady’, has been reported regularly by ghost hunters.
Apparently, the young woman met the love of her life at the pub and they arranged to meet there again after the first world war, but he never returned, leaving her still waiting today.
Knebworth House, Stevenage
Knebworth House was once the home of Sir Bulwer Lytton, a keen occultist, who hosted seances there on occasion.
Now, the ghost of Sir Bulwer himself is said to haunt the property, with staff feeling his presence in the study and drawing room.
The yellow, radiant ghost of a boy has also been sighted, with legend saying his appearance of a symbol of both a rise to power and a violent death.
Rose Cottage, Harpenden
A young woman from the 17th century is said to haunt this Harpenden building.
Legend has it she went to London to make her fortune, but fell pregnant.
When she returned to Harpenden she is said to have killed the baby and then herself, but now her spirit remains.
Furniture has moved around mysteriously and 1980s tenants who rented the property moved out after a few days to escape.
Minsden Chapel, Chapelfoot
This 14th century chapel was once a popular stop for pilgrims on their way to St Albans, but has been abandoned since the 18th century after falling into ruin.
Now it is a mysterious, haunted chapel, with some walkers reporting the sound of music and church bells coming from the area despite it not being in use.
Some say you can see the ghost of a monk climbing a staircase that crumbled away centuries ago, and the best time to do so is Halloween.
Hitchin Priory, Hitchin
The apparition of a mysterious grey lady has been reportedly seen floating above the stairs on the top floor of this Hitchin building.
Legend has it one 19th century ghoul and the ghost of another woman also haunt the grounds, appearing in various rooms of the priory.
The building dates back to the 14th century and certainly has its fair share of stories to tell.
Watford Palace Theatre, Watford
Some say you can hear the ghosts of actors past walking on the floorboards of Watford Palace Theatre’s stage.
An icy chill and the sound of footsteps have greeted some present day actors in their dressing rooms, with some reporting the presence of a malevolent spirit.
Two people fell to their deaths from the theatre’s gallery once, and it is rumoured that this was what started the paranormal activity.
The Bull, St Albans
The now closed pub in the village of Redbourn was given planning permission to be turned into a Co-Op in 2017, but remains closed since its owner was cleared of murdering his friend.
However, it was a former landlord, Mr Upton, who first reported paranormal activity in the 400-year-old pub, with one little girl claiming she saw a phantom in her room.
Mr Upton died in a car crash, and the new landlord, Barry, thought the pub was haunted by its former publican, after Upton’s ornamental shield flew off the bar and hit him in the back.
While no longer open, there is certainly a lot of bad blood in this building.