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Autumn is a time to celebrate the macabre – think dressing up in scary costumes, carving pumpkins, and bingeing on horror films. But while many see the season as just a bit of fun, some of us want to get a bit closer to the paranormal…
So where can you go to embrace the spirit of Halloween and rub shoulders with monsters, ghosts, and other frightening fiends? We decided to find the UK’s most haunted city, based on four different ranking factors:
- Halloween candy retail sales figures
- Use of ‘#halloween’ on social media
- Abandoned buildings or places
- Number of ‘haunted’ places
Read on to find out where to go if you want to throw yourself into the spooky spirit this ‘ghoul’‐tide season!
Splashing out on candy: Trick or treat?
Handing out sweets on Halloween is a much‐loved tradition the UK adopted from the US long ago. And, according to data retrieved from Statista, Brighton is the place to plan your trick‐or‐treating adventures. With a generous household spend of an average £18.60 on Halloween treats each year, it could be the jackpot destination if you’re looking to score big in the candy stakes.
On the other hand, children living in Norwich or Ipswich could be more likely to get a trick than a treat – households here only spend an average of £2.85 a year on Halloween candy.
Getting social on #halloween
You might have the most convincing costume in the room, but if it’s not on social media, it didn’t really happen. These days, hashtags are almost as vital as Halloween candy – so which city has taken home the biggest haul in terms of social media mentions?
London won this round by a long shot, clocking in 1,101 mentions of ‘#halloween’ per million people across Instagram and Twitter in the past 12 months. In contrast, Plymouth and Aberdeen don’t seem to consider Halloween to be quite as Insta‐worthy, with a total of just 6 ‘#halloween’ posts per million people each.
Vacant spaces across the UK
There’s something undeniably eerie about an abandoned building, whether it happens to be a creepy Victorian mansion or a run‐down warehouse. And you can be sure that behind every derelict building, there lies a story or two…
Using Shot Hotspot, we ranked the cities by the number of abandoned buildings or places in each location across the UK. We then used this info to help us decide which cities are the spookiest.
With an abandoned hospital and derelict train station to its name, it’s no wonder that Glasgow topped the list, with 70 abandoned buildings and vacant places. This was closely followed by Newcastle, Leicester, and Manchester, which each have 62 abandoned places on the map.
Haunted hotspots: Hello, Ghostbusters?
Creepy costumes, Halloween hashtags, and abandoned buildings all rank high on the spooky factor, but they’re ghostly pale in comparison to areas that are deemed officially haunted. So which towns have the highest number of haunted places in the UK?
Using information gathered from Haunted Rooms, we discovered that Nottingham is at the top of this list, with nine places confirmed as haunted. Leeds, Cardiff, Brighton, and York are tied for second, each with eight areas believed to be rife with paranormal activity.
London and Edinburgh appear much further down the list, with a mere five haunted places each, despite both cities being famed for countless ghost hunts and tours.
Terrifying tourism: Where will you go?
All factors taken into consideration, we threw the results into a boiling cauldron and did a little bit of hocus pocus, revealing that London is the most haunted place in the UK.
With a spooky history that includes legendary cases such as the Enfield haunting (which appeared in the 2016 blockbuster The Conjuring 2) and reported sightings of a ghostly Dick Turpin, it’s no surprise the capital city topped the list. Brighton and Cardiff claimed second and third place respectively, while Edinburgh just scraped the top 10.
Take a look at the table below to see the full list of cities we investigated, and to find somewhere spooky near you!
Although Truro didn’t make the top 25, Cornwall's creepy locations were never far off our radar. Locations like The Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor, where resident spirits include a malevolent highwayman who walks through locked doors, and creepy Bodmin Jail, which hosts eerie ghost‐hunting nights, cropped up consistently.
And who can forget the Wheal Coates mine, which is said to be haunted by the souls of the miners who died there? All these supernatural goings-on prove that you don’t have to head to the bright lights to feel an ethereal chill!
So if you’re looking for something to give you the creeps this Halloween, consider a visit to one of these cities. Just don’t say that we didn’t warn you…
Looking for a scary good holiday? We'd recommend a visit to Cornwall, that's for sure! It's not all piskies, ghost stories and haunted jails - there's plenty to enjoy during a getaway to our beloved county. Take a look at our range of cottages to find your perfect accommodation.