Britain’s most haunted commercial buildings

As Halloween approaches takes a look at some of the UK's most famous haunted properties...

The UK is home to a number of haunted dwellings with some terrifying tales to tell, if only the walls could talk…

If you believe in ghosts, you're not alone. According to a YouGov survey carried out in 2014, 34 percent of British people believe in ghosts, 9 percent claim to have communicated with the dead and 39 percent (one in four) believe that a house can be haunted by a supernatural being.

As Halloween quickly approaches we take a look at 5 of Britain’s most haunted commercial properties:

1.The Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook

Originally named ‘The Hospice’, The Ostrich Inn is a traditional English Coaching inn and the third oldest in England. Now a popular pub and restaurant, the inn has a grisly history.

In the 17th century, The Ostrich was owned by a man called Jarman and his wife who made a substantial amount of money from rich travellers by murdering them silently in their sleep and stealing their possessions.

When a suitably rich candidate arrived ‘Jarman would inform his wife that a fat pig was available if she wanted one! She would reply by asking her husband to put him in the sty till the morrow’, they would then lead their unsuspecting victim to their ‘best room’.

Little did they know that a large trap door was built into the floor underneath the bed and located directly above the kitchen. The bed was hinged and the mattress firmly secured allowing Jarman to decant his sleeping victims into a vat of boiling liquid.

Over 60 travellers met their deaths in that bedroom, and it has also been suggested that the Jarman murders were the inspiration for the stories of Sweeney Todd.


A photo posted by Joe ☀ England (@jtuk1) on


2. The Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

Built in 1750 as a coaching inn for tired travellers, it quickly became a popular haven for smugglers to stash their loot. The original building was extended in 1778 to include a coach house, stables and tack room forming the L shape build.

Now a popular Hotel, the grade II listed building retains most of its eighteenth-century charm. Attracting scores of tourists, it has a bar, restaurant and museum conducting special events such as ghost hunts.

There have been multiple reports of mysterious activities - from footsteps to the clatter of horses' hooves.  Sightings of two ghostly men have also been reported; one is thought to be notorious smuggler Jack Travellis, the other a punter who was murdered mysteriously on the doorstep.


A photo posted by #JamaicaInn (@jamaicainncornwall) on


3. Langham Hotel, London

Built in 1865 and styled like a Florentine Palace with over 500 rooms and ‘luxuries’ like electric lights, hydraulic lifts and air conditioning, The Langham Hotel was England’s first ever original grand hotel.

Attracting royalty and celebrities from the day it opened, it remains as one of London’s most popular luxury hotels.

Thought to be the most haunted hotel in London, The Langham has had its fair share of unfortunate events. Ghostly sightings have included a doctor who murdered his wife then committed suicide on their honeymoon and a German prince who threw himself out of a fourth floor room - to name a few.


4. The Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire

Built in 1145, The Ancient Ram Inn in the village of Wotton-under-Edge has been dubbed the ‘most haunted building in England’. The 1000 year old building was built on the intersection of two key lines (places which people believe to have a high spiritual energy).

It was later discovered to have been built on an ancient Pagan burial ground after the skeletal remains of children and sacrificial tools were found under the floorboards.

The building was bought by John Humpries in 1968 saving it from demolition and has a number of popular legends surrounding it – including a history of devil worship, a witch who was burnt at the stake and the ghost of a monk from its days owned by the church.

After a stint as a B&B the building quickly returned to residential use when one customer was so scared she fled the property in the middle of the night.


A photo posted by AHS (@peachey27) on


5. The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Monmouthshire

Located in Llanvihangel Crucorney, Wales, in the shadow of the mountain that gave it its name, The Skirrid is the oldest public house in Wales.

Infamous for its grim history, the first floor of the building was used as the courthouse of Judge Jeffreys, ‘the hanging judge’, where serious offenders received capital punishment.

Approximately 180 felons were hanged in the property, suspended from the oak beam over the staircase and the rope marks are still visible today.

With a reputation of being one of the scariest places in the UK, the occasional visitor has reported a loss of breath and a tightened throat (as though they were being strangled) and others that they felt dizzy and nauseous.

Do you own a haunted property? Or would you pay one a visit? If you’re thinking about buying an ancient pub or a hotel, maybe a ghost hunt should be on your due diligence check list!

Melanie Luff

About the author

Mel wrote for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other global industry publications.


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