As if all the usual trials and tribulations of a wedding aren’t enough, the idea of romance between some couples extends as far as marrying in the presence of not only both friends and family, but meddlesome ghosts.
Many of the top wedding venues across the UK make no secret of their haunted roots, and the possibility of a spectre, poltergeist or other disrupting the buffet or goosing the bridesmaids.
Here’s a selection of the spookiest venues with the weirdest ghosts available.
The closest castle to the romantic getaway of Gretna Green, the rich history of this castle has given heed to a disruptive spirit simply commonly known as ‘the ghost’. Marrien Catheurs is her actual name, and she leapt from the castle after being held captive in 1570, possibly out of distress, potentially as part of some sort of medieval insurance scam gone awry.
The Chillingham Castle website is quite proud of its genuinely impressive range of ghosts, having seen a record eight executions. Its inhabitants supposedly include a blue boy, a tortured child, Lady Mary and even a whole procession. At Chillingham, it is statistically proven a guest is more likely to accidentally chat up a ghost than at any other venue in the UK.
Regarded as one of the finest hotels in England, you could probably employ Bill Murray personally to “bust” a ghost and bring him to your own wedding in a community centre for the cost of marrying at Amberley. Its ghost is the elusive Emily, a tragic young lady rejected by a priest who got her pregnant who then chose to leap from the castle’s walls. Bet she’s a right laugh.
Located in the dead centre of the UK’s most notoriously haunted village, the locale sees visits from the undead of such variety, a political party spin doctor would take the prime minister for a photo in the graveyard. Resident haunters include a hooded monk, a horse and a beautiful servant girl. If they fail to materialise at the reception, why not organise an impromptu drunken village ritual?! It’s just what the locals love.
Ashford’s Boys Hall is another venue trading on its spooky reputation to promote weddings and events, which is reputedly one of the most haunted venues in the country. Well, reputedly according to the company. There’s an awful lot of these most haunted venues it seems… No disrespect to the ghosts at Boys, mind, we’re just trying to be sensible.
Staffordshire’s Tutbury Castle is very proud of its haunted heritage, offering popular ghost tours throughout the year and being the only venue in the UK that specialises in medieval midnight weddings. Tutbury’s ghosts are a curious lot consisting of a ‘little old woman who hides keys’, a distressed child, and for a bit of light relief, even a little drummer boy ghost, who’ll bang out a rhythm for your delectation. Whilst you’re trying to sleep.
Although it’s seemingly more keen to promote itself to prospective newlyweds on the back of its large collection of owls and grandiose gardens, Muncaster is one of the UK’s most haunted venues. 12 years of ‘serious research’ have failed to explain some of the bizarre phenomenon witnessed in the Tapestry Room, where up to 6 people can book to stay and hold their own mini-vigil. The reported ghosts at Muncaster do sound like a fairly horrible lot.
Having been around since the Doomsday book, it’s unsurprising that Hazelwood has its fair share of somewhat unhappy haunts. Just outside of Leeds, the main provocateurs of the dead include mysteriously crying babies (again!), and a rather smug sounding hooded monk character, who’s main trick is to show how he can walk into rooms, but never out. Yeah, well, I’ve got an iPhone.
Often the source of ridicule amongst historians for being built after the period in which medieval castles can be taken seriously, Cardiff’s ‘castle’ nonetheless has its fair share of recorded ghost activity, and as a newer castle, seemingly has it on an acute timer. At precisely 3:45am heavy doors open and shut by themselves and the lights flash on and off. Very efficient work by Cardiff’s ghosts.
If you’ve got the time, money and resources, there’s no greater place for a haunt loving couple to wed then Salem, Massachusetts. Home of a string of particularly brutal witch trials in the early 1690s, Salem is now a magnet for ghosts and ghost lovers alike, a rich mix of creaky history and tacky, tacky gift shops. The top wedding venue is The House of Seven Gables, New England’s oldest mansion, and a prime spot for pure Yankee ghosting.