Bet you didn’t know how to spell that one!
How do you usually spend Halloween?
Hiding in the lounge with the lights turned off?
Waiting behind the door in a scary mask with a box of sweets?
Dancing around stone circles?
Well perhaps this year it’s time for something a bit different.
Ghost hunting by train
It’s not too late to embark on a spooky adventure by train. And I’m not talking about ghost trains here (although I have listed a few Halloween train rides at the bottom of this article).
No! I’m talking about hopping on a train in the afternoon, and arriving at a spooky location just as dark is falling.
Then going for a walk.
Or just sitting.
To see who or what turns up.
Go on! You know you want to!
To help you on your ghoulish way, I’ve found four spooky UK locations that are perfect for Halloween ghost-hunting. And accessible by train.
Are you ready? Hold on to your souls!
Berry Pomeroy Castle – South Devon
Nearest train station: Totnes
Walk from train station: 5km along the John Musgrave Trail. That will get you to the wooded lane that runs below the Castle. Trust me, you won’t want to go any further. I’ve done a lot of night walking, and this place even feels scary in the daytime.
Ghosts to expect: The Blue Lady and the White Lady. One will wave at you, the other will try to get you lost.
What to look out for: Your mates as they turn and run back to Totnes!
Mary King’s Close – Edinburgh
Nearest train station: Edinburgh Waverley
Walk from train station: Five minutes but if you’re feeling brave, you can also wander up to Edinburgh Castle to listen for the Piper Boy and Drummer Boy (only one of them has a head).
Ghosts to expect: Annie. She lost her parents a few centuries ago, and has been clutching the legs of unsuspecting visitors every since. You’ll have to pay to meet Annie but it’s worth it to visit this post-plague, hidden sub-street. The Real Mary King’s Close
What to look out for: Plague! Edinburgh suffered greatly at the time of the Black Death in 1645. Some of its alleys were sealed off to stop people spreading infection.
Pluckley Village – Kent
Train Station: Pluckley
Walk from train station: It’s only 3 km from Pluckley train station into the village but it might be the longest 3 km you’ve ever trod. Take aptly-named Station Lane or brave it across the fields on the Greensand Way. Whatever you do, avoid Pinnock (drowning), Park Wood (hanging) and Rose Court (poisoning).
Ghosts to expect: Well this is the most haunted village in Britain so who knows who might turn up next. There’s the Red Lady, the White Lady, and the Drowned Woman but even the blokes weren’t safe from horrible ends here in Hauntingville. The miller, the schoolmaster and the highwayman all suffered deaths horrid enough to set them wandering.
What to look out for: If you do take the lane, watch out for a phantom coach and pair. They love to run at dusk! Oh yes. You might also notice that awful screaming.
Blickling Hall – Norwich
Walk from the train station: It’s about 4 km from Aylsham train station to Blickling Hall but you’ll want to walk further because this spooky location has its very own creepy woodland mausoleum. Don’t be tempted to walk all the way from Wroxham because you might bump into Anne’s dad, Thomas Boleyn, who has to cross twelve bridges along that route before the cock crows each morning. He used to live at the hall, the bridges are a punishment for being a less-than-excellent dad. Let that be a warning!
Ghosts to expect: As well as poor old Thomas, you may well spot Anne Boleyn herself. You’ll recognise her of course, she’ll be the one carrying her head under her arm. Oh and wearing a skirt. Just in case you get them muddled up. Thomas was beheaded too.
What to look out for: Quite a lot of dripping. I would wear wellies just in case. Oh, and you might also notice some floating. Anne thinks that’s beneath her but the Grey Lady does it to avoid the gore.
Halloween train rides 2022
When you adventure by train, the journey is always part of the fun but you could go that little bit further down the track into darkness, and clamber on board a Halloween train. We have a few suggestions below:
The East Lancashire Railway’s Scream Train (that’s if you’re not too scared to scream!)
The Bala Lake Halloween Train (not to be confused with the Christmas Balalalala train!!)
The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway’s Halloween Spooktacular (I would find out what a ‘wold’ is first if I was you!)
Apedale Valley Spooky Specials (watch out, you might be next on the specials menu!)
Sorry, I just like saying that!