In the UK, Halloween is fast turning into one of the most popular events of the year. As much as there is still a long way to go before our Halloween festivities rival those of the Americans, Halloween here is often hotly anticipated by many people months in advance. Competition for Halloween events and activities is growing at a spook-tacular rate, with families flying to Edinburgh to take in some of the ghoulish sites like exploring the allegedly haunted South Bridge Vaults or visiting the gory revamped Surgeon’s Hall Museum in Nicolson Street. Edinburgh has a long-standing association with ghost stories, but there are many other areas of Great Britain with an equally ghostly past that should be near the top of any spirit-spotter’s holiday list.
Norfolk is arguably the most haunted county in the UK, making it the perfect choice for an eerie Hallowee-kend away! The cottages on offer at Broads Escapes are the ideal base for any family or couple’s weekend break, being within an easy car journey of many of Norfolk’s most ghostly days out. Felbrigg Hall is just forty minutes by car from most of the cottages and is a must see for any budding ghost hunters.
William Windham the Third inherited his family estate, Felbrigg Hall, in 1749, whereupon he proceeded to stuff the already considerable library full of books. When, in 1809, a fire broke out at a friend’s house when he was visiting them in London, he could not bear the thought of so many precious tomes being lost to the blaze. He threw himself into the burning building to rescue as many books as he could and in the process sustained terrific burns. He died soon after. However, his ghost still visits his beloved library in Felbrigg Hall, allegedly trying to read all the books he didn’t have time to finish whilst he was alive.
Norfolk also has a whole host of ghost walks running over the Halloween weekend. Norwich is thirty minutes by car from our ‘boo!-tiful’ spot in the countryside where you will be able to get involved for a night of awful adventure and horrific tales by completing one of the Ghost Walks on offer in the city.
For action closer to home, nearby St Benet’s Abbey is essential for any budding ghost busters. The Shrieking Monk visits on the not-very-scary date of the 25th May every year. But don’t let the date disarm you. The story of the Shrieking Monk is one of the most ghastly in Norfolk.
The Shrieking Monk is said to be Essric, who was a bailiff monk around the time of the Norman Conquest. He betrayed his monastic order by letting William the Conqueror’s soldiers into the abbey, providing that they made him abbot upon their succession. They kept their promise. As soon as the soldiers were in the abbey, they grabbed Essric, skinned him alive and forced him into the complete ceremonial dress of an abbot before nailing him to the abbey doors. There, he was left to scream himself to an agonising death as a reward for his treachery to his brother monks.
Finish off your spooky stay on the Norfolk Broads with a meal in one of our scarily good local restaurants. A visit to the Norada Pub and Restaurant is the perfect way to end a day of searching for spooks and ghouls, whereas Bridge Stones is a great resting spot for a hearty lunch or a slice of fabulous cake washed down with a cup of tea.
If this has inspired you to book a holiday to Norfolk, we can help you make the most of your trip. Get in touch with a member of our team to find out more.