Would we classify Bristol as a scary place? Not particularly, but there are plenty of scary haunted places around the city that give us the creeps. Ghost stories abound in Bristol, from fearsome pirates to former actors, but we spend most days of the year trying to avoid a haunting. When it comes to Halloween, however, we cannot get enough of spectres, ghouls, poltergeists, phantoms, or whatever you want to call those who call to us from beyond the grave. If you’re like us, then you’ll definitely want to go hunting on one of these ghost tours around Bristol.
1. Bristol City Centre BID’s Haunted Walking Tour
For a one-off occasion this Halloween (October 24), Bristol City Centre BID is offering locals a free haunted walking tour around Bristol. Starting at Bristol Old Vic, the 45-minute guided walk will reveal a darker side to Bristol’s history. It promises to be as entertaining and informative as it is scary. Okay, it won’t be that scary because takes place in the daytime, but it will get you in the mood for this spooky season. The ghost tour will also deliver historical facts, as well as TV and film trivia about Bristol, with a good dose of humour thrown in. To get your free tickets head here.
2. Bristol Ghost Tours
These weird and wonderful ghost tours of Bristol are led either by, the wonderfully named, Dr Lynch, Mrs Needles or Mrs Cruncher. Delving into the depth and richness of the haunted locations in the Old City, they are a mixture of theatrics, storytelling, and crowd participation. Running on Wednesday to Saturday nights, you’ll discover up to 17 haunted locations – from Bristol Cathedral to the Christmas Steps and Queen Square. You’ll learn about everything from public executions and bloody massacres to pirate ghosts and witch trials. To learn more head here.
3. Bristol’s Haunted and Hidden Walking Tour
Want to hear about Clifton’s ghostly Dwarf Highwayman? See Bristol’s famous haunted cinema? And visit a 16th-century haunted house? Do all this and more with Bristol’s Haunted and Hidden tour. It has been running for 18 years, which easily makes it the most established of Bristol ghost tours, the route takes in some of Bristol’s creepier historical locations – like the church haunted by a monk! Along with film and TV locations, extra local knowledge, and a few jokes to lighten the mood, these tours set off every Friday night at 8 p.m. near College Green. Head here to learn more.
4. Bath Ghost Tours
Think you already know everything about Bristol’s haunted locations? Head over to Bath where the team behind Bristol Ghost Tours, also explores our neighbouring city. A remarkably different place, but no less terrifying. Bath is crawling with ghosts from all periods of the city’s history, with just a splattering included on this 105-minute tour. Starting at the magnificent Bath Abbey, you’ll learn about Roman soldiers, medieval monks, witches, victims of sword fights, and more. You’ll even be encouraged to participate in the theatre of the night with paranormal experiments ready to make you a believer! To learn more about Bath Ghost Tours head here.
5. Shepton Mallet Prison
Shepton Mallet Prison is believed to be the most haunted jail in the world, or so it claims. About an hour from Bristol, these ghost tours are a gritty look at what happened over the last 400 years inside these prison walls. The last execution took place here just 75 years ago, and there are a number of unmarked graves to find. One of the most legendary spirits is the White Lady – a heartbroken murderess known to sweep through the C Wing – while many ghost hunters hope to catch a glimpse of the hand of Ronnie Kray.
On the tour, you’ll learn all the ghostly tales, legends and spooky experiences that regularly occur at Shepton Mallet Prison. Guided by torchlight, you will delve into the ghostly world of spirits and experience an eerie silence that fills the grounds. Running every Thursday evening at 6.30pm & 8.30pm, learn more about these ghost tours near Bristol here.
6. Haunted Rooms’ Ghost Hunt & Sleepover
Haunted Rooms runs ghost tours in some of the haunted places all around Britain. But this one in particular near Bristol really has us shivering with fear. The Ancient Ram Inn is the oldest building in Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire, at over 800 years old. It is widely regarded as one of the “most infamously haunted buildings on the planet”. It’s been featured on shows like Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures, and now here’s your chance to investigate it too.
Using seances, vigils and paranormal equipment to discover the ghosts here, you can also spend the night if you’re brave enough! Some of the more popular ghosts here include the supposed witch who was burned at the stake in the 1500s. While former owner, John Humphries, claimed to have found evidence of Devil worship and ritual sacrifice here when he discovered the skeletal remains of children just under the staircase. Think you can handle it? Head here to learn more.