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The 10 most haunted locations in DevonΒ  holiday cottages

The 10 most haunted locations in DevonΒ 

Kate W 03 October 2018

Many people think of Devon and imagine white sandy beaches, luscious green meadows full of wildlife, and warm, friendly pubs where the locals welcome you like one of their own… but this county has a dark side.

Scary tales and ghost stories abound in this beautiful part of the South West – legends that would frighten even the bravest traveller. There are hidden rooms, lost ships and spirits that may have been around since Anglo-Saxon Britain just waiting to haunt you.

Here, we reveal 10 of the most haunted places in Devon:

Berry Pomeroy Castle, Totnes

Berry Pomeroy Castle

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A horror story of sibling rivalry taken to the extreme occurred at this 12th century, gothic castle. Lady Margaret Pomeroy spent nearly 20 years imprisoned in the castle dungeons at the hands of her sister, Lady Eleanor. A mysterious white lady now haunts the residence. Renowned for spirits, read here for more chilling ghost stories at this location.

Things to see and do:

  • Listen to the audio tour of the castle
  • Picnic on the grounds with woodland views
  • See the Elizabethan House, The Great Hall and even walk up to the first floor

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

The Devil’s Stone Inn, Shebbear

Mysterious spirits haunt The Devil's Stone Inn

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Reportedly one of the UK’s most haunted pubs with a 300-year history. A secret tunnel is rumoured to connect to the nearby church, but the entrance has long been forgotten. If anyone were to rediscover the tunnel, they may find a host of eerie secrets best left hidden. The apparitions of a coachman, a young girl, and a grumpy old man have all been sighted here.

Things to see and do:

  • Share ghost stories around a pint of cold beer
  • Dine on a traditional Sunday roast
  • Enjoy wild fishing on the River Torridge and the Okemen

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

B3212, Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park

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The eerie silence of the moors at night is enough to make anyone paranoid, but this creepy stretch of road is particularly terrifying. People claim a ghost is the cause of the unnaturally high number of driving accidents. They say a pair of hairy hands tries to grab the steering wheel of drivers and force them off the road. Beware when passing through.

Things to see and do:

  • Go walking in the dramatic and beautiful national park
  • Look out for Dartmoor ponies and other wildlife that reside here
  • Visit other top attractions in the area like Castle Drogo, Cotehele and Haytor

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Dartmoor holidays

Coach & Horses Inn, Buckland Brewer

Criminals were hanged at the Coach and Horses

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Once a courtroom with a hook to hang guilty criminals, guests at this 13th-century inn regularly report seeing the ghosts of criminals swinging by their neck. In its 600-year history, this inn has seen many guests come and go. Ghostly cavaliers have been sighted standing around and a spooky woman in black is regularly seen roaming the corridors.

Things to see and do:

  • Play a round of pool in this traditional pub
  • Sit down to a delicious meal
  • Take an after-dinner walk around the ancient Devon village

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Chambercombe Manor, Ilfracombe

Chambercombe Manor

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This Norman Manor House in Ilfracombe dates back to the 11th century. The residence is said to be haunted by a woman who, after suffering injuries in a shipwreck off the North Devon coast, sought refuge but died – her skeleton being discovered years after her death. Rumour has it the cradle in the chamber where she was found moves on its own, while a ghostly face has also been photographed…

Things to see and do:

  • Book a guided tour of the manor to hear all about its grim history
  • Attend one of their paranormal events hosted by Great Exspooktations
  • Calm your nerves with a slice of cake and cuppa in the tearoom

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Ilfracombe holidays

Farmers Arms, Woolsery

Look out for Anglo Saxon spirits in the grounds

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It seems an angry spirit haunts this 13th-century pub as all kinds of unusual and frightening occurrences have taken place, including clocks being thrown across rooms and glass bowls pelted at staff. Residents have also seen a man dressed in layers of clothes hovering nearby an ancient Anglo Saxon well in the pub grounds.

Things to see and do:

  • Share ghost stories around a meal in this surprisingly stylish pub
  • Or take away fish and chips to eat alfresco in Cross Park
  • Drive up to the coast - Clovelly is just 4 miles away! 

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Mortehoe, North Devon Coast

Mortehoe

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Many sailors have met their end on this notorious stretch of coast. Mortehoe was home to wreckers who would lure ships into the rocks and salvage goods from the wreckage. It was illegal to claim salvage from a wrecked ship if its sailors were still alive onboard, so wreckers disposed of anyone who survived the devastating rocks of Morte Point.

Things to see and do:

  • Walk along the South West Coast Path for unforgettable coastal views of this craggy and dramatic coast
  • Enjoy a picnic and see if you can spot seals
  • Visit Lee Bay and Woolacombe beaches nearby 

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Mortehoe holidays 

Barnstaple Cinema and Guildhall, Barnstaple

See a scary movie at this haunted cinema

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Barnstaple is full of ghosts. In 1931, a man fell to his death while repairing the Barnstaple Cinema roof then after 2000, movie-goers began reporting sightings of the spirit of this unfortunate worker. Unnaturally large animals have also been sighted in town and the souls of two men are said to reside at The Guildhall, although the cause of death is a mystery.

Things to see and do:

  • Catch a film! (see if there's a new horror flick coming up)
  • Visit on an open day or book a free tour of the Guildhall
  • Explore the cafes, shops and pubs in the town centre

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Barnstaple holidays 

Okehampton Castle, Okehampton

Okehampton Castle

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One of our spookiest ghost stories, this castle is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who would marry men only to poison them. People claim to have seen her riding back-and-forth between Dartmoor and Okehampton in a carriage made of her dead husbands’ bones. As this castle is over 1000-years-old, she may not be the only tormented spirit sighted at this location...

Things to see and do:

  • Listen to a free audio tour
  • See the ancient defensive motte ditch and tall Barbican Gatehouse 
  • Stroll through woodland, countryside and see spring flowers bloom in the grounds

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Old Thatched Inn, Abbotsham

Watch out for the ghost of a taxi driver

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This ancient country pub is 400-years-old, yet the ghost that haunts the property is believed to be relatively recently deceased - a former customer in fact! He was a taxi driver and, although no sightings have been reported as yet, there are instances of strange footsteps, moving objects and dogs reacting in peculiar ways to an unseen presence.  

Things to see and do:

  • Another great place to enjoy a meal out
  • See what exciting events they are hosting this year
  • Walk less than a mile to the dramatic Abbotsham Cliffs

Stay in a holiday cottage nearby:

Now that you have uncovered the spooky secrets of Devon, you will see that this beautiful county has a dark and terrifying past.

Do you dare face the ghosts and ghouls of Devon? Take a look at our scarily good holiday cottages, to pick out a spooky family stay, a dog-friendly escape or a luxurious retreat for two at Halloween.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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