York. It’s best known for its magnificent cathedral, rows upon rows of dinky independent shops and long and intriguing history.
But did you know that the historical capital of Yorkshire is also the most haunted city in Europe? That’s to say that ghoulish ghettos in Prague, the gothic streets of Dublin and the vampire-infested lands of Transylvania pale in comparison to pretty little York.
That’s quite an accolade! For Halloween this year, head to York for some serious spooky action. With so many trains to York around the UK, it’s never been easier to have the fright of your life in the haunted capital of Europe.
What makes it the most haunted city in Europe?
Seen at daylight, York is a quaint English town specialising in tea and homemade cakes. But by night, another side of the city emerges, offering tricks and treats around every corner. From historic inns (some have been around since the 1600s!) to ghost tours and ancient dungeons, this city has plenty of spooky stories to tell.
York has a dark past. It has endured gruesome Viking invasions, survived deadly plagues, been subjected to the Norman Conquest and was thrown in the middle of the Civil War. As a result, haunted hotspots are everywhere to be found.
The best scary activities to do in York this Halloween
Depending on how many scares you can handle, there’s plenty on offer in the city. For something tame, take a gander down Mad Alice Lane, the notorious lane in which Alice Smith lived before she was executed for murdering her husband. Or take a seat at the most haunted pub in the city, the Golden Fleece, in which the ghost of Lady Anne Peckett resides.
If you fancy something a little more hair-raising, take a ghost walk or tour, learning all about York’s spooky past through the crooked streets of the Shambles, down dimly lit lanes and under the shadow of the gothic cathedral.
And there’s surely nothing more frightening than visiting the haunted dungeons. The playground of thieves, crooks and villains, the York Dungeons are bristling with horror stories that your guide will happily tell you with no gruesome details left out.
Get your spook on as a family
For something, the whole family can get involved in, make your way to York’s legendary bonfire on Guy Fawkes’ night. Take the little ones and gawp at the endless fireworks that light up the sky before toasting your hands at the gigantic bonfire.
There are also numerous trick-or-treating events to join. From trick-or-treat chocolate-making to investigator ghost hunts and treks, the little ones will have a ball dressing up as their favourite villains and taking on the town.