Wales is known for its grand buildings, with more castles per square mile than anywhere in the world, as well as an abundance of manor houses and the oldest post-roman stone fortress in Britain, going back to the year 1067. Therefore it is no surprise that Welsh properties have a lot of history, and some history that doesn’t just stay in the past.
Compare My Move has been researching the most haunted properties in Wales to date. From hearing a bump in the night to supposed demonic possession, and with histories from lost lovers to superstar opera singers, Wales has several interesting properties that have many reports of ghostly sightings, and each one in its own right could be the most haunted house in Wales.
Llancaiach Fawr Manor House
Llancaiach Fawr manor house located in Nelson, Caerphilly is a popular tourist attraction for people who are interested in the paranormal. The manor was thought to have been built around 1530 and has been the scene of multiple ghostly occurrences, from both staff at the manor house and visitors.
The most prominent apparitions that haunt the manor house are that of two children, these children have been heard giggling and playing throughout the house on many occasions and will even play tricks and pranks on members of the staff and the public. Staff members have reported feeling children tugging on their costumes, and on one occasion, a visitor was stunned when he placed his hand on the staircase bannister and felt a cold, small hand on top of his.
Lee Jessup, an employee at the house reports seeing a young girl at the bottom of the cellar stairs while locking up for the day, something Lee didn’t think much of until a few years later when a medium told him that there was a girl that followed him around the house. The medium would then give Lee a description, that matched the girl he saw at the bottom of the cellar steps exactly.
The main occurrence that is reported by both staff and guests is the chatty nature of the entities in the Llancaiach Fawr manor house. Voices are regularly heard talking one room ahead of the visitors, and when inspected, the voices change to the next room to always be one room ahead. There was an occurrence when a TV show was filming in the manor house, and a lot of the footage was unusable as loud talking could be heard over the presenter throughout the audio recordings. However, when filming, no voices could be heard.
Although the nature of the entities is largely friendly and playful, the number and frequency of occurrences leave Llancaiach Fawr Manor House as one of the most haunted houses in Wales.
Craig Y Nos
Craig Y Nos is a large Victorian house in the Swansea Valley that is supposedly harbouring the ghost of a superstar. The beautiful and picturesque building was constructed between 1841 and 1843 by Captian Rhys Davies Powell, but the property really hit headlines when Italian opera star and international celebrity Adelina Patti purchased the property in 1878. Patti was known to love the property, adding multiple wings and taking good care of it, she would spend all the time she could at the property and lived there until her death in 1919.
It is reported that Patti still haunts the house, and medians have used her own works to taunt her and try to get a reaction. Medians theorise that playing Patti’s later works, where her voice was past its best, would anger her and there have been reports of items being smashed around the room in which the music is being played.
There have been reports from visitors of other strange occurrences throughout the house, cold spots can be felt and staff feel a sense of unease in some rooms. There was also an occurrence where journalist Mark Rees was visiting the house when standing behind a woman looking into a mirror, the woman was shocked to see that she had a beard, however, this beard was only seen in the mirror. When visiting the same spot later, and recounting this tale, a nearby lightbulb exploded.
The status of Adelina Patti and the reports of her still roaming the house are enough to make this property a famous location for any fans of paranormal occurrences, but the unexplained phenomena in Craig Y Nos also add to its haunted status.
Built between 1830 and 1840 just outside of Port Talbot in South Wales, Margam Castle is known as one of the most haunted places in the UK due to a grizzly murder and an angry apparition that has been known to harm guests that try and contact it.
The castle itself (which is really a Victorian manor home) has been in disrepair since a fire in 1977 caused extensive damage, and is still in a period of restoration. However, it was long before this in 1898 when the infamous Robert Scott worked as a head gamekeeper on the Margam grounds. While trying to catch a poacher, Scott was shot with a shotgun and left to die on the Margan grounds.
Scott’s ghost has been reported to be seen around Margam Castle and is known to be upset and angry. When visitors and ghost hunters try to contact Scott, he has been known to throw rocks and pebbles in anger, he is often seen as an apparition on the large gothic staircase that is the centrepiece of the castle.
People have also reported hearing disembodied footsteps and voices as well as dark, shadowy figures walking around the castle grounds. Children are also very commonly heard around the castle, with giggling and playing being most present in the nursery, there have also been multiple reports of children leaving guided tours, and when eventually found they would say they were playing with the other children, children that are not there.
The tragic and unforeseen death has been an ongoing theory for the anger of Robert Scott, and that, alongside the reports of children playing has made Margam Castle infamous for its paranormal activity.
Plas Newydd is a historic house in Llangollen that has a history steeped in romance. The house is most famous for its residents Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, two Irish women who ran away to start a life together in Llangollen, they were highly believed to be romantically involved and could have very well been the UK’s first openly lesbian couple. Because of this they were well known and coined the Ladies of Llangollen.
Their fame was noticed throughout the UK, and they would often host celebrities such as William Wordsworth, Lord Byron and Robert Southey. They rarely left Plas Newydd and when they did, they did not go far. Eleanor Butler died in 1829, and Sarah Ponsonby later died in 1831.
The house was later lived in by another famous face, British Army General, John Yorke, who acquired the house in 1861 where he lived in retirement. Yorke then passed away in 1890 and it is reported that both the Ladies of Llangollen and General John Yorke are still present entities in Plas Newydd.
In the 1930s Dr Mary Gordon claimed to have not only seen but to have had a conversation with the Ladies of Llangollen. Dr Gordon saw the ladies sitting in 17th-century outfits in the grounds of the house, the ladies would then tell Dr Gordon to meet them in the house later that night. Dr Gordon did just that, breaking into the house and having a conversation with the ladies that lasted until sunrise. The ladies have also been seen on multiple occasions since, however, they have only been seen by men.
In 1963, Plas Newydd was returned to the conditions it was in during the period the Ladies of Llangollen lived there, demolishing the East and West wings that were built under Yorke. Professionals who have visited Plas Newydd have reported the presence of an aggressive man, and loud, unexplained bangs can be heard across the property. This has been theorised to be the ghost of John Yorke, who could have been angered by the demolition.
The Ladies of Llangollen are reported to be benevolent spirits, however, the presence of an aggressive spirit that could be that of John Yorke is something visitors to Plas Newydd should look out for.
The Skirrid Inn
The Skirrid Mountain Inn, named after the mountain that overlooks it, is thought to be the oldest public house in Wales and is located just outside of Abergavenny, it dates all the way back to 1110 and has a dark past that makes it a hotbed for paranormal activity. The Skirrid Inn wasn’t always an inn until 1640 the public house was used as a courtroom and records show that 182 people were hanged in the building from the wooden beam above the famous staircase.
It is reported that many of these hanged felons still haunt the pub today, as well as other entities from later on in history. One felon, John Crowther is a popular apparition to see on the property. Crowther was hanged to death as a sheep rustler and many people have claimed to have seen his figure in and around the pub.
The most famous entity in the Skirrid Inn isn’t one that was hanged during the trials of the courtroom, but rather a former landlady of the pub, Fanny Price. Price was the landlady of the Skirrid Inn during the 1800s and died of consumption aged just 35, her grave is a stone's throw away from the Inn and there have been multiple sightings of Price in the pub. However, Fanny Price is reported to be a benevolent spirit, and her sightings and presence would also come with the smell of lavender.
However, benevolent apparitions aren’t the only entities in the Skirrid Inn, in one encounter, while a former landlady was trying to sell the pub, she was hounded by poltergeist activity especially during viewings of the property, in one instance glasses were thrown around the kitchen and smashed. Another instance saw an elderly man place his false teeth on the nightstand before bed, and when he woke up, the teeth were snapped in half on the other side of the room.
There have been reports of people falling to their knees with their hands clasped around their throats in the pub. They would later say that they felt rope being tied around their necks, much like the 182 felons hanged in the stairwell. The most terrifying instance came from a female guest, who one day ran downstairs with her hair soaking wet and wearing just a coat screaming “She tried to kill me!”. She later told the owners that someone or something had held her under the water in her bath.
With its gruesome past and the sightings of many different apparitions, it’s no wonder the Skirrid Inn is one of the most haunted houses in Wales. However, alongside lavender-smelling apparitions such as Fanny Price, there could also be something much darker in the walls of the oldest pub in Wales.
Plas Teg is a country house that was built in 1610 and is located on the A541 between Wrexham and Mold, due to its longstanding history and unfortunate deaths, Plas Teg is said to be home to no less than 15 ghosts who roam the building and the grounds around it. It has had many reports of paranormal activity from hearing wailing and sobbing throughout the house to attempted physical harm.
The well of Plas Teg is the area that has seen the most concrete supernatural occurrences and for good reason, as the well has been the subject of not one, but two deaths related to passion and love. Dorothy is the first ghost that is reported to haunt the grounds of Plas Teg, Dorothy was the son of the esteemed Sir John Trevor I. Dorothy fell in love with Iorwerth who was a local farmer's son, but because of the family status, her father banned her from seeing him.
Dorothy and Iorwerth planned to elope and run away, and prior to this Dorothy buried her jewels in the well of Plas Teg. As the night came when they would run away, when retrieving the jewels, Dorothy slipped down the well and met an untimely end. Her body was not found until 2 months later. Iorwerth was distraught and feared being accused of the murder, so much so that he hanged himself. Dorothy’s apparition has been reported to walk the A541, supposedly looking for her lost lover. Sobbing can be heard throughout Plas Teg and is thought to be the sobbing of the distraught Iorwerth.
Another death of passion and love was that of Elizabeth Trevor-Roper who died aged just 16 in 1815 at Plas Teg. Two men had fallen for her, however, Elizabeth only loved one and refused the other, the man who refused killed Elizibeth’s lover and chased Elizabeth back to Plas Teg. Being chased by the man, Elizabeth also met her untimely death in the well - either slipping and falling or being pushed by her jealous pursuer.
Sightings have been reported of a woman running through Plas teg’s corridors and being followed by a man with a wound to his shoulder, this is thought to be Elizabeth and one of her two lovers.
In the late 1800’s a gardener at Plas Teg was reported to be near the well, where he felt a hand reaching out and grabbing his shoulder, trying to pull him down into the well. After a struggle, he was released, and when he looked down into the darkness of the well - he saw nothing.
When visiting Plas teg, there have been reports of people being prodded by nothing, even pushed by an entity. People also experience overwhelming emotional changes, of anger, despair, sadness, and sometimes happiness. Sobbing, wailing and talking are common as well as disembodied footsteps and apparitions.
Located half an hour outside of Welshpool in North Wales is Penyfford Farm, a house once coined the ‘UK’s most haunted’ and had over 300 paranormal occurrences reported, including carvings on the walls, muffled voices in empty rooms, and the appearing figure of a pregnant girl.
The Gower Family, an English family who moved to the Welsh farm started seeing a flurry of Welsh words carved into their walls, including “tangneffedd” (religious peace), and “hir am aros” (long-suffering), which would be strange but not impossible in a welsh-speaking household, however, the Gower family did not speak a word of Welsh.
Another carving that appeared on the wall was the name of the Gower’s young son, Quinn, and as well as seeing a pregnant girl appear and disappear on the grounds of the farm, there was also a sighting of a hooded figure standing over the cot where Quinn was sleeping.
The explanation for these hauntings is thought to be the ghost of a child, Jane Jones, who died in 1778 aged just 15, whose tombstone was found on the farm.
A distant relative of Jane Jones, Maurice, told BBC’s Paranormal that -
“She (Jane) died in childbirth and they wouldn't allow her to be buried in consecrated ground because of the disgrace of having a baby at 14. It is plausible Jane is on that land.”
Due to the number of unexplained paranormal phenomena on the property, and the concrete nature of the evidence, Penyffordd Farm is considered not only one of the most haunted houses in Wales, but in the UK.
Heol Fanog, a farmhouse nestled in the Bannau Brycheiniog had such severe occurrences of paranormal activity, including bursts of power usage, an elderly apparition and even possessions that it was dubbed Hellfire Farm.
Liz Rich and her artist husband Bill Rich moved into the idyllic Heol Fanog in 1989 with Bill’s teenage son. When opening an electric bill, the couple was shocked to see that they had used £750 of electricity in just 3 months (nearly £2,000 today), which was much more than they’d usually use, and was unexplainable by the energy company.
Disembodied footsteps, doors slamming, temperature changes and the feeling of being watched soon followed and became more frequent throughout the farm. While Liz was pregnant for the second time, these occurrences started to graduate into apparitions and later, possessions.
The most prominent apparition was an elderly woman that was first seen in the upstairs window by Liz, but later spotted frequently in the children's bedrooms. Soon after, Bill’s personality started to change, he’d spend nights locked in his studio, and he became irrational, confrontational, and obsessed with the occult. His paintings started to become darker and he’d often scribble arcane symbols on the walls.
After the birth of their daughter, Liz sees a large dark figure in the kitchen doorway and decides to leave the house and call in a minister. Multiple professionals perform exorcisms in the house, but Bill does not improve, and after a stint at her parent's house with the kids, Liz comes back to see the power cut off, scribblings on the walls and a dazed Bill mumbling about dead bodies roaming the house.
It’s after this that the family move out of the house and that Heol Fanog gets its reputation as one of the most haunted houses in the UK.