10 Haunted Hotels in Wales
If you like ghost stories, consider visiting one of these haunted hotels to acquire your own spooky tales. As a bonus, many of these haunted spots are located in historic castles.
Photo By: Baskerville Hall
Photo By: Wayne Davies Aerial Photography
Photo By: Nanteos
Photo By: Ruthin Castle Hotel
Photo By: Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel
Photo By: Gwydir Castle
Photo By: Baskerville Hall
Photo By: Roch Castle
Photo By: The Thomas Arms Hotel
Photo By: Margam Castle
Whether or not you’re an avid ghost hunter, haunted hotels are fun to visit year-round — not just in connection with Halloween. Wales contains a surprisingly high number of hotels with friendly (and unfriendly) spirits. Incidents guests have reported vary from spectral dog sightings to angry poltergeists. Granted, it’s technically impossible to prove any of the following stories, so you’ll just have to check into these hotels and experience the paranormal activity for yourself.
Craig Y Nos Castle
Some haunted hotels downplay any ghostly associations, but not formidable Craig Y Nos Castle (meaning Rock of the Night), built around 1841. For one, the hotel runs a sister site covering the most haunted castles. It also holds regular ghost tours and events, such as seances and overnight paranormal investigations. Two main historical periods contribute to the hauntings; the first stems from former owner and once-renowned opera singer Adelina Patti, who took up residence in 1878. During her time there she added a private opera house, large enough to seat 150, which now serves as a wedding venue. Ghost tours visit the opera house's basement, and Patti herself is a known entity among the ghostly residents. After her death the castle became a tuberculosis hospital, and the former Children’s Ward is said to be the most haunted room on the property. Paranormal reports encompass children’s laughter, the sound of bouncing balls and even sightings.
Nanteos is one of the most luxurious options on this list, so its rooms don't look creepy. But don’t let that fool you: The hotel doesn’t try to hide its haunted associations. In fact, Nanteos devotes an entire page to its extensive hauntings, many of which involve strange noises, sightings and objects moving around. Due to space limitations we’ve narrowed down the stories, but rest assured everything from the woods to the stables are quite haunted. (Though built in 1739, the grounds have been occupied since at least the 1500s.) For example, former groom William Griffiths, killed by the head gardener with a rake in 1782, still lurks among the shrubbery. Inside, previous lady of the house Elizabeth Owen, dubbed the Grey Lady, regularly roams the property at night searching for the jewels that she hid shortly before her death. In other hauntings, a group of ghostly visitors have been heard in the entrance hall in the middle of the night by different guests. Perhaps the most unusual occurrence? Guests who heard an argument coming from a former (and empty) laundry room one night. The next morning they found a stack of towels on the floor with a bar of soap on top; of course the staff knew nothing about this.
Ruthin Castle Hotel
Ruthin Castle Hotel is a luxurious hotel with a spa located next to the castle’s former moat. (The original castle dates back to the 1200s; the current iteration went up in 1826.) Another grey ghost occupies Ruthin, known here as Lady Grey. She’s been tied to the property ever since she was put to death for killing her husband’s mistress. For reasons only known to her, Lady Grey prefers frequenting the banquet hall and battlements. Through the years the castle also served as a private hospital, perhaps the source for other spectral activity that includes a soldier wearing one glove and a ghostly little girl.
Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel
Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel specializes in selling short getaway packages complete with tribute band entertainment. While there are renovated rooms on the grounds, ghost hunters aren’t likely to experience any of the castle’s many paranormal stories without staying in the castle itself. Built in 1460, it underwent renovation in the 1800s during which time a skeleton is said to have been found in a wall near a chimney. Said skeleton is believed to remain in the castle’s wall. It’s unknown whose body it belonged to, and there are numerous ghosts who make appearances. There’s the Blue Lady who’s fond of the Sculpture Gallery and kitchen; the WWI solider who stuck around long after the castle served as a hospital; and the Cellar Man, who’s horror movie nickname is apt for a poltergeist that lives in the cellar and likes to pull women’s hair. Guests might not encounter him, but they might see the others, along with two Victorian girls who are drawn to the Toy Room.
The 16th-century Gwydir Castle technically isn’t a hotel, but a family home that rents out two bedrooms as part of a tiny bed and breakfast operation between April and October. Naturally a castle this old comes with its share of inhabitants who never left, like an unknown young woman who’s most often spotted in the North Wing and the corridor between the Hall of Meredith and the Great Chamber. While this ghost generally doesn’t bother visitors, she is accompanied by the smell of something rotting. Former resident Sir John Wynn has also stuck around, and is perhaps connected to the young woman. According to his story, he seduced a maid, then murdered her and buried her in a castle wall after she became pregnant. He’s been spotted on the spiral staircase leading to the Great Chamber. Overnight guests should also be on the lookout for a phantom dog whose bones were found in the cellar.
If Baskerville Hall sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the setting for Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. The famous story is part of the Sherlock Holmes series whose plot centered around phantom demon dogs with supernatural powers. Though the novel is set in Devon, Baskerville Hall’s site notes that Conan Doyle often stayed at the property, where he heard local legends about Baskerville’s deadly dogs. Ironically, none of the actual ghostly happenings involve dogs (and nobody could mistake the one pictured here for an evil hound), but there is a White Lady who haunts the Rose Garden, and a male ghost who likes the main staircase. And fitting for a place built in 1839, it’s not uncommon to hear banging noises and footsteps once the lights go out.
From the outside, 12th-century Roch Castle looks like a medieval fortress, but its rooms are quite modern. Interior updates haven’t phased the ghost of former royal Lucy Walter, who has stuck around since the 1600s. She’s the most consistent of the castle’s rumored ghosts, and appears as a transparent figure clad in a white dress that roams along corridors and, as ghosts do, passes through walls and doors. She may or may not be responsible for the sound of running footsteps in the middle of the night.
The Thomas Arms Hotel
Though a pub and not a grand castle, The Thomas Arms Hotel is no less haunted. This haunted pub is supposedly home to lots of ghostly activity along the lines of footsteps, a scary cellar and unexplained noises in the middle of night. Perhaps the best story is security camera footage that the landlord shared online in 2014, revealing a transparent form suddenly materializing in the middle of a room. The form appears to briefly take shape before creepily heading up the wall to possibly haunt somebody’s dreams. The same landlord claims that he and his wife also witnessed a fish bowl slide across, and off, the pub’s bar. They attributed the spiteful poltergeist action to the scary 19th-century cellar.
Margam Castle is the only property on this list that doesn’t offer lodging. But bear with us. The Tudor Gothic castle is open to the public, and the building doesn’t just look haunted. The imposing structure has been around since the early 1800s (restored following a major fire in 1977), and contains quite a few ghosts. Former gamekeeper Robert Scott is a regular after being killed by a hunter. The angry poltergeist is often spotted on the main staircase, one of two areas open to visitors. The other area is the entrance hall, although events are also held in the library, dining room and drawing room, and castle tours are sometimes offered. In addition to Scott, there are reports of children in Victorian dress. Sometimes they can be heard laughing and playing. There are also tales of a blacksmith who wanders the castle’s grounds. For those really disappointed about not being able to spend the night, consider renting the entire castle for an evening of ghost hunting as the next best thing. At almost $800 the cost is eye-watering, but you can split the price among a max of 30 people for nine hours of potential frights.