Torquay has been named as the number one place in the UK whose residents are most likely to have seen a ghostly vision. According to the Daily Mail’s alternative census which covers Britain’s hotspots for ghosts, over a quarter of people living in here reported having seen a ghost, well above the national average of 17%.
Everyone loves a good ghost story… From Hairy Hands to the White Lady, Torquay and the surrounding area has its fair share of ghostly residents with a plethora of stories to go with them!
Torre Abbey is only a minute away from our hotels in Torquay. Originally founded in 1196 as a monastery, in 1662 it was the home of the Cary family until 1930 and the Spanish Barn (formerly the Tithe Barn) was used to imprison captured Spanish when fighting in the Armada in 1588. After their ship, Nuestra Senoa del Rosario, was towed into Torquay, the prisoners were kept in appalling conditions. Very few of the prisoners survived and it was discovered one prisoner was not a seaman at all but was a disguised woman who had been smuggled aboard to be with her husband or lover. It is her ghost that is seen reappearing in Torre Abbey Meadows, where she drifts around the barn searching for her loved one.
The Abbey itself is reported to be the home of a headless monk who is said to originate from the 1300s. An abbot of the monestary supposedly beheaded a canon and it is he who rides around the grounds on a horse.
A former occupant of the Abbey, Lady Cary, is also reportedly seen dressed in a ball gown and being carried through the grounds by an illuminated phantom coach and horses.
Beautifully situated within a woodland area, Berry Pomeroy Castle is only a short drive from Totnes Castle and Dartmouth Castle. The White Lady is the most famous of all the ghosts at Berry Pomeroy. She is believed to haunt the grounds after being held captive in the Castle’s dungeons by her sister. She eventually starved to death and her presence is mostly felt on the narrow stairwell that leads down to the dungeon. The Castle’s kitchens are thought to be haunted by Isabella, rumoured to be the illegitimate child of a servant and nobel man. In a bid to save her mother from an attack by visiting noblemen, both her and her mother were killed. Her presence has been felt around the kitchens ever since.
The Blue Lady is believed to be the daughter of one of the Pomeroy family. She now wanders the castle of a night and is witnessed mostly by men. Dressed in a long blue cape, she calls for help and those that respond are lured to the most dangerous parts of the castle. Is it from here she attempts to push them to their deaths.
Churston Court Inn
The charming village of Brixham is home to this 12th century hotel which has its fair share of ghosts! Once a coaching hotel, there are stories of candles being blown out and then seemingly relit by themselves. Spectres mostly frequently seen are ghostly monks, always disappearing through the walls into another room.
Princetown Moorland, Dartmoor
A stretch of road through the moorland between Princetown and Two Bridges is where the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor are believed to grab the steering wheel or handlebars. The hairy, calloused hands that are inhumanly strong will do their utmost to fight you off the road! An early sighting was from an army officer who survived a near-fatal motorbike accident, after reporting that a large pair of hands covered in hair has seized his own hands and caused him to crash.
Thought to be the last resting place of a victim of suicide, Jay’s Grave (or Kitty Jay’s Grave) has become a well-known landmark and is the subject of local folklore, and lots of ghost stories! On the minor road which lies about 1 mile north west of Hound Tor, there is the small burial mound where fresh flowers are regularly placed on the grave. No-one ever admits to putting them there.
With so many historical buildings and sacred sights, TLH Leisure Resort is ideally situated to explore the area and maybe see some of Torquay’s well-known ghostly residents!
Let us know if you’ve ever had a spooky encounter whilst in and around Torquay!