Great Britain

Halloween 2020: Most haunted UK roads – from the hunched traveller on Devil’s Highway to the Bride of Blue Bell Hill

DRIVING down a deserted road in the dead of night can be spooky enough, but what if it truly is a highway to Hell?

All around Britain, terrified motorists are reported weird happenings, unexplained figures and even phantom TRAINS.

From spirit brides who hitch a lift and ghostly children who disappear, even the busiest roads have their fair share of mysterious sightings.

With Halloween around the corner, take a trip down the UK’s most haunted roads... and disocver the terrifying stories behind them.

The Bride of Blue Bell Hill

A stretch of dual carriageway between Maidstone and Rochester, in Kent, has been the site of numerous ghostly sightings over the years.

But the most reported is that of Suzanne Browne, a tragic bride-to-be killed on the eve of her wedding to RAF engineer Brian Wetton, on November 19, 1965.

The 22-year-old was travelling home from her hen night, with two friends, when the car she was in span out of control and crashed.

One of the group - Patricia Ferguson - was killed at the scene, but Suzanne Browne and pal Judith Lingham died a few days later in a Maidstone hospital.

Since then there have been over 50 reported named-witness sightings.

In 1971, James Skene was driving home from work when a girl in her early 20s suddenly appeared in front of his car.

He gave her a lift to Chatham, but when she got out she disappeared.

In 1992, three separate motorists reported knocking down a figure that ran into their path late at night but police failed to find any evidence that an accident had occurred.

Coach driver Ian Sharpe, 56, said he saw a woman by the side of the carriageway just over a week before the anniversary of the car crash.

“She just ran straight in front of the car and I hit her on her left side…she was looking at me all the time.

“I honestly thought that I had killed her. You can’t imagine how it felt.

“I was so scared to look underneath, but I knelt down and looked straight through – there was nothing there.”

Joseph Chester and Tracy Boon both reported seeing a young woman wearing a nightgown on separate occasions in 1968 and 1999.

On the 50th anniversary of the crash, a number of spiritual believers gathered at the nearby Lower Bell pub in the hope of seeing the Bride of Blue Bell Hill but she failed to appear.

But she is not the only ghost reportedly spotted on the road.

Other motorists have reported hitting a woman wearing a red scarf, who stares intently at the driver before disappearing under the bonnet.

According to legend, this could be a young Rochester maid named Emily Trigg, who was thought to have been murdered in 1916 while visiting her mother’s Blue Bell Hill home.

Her body was discovered four years later in an area nearby.

In February 2019, when snow battered the South East and cars were abandoned on the hill, many motorists reported seeing the figure of a person holding a child on the side of the roads.

Disappearing children and 'evil' monk - Stocksbridge Bypass

The Stocksbridge bypass, built in 1988, has a local nickname of the 'killer road' due to its high rate of fatal accidents.

But even while it was being built, workers on the Sheffield highway reported strange goings on.

Two security guards claimed to have seen a group of children dancing beneath a pylon in the early hours of the morning.

Worried for their safety, the men approached - but they disappeared as they got close, leaving no footprints at the sand-strewn site.

Drivers have also reported seeing a monk staring blankly over the valley from the road.

In 2016, paranormal investigator Phil Sinclair posted a YouTube video from the woods at the side of the road, where he claims to have sensed the presence of a child and recorded an "evil" voice saying he will take his “inner soul” and telling him to “get out”.

At one point, he screams and jumps, before yelling, “I saw a f***ing man” and speculating that he had come face to face with the famous monk.

3Roman soldiers haunting the M6

A series of strange sightings have been reported by motorists between junction 16 and 19 of the M6, in Cheshire - including phantom lorries going the wrong way and a troubled woman constantly hitchhiking by the side of the road.

Others say they have seen Roman soldiers either walking or marching up and down on the road which follows, in some sections, the routes used by legionnaires 2,000 years ago in 55BC.

In 2018, psychic Mike Brooker claimed an increase in mysterious apparitions was due to a £250million upgrade which had disturbed an ancient burial ground in the area and may have awakened spirits buried during the Roman occupation.

He said the hauntings were causing motorists to crash in the stretch, which has more accidents than any other part of the 232 mile motorway.

Some people have also claimed to see sets of eyes looking at them from behind bushes.

Dick Turpin at The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead

The Spaniard’s Inn in Hampstead, North London, was reportedly owned by the father of the famous 18th century highwayman Dick Turpin and it was certainly a hotspot for highway robbery.

The Inn was around two hours from London by coach and had many wealthy travellers staying in the area.

Records from the Old Bailey show that on October 16, 1751, Samuel Bacon was convicted for robbery on the Kings Highway after being caught 200 yards from the Spaniards.

The crime was a hanging offence and a few steps from the pub there was once a tree where highwaymen were hanged when convicted.

Turpin was hanged in York in 1939, but it is believed his ghost still patrols the streets outside the Spaniard’s Inn.

The chains of his faithful horse, Black Bess, is also said to be heard clinking around outside in the early hours.

Another ghost said to haunt the pub itself is the Spaniard of its name - Juan Porero.

He and his brother Francesco owned the Inn for a time as well, and after falling in love with the same woman, decided to settle matters with a duel.

Juan was killed in the altercation and buried in the garden, but is said to roam around his old haunt to this day.

A666 - The Devil’s Highway, Bolton

With a road number of 666 - the Number of the Beast - it’s not surprising this Bolton A-road has a sinister reputation.

Several accidents have been caused by sightings of a hunched-over figure limping at the side of the road along the Devil’s Highway.

Known simply as the A666 ghost, dashcam footage from 2015 revealed a white creature appear out of nowhere on the deserted road.

The video shows the figure slowly approaching a terrified driver while the passenger cries for help.

Ghost hunter Simon Entwistle, author of Ghostly Tales of the Unexpected, suggested the 'ghost' could be that of a monk who was executed in nearby Turton Tower by Civil War troops in 1643.

He added: "I've looked at the footage and my first thought was this is someone having fun.

"I can always tell when someone's pulling your leg, but from looking at that footage they were absolutely terrified, the person was genuinely scared.

"Would someone go out of their way to dress like that and actually scare someone?

"If so it could have caused a serious traffic accident, and they were endangering lives.”

He says other ghosts had been spotted in the area and a taxi driver travelling between Blackburn and Bolton reported seeing the ghostly figure of an elderly woman with long hair sitting in the back seat of his taxi, when he was travelling along the same stretch of road.

Ghost train of the Old Tay Bridge

On the stormy night of December 29, 1879, the Tay Bridge in Dundee collapsed, plunging a passenger train into the icy waters below, along with the crew and 75 passengers.

There were no survivors and only 46 bodies were recovered.

An enquiry found that the bridge, opened just a year before, had construction flaws and was unable to cope with high winds. The designer, Thomas Bouch, died a broken man 10 months later, at the age of 58.

According to an old legend, on the anniversary of the Tay Bridge Disaster each year, a phantom train can be seen crossing the old bridge and the screams of the victims heard as they plummet to their deaths.

Mysterious miners - Platt Lane, Lancashire

Platt Lane in Westhoughton, Lancashire, is a small country road which, even without ghostly legends, could freak you out on a dark night.

But it also runs chillingly close to Pretoria Pit, the site of one of the most devastating mining disasters in Britain’s history.

On December 21, 1910, 900 men and boys arrived for the day shift, and descended into the mines.

Unbeknownst to them, gas had been accumulating due to a roof collapse the day before, and at 7.50am there was an explosion.

In all, 344 men and boys were killed - many surviving the blast but dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Since then, there have been numerous sightings of miners - both in groups and alone.

Some report them dragging coal wagons behind them and carrying axes, and others that they merely stand staring at the side of the road

‘Sally in the Wood’ - A636, Wiltshire

Just outside the picturesque city of Bath, there’s a road known as ‘Sally in the Wood’ - which superstitious locals give a wide berth.

Cutting through a patch of woodland called Brown’s Folly, the area is said to be haunted by the ghost of a murdered child.

The story centres on a sinister tower - the Brown's Folly of the name - where a gypsy girl called Sally was supposedly imprisoned in the 18th century, without food and water, and left to die.

They say the murdered child became a ghost, restlessly roaming the woods at night - and often straying out into the unlit stretch of road which cuts through it.

Driving past, many claim to have heard a child’s screams coming from the tower.

Locals say that even birds avoid the woods around the tower.

One site, The Ghost Hunt UK, claims that Sally in the Wood has been the scene of eight fatal car crashes in the past decade, most of which remain unexplained.

The werewolves of the B1249, Yorkshire

Real life wolves roamed the wooded farmland of the East Riding of Yorkshire up until the 15th century, when they were hunted to extinction, but werewolf sightings have since been reported in the area.

In the 1960s, author Charles Christian described how a lorry driver was left terrified when a red-eyed, hairy creature tried to smash its way through his windscreen as he drove along the isolated road.

In 2016, 24-year-old Jemma Waller claimed she saw an 8ft dog-like creature - know locally as Old Stinker - walking on two legs down a country lane.

She said it looked “like a big dog, ­probably bigger than my car, but it had a human face”.

Jemma, an animal-rescue worker, was driving with two friends in Halsham, East Yorks, when she spotted it.

She said: “This beast on all fours started to walk towards my car on two legs. It was like a horror movie.”

'Ghost crash' on A3 near Burpham, Surrey

In December 2002, Surrey Police investigated reports of a car seen swerving off the A3 near Burpham.

They launched a search and, after combing the area, they found a maroon Vauxhall Astra nose down in a ditch, covered in undergrowth.

Chillingly, this was no new crash. The car had laid undiscovered at the scene for five months - with a body laying nearby.

The body was identified from dental records as that of 21-year-old Christopher Brian Chandler, who was wanted for robbery and had been on the run from the Metropolitan Police since July 16 that year.

The gruesome discovery led to speculation that the ghostly sighting had been a reenactment to the crash which killed him.

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