Buckinghamshire is renowned for its exceptional natural beauty and its grand country homes, including the Prime Minister’s own manor, Chequers.
With so much history etched into the county’s pubs and mansions, it’s no surprise that Bucks is bursting with paranormal occurrences.
Here are the top ten most haunted places in Buckinghamshire.
1. Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden
Missenden Abbey was founded in 1133 and was favoured by King Henry III.
The so-called Black Monks of Missenden were said to have enjoyed notoriously immoral lifestyles. The ghost of one monk is often seen stalking the grounds and water meadows at the abbey, the site of his former vice.
Moreover, after the council converted the abbey into a college in 1946, two students witnessed a lady in crinolines floating down the stairs and through a door. She has since been seen on numerous occasions, often carrying flowers.
Henry VIII is known to have brought both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard to Chenies Manor – the two wives he had beheaded. It’s said you can hear his heavy, limping footsteps on the stairways of this impressive gabled Tudor house.
Plenty of other spirits linger at Chenies. During the English Civil War, parliamentary troops used the long gallery as a barracks, and hundreds of soldiers died in the vicinity.
That might explain the creepy laughter heard in the armoury, or the apparition of a headless man seen walking in the grounds of the manor…
3. The Royal Standard, Beaconsfield
The Royal Standard claims to be the oldest pub in England, established as early as 1213. Its appearance is unique, with exposed beams and all sorts of nooks and crannies inside.
During the English Civil War, a 12-year-old drummer boy was among a dozen Royalists beheaded by Parliamentarians nearby. Their heads were displayed on spikes outside the pub; it’s said you can hear the beat of the boy’s drum at night.
Rumour also has it that the ghost of a lady frequents the free house. Perhaps she’s the mistress of Charles II, who bestowed the Royal Charter on the establishment and purportedly met women discreetly in the rooms upstairs.
4. The King's Head, Aylesbury
Oliver Cromwell is said to have visited this Grade II listed pub in 1651. The chair he supposedly sat in remains, and that’s not the only object that’s been frozen in time at the establishment. In the oldest room of the pub, the Great Hall, clocks and watches often stop dead at midnight with no explanation.
But seemingly nowhere is safe from the paranormal in The King’s Head. A ghost referred to as the Grey Lady is often seen at the base of the staircase – thought to be a maid who died when she fell down the stairs in the 18th century.
5. The Crown Inn, Amersham
It’s claimed that as many as five ghosts frequent the Crown Inn in Amersham. Staff at the 16th century coaching inn have complained of hearing voices shouting at them to ‘get out now’, and if you’re up for last orders, you might spot a spectral late-night drinker at the end of the bar.
Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell stayed in the hotel’s Courtyard Suite in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, but beware if you do the same… One of the spirits is said to be an old Victorian housekeeper who tucks guests into their beds and torments them through the night.
This intricate network of chalk and flint caverns is one of the most haunted locations in England. Built for the Hellfire Club, satanic rituals, sacrifice, and death feature in the tunnels’ sinister history.
Ghost sightings are a regular occurrence. Benjamin Franklin visited in the 1750s and is said to stalk the passageways, while another spirit can be seen searching for something quite specific.
That would be the ghost of Paul Whitehead, former Steward of the Hellfire Club. His heart was kept in the Mausoleum at West Wycombe but was stolen by an American soldier. It’s said Whitehead stalks the caverns and the hills above, looking desperately for his taken ticker.
7. Hughenden Manor, Hughenden
This grand Victorian mansion is most famous for being the country home of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield; he’s also the manor’s most notable ghostly inhabitant.
You might find the apparition of the former PM anywhere in the house – he’s been seen on the upper floors, in his former office, and, most often, smiling at the bottom of the stairs.
Other strange reports at the house include the scent of old-fashioned perfume regularly sensed in a small upstairs room and a phantom Victorian gentleman who can be seen strolling through the woods.
8. Bradwell Windmill, Milton Keynes
One of Milton Keynes’ most distinctive historic landmarks, Bradwell Windmill was built in 1805 using locally-quarried limestone.
It’s believed to be haunted by the daughter of a local miller, who ended her life in the late 1600s. The story goes that two of her admirers were said to have quarrelled over her, ending in one murdering the other.
After the girl saw her lover’s body hanged on the local gibbet for his crime of passion, she was found dead in her father’s mill. It’s said you can still hear her wretched cries in the building at night.
9. The Bell Hotel, Winslow
Another charming coaching inn, The Bell Hotel has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations.
Investigators made contact with a lady named Angelina, a former housekeeper. It’s believed she engaged in an affair with her married boss, Malcolm. When he learned she was pregnant with his child, an argument broke out that ended in Malcolm pushing her down the stairs, killing her.
When the hotel is quiet, it’s said you can hear the pair arguing. And when the shouting stops, the sound of something tumbling down the stairs echoes around the hotel…
This ‘wonderfully wonky’ hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a servant woman named Sukie. Renowned for her beauty and eager to improve her station, Sukie fell in love with a local aristocrat.
The romance angered three local men, who wrote a letter to Sukie posing as the rich man. The message told her to wait for him in the Hellfire Caves in a white dress where they would elope. Once there, the three men jumped out at her and chased her; Sukie tripped, bashed her head, and fell unconscious.
She was taken back to the George & Dragon but died in her room. Since then, there have been many reports of a ghostly woman in a white dress moving around the hotel.