As Halloween is fast-approaching, it’s got us in the mood for goose bump-inducing tales of supernatural, mystical goings-on.

We asked Bristol ghost Pundit John, of Haunted and Hidden Walking Tours, to reveal his top 11 most haunted places in Bristol, visited on his excursions around the city. From a haunting highwayman to gallows’ ghosts, keep reading if you dare…

Black and white image of the Fosters Almshouses in central Bristol - credit Haunted & Hidden Bristol
Image: The Fosters Almshouses in central Bristol, credit Haunted & Hidden Bristol

1. Pembroke Road, Clifton

Formerly known as All Gallows Lane, the junction at the top of Pembroke Road (where it meets Clifton Down) is said to be haunted by a highwayman called Jenkins Protheroe. The thief used to rob people near this location in the 18th century and when he was eventually caught, was hung on the site of his crimes and buried on the grass junction at the top of the road.

2. Bristol Fire Station, Temple Back

During the first year of opening in 1975, many strange sightings were witnessed. Over time, experienced fire crews have reported seeing odd characters in the building and on one occasion the Cook chased a figure out of the kitchen…Could the reason for these ghostly encounters be because the fire station is built on the location of an ancient 12th Century Knights Templar garrison..? *shiver*

3. All Saints House, St Nicholas Market

It is said that for many years the owners felt an unpleasant presence in the building. On one occasion, back in the 1900s, a man dressed in black appeared and the male owner of the house jumped out of the window due to fright!

4. All Saints Church, Corn Street

All Saints Church (next door to All Saints House), was built in the 12th century and also has a ghost – that of one of the monks murdered by Henry VIII’s troops in the 16th century, believed to have protected the hidden valuables from the King’s troops.  Air raid wardens in World War II claimed to have seen him walking though the pews talking to himself…and the treasure has never been found.

  • Weird Bristol: The secrets behind Bristol's oldest churches

5. The Rummer Hotel

One of the country's oldest Coaching Inns, the Rummer Hotel occupies a listed building in Bristol’s medieval Old City and is now an award-winning restaurant with excellent cocktail bartenders. Once frequented by hugely significant historical figures like Elizabeth I and later, Oliver Cromwell, the establishment is rumoured to be home to a number of spirits. A tour visiting in 2007 witnessed the torso of a man standing in front of the open fire place whilst they were enjoying a meal, and there have also been sightings of a ghostly young girl…

The Rummer Hotel in St Nicholas Market
Image: The Rummer Hotel in St Nicholas Market, Old City

6. Dower House, Stoke Park

Dower House – the yellow castle-like building that drivers will recognise from the M32 approach into Bristol – was once part of Stoke Park Hospital. Back in 1760 a 17-year old girl called Elizabeth Somerset, fell from her horse and died due to a broken neck. Walkers have reported hearing a horse galloping around the grounds near the monument built to commemorate her at the top of the hill.

An elevated view of Stoke Park Estate on the northern side of the M32 motorway in East Bristol
Image: Stoke Park Estate with the yellow Dower House in the top-left hand corner 

7. White Hart, Lower Maudlin Street

The White Hart pub originally formed part of St James’ Priory and dates back to 1674. It was the scene of a murder in the 1700s when two brothers had a brawl over land in the main bar area. The brother who was killed is said to haunt the building to this day and strange orbs have been witnessed on the pub's CCTV.

8. Christmas Steps, Old City

Nowadays Christmas Steps is a characterful, historic shopping street which makes up part of the Christmas Steps Art Quarter.  However, it wasn’t always such a happy, creative place. Back in the 1660s, a Gallows used to hang at the top and people walking towards Colston Street have heard a man screaming for his life at the location.

A view of Christmas Steps in central Bristol at night
Image: Christmas Steps in central Bristol

9. The Llandoger Trow

Built in 1664, many myths and legends of pirates and secret tunnels sound this famous Bristol pub. Robinson Crusoe is allegedly based on Alexander Selkirk, a shipwrecked sailor, whom author Daniel Defoe met in the Llandoger Trow. Purportedly the haunting ground of a hair-raising fifteen ghosts, paranormal activities are said to take place on the upper floor with staff describing having heard a disabled boy with a metal plate on his leg crying and pulling himself around the old wooden floorboards. 

Exterior of The Llandoger Trow pub in central Bristol - credit Haunted & Hidden Bristol
Image: Exterior of The Llandoger Trow on King Street in central Bristol, credit Haunted & Hidden Bristol

10. Bristol Old Vic Theatre

The famous Bristol Old Vic is the country’s longest continuously running theatre and its past has some eerie secrets to spill. The spectre of Sarah McCreadie, a long-serving Theatre Manager who worked there over two hundred years ago is said to haunt the front of house area. A security guard and his dog once followed her down the box office steps out of the building. Sightings of her have often been accompanied by the smell of lavender.

Exterior of Bristol Old Vic - credit Philip Vile
Image: Exterior of Bristol Old Vic, credit Philip Vile

11. Odeon Cinema, Union Street

In the mid 1940s, the cinema’s manager was shot dead in his office and the assailant was never caught. Visitors to Screen 3, which is next to the location of the murder, have seen the manager appear in the third row and in the corridor leading to the entrance of the screen itself. There have also been reports of ‘cold spots’ and unexplained banging.

If these tales have got you quaking in your booties, your spine a-tingling and left you wanting to hear more about Bristol’s spooky sites then get in touch with Haunted & Hidden Walking Tours. Excursions run year-round at 8pm most Fridays and private tours are also available. Advance bookings are required at

Happy ghost-hunting!

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