With Halloween just around the corner, now is the perfect time to uncover some of the county’s spookiest places.

From churches and forts to hotels and pubs, Suffolk has its fair share of reported hauntings. Here are just a few of them.

Ipswich Star: Greyfriars, DunwichGreyfriars, Dunwich (Image: Archant)


This coastal town is famous the world over and is best-known for being an important trading port and the site of the former capital of the kingdom of East Anglia, often dubbed Suffolk’s answer to Atlantis. However storm surges and subsequent coastal erosion saw this once thriving settlement meet a watery demise – with most of it now deep under the North Sea. Years of research has found underwater streets and buildings beneath the waves off the coast of Dunwich, including a church – which many claim they can hear its bells ringing at night. Eerie.

Ipswich Star: The remains of All Saints Church in Dunwich were close to the edge of the cliff at Dunwich when this photograph was taken around 1910 - however, the tower finally collapsed over the cliff in 1919The remains of All Saints Church in Dunwich were close to the edge of the cliff at Dunwich when this photograph was taken around 1910 - however, the tower finally collapsed over the cliff in 1919 (Image: Archant)

Other reported spooky sightings include the apparition of a broken-hearted woman who haunts near and around the beach, looking for her lost love; and creepy goings-on at Greyfriars.

Now in ruins, Greyfriars was a popular Franciscan friary in the medieval period. Today, however, many believe it a hotspot for supernatural forces. Eyewitnesses claim to have spotted mysterious lights within (thought by some to be Hobby Lanterns - dancing lights which would try to entice towards the cliffs’ edge), as well as ghostly monks wandering the ruins.

Ipswich Star: Christchurch MansionChristchurch Mansion (Image: Dave Bulow Photography)

Christchurch Mansion

The crown jewel in Ipswich's Christchurch Park, this stunning Tudor manor house boasts 500 years’ worth of history – as well as some ghostly happenings.

Across the years it's been open to the public, visitors have reported seeing a young Edwardian maid laughing and dancing with two children in the upstairs gallery, playing ring of roses. Others say they've spotted a Victorian woman in a grey gown rushing past before disappearing, as well as a young servant girl making her way through the mansion’s hallways.

East Anglian Daily Times reader Gem Victoria had her own experience. She told us: “My sister, two young children at the time and I were in Christchurch Mansion and we were looking at the big doll house there. We suddenly heard drums in the next room, so my sister and I looked at each other thinking the same thing, and followed the sound into the music room where there was in fact drums. We’ve never left a building so quickly! My two children often still bring this up.”

Reader Sophie Morticia Davies experience similarly spooky phenomena, and adds: “I was at Christchurch Mansion on a date with my now-ex, and it was near closing time. We were on the second floor near the children’s nursery, and I felt something pull my coat down from the hem, as if a small child was trying to get my attention. I turned around and no one was there. My ex asked if I was okay and I brushed it off. When we left, I told him what happened and he told me of the two children and nanny who supposedly haunt the mansion.”

Ipswich Star: Inside Landguard FortInside Landguard Fort (Image: Ron Pain)

Landguard Fort

A national treasure, the fort was instrumental in protecting East Anglia’s coast from invaders during various conflicts. It helped fend off Dutch invaders during the Second Anglo-Dutch War on July 2, 1667, and was used during the First, Second, and Cold Wars.

With such a longstanding history, it’s no surprise it’s got a few skeletons in its closet. Visitors have reportedly seen a sailor peering out from a window on the top floor – and on that same floor, others have felt a sensation as if they were being pushed. Other phenomena include the sound of phantom steps and a ghost horse, and re-enactors who have been woken up in the night by the sound of wailing woman.

Fort staff also claim to have seen a lone marching musketeer making his way up and down the Holland Bastion rampart – with sightings so convincing that dogs would act strangely when in that part of the fort. Soldiers were apparently wary to stay there.

One ghost I wouldn’t want to cross though is the spirit of a man who was said to be infected with a plague during the Georgian era. He was locked in the bastion to prevent him spreading his illness, and is believed to have died alone, in agony. Legend has it his haunting screams can be heard within the fort to this day.

Ipswich Star: The Swan at LavenhamThe Swan at Lavenham (Image: Nick Smith Photography)

The Swan Hotel

Situated in charming Lavenham, it’s unsurprising that The Swan has had its fair share of apparitions – after all, many of the village's buildings (including this one) date back to Tudor times.

One of the bedrooms is supposedly home to the spirit of a former housekeeper who took her own life after being stood up at the altar. Ghost sightings can be traced all the way back to the 19th century, with guests reporting feeling uneasy when staying in that particular room – some claiming to have seen a woman standing beside them in the middle of the night.

The Nutshell

Britain’s smallest pub, The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds dates back to 1867. Not only is it home to a supposedly cursed mummified cat, but patrons have reportedly seen the ghost of a young boy and monk roaming around. No one is entirely sure where the ghostly lad comes from, but he is thought to have died in mysterious circumstances at the pub, and sightings of him go all the way back to the 1970s.

Ipswich Star: Akenham ChurchAkenham Church (Image: Archant)

St Mary’s Akenham Church

“Akenham Church is the one to go see,” says reader Sophiee Dovener, and she’s not wrong, as a local legend claims that the Devil himself lies under a gravestone in the churchyard. He supposedly waits for anyone who may be brave (or foolish) enough to walk anti-clockwise around the church 13 times, which will awaken from beyond the grave.

Visitors to the church, which is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, claim to have heard the bells ring by themselves, and have seen a ghostly figure appear at the window.

Roos Hall

This historic 16th century building in Beccles is a sight to behold – but beneath its gorgeous brick exterior lies a dark secret, as the place is said to be among one of the most haunted houses in England. Once owned by the Suckling family who purchased it in the 17th century, visitors claim to have seen apparitions make their way through the grounds, including criminals who were sentenced to death at its hanging tree, and a headless horseman who is thought to ferry around a member of the Blennerhassett family.

Other paranormal phenomena at this Beccles home include sightings of the face of a small girl who can be seen peeking one from one of the top windows, and rumour has it that the devil’s footprints can be found within the walls (apparently circling the hanging tree six times will summon the Devil).

Have you experienced any spooky moments at any of the above locations, or have I missed anywhere else that is haunted in Suffolk? Get in touch at danielle.lett@archant.co.uk to share your stories.