By Helen Warwick, Deputy Editor, National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Experience a night you'll never forget with a trip to a spooky castle! Whether you believe in ghosts or not, try not to lose your head with our 5 eerie venues.

Bovey castle, dartmoor

Whilst there’ve been no reported ghostly sightings at this grand dame in the foothills of Dartmoor, the neo-Elizabethan country pile has all the character of a haunted pad – with plenty of nooks and crannies for quick tete-a-tetes and wood panelling that might just conceal hidden passages. Make a beeline for the Oak Bar, where smoky saxophone rhythms play while couples cosy up on one of the Chesterfield sofas – with a selection of more than 130 whiskeys, plus wine ales and malts, your imagination will soon be running wild.

The ettington park hotel, stratford-upon-avon

Inject some sophistication into your Halloween getaway – this palatial pad near Stratford-upon-Avon is all original fireplaces, roll top baths and come-hither four poster beds. But if it’s strange phenomena you’re into, then Ettington’s your hotel. Not only was it the location of the 1963 film ‘The Haunting’, but the ghosts of two children are said to haunt one of the hallways, while sightings of a servant girl who died at the property have been widely reported.

Airth castle, scotland

Guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine, guests here have claimed to have heard the sound of children playing in several of its rooms. When you’re not listening out for creepy noises and spine-chilling sounds, take advantage of the property’s ace card – its spa. Lie side by side for a sensual massage, strut around the pool – all eyes on you – and work up a sweat in the gym to make him drool.

Ruthin castle, wales

You won’t want to leave your partner’s side at this Welsh stronghold – the imposing castle is home to the ghostly ‘grey lady’ who roams the banqueting hall and the castle battlements. The spooky figure of a soldier, wearing a single glove, is also said to wander the grounds of the castle. If you dare to stay overnight, however, you’ll be greeted with tip-top luxury and plenty of cosy crevices to escape prying eyes and get down and dirty in.

Langley castle, northumbria

This fortified castle in the valley of the South Tyne has borne witness to more than 700 years of history – so while supernatural sightings aren’t one of its calling cards, legends are entwined in its magnificent stone walls. Work up an appetite strolling its woodland estate before warming the cockles over a bottle of red beside a fire. Ever done it on your room’s window seat? No time like the present.

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