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The Most Haunted Places in Dorset

19 Sep

The distant past is perhaps more tangible in Dorset than in any other part of England. Predominantly rural, this county overlaps substantially with the ancient kingdom of Wessex, whose most famous ruler, Alfred the Great, repulsed the Danes in the ninth century and came close to establishing the first unified state in England. Before Wessex came into being, however, many earlier civilizations had left their stamp on the region. The chalky uplands of nearby Wiltshire boast several of Europe’s greatest Neolithic sites, including Stonehenge and Avebury, while in Dorset you’ll find Maiden Castle, the most striking Iron Age hill fort in the country, and the Cerne Abbas Giant, source of many a legend. The Romans tramped all over this southern county, leaving the most conspicuous signs of their occupation at the amphitheatre of Dorchester – though that town is more closely associated with the novels of Thomas Hardy and his distinctively gloomy vision of Wessex. None of the landscapes of this region could be described as grand or wild, but the countryside is consistently seductive, its appeal exemplified by the crumbling fossil-bearing cliffs around Lyme Regis, the managed woodlands of the New Forest, or the gentle, open curves of Salisbury Plain. With this weight of history it is hardly surprising to hear that Dorset has often been called one of the most haunted parts of the British Isles. You can feel your skin crawl as you stand amidst the ghostly occupants of Dorset’s spooky pubs, stately homes and historic buildings, where paranormal activity haunts the grounds and current residents. From whispering voices and swirling white mists to eerie spirits and ghastly ghouls, Dorset is full of haunted locations and ghost stories, guaranteed to leave you with a chill.

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