What are the best low-cost options for exploring haunted sites in York?

York is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the UK, if not the world. With this reputation, it offers a treasure trove of spooky sites and chilling corners that promise to make your blood run cold. However, exploring these haunted sites doesn't necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg. We have assembled a list of the best low-cost options to ensure a thrilling adventure without leaving your pockets empty.

Haunted Pub Crawls

Before we immerse ourselves in York's spectral history, let's begin with a rather unconventional yet exciting approach to ghost hunting - haunted pub crawls.

York boasts a wealth of haunted pubs, each with its unique ghostly tales and eerie atmosphere. For the cost of a pint, you can explore these pubs, soak up their history, and perhaps even have a close encounter with the supernatural. This is a perfect option if you fancy a double dose of spirits!

The Golden Fleece is said to be the city's most haunted pub, dating back to 1503. With numerous reports of poltergeist activity and sightings of a former landlord's ghost, it's a must-visit for anyone seeking a chill with their pint.

Another notable mention is The Black Swan, a Tudor building with a rich history of ghost sightings. Despite the cheerful atmosphere, many patrons have reported eerie experiences, from cold spots to fleeting apparitions.

Guided Ghost Walks

Now, let's take to the streets. York is famous for its ghost walks, which are an affordable and interactive way to explore the city's haunted sites.

Guided walks provide an intriguing mix of ghost stories, historical facts, and local legends, all delivered by skilled storytellers. Prices typically range from £6 to £10, offering great value for money. These walks typically last around 75 minutes and cover a wide area of York, from its ancient walls to its narrow snickelways.

The Original Ghost Walk of York is a classic choice. As the oldest ghost walk in the world, it offers you a chance to explore the city's eerie past from an expert guide. Another popular choice is the York Ghost Hunt, which combines storytelling with interactive elements for a more immersive experience.

Explore on Your Own

If you prefer to venture out on your own, York offers plenty of haunted sites that are open to the public and free to explore.

For starters, the city's medieval walls provide an atmospheric backdrop for a self-guided ghost hunt. The walls are steeped in history and have been the site of numerous ghost sightings over the years. Similarly, the crooked alleyways known as "Snickelways" are also notorious for their spooky ambiance and reported paranormal activity.

For a truly chilling experience, visit the York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe. It's not just its grandeur that mesmerizes visitors, but its ghostly tales. Many have reported seeing Roman soldiers marching through the undercroft or hearing mysterious organ music. Entry to the cathedral costs about £12, but the chilling tales are worth every penny.

Attend Local Events

Finally, we recommend keeping an eye out for local events, which often offer affordable options to explore York's haunted heritage.

The city hosts numerous ghostly events throughout the year, particularly around Halloween. These range from spooky storytelling sessions to paranormal investigations, many of which are either free or ticketed at a nominal cost.

One such event is the annual York Ghost Festival, which offers a week-long program of ghost walks, talks, and workshops. It's an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into York's spectral history and engage with like-minded enthusiasts.

Visit Haunted Museums

If you're a history buff interested in the paranormal, visiting haunted museums in York can be a great budget-friendly option.

York's museums not only preserve the city's rich history but are also home to several ghostly tales. The York Castle Museum, for instance, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former prisoner, among others. Despite the frightful stories, the entry fee is a modest £12, which includes access to all exhibits.

Similarly, the Treasurer's House is known for its frequent ghost sightings, particularly the famous Roman ghost soldiers. Entrance is free for National Trust members, while non-members pay a small fee.

In conclusion, there's no shortage of affordable options to explore the haunted sites of York. Whether you prefer a spirited pub crawl, a guided ghost walk, or a self-guided adventure, York offers a wealth of chilling experiences that won't break the bank.

York Dungeons and Haunted Hotels

The adventure continues with more budget-friendly options for thrill-seekers. If you're looking for a mix of history and horror, then you should consider visiting the York Dungeon. For an entry fee of around £16, you can embark on a 75-minute journey through 2000 years of York's dark history. The Dungeon offers a unique, interactive experience, complete with live actors, special effects, and 360-degree sets. You'll find yourself immersed in gripping tales of infamous characters such as Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin.

If you're brave enough to spend the night in a haunted place, then consider staying at one of York's haunted hotels. An excellent budget-friendly option is the Guy Fawkes Inn, where Guy Fawkes, the infamous gunpowder plotter, was born. Here, guests often report seeing Fawkes' ghost roaming the halls. Additionally, the Dean Court Hotel, situated in the shadow of the York Minster, has its tales of the supernatural. Despite these eerie stories, these hotels' prices remain affordable, particularly in the off-peak season.

The Ghost Bus Tours

Finally, why not experience York's haunted sites from the comfort of a classic 1960s Routemaster bus? The York Ghost Bus Tour provides an entertaining and educational journey through the city's gruesome past. Priced at £16 for adults and £12 for children, the tour is a unique, budget-friendly way to explore York's spooky heritage.

The tour offers a theatrical guide who shares chilling tales of York's most famous ghosts while pointing out the city's most haunted buildings. From the comfort of the bus, you can take in sites such as Clifford's Tower, York Minster, and the notorious street known as The Shambles. The Ghost Bus tours run every evening, providing an exciting and slightly different night-time activity.


York, with its rich history and myriad ghostly tales, is a paradise for those who are intrigued by the paranormal. Despite the city's reputation as one of the world's most haunted places, exploring these spectral sites doesn't have to be a costly affair. Whether it's sharing a pint with a poltergeist in a haunted pub, tracing the city's haunted history on a guided ghost walk, or even daring to spend the night in a haunted hotel, there's something for everyone's budget.

Remember, from Haunted Pub Crawls to The Ghost Bus Tours, the options for low-cost haunted adventures are plentiful in York. So the next time you find yourself in this ancient city, don't miss the chance to delve into its spectral history without burning a hole in your wallet.

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