Halloween is nearly here and it's time to start thinking about the ghoulish fun that's lurking just around the corner.
Stoke on Trent is known for its pottery, rather than its hauntings, but the city has a rich and longstanding history - and of course, a few spooky secrets. According to ghost hunters, there's lots of paranormal activity happening in between the Victorian buildings and old pot kilns of this fair city, all you have to do is find it.
To celebrate Halloween here is a rundown of Stoke on Trent's most spooky spots. How many will you visit this year?
Victoria Hall Theatre
Based in Hanley, Victoria Town Hall is a building packed with character. The creeping corridors underneath the dressing rooms used to be linked to Hanley Town Hall prison. Although the link is now partitioned off, people say they have heard things 'go bump' in and around the dressing rooms; some even stated that they have even seen strange shadows in the hallway.
This old ale house is still one of Burslem's most popular pubs and the most notoriously haunted place in the city. The hotel itself was hardly touched over 60 years, and experts say the paranormal activity there is off the charts. For years, locals have talked of the ghost of a woman dressed in old-fashioned clothing standing in the stairs leading up to the hotel. Spooky stuff indeed.
The caves lie just off the A34 and were originally built in the Second World War to store ammunition. Post-war, the caves were left derelict and decrepit until in the mid-80s when people starting hosting illegal raves inside them. Many people perished there during the war and the rave revival, making it one of Stoke on Trent's most spine-chilling spots.
Hanley Town Hall
The town hall is steeped in city history and spans centuries; it used to be Hanley's central courthouse. Many crooks and villains were convicted at the town hall in the past, often bitter and in despair. According to ghost hunters, this means the place is rife with paranormal activity and many visitors say they have spotted the ghost of an ex-prison guard who wanders the corridors clanking his keys.
We all know about the theme park, but did you know Alton Towers was once solely a stately home surrounded by acres of rolling grounds? Alton Towers boasts a colourful history (some of which is quite unnerving) and ghost hunters say it's one of the most chilling destinations in the city. Not too long ago, a guard quit his job after encountering something strange and mysterious in the rose gardens.
Gladstone isn't only haunted, but it's also one of Stoke's best pottery museums, and a must visit for anyone looking to find out more about the area's unique artisan heritage. But now onto the spooky part: featured on television show Most Haunted in 2006, staff have repeatedly reported supernatural sightings, objects being moved around and unexplained footsteps. Hold onto your hat.