Halloween Canal Boat Holidays

21st October 2022

Looking for a spooky break this Halloween? Here at ABC Boat Hire, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re interested in the stories of the many ghosts on the waterways or looking for Halloween fun activities for the family, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Famous ghosts on the canal

The waterways are said to be home to lots of supernatural goings on, from Victorian ghosts, Roman centurions and even sightings of supernatural animals. Here, we’ll explore some of the most famous ghost stories from along the canals and the best narrowboat routes to visit over Halloween.

Ghosts in Birmingham and Dudley Canal

Birmingham is well known for its miles of canals, therefore it’s no surprise that it’s also host to a few ghouls and ghosts. One of the more well-known ghosts said to haunt the canal in Birmingham is the ghost of the Towpath Ripper. The story goes if you travel down near the towpaths on the Gas Street Basin late at night you might find you feel something touching you followed by a sharp pain in your back, it could be the ghost of the Towpath Ripper who is said to have killed his victims by slashing their spinal cords.

On the Dudley Canal near the Black Country Museum is the Lord Ward’s Canal tunnel. This tunnel is said to be haunted by the ghosts of two Victorian children. Several workers from the Canal and Rivers Trust are said to have seen two children playing on the surface of the water, only to vanish into thin air.

If you’re looking for something less scary to do over Halloween, Dudley Canal is running a family-friendly pirate adventure from the 28th-31st October 2022. The event sails through the limestone caverns of the Dudley Canal and includes a treasure hunt and goody bags for the children. Also on the Dudley Canal, the Black Country Living Museum are also running Halloween events from the 26th October-29th October which includes a monster bash and story trail.

With plenty going on, a break starting at Gailey Marina is the perfect place to explore the West Midlands and the Dudley Canal at Halloween.

Ghosts in Chester and the Shropshire Union Canal

The ancient city of Chester is reported as being one of the most haunted cities in the UK. Unsurprisingly, the canal leading into Chester is also well known as the most haunted canal in the UK. Entering the city via the Shropshire Union Canal, you may see a ghost of a Roman Centurion on the city walls where the canal was dug into the town’s moat. It’s said the Centurion was in love with a Celtic girl and frequently left his post to be with her. The Celtic girl’s family betrayed him by planning an attack while he was away from his post, and when he returned, they killed him too. The ghost now guards the spot he failed to protect while he was alive.  

If you venture into the city, you’ll also find several haunted pubs including the Old Kings Head, the most haunted pub in Chester. With foundations dating from the 12th century, there are 12 resident ghosts in the pub including a phantom roaming the halls searching for an unknown object.

Further south down the Shropshire Union Canal there are at least 5 ghosts whose presence are something of local legend. Tourists and locals have encountered a man thought to be the ghost of a boatman who drowned in the 19th century and was first sighted in the late 1800s. The ghost is most often spotted on bridge 39 of the Shropshire Union Canal and is said to appear as a large hairy animal with big eyes.

If you’re thinking of visiting the Shropshire Union Canal to see if you can see some of the ghosts for yourself, there are several routes you can take from the Blackwater Meadow Marina or Whitchurch Marina.

If you’re looking for events in Chester or on the Shropshire Union Canal this Halloween, there are various events from ghost tours and film showings suitable for both kids and adults alike. Also along the Shropshire Union Canal in Nantwich, you’ll find the Halloween Spooktacular fireworks display.

So, if you’re looking for a Halloween Canal boat holiday this spooky season there’s plenty of options available. If you’re in for a fright or fancy fun for all the family explore our routes and breaks today!

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