Ghostly clerics, mysterious disappearing children and furniture that moves all on its own feature in our next creepy Halloween tale. [caption id="attachment_6806" align="alignright" width="350"]Witton Castle has a spooky reputation. Witton Castle has a spooky reputation.[/caption] Nestled among rolling green vales at the heart of County Durham, the imposing grey façade of Witton Castle at dusk is a suitably spooky setting for a Halloween hot air balloon ride. This 15th century fortification near Bishop Auckland, much altered in both the 18th and 19th centuries, retains its stark grandeur now as the centrepiece of Witton Castle Holiday Home Park. As one of Virgin Balloon Flights’ most northern launch sites, this beautiful setting is hugely popular with our passengers looking to enjoy the stunning sights County Durham has to offer. And with Halloween just around the corner, who knows how many spooky spectres could greet our passengers as they arrive for their hot air balloon ride? Most Haunted [caption id="attachment_6808" align="alignleft" width="294"]Witton Castle 200 years ago. Witton Castle 200 years ago.[/caption] Perhaps you will see the seemingly angry spirit of the religious man or cleric said to wander the castle or the ghostly lady who has been seen by many guests in the grounds and castle itself? Then there is the spirit of a young boy seen in the ladies toilets of the Cellar Bar.The story goes that a girl visiting the holiday home park with her parents had been gone longer than usual after asking to go to the toilet. When they went to find her, she told them she had been talking to a boy – only there was no boy to be seen. The ghostly goings on at Witton Castle even caught the attention of N.E.P.I, or North East Paranormal Investigations, who carried out and filmed a full investigation at the site in early 2011. The spookily entertaining video of their paranormal investigations can still be watched in full here. Staff Sightings Thomas Hague is Witton Castle’s general manager and said previous staff had reported sounds of footsteps following or ahead of them when they were completely alone and of objects being moved. “We have had spiritualists and professional ghost hunters here in the past and all of them have said that Witton Castle has the highest activity of anywhere they have ever been,” he said. However, despite this, Thomas himself remains somewhat sceptical of the building’s reputation for the paranormal. “I don’t personally believe in that sort of thing, which is probably a good thing given I’m the one who has to get up at 2am to sort things out if the castle alarms activate for any reason. “But while I’ve personally never heard or seen anything ghostly or unexplained, I’m not necessarily discounting it and the ‘experts’ in the paranormal that visit do always tell us just how extreme Witton Castle is for such activity.” [caption id="attachment_6807" align="aligncenter" width="484"]Our Witton Castle launch site. Our Witton Castle launch site.[/caption] A Beautiful Ballooning Spot But beyond the tales of the paranormal, Witton Castle is a truly stunning launch site and a firm favourite of our local pilot Chris Oxby. And Chris said he had certainly never experienced any ghostly goings on himself in all the years he had been flying from there. “I absolutely love flying from Witton Castle, it’s such a beautiful spot and the team up there are really great to work with,” he said. “I’ve certainly never seen anything even slightly spooky in all the time it’s been our launch site and even if I did, it wouldn’t put me off at all. “In fact, you can never have enough help setting up one of our hot air balloons so I’d probably ask them to put their ghostly hands to good use and help us get ready for launch!” To enjoy your own sky-high experience from Witton Castle, visit our launch site page here for more information. And until Saturday 31st October, you can take advantage of our special Halloween offer of 10% off selected gift packages for two, plus our weekday morning flight voucher for just £99. For more information, enter the code ‘Halloween’ on our website or call our team on 01952 212750. Witton Castle’s official website can be found here.