As Halloween fast approaches, we’ve been introducing our spookiest launch sites, from ancient manor houses to historic castles, it’s no wonder so many of our take off points have ghostly stories to tell. Next on the list is Ripley Castle – one of our most popular hot air balloon take off points in North Yorkshire.Ripley Castle, Harrogate, Yorkshire: Situated in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales just three miles from Harrogate lies Ripley Castle – one of our popular northern launch sites. Steeped in history with stunning grounds, the magnificent castle plays host to weddings, adventure activities, garden tours and of course, hot air balloon rides. Built in the 1300s, and owned by the Ingilby family, Ripley Castle has a dark past and is said to be haunted by Dame Alicia Ingilby and her children, who died in the 1870’s. Alicia Ingilby Floats Around the Castle Alicia is occasionally seen on the landing and her children frequently hide small valuable items, which reappear back in their rightful place months or years later. Speaking to current owner Lady Ingilby about her experience with spooky goings on at the castle, she said: “For over 700 years, the Ingilby family have lived and died at Ripley Castle, none more tragic than Dame Alicia Ingilby who died of a broken heart having lost both her children to meningitis – and who drifts gently and sadly around the castle mourning her loss. “Her children however are mischievous hauntings. We have experienced many disappearing items such as keys and silver spoons. Strangely they are particularly naughty when there are babies in the castle as well.’’ [caption id="attachment_6829" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Our iconic red balloons regularly launch from Ripley Castle[/caption] Take a Walk on the Spooky Side The magnificent castle is steeped in history with a wealth of many mysterious tales - hosted tours allow visitors to step back in time. It’s certainly worth paying Ripley Castle a visit if you’re in the Harrogate area. Other spooky stories include the civil war soldiers who were lined up and shot by Cromwell’s firing squad after the battle at Marston Moor. They are said to haunt the castle walls, where the bullet holes can still be seen to this day. Things to Do This October Half Term This October half term Ripley Castle will be hosting several spooking story telling sessions in the eerie Tower Room – frightfully good fun for the whole family. Visit the Ripley Castle events page for more info – be there or be scared! Use Ripley Castle’s discount code RCHALL15 for 20% off Halloween tickets. See Ripley Castle from the Skies Our Yorkshire hot air balloon pilot Dave and his crew member Neil regularly fly from Ripley Castle. Despite having never seen anything ghostly themselves they say the castle does have an eerie feel. The incredible architecture of Ripley Castle is best seen from the skies. Take a hot air balloon flight over beautiful Harrogate to appreciate this incredible landmark and picturesque gardens. Depending on which way the wind takes you, you may even drift over Harrogate centre where you’ll spot other famous sites like The Royal Baths and Victoria Gardens. Wherever this nostalgic method of air travel takes you, you’re guaranteed some breath-taking landscape views, which you can celebrate afterwards with a traditional Champagne toast. Book your once-in-a-lifetime trip in Harrogate - use offer code 'Halloween' and fly from just £99.