Why not take a walk on the weird side and visit the favourite haunts of Exeter’s ghouls? Exetera is on hand with a concise illustrated guide to help you plan your journey, with words by Declan Henesy and illustrations by Hannah Peck.


‘Heavitree’ derives from ‘heafod-treow’, old English for ‘head tree’, which refers to a tree that was decorated with the severed heads of criminals.

Exeter Cathedral

In the 16th century a nun and monk fell in love and she became pregnant. Their love being forbidden, they jumped down a well to their deaths. The scent of rose-water, which she wore, lingers around the site of their deaths to this day.

The Ship Inn

Sir Francis Drake lodged here when visiting Exeter. The dashing sea rover has been seen in the building several times since his death. He wears a doublet and hose of, for his time, a most fashionable cut, and stalks restlessly through the pub.

The Castle

The last three women to be executed for witchcraft in England – Temperence Lloyd, Mary Trembles, and Susanna Edwards – were imprisoned in the castle prior to their deaths. They remain ghostly residents of the building’s
long-forgotten dungeons.

The Turk’s Head

This centuries-old pub plays host to the ghost of a red-headed lady in a long green dress. She is said to float eerily around the building, now Prezzo. Keep an eye out next time you’re enjoying a tagliaTERROR.

The Guildhall

The Guildhall shares its cellar with The Turk’s Head next door, and is also said to be home to a spectral lady. Some believe she is the same wandering spirit, although some say not.

The Underground Passages

The guides of the underground passages tell of a phantom cyclist who passes through them. Hidden treasure is also rumoured to be buried somewhere down there.