Hunting for ghosts in haunted Sussex
From duelling phantom swordsmen to a mysterious floating ca, tSussex has its fair share of reportedly haunted sites and ghosts – and with Halloween looming, now is a good time to explore the spooks which are said to haunt our county.
According to a survey, just published by Psychic World, Sussex is rated number five in the list of haunted counties in England, with 438 reported sightings.
The ancient town of Rye, in East Sussex, is home to many ghosts. The apparently most haunted site in Rye is the 12th century Mermaid Inn, once the haunt of smugglers. There have been reports of guests waking up to a duel being fought by combatants wearing doublets and hoses (an ancient type of clothing) and brandishing rapiers.
Arundel Castle is said to be home to a number of ghosts. Its most famous is the first Earl of Arundel, who built the original castle.
The castle is also said to be haunted by a woman in white, who is said to have thrown herself from Hiornes Tower, the highest point of the castle, after suffering a broken heart. Her ghost has been seen climbing the stairs of the tower before vanishing as she jumps.
Eastbourne’s most famous ghost is the Grey Lady, who is said to roam the Royal Hippodrome Theatre and has been seen crossing the stage. Nearby Pevensey Castle is said to be haunted by a woman in white, and a phantom army has been heard approaching.
The ghosts of imprisoned children who died in Bramber Castle are said to haunt the ruins.
A nine-foot tall ghostly drummer supposedly keeps the beat from the walls of Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex.
In Crawley, the ghost of a former night watchman, who died after drinking poison wine, is said to haunt The George Hotel.
An often-labelled haunted site is Chanctonbury Ring. A ghost hunter who camped out there in 1974 claimed to have been lifted several feet off the ground by an unseen force. It is said that walking counter-clockwise around the ring can summon the Devil.
Amberley Castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl from the 14th century, while a Grey Lady makes a ghostly patrol at Cowdray House, in Midhurst.
A phantom dog is said to haunt the beach near the ruins of Brighton’s West Pier.
Early in the 20th century there were a number of reports of a cat haunting the Gatehouse restaurant in Battle. The ghostly feline was seen floating along a corridor in the restaurant before vanishing through a wall.