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Ghosts of South England

EAST SUSSEX, SOUTHERN ENGLAND

BATTLE ABBEY
Battle
East Sussex
Bordering the site of Britain's most famous battle and founded by William the Conqueror, Battle Abbey is now in the hands of the Department of the Environment but one might well imagine that such an old building would contain a host of ghosts. Certainly it, and the associated Abbot's House, is haunted by at least three visible apparitions and at least two unseen walkers. In the huge Common House constructed as a vast dining room for visiting dignitaries as well as the inmates, a Norman knight was seen in 1972 by a young boy , standing in the corner nearest the Chapter House. Two years later an elderly man in a brown leather jerkin and apron, symbols of a farrier, was witnessed by another visitor in the same area. When the tourist asked one of the guides who the man was and was assured that she seemed to be the only person who could see the figure, the lady had to be given treatment for mild shock. More recent reports are that the figure is that of a monk in a brown habit which would seem more likely than that of a farrier. It might also be the same figure as was seen by Joyce Pain of Starrs Green.

'I was walking along the pavement beside the churchyard at St. Mary's Parish Church one evening', she tells me, 'when nearing the solicitor's office I became aware of a figure moving along the pavement and gliding towards the gateway of the abbey. It was a monk in a dark habit but his face was hidden by the cowl. He continued for approximately 10 yards before suddenly disappearing. I was so utterly surprised that I could hardly believe I had seen a ghost. I certainly experienced no fear, only complete astonishment'. Some time later Joyce became a secretary to the headmistress of the School housed in the Abbot's House and had another more mystifying experience. 'On one occasion I had to go up to the staff room', she said, 'and because a class was in session I chose to go through the Great Hall and up the main staircase. Halfway up the stairs I suddenly heard a loud rustling sound exactly like that of a silk skirt. But there was absolutely no explanation for it. I even walked into the alcove at the bend of the stairs, but it was empty, as was the staff room at the end of the corridor'.

Only a few feet away is where a small chapel was discovered following a disastrous fire in 1931. This room, of only 12 by 16 feet, still retains some of the original early plaster and signs of a wall mural. Shortly after the war the room was divided into two, one of which is now a bathroom. Joyce Pain had no knowledge of the incident of the footsteps, associated with 'a lady in red'which have been heard previously on the stairs. There is no knowledge of the identity of the phantom but the suggestion is that she is intending to visit the chapel to complete her meditations.

Another ghost seen in 1977 by Marcus Granger, a well known psychometrician, was of a woman in a long red gown of the Elizabethan period. She appeared whilst he was among a group of visitors being conducted round the ruins by one of the Webster family.

The figure just, 'suddenly appeared in one corner of the room in which we were standing and after a few seconds faded away'. Yet another ghostly female who has been seen within the last few years is that of a lady in a grey dress who walks along the corridor leading from the Great Hall to the Abbot's House. Her heavy limping footsteps were also heard by a student at 9.30 p.m. one night in September, 1974, when they were walking down the passageway to the Hall. One thing that is certain, the ghost of King Harold with an arrow in his eye is one phantom who does not haunt the abbey.
© Andrew Green

BATTLE ROAD
Robertsbridge
East Sussex
Prior to his transfer to Oxford in 1976 Sergeant John Smith, then stationed at Battle Police Station, admitted to me that one night at 11.00 p.m. some two years earlier he had followed a cyclist in his panda car from the village, hoping that the man would realise he had failed to switch on his lights, 'he was far from sober'. Eventually John decided that he would have to pass and stop the cyclist to point out his misdemeanour. He accomplished this a few yards beyond the entrance of Poppinghole Lane but on getting out of the car was astounded to find that the cyclist had vanished. On reporting the experience to the station-sergeant he learnt that this was not an isolated incident, for other, both civilian and police officers had witnessed the same phenomena. The cyclist has been categorically identified as that of a man who was killed some ten years earlier when cycling home to a nearby cottage.
© Andrew Green

BEACHY HEAD
Eastbourne
East Sussex
Beachy Head, the southernmost point of the Downs and the highest cliff on the coast, is one off the most attractive parts of Sussex. Attractive, not just because of the beauty of the surrounding countryside, but also it seems to suicides. In May, 1979 an 11 year old Dutch boy was one of the scores of people who annually have a compulsive urge to throw themselves over the 545 feet drop onto the rocks below. One of the local police sergeants admitted to me two years earlier that there is 'something really weird on the cliff top. It seems to make the most intrepid person liable to become dizzy or frightened'.

There are many tales of 'a horrifying monk in black' who beckons people to their death, but as there is no known site of a monastery, or even a nunnery within easy reach of Beachy Head, such stories are treated, surely, as mythical. Yet there is something on this wind-swept moor which affects people, and I believe one of these 'somethings' is a ghost, or even two. One evening in 1976 a man was walking across the Downs with his dog near the site of an old farm house close to Jevington farm and suddenly noticed the figure of a 'youngish woman' in an old fashioned grey dress coming towards him from where the old building used to be.

The dog, a corgi, also apparently saw the apparition for he stopped dead in his tracks growling and with his coat 'literally bristling with fear'. When the figure reached the quivering animal it appeared to bend down to pet the dog but the corgi howled and ran away. At that moment the figure vanished. It was sometime before the owner of the dog was able to persuade his pet to return. When he described the incident to some friends later that evening he was assured the 'lady in grey' has often been seen but more frequently nearer the Beachy Heady cliff. She was seen on the cliff edge at least three times by local residents during the later half of 1978 (but only engaged in walking along the path) though she is thought to be the phantom of a suicide in the 1850's. The other ghost is of another woman, but dressed in clothes of 'a farmer's wife' with an apron and carrying a bundle thought to be a child. She is seen hugging it close to her breast before taking two fatal steps over the edge. At that moment she vanishes. Legend has it that she is the widow of a farmer brutally murdered in Victorian times. She too has recently been witnessed but only in the evening.
© Andrew Green

DEANS PLACE HOTEL
Deans Lane
Alfriston
East Sussex
In this ancient village is the fourteenth century church sitting proudly on a prehistoric mound and overlooking a pre-Reformation parish priest's house of 1350. Owned by the National Trust, in fact it was the first acquisition in 1896, this building is claimed to be haunted by one of its former occupiers, in the shape of an old man in a tattered grey suit. One of the custodians told me in 1974 that a previous official had seen the figure 'many years earlier'but since the renovation of the house no-one has reported seeing the old man. It could be, of course that, as in the majority of cases, he has been seen but mistaken for a living individual. A few yards from the Clergy House is Deans Lane leading to Deans Place Hotel. This is at least two hundred years old though a massive renovation and modernising scheme has recently been completed, which was considerably altered the general atmosphere of the building. Whether it will affect the haunting is yet to be seen. The ghost has been witnessed on several occasions during the last few years, one of the most recent incidents being when Mrs. Saddler of Hastings and her five year old daughter were staying at the hotel for the first time. One evening the, little girl, on returning from the bathroom, commented on 'the lady in the blue dress'who passed her on the landing. Her mother, having seen no-one assumed the girl was imagining something and dismissed the matter. However, the following morning the youngster asked one of the staff about the figure she had seen and both were surprised to learn that there had been numerous reports of 'the lady'. She wears a long blue robe, like a dressing gown and the story goes that she is the ghost of a woman who was murdered and 'cut up and put into a settle. Unfortunately, no-one has been able to substantiate this idea or provide any further details, as to the identity or date involved. Nevertheless, the description of the phantom has remained the same for at least a decade, and has been witnessed by many guests. The face of the woman is 'calm and pleasant' but there is 'something about her which is peculiar'. Perhaps it is that she just glides along the corridor without making a sound, and there is always a sensation of coldness surrounding her.
© Andrew Green

EASTBOURNE COLLEGE
Carlise Road
Eastbourne
East Sussex
This well known boys' school near Compton Park is claimed to be haunted by the ghost of a former student who, disturbed by family problems, forthcoming examination and the associated street, hung himself in one of the dormitories. Staff deny the stories offered by some of the youngsters of 'feeling icy cold at a particular place in one of the corridors', and claim, perhaps rightly, that, 'Young boys are prone to invent stories of this nature'. Nevertheless, some adults admit to 'feeling uncomfortable'at the same site, and a former member of the staff assured me that they saw the misty figure of a young boy one evening standing near a doorway to a bedroom.
© Andrew Green

GEORGE INN
Battle Road
Robertsbridge
East Sussex
For over twelve years the Mannerings, the licencees of this charming old inn, have been mystified by peculiar bumps and sounds of footsteps coming from an empty room. The noises are more frequently heard after a wedding reception and the belief has grown that the ghost, affectionately termed as 'Georgina' just doesn't like weddings. Although it is not even known whether the unseen phantom is that of a female, 'Georgina is still quite active. The most recent incident was shortly after the roof repairs were carried out in 1978, when the weird bumpings increased in frequency and intensity without any apparent cause or reason. Shirley Mannering also told me that 'Simon, their golden labrador refuses to pass a particular bedroom door at night on certain occasions, usually when the banging has been heard at lunch time. One day in August, 1978 when Olga Hayter, a member of the staff, was working in the kitchen the door slowly opened of its own accord and, despite the very hot day, the temperature in the room suddenly dropped dramatically. 'I've often heard the bangings upstairs', she said, 'but this really made me shiver'. The licencees and staff of the 'George'are not the only people to have heard the unusual sounds. Many of the regulars and a few tourists have commented on the loud and regular bumps and thumps. It sounds rather as if someone was moving a large piece of furniture over the floor by 'walking it', Shirley told me, 'One day perhaps we'll find an explanation'.
© Andrew Green

HASTING CASTLE
Castle Hill
Hastings
East Sussex
Perhaps because this castle was seldom actually involved in conflict, few genuine ghost exist in the ruins. One of the some recent incidents reported by some local residents was the re-appearance of a nun in brown, see digging a few feet from the entrance to a dungeon. This is the sort of tale normally created by smugglers to frighten the curious away from caches, but as the woman has been seen several times since the Victorian period this idea can be dismissed. Another more romantic thought is that the figure is of a sister hiding some of the church plate from the attention of the Cromellians. The figure of a nun, believed to be the same woman, has also been seen near the outer wall at the eastern end of the castle. A more frequent ghostly manifestation is that of a middle-aged woman wearing a brown dress of the Victorian era. Witnesses claim that she appears to be holding a baby in her arms and after a few moments of apparent indecision she moves suddenly towards the cliff edge and vanishes, It could well be that the apparition of the nun has on occasions been mistaken for this suicide victim. The belief is that she is the mother of an illegitimate child fathered by a local fisherman was callously refused to be associated with her after the birth of the baby girl. Sometime in the summer of 1976, two visitors to the castle took photographs of each other and then asked another tourist to take one of them together. When the third photo was printed, what appears to be an additional figure is seen standing behind the couple. It is claimed to be that of a woman in a nun's habit so perhaps at least one of the ghosts has been recorded for posterity.
© Andrew Green

HAYES HOTEL
Main Street
Northiam
East Sussex
Jean Anderson, former owner of the sixteenth century hotel, is one of many witnesses of ghosts who, until she experienced a haunting, refused to even accept the possibility of phantoms. 'I always thought such things were imagination', she assured me. After a full-time professional career with a tourist agency, she and her husband purchased the hotel in 1977 and were delighted with its potential and attractive design. The main building is a sixteenth century house but later additions and a Georgian facade had increased the size and scope of it. Because of various problems, however, after only ten months they decided to sell the property and move nearer the coast.

Shortly after they arrived in their home at Northiam, they learnt from some of the locals that the hotel was haunted by a little old lady who would sit in an alcove beside the main bar, and occupy her infrequent visits by spinning on the wheel which stool in one of the corners. The Andersons were somewhat amused by the story and dismissed at as gossip. However, during their ownership 'quite a few of the visitors'commented on seeing the spinning wheel actually move of its own accord. On one occasion a visitor left in a hurry after saying that he had actually seen the figure of a wizened old woman bending over the machine. A few days later, at about one o'clock one morning in September 1978, shortly after Jean had gone into bed to read a book before settling down to sleep, she began to sense she was not alone. She glanced up and was astonished to see the figure of a young woman, 'a bonny type of about 30'wearing a white hat and grey gown standing in the middle of the floor. 'I was astonished', she told me, 'and turned to adjust the light at the side of the bed so I could see her more clearly, but unfortunately I knocked it over. When I retrieved it the woman had gone. She had been holding something in her right hand but the whole incident had been so unexpected I have no idea as to what it was'. The appearance in no way frightened Jean for the woman seemed to be such a friendly person. The incident was never repeated whilst she was there, and she had never related the incident to anyone except members of the family. However, shortly before leaving the hotel a visitor asked if she had ever seen the 'good-looking ghost in the bedroom'. On asking for further information she was told that, 'There was a story which concerned an old woman and her daughter, but details of the reason for the haunting were unknown'. The spinning wheel now resides in the Anderson's new home of the 'William the Conqueror'pub at Iden near Rye. But we await to hear of the return of the 'bonny young woman'to the Hayes Hotel. Though I called there in June 1979 all I learnt was the ghost is accepted as genuine. There is also a belief that the phantom is of a baker's daughter who was murdered in a bedroom.
© Andrew Green

HERSTMONCEUX CASTLE
Royal Greenwich Observatory
Hailsham
East Sussex
Legends of a drummer haunting the fifteenth century castle have existed for years but without much evidence. One story is that he was a devoted servant of the founder and was killed not even in this country but during the battle of Agincourt. Another tale to account for the regular bumping noises which used to be heard years ago was that a former recluse living in the castle ordered 'his wife and servants to treat him as dead'. However, when his 'widow'proved to be filling her time with amorous affairs, her husband became insanely jealous and scared off the girls lovers by beating a drum. His frustrated spouse retaliated by locking the stupid old man in a cell and let him die, but the 'mysterious drumming'continued. The castle was dismantled in 1777 and was only restored in 1933. In 1948 the Royal observatory was moved from Greenwich to the castle and it is now only occasionally open to the public. I was therefore delighted to be told in March 1979 by Mr. R.H. Tucker, one of the astronomers at the Observatory that the ghost of a woman often claimed to have been seem 'near the moat', had in fact, appeared that month to two highly-reputable witnesses, but within yards of the East Gate.
© Andrew Green

HIGH STREET
Robertsbridge
East Sussex
There have been several phenomenal incidents in this delightful mediaeval village, many of them within living memory, but time distorts recollections and eradicates ghosts. One that remains, however, is that of a 12 year old girl who I will call Jane Smith. One afternoon, over 50 years ago, the young girl decided to go fishing in the River Rother and felt that a spot near Bugsell Mill Farm was probably the most advantageous to explore. The previous evening there had been a violent storm which had only partly abated by the time that the young explorer left home. By teatime, the weather had worsened and the river, as usual, had flooded the fields and was swirling over the road at 'Clappers', the lower end of the High Street. Nothing had been heard of young Jane but her mother was not really concerned feeling quite certain that she was with her friends in another part of the village.

On this particular day, the light failing, more people became involved in the battle. There had been a high tide at Rye and the effects were reaching the village. Earth banks were piled against doors, sandbags, wood, even furniture, was used in an attempt to stop the rising waters. As the sodden, desperate villagers worked at the defences they began to notice the bodies of animals floating in the raging stream. The Smiths, confident that Jane was, by now, safely in bed with friends, worked on. It was agreed that Tom, Jane's brother, would walk the few miles to the cottage near the farm in the morning and collect his young sister.

The morning came - with excitement for the children seeing the village surrounded by the flood, with fear from the farmers for their animals, cut-off from food, or drowned; and with apprehension by the residents in case the river rose further, but for the Smiths, horror. As they cautiously peered through the kitchen window, standing trembling in nearly 18 inches of water, they saw something bump against the back door. It was the drowned body of their young daughter. Fate in its irony had returned the girl home. Now, every time a flood affects the village, the small figure of Jane, still in her grey dress and carrying a long bamboo fishing rod'is seen, thankfully, not at the door of her original home, but standing on the river bank a few yards away, looking at the waters beneath her feet. For the past few years, including 1980 the pitiful little wraith has been witnessed by a number of people including five local residents, two of whom had never seen the figure before or even heard about young Jane.
© Andrew Green

LEWES PRISON
Lewes
East Sussex
A former inmate of the 'long -term establishment'assured me that at least three of his colleagues, and names were supplied, had seen the figure of a woman 'in Victorian-type clothing' in one of the corridors. No-one has any ideas as to who she might be other than a 'a relative or friend of one of the prisoners'or why she should continue to haunt. Enquiries have produced little further information other than the official reply. 'We have no knowledge of any phenomena here'. Nevertheless, I received confirmation in September, 1979 that the phantom has been witnessed, 'quite recently'.
© Andrew Green

MILL HILL LANE
Hawkam
East Sussex
Only a very small number, less than one per cent, of ghosts are seen within five minutes of midnight but here is one of those minority cases which is quite impressive. Miss Sophie Glessing returning home on the night of 9th November 1976 was slightly amused yet concerned when, on nearing the top of Mill Hill, her car headlights illuminated the figure of a local eccentric, Mr. Hawley, walking towards his cottage. Despite the raging storm that was blowing at the time, with rain beating down like a massive waterfall, the gentleman was clothed only in his green and pink pyjamas, a brown dressing gown and carpet slippers. There was no question of identification for Mr. Hawley was a distinctive character, bald with a large head, and was known to `walk abroad` in his pyjamas every since his wife died a few years earlier. Sophie, realising that he had only a few yards to go before reaching his cottage, felt it inappropriate to stop and give him a lift, but waved and continued her journey. Next day she told her family that the old man was still on his rambles but was astounded to learn from her mother that Mr. Hawley had died three weeks previously. `I'm still amazed, she said, `I wonder what would have happened if I had stopped and offered him a lift.`
© Andrew Green

OFFHAN HILL
London Road
Lewes
East Sussex
One or two riders near the old racecourse, opposite Offham Hill have been a little apprehensive when, at `about seven o'clock in the morning` they have heard wild screams, shouts and, according to a middle-aged musician exercising his dog, `a general melee of clatter`. He was so puzzled by the sounds that he spent nearly an hour trying to find some cause or reason for the phenomena, but was unsuccessful. There are not many who walk over the chalk pits so early but those who do enjoy a quite stroll in the mornings during the last few days in May are likely to hear shrieks and moans and the occasional whinny of a horse, without being able to specifically locate the precise area from which they originate.

Historians will, of course, realise that 7.30 a.m. on 14 May is the anniversary of that appalling clash between the 10, 000 men of the Royalist army with their 3, 000 cavalry and the 5, 000 troops including 600 horsemen of the rebel barons. Due to the calendar changes the day is now the 25th May. Factual evidence of the slaughter of some 3, 000 men over 700 years ago has been the discovery of large quantities of human bones in the chalk pits, where either men gripped in the battle fell to their deaths, or some of the corpses were thrown. Most of the victims would be either from Prince Edward's forces, who made a successful charge against the troops under de Segrave or, those of the rebels themselves.
© Andrew Green

PEVENSEY CASTLE
Pevensey
East Sussex
This third century fort was built by the Romans to defend the British portion of their empire against Saxon raiders, but when they withdrew the massive structure became derelict. A report was made in one Chronicle that there was a massacre of Britons by a group of Saxons in 491 so it seems that the castle was, despite its setting and design, far from impregnable. Perhaps this was why Harold ignored it, for had William the Conqueror been forced to divert his forces to Pevensey after landing at Norman's Bay, the result of the battle might have been different. However, when it was attacked in 1147 by King Stephen the `most ancient walls` were able to withstand troops. During 1399 the castle, held by Bolingbroke, later Henry IV, was in a ruinous state and after siege by Richard II the condition rapidly worsened.

It is the ghost of Lady Pelham, a supporter of Bolingbroke, who was supposed to walk the crumbling parapets at dust. Certainly a female figure gliding on the top of the walls has been seen by a number of visitors. In 1976 a group of four lads who had been `larking about` were so scared at seeing the ghostly apparition that, still visibly frightened they dared the wrath of the custodian an reported the matter to him. Just a few yards from his kiosk one finds a steep stone spiral staircase leading to a minute dungeon. Claustrophobic it most certainly is, but there is also a very unpleasant atmosphere about the cell which affects dogs that they refuse to stand anywhere near the flights of stairs, let alone venture below. There must have been many distressing incidents within the slime-covered walls to cause such a strong feeling of nausea. One can, however, only use imagination for I gather nothing untoward has ever been seen in the dungeon.
© Andrew Green

THE PLANTATION
The Warren
Ratton Village
Eastbourne
East Sussex
Situated in `The Plantation`, a small acreage of trees slightly to the north-west of Ratton Village, is the site of an old manor house of Lord Willingdon, the former Viceroy of India. Some years ago, prior to the war, when decorators were hard at work renovating the building, two of the group were appalled one morning to find a small blood stain on the floor of one of the bedrooms. What the cause was no-one ever knew or at least admitted to knowing.

Whether this mystery had anything to do with the experience reported by the Canadian Troops who were later billeted there during the war, is not known, but certainly the soldiers reported hearing `weird noises` and peculiar scraping sounds issuing, from the room. They also complained of the `frightening atmosphere` which existed in the house. It was during their occupation that the building caught fire and was completely ruined.

When the manor was eventually demolished stories of `a haunting` became better-known and several locals admitted to seeing the figure of a man wearing monk's habit in the area. How a monk can be associated with either the building or the locale is a mystery in itself, but, nevertheless, Cecile Woodford, a local writer, told me that during a spring evening in 1967 when she lived near the site she too witnessed the phantom. She was looking out of her bedroom window one evening when she saw what she thought was her neighbour walking across his gardens, wearing his dressing gown and sandals. It was only when he disappeared through a wall at the bottom of the garden, facing the Plantation, that she realised it was no ordinary figure but that of 'the monk'. He is supposed to have no head and Cecile had to admit that there was nothing' above a cowl collar on his gown'.
© Andrew Green

PRESTON MANOR
London Road
Brighton
East Sussex
Although no ghosts of people have been seen in this charming Georgian house for some 50 years, a rather weird and unpleasant atmosphere still exists in a corner of one bedroom. A house was built on the site in 1250 and some of the old foundations are known to have been incorporated into the later construction of 1738. From notes of the first curator of the manor, which is owned by the Brighton Borough, one learns that a Mrs. Magniac, half sister of a former owner, called in 1934 to discuss the haunting with him. She told Mr. Henry Roberts, the curator, that Lady Thomas-Stanford's son was inaccurate when he claimed that the only witness to the apparition was Mrs. Studd. The `lady in white` had been seen by many people including Mrs. Magniac, who on one occasion went upstairs to change her shoes after a game of tennis and saw the figure of a woman standing on the stairway.

Because she did not recognise her as one of the players but assumed that she was another guest, she greeted the stranger, but received no reply. As she offered her hand and wished the woman `Good Afternoon` the figure vanished. Captain W.W. Sandeman was another witness to the haunting. He also saw the 'woman in white'on the stairs. One visitor in 1975 claimed that he has seen the ghost of a dog run through 'a couple of rooms and then disappear'. The description he gave was that of Lady Thomas-Stanford's pet 'Kylin'shown in a painting in the hall. The current custodian, however assured me that the report was probably a hoax.

Furthermore, Marion Waller, Keeper of the Preston Manor, and Rottingdean Grange, wrote to me after a television appearance saying, `the room in which you were televised, the north-west bedroom, is often felt to have an unpleasant atmosphere by our visitors`. Together with a group of students from one of my evening classes I re-visited the house in 1978 and many of us confirmed the fact that the centre of the `mysterious sensation of unease` was a corner of the cupboard. Several other visitors have told me that they have also seen `a sort of white shape` on the landing, so it suggests that the lady is still haunting. But the mystery of the cupboard still remains.
© Andrew Green

PYKE HOUSE
Upper Lake
Battle
East Sussex
There are not many residential training centres owned by local councils and even fewer, I should imagine, with a resident ghost. However, this old property in which weekend training and educational courses in subjects ranging from adult tutoring to ghost hunting are held, does contain a phantom.

Mr. Hobson, the warden has assured me that `on quite a few occasions` the figure of a young girl has been seen hurrying along an upstairs corridor near his flat. She glides through a bedroom and disappears on reaching the window. The ghost appears to be wearing a long white dress, `rather like a night-gown`. The only explanation for the incident is that she was the daughter of a former owner of the building, when it was a pair of workers` cottages in the nineteenth century, and after a tragic love affair committed suicide by jumping into a lake in the field behind the house. Suggesting that there might well be some truth in his belief is the fact that there are several claims of her wispy shape having been seen gliding through the back garden and hurrying towards the large pool where she vanishes. However, the building is far more than 100 years old and it contains a mysterious locked cupboard, near the loft entrance, which is so well covered by paper that it appears part of the wall. Perhaps some documentary relics will one day be revealed when that cupboard door is once again opened.
© Andrew Green

ST PETERS CHURCH
Preston Drive
Preston Park
Near Brighton
East Sussex
Practically adjoining the haunted Preston Manor is the attractive old church of St. Peters and, according to the 'Brighton and Hove Gazette' it has one of the few graveyards to house a genuine phantom. One Sunday evening early in the 1970`s a couple were strolling through the churchyard and noticed a `middle aged lady` dressed in mediaeval costume coming towards them. Thinking that she was a member of a group participating in `some sort of festival or pageant` they smiled and greeted her. However, the woman gave no response. The young man, puzzled by the fact there was no sound of her walking turned round and saw the figure approaching a large terra-cotta tomb. His companion glanced back and both watched as the woman `simple faded away` as she reached the stonework. `There was nothing frightening about the incident at all, just mysterious`. This was not the first occasion of a ghost being witnessed for there is a strong belief that the phantom of Sir Charles Stanford, who died in the 1920`s haunts the spot where his ashes are buried.
© Andrew Green

SEVEN STARS
Battle Road
Robertsbridge
East Sussex
In 1972 a young Canadian girl staying at this Inn asked the licencees at the time, Mr. & Mrs. Parkes, about the `monk` that she had seen walking along the upstairs corridor at 3.30 one morning. She was assured that she was the only guest. Since then on numerous occasions inexplicable footsteps have been heard on their way to the bathroom and on the stairs. One of the most recent incidents at 11.20 one morning in 1979 when the new licensee, Mr. Priddy, asked his wife why she had come downstairs so slowly a few minutes earlier. There was no-one else in the house at the time and Mrs. Priddy had been working in the kitchen. A few days later a young man heard footsteps near the bathroom whilst others have noted sounds at 5.30 p.m.
© Andrew Green

SHELLEY`S HOTEL
High Street
Lewes
East Sussex
Sceptics may not realise that 'anyone' can see or experience phenomena if one has the receptive state of mind at the time. One such individual was a QC who during 1978, stayed in Room 26 of this hotel. The guest who was staying in the hotel to deal with the prosecution of a criminal at Lewes Crown Court left after his bed was levitated three inches during the night. Typical poltergeist activity increased during this year, with chairs being moved and clothes hangers and ashtrays being tossed around the room by an unseen force, probably originating from a member of the staff.

However, the phenomena in Room 26 is associated with a gentleman who stayed one night in the 1930`s. The following morning he departed so quickly that he left his clothes behind and gassed himself in a room of the nearby house owned by a relative. The manager of the hotel, Mr. David Nicholas, told John Eccles of the Sussex Express that the ghost of a Cavalier had been seen near the staircase of the sixteenth century position of the building. In one of the upper corridors the phantom of an old lady in a blue and white dress has also been witnessed by members of the staff and an occasional guest.
© Andrew Green

TOWNER ART GALLERY
Gildredge Park
Old Town
Eastbourne
East Sussex
This well-known and popular art gallery, only a few yards from the site of the `Jesus House` and the famous `Lamb Inn` with its intriguing well and underground chapel, has houses many exhibitions of local, national and even international art forms during its existence. Local archaeologist have been puzzled by the mediaeval masonry marks on the ancient stones forming the cellar of the attractive old building. The majority, however, believe that material from older establishments was used in the original construction and it could be that much of the `Jesus House` now forms the walls for the underground room. The building was originally constructed as the Manor House and occupied by the Reverend Towner but on his death it was left to the local council. One often hears stories of weird noises in empty buildings buy many can be accounted for by normal sounds from adjoining properties, or cooling floorboards. Neither can, however, answer the situation which exists here for the building is detached and not really old enough for floorboard trouble. There are several unusual aspects, however, one being the sealed-off bathroom which was created when the reconstruction into the Art Gallery took place.

Another is the strong smell of horses which has been experienced on more than one occasion when staff have visited the cellars used for the storage of records and museum items. The original stable would naturally have been on the ground level but perhaps the drains lie close to one of the walls, but it is over a hundred years since the building saw, or smelt, real horses. One of the other repeated incidents is described by Doreen Randall, one of the senior staff members. I've got used to it now, but when I first came here, some years ago, I often heard footsteps upstairs during the evening when the house was closed to the public. I would go through the empty room trying to find out who the visitors were, because not only was the sound of people walking about quite clear, but the gentle murmurings of conversation could be heard, though not loud enough to distinguish the actual words. It is, perhaps, unfortunate that the phenomena occurs after office hours, but where art is concerned, time is of little consequence.
© Andrew Green

WISHING TREE
London Road
Hollington
East Sussex.
In 1976 John Northwood, the landlord here since 1968 told me that several customers, `both regulars and new ones`, often hear peculiar bumping noises which have never been satisfactorily explained. They sound like footsteps issuing from an empty room. A few months before my visit, Jon's wife was sitting in the kitchen preparing an evening meal when she felt, `an unseen entity brush past and we actually heard the swish of a woman's dress as she glided away`.

'We have no idea as to what causes this phenomena`, John said, `but certainly on one or two occasions, visitors` dogs have suddenly been attracted by something and obviously scared by it. Some years ago their young son was awoken by the appearance of an `old woman with a funny face`. Unfortunately, the boy was too young to give any further details except to laugh. `There is still a weird atmosphere in his bedroom at times. One can feel that someone is watching you.` Probably related to these incidents was the recent witnessing of a middle-aged woman wearing an early Victorian type of dress and pushing an old pram on the road outside the pub. It seemed to observers that she has just left the building and was about to cross the road, completely disregarding any traffic. The witnesses, a young couple driving past in the early hours, so narrowly missed hitting her that the man stopped the car to remonstrate with her. But the woman and her pram had vanished.
© Andrew Green


BERKSHIRE, SOUTHERN ENGLAND

BREWHOUSE YARD
Eton College
Berkshire
Confirmed by Roger Clarke, one of the students at Eton and a member of the editorial committee of the 'Eton College Chronicle', is the haunting of an area of the college by Jane Shore. It was this young lady who was instrumental in saving the college from being destroyed by her lover, Edward 1V, and because of this, she was given accommodation in Lupton'sv Tower until she died in 1526. A few years ago the editor of the Chronicle, having worked late in compiling a forthcoming issue, was returning to his dormitory but decided against walking through the ancient cloisters and took a different route. He entered a doorway leading onto Brewhouse Yard and saw a beam of light from Lupton's Tower, 'A woman in long mediaeval gown'. He hurried through the yard and, hearing footsteps following him, turned round to see only a `weird flash of light`. Another ghost infrequently witnessed is that of a figure, also in mediaeval clothing, that inhabits the Provost's Lodge. Inexplicable footsteps have also been heard in the building.
© Andrew Green

BROAD STREET
Reading
Berkshire
During the two wars cases of `crisis apparitions` were being reported at the rate of between 250 and 400 a month. There are cases where an individual is seen many miles from their physical self at time of sudden stress or during an intense crisis. Often the figure appeared to be wounded though factually the person was not harmed. The percipient, the witness, assumed that they had seen the ghost of their relative who had been killed. They would later discover that at the time the 'victim'was in a situation which strongly suggested suffering physical harm, though no injury in fact occurred.

A small number of instances do relate, however to the image of a person being seen within seconds of their death, at some distance from their physical body. Such was the case which was experienced by Mrs. Rita Noyes who, when walking along Broad Street, Reading, recently saw a great friend of hers, a Mrs. Barbara Morley. In a recent letter written by Mrs. Noyes she says that her friend was wearing a `smart navy suit and hat` which she recognised as an outfit purchased a few months earlier. Barbara smiled and `turned her head in her usual way`, but Rita was in a hurry and was unable to stop for a chat. A few yards further on however, she did stop, having suddenly realised that Barbara had been taken ill during a holiday to Naples and this had been announced at a meeting two days earlier. Rita decided to ask her friend how she was progressing and turned back in the direction she had been walking, but 'she had gone'. Two weeks later, Mrs. Noyes learnt that her friend had died, having failed to recover from the illness in Italy. She had been flown back to Reading whilst still in a coma and died in Reading hospital on the day Rita had seen her walking along Broad Street.
© Andrew Green

THREE TUNS INN
High Street
Eton,
Berkshire
Mixed with a little poltergeist activity during which time pint pots of beer have, of their own accord tipped over customers, a door handle moved and the landlord, Bert Matthews, and his wife have felt as if someone pushed them, has been the witnessing of a ghost. The figure of a man 'in quite modern clothes', was seen at the small central bar by Mrs. Metcalfe, early one morning, when cleaning the pub. As she looked towards the phantom it ` suddenly faded away`. Up to that time the landlord, a former detective, had refused to believe stories that the pub was haunted, although the previous licencees too, had experienced some phenomena in the house.
© Andrew Green


BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, SOUTHERN ENGLAND

CLAYDON HOUSE
Middle Claydon, Nr Winslow
Buckinghamshire
Although there is some talk of Florence Nightingale being seen in the ruins of a property in the West Country, there is, it seems, a strong possibility of her frequenting Claydon House as well. There is more likelihood of her haunting this building for she was the sister of the owner's wife, Lady Verney and frequently stayed there. There is certainly the figure of a woman in a long, grey gown which was reported in the Rose Room and also within a few feet of the room where the 'lady with the lamp'used to sleep.
© Andrew Green

GEORGE AND DRAGON
High Street, West Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
So many people have seen and heard about the ghost of Susie (or Sukie) it is, perhaps, surprising that the hotel doesn't change its name to the 'George and Susie'though she in no dragon. The girl is thought to be the young and attractive victim of three jealous admires who had met her in the nearby Hell Fire Caves over 200 years ago. In a struggle with the half - drunken louts Susie accidentally struck her head on the cave wall and her unconscious body was brought back to the hotel. She died whilst still in a coma. In January, 1972, one of the guests saw the apparition of the young woman 'in a glorious white dress'gliding along an upstairs corridor and disappear at the particular bedroom doorway. It is her that, at certain times, dogs refuse to enter the room. Inexplicable footsteps have also been heard but are associated with a traveller who was robbed and then murdered in another room in the latter half of the eighteenth century.
© Andrew Green

HUGHENDEN MANOR
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
Purchased by Disraeli in 1874, who re-built and lived in it until his death in 1881, this house is a typical example of a wealthy country seat of the Victorian period, and forms a comprehensive museum of the controversial Earl of Beaconsfield. The premier's study can been seen exactly as he left it and, perhaps because of this and the wealth of other relics associated with him, the apparition seen on a number of occasions is assumed to be that of Benjamin himself. Several visitors have certainly witnessed the figure of a gentleman, whose appearance is very similar to that of the former owner, near the main stairway within a few feet of a portrait of Disraeli. Another site of his haunting is the doorway of the study and, rather mystifyingly, at the bottom of the cellar stairs. Mrs. Ellen Cartwright of Cobham told me that he saw the apparition standing near the portrait. `He appeared quite normal and, at first, I thought it was someone dressed up as Disraeli, I smiled and he vanished`.
© Andrew Green

LITTLE ABBEY HOTEL
Great Missenden
Buckinghamshire
Early one morning during the week of 18th September, 1972, Mr. Allison, the hotel handyman, who was repairing a window on a mezzanine floor, saw the figure of, ` a gentleman in a brown hooded cloak coming up the stairs. He had his hands together as if in prayer and as he passed me I wished him a 2 'Good Morning, ' and turned back to my work.` When a few minutes later, the guest failed to return Mr. Allison became puzzled for other than a toilet, the stairs led only to the staff rooms, all of which were locked. On checking it was realised that the stranger had vanished and the incident was reported to Mrs. Potten, the assistant manageress. Mrs. Potten remains convinced that the figure was that of a monk who, some 50 years earlier, had, according to a previous owner, 'scared servants away from what is know the lounge`. The hotel was once a school linked by an underground passage to the nearby Missenden Abbey.
© Andrew Green

MISSENDEN ABBEY
Great Missenden
Buckinghamshire
There are many historical buildings being put to good use in varying ways. This twelfth century abbey is now an Adult Education College offering training courses in a number of subjects but, so far, not ghost hunting. There is no real need for there to be a resident ghost who makes an occasional appearance. Mr. M. Lloyd, the warden here in 1972, admitted that there have been numerous stories about the hauntings but the only one that appears to have survived relates to the figure of a woman. She has been seen on the main staircase. Some witnesses describe her as being in `a grey Victorian dress`, other that the gown is a black crinoline. One of the students reported that whilst taking a course in 1972 she saw a female figure `in light grey` near the ladies` cloakroom and a similar incident had been experienced about 10 years earlier. Perhaps there are even two phantom ladies in the college.
© Andrew Green


DORSET, SOUTHERN ENGLAND

ANGEL INN
Coombe Street
Lyme Regis
Dorset
Despite the belief of one or two actual witnesses to the ghost here, the phantom is not that of Queen Victoria, but of Mrs. Langton the proprietess in 1926. She always insisted on dressing exactly as Her Majesty had done, perhaps in the hope of being mistaken for her ghost, not realising that she was to become one herself after she died in the 1930`s. The young son of the proprietor who succeeded her, was one of the first to see the phantom. The figure came out of a cupboard, the same cupboard from which ` something glided out` in the 1970`s and scared a potential purchaser. Is not likely that the cupboard was formed from an original doorway through which Mrs. Langton used to pass into her daughters bedroom?. Another who saw the ghost was a man suffering from an incurable disease. One afternoon whilst staying at the inn during the 1960's he was lying on his bed dozing but was suddenly woken to find the figure 'of the old Queen bending over him'. He was assured that the ghost was only that of Mrs. Langton. He had been sleeping in her daughters bed.
© Andrew Green

ATHELHAMPTON
Puddletown
Athelhampton
Dorset
One of the finest mediaeval houses in England and site of Hardy's 'Athel Hall', this magnificent property is owned by Robert Cooke, MP, for Bristol West. He assured me that in 1957 he personally experienced one of the incidents of phenomena which occurs here. Whilst working in his study he had heard sounds of his cat padding down the stairway and, 'wondering where the animal was off to ', spent half an hour looking for it. The following morning he told that the family pet had died whilst he was away, the previous week, and had been buried in the garden. He dismissed stories of the `Black Monk' but admitted that he and his housekeeper, Mrs. Chinchen, had heard the hammering of the cooper in the wine cellar adjoining the Great Hall. Mrs. Chinchen was also one of the many witnesses to the ghost of the grey lady in one of our bedrooms. There are still sounds of scratching behind some wall panelling which, legend has it, is the ghost of 'the Martyn's ape'. Mr. Cooke`s comment was, 'pay a quarterly sum to Rentokill so it can't be rates, mice or birds'.
© Andrew Green

CLOUDS HILL
Near Dorchester
Dorset
A few yards from this former home of T.E. Lawrence, better known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', the sound of a motor-cycle has been heard very occasionally by early morning travellers. Assumed by the romantic to be the machine used by Lawrence, it could well be the ghost of another cyclist who crashed and was killed there some years ago. One reliable witness who told me that she had heard the noise of the engine in 1973 was Mrs. Little, now of Eastbourne, but then of Warmwell, when going to work at another haunted property, Athelhampton, five miles to the north.
© Andrew Green

CORFE CASTLE
Corfe
Dorset
It seems that the unknown headless woman who frequents the pathway to this crumbling edifice and the bridge on Corfe Hill is still haunting, though less frequently. She was seen in 1967 by John Seager, in 1971 by a tourist and by three visitors in 1976. Locals are convinced that she is connected with the nearby manor house and its tunnel which leads to the castle ruins. Historians feel that she is the woman who, through her treachery, caused the downfall of the Royalist supporters when the fort was under siege by Cromwellian forces.
© Andrew Green

CROWN HOTEL
Market Street
Poole
Dorset
In 1975 some ten years ago after a spat of weird poltergeist activity had been experienced here and, as usual faded away, a milkman told the licensee that he would be placing a delivery in future on the front door step, not in the stable yard. In explaining his reason, he pointed out that he was a little upset by the sounds of children running around the stables. He knew them to be empty and yet screams were, he said appauling. Mrs. Eeles, wife of the landlord, recalled that some years before, she too has heard the noises and assumed them to be caused by her own children, though admittedly, on investigation she found the youngsters in bed and the stables locked. A local nineteenth century legend tells of a former landlord murdering two deformed children whom he had imprisoned in the stables but in the 1960`s Mr. Eles discovered a small room directly under the roof of the hotel. It contained a window, a fireplace but no door.
© Andrew Green

ROYAL LION HOTEL
Broad Street
Lyme Regis
Dorset
Practically opposite this hotel is the old court house and museum equipped with ancient dungeons which lead under the road and beneath the `Royal Lion`. Up to the mid seventeenth century public hangings were carried out here and no doubt guests at the hotel paid extra to witness the `exciting spectacle` of a criminal kicking at the end of the rope and finally swaying gently in the wind.

On one of the upper floors of the hotel several people have heard pitiful moaning and a number of staff have seen a peculiar shape `like drifting mist` in the dinning room. It is here that the sounds of footsteps have been heard when the room is empty. On one occasion the manager heard the sound of the invisible phantom approaching him when only a few feet from the room, and felt `a cold chilly sensation` as the noise passed him.
© Andrew Green

SHAFTESBURY ABBEY
Park Walk
Shaftesbury
Dorset
The ghost of a monk has frequently been seen here among the ruins moving quickly along the outer wall and vanishing at a spot in the wall. From the appearance of the stonework there was obviously a doorway there at one time. An unusual and slightly amusing aspect about the phantom is that he appears to be walking on his knees, but it assumed that the ground level has been raised since his demise. The figure wears a brown habit and is supposed to be that of a priest who, literally holds the key to the burial site of the abbey's treasures. Before he was able to tell the last abbess where he had hidden the hoard he suffered a hear-attack and died, still clutching the key!
© Andrew Green

See Also:

[ Stone Circles in Dorset ]


HAMPSHIRE, SOUTHERN ENGLAND

THE ANGEL
108 High Street
Lymington
Hampshire
Seen by several visitors and at least two members of the staff in recent years, is the phantom of a grey-haired man clothed in a coat similar to that of an old naval uniform, with brass buttons to the collar and fastened at the neck. Many guests in olden days, for the hotel is well over 200 years old, were sailors stopping overnight on their way to or from Southampton but from the description the ghost may be that of an officer. It is believed that one such executive was to undergo a court enquiry the day after his arrival, but fearing the result, killed himself in his bedroom
© Andrew Green

BEAULIEU ABBEY
Beaulieu
Hampshire
In 1204 a large Cistercian abbey was formed here with a magnificent gate house, now known as `Palace House` which was converted into a private house in the 1500`s. The estate also houses a renown historic car and cycle museum and a couple of former residents in the shape of monks, accompanied by the sound of chanting. One of those who has experienced the singing is Mrs. Elizabeth Varley, sister of the owner, Lord Montague. The sound occurs usually at dusk or in the early hours of the morning when the monks would have been holding their services. The actual melody has been confirmed as that of a Gregorian chant, but some experts feel that this would be the wrong period, though the order continues until 1880.

It is interesting to learn that the visitors who have actually seen figures of `two or three monks near the Palace House` have consistently described them as being in `white robes with stripes of black cloth hanging down across the shoulders`. Few witnesses surely would know that this describes the clothing of the Cistercian monks? The black cloth, known as scapulary was an adaptation of vestment worn as a badge of affiliation. One of the most recent witnesses to the haunting was in 1977 when Mrs. Christine Little of Bournemouth, who had been enamoured with the Beaulieu donkeys, heard what she thought was a radio. She glanced around and saw two monks, with heads bowed, walking along the path. Unperturbed, she watched them for ` a few seconds but suddenly they vanished. They were near a hedge and I wondered if they had somehow forced themselves through it. But I realised that there is metal fencing there as well`.
© Andrew Green

BURITON MANOR
Near East Meon
Hampshire
In 1957 Colonel Bonham-Carter successfully applied for a reduction in the rateable value of this manor because of its ghosts. Nevertheless, the president of the tribunal rightly pointed out that a genuine haunting could be considered of value. One of the phantoms is that of an elderly `nanny` clothed in eighteenth century uniform who, it seems, is often witnessed by children. Another apparition is that of a maid who runs silently across the court yard and vanishes on reaching the brick wall. The assumption is that the young girl was making for the nearby church and hurried through the gateway which existed there up to a hundred years ago. Yet a third ghost is the friar in brown robes with a white cord round his waist, seen on a number of occasions, both by residents and visitors. He has been observed standing in the stable yard in the beech-lined avenue known, because of his numerous visitations, as the `Monks Walk`.
© Andrew Green

HULBERT ROAD
Waterlooville
Hampshire
This is another case of a `road hazard` for here some motorists have seen, at dusk, the figure of a youngish girl standing in the centre of the lane and have on occasions, been horrified at the thought they had actually hit her. On investigating they find, after pulling up, that there is no sign of the `accident victim`. Locals believe that the phantom is that of a girl hitching a ride home to Leigh Park who was killed a few years ago.
© Andrew Green

NETLEY ABBEY
Netley
Hampshire
One of the lesser-known sites under the ownership of the Department of the Environment is Netley Abbey built in the thirteenth century by a group of Cistercian Monks from Beaulieu. Most of the remains were demolished in 1966 but still is surrounded by a wealth of legends and romantic tales of buried treasure, a man dying of fright and the supposed ghost of Florence Nightingale. The majority of such stories can be attributed to imagination, caused by the belief that practically any ruin is haunted, maybe smugglers and even perhaps witches. Nevertheless in 1976, Mrs. Matthews of Adelaide, Australia, on holiday with her daughter, decided one lovely sunny day in June to go for a drive and visit the ancient ruins.

`We walked into the big open part facing the ticket booth`, she tells me ` and stood looking at the walls. While facing the end wall, to our right a portion of it seemed to be lit by artificial light and I said, `look at that picture on the wall` It was of a young woman with long grey hair, which could have been a wig. She was dressed in rose pink and seated with a little white dog of her left foot. The background, which appeared to be a tapestry with a flower design, was of faint pastel colouring`. Mrs. Matthews assures me that she has had `nothing to do with seances, or clairvoyants` and was quite puzzled at the time for her daughter was, it seems, unable to see the picture. The image only lasted ` a few seconds` and then faded away. This incident is most unusual for seldom does one hear of a phantom picture, but to me it is quite genuine and may be linked in some way with the ghostly nurse, or even a former inhabitant. The fact that the `picture` was seen on the chapel wall is, to my mind no mystery for many original religious buildings are now private houses and it could well have been that in earlier times the picture was hung there by the occupiers other than the monks.
© Andrew Green

POLICE COLLEGE
Bramshill House
Hartley Wintney
Basingstoke
Hampshire
It is the main administrative building of this training college which contains the ghost of an attractive young woman. The house was built in the seventeenth century on earlier foundations and has been associated with the legend of ` the Mistletoe Bough` for many years. Whether the phantom witnessed today is that of the new bride who, when playing hide and seek was trapped and died in an old chest, is not known but she has been witnessed by a least four members of the staff in the last few years.

Mr. H. Clarke, a maintenance engineer, assured me that the ghost he saw was of a ` Very Beautiful young lady walking very sadly along through the library. She was about 18 years old with auburn hair hanging down in ringlets and was wearing a long old fashioned gown which swept the floor as she walked`. Also, at the end of the 147 feet, long room, a senior police officer experienced an inexplicable drop in temperature one afternoon and another member of the teaching staff smelt perfume `like Lily of the Valley` at the same spot, at the same time, a few days later. He had also felt ` something invisible` run over his foot. Another witness, Fred Cook, an engineer, saw ` the greyish-white figure of the lady` on the stairs near the chapel on the first floor.
© Andrew Green

ROYAL OAK
Langstone Village
Havant
Hampshire
Believed to be about 450 years old this attractive old pub is situated practically on the ancient harbour wall and house the ghost of a woman in white. She was seen standing in a corner of a bedroom before slowly fading into the wall/ Mysterious scraping sounds have also been heard by staff and customers alike. Who the phantom is no-one knows but Mrs. Spring, the landlord's wife in 1972 said that she thought the apparition may be connected with the bakery which existed on the site a couple of hundred years ago. The Hampshire Telegraph mentions that the figure of a man in eighteenth century clothing has also been seen in the locality of the pub, walking across the main Havant/Hayling Road
© Andrew Green

TUDOR ROSE INN
Burgate
Near Fordingbridge
Hampshire
During 1967, the owners of this fourteenth century inn at that time stated that for some many months inexplicable footsteps had been heard on the stairway and in the immediate locality of the stairs. Several members of the staff had also seen the vague shape of a woman gliding upstairs. The haunt was investigated by a team from the Paraphysical Laboratory of Gloucester but were unable to prove any answers. In September, 1972 I spoke to Mr. Brian Cross, the new owner, who admitted that he too, had heard, `weird noises near the stairs` and had been told by a visitor that she had seen the `mysterious figure`
© Andrew Green

WHITE HART HOTEL
Bridge Street
Andover
Hampshire
Seen by numerous visitors who have enquired as to the identity of the guest, is the phantom of a `tall lady in a dark green cloak` gliding along an upstairs corridor. The ground floor of the establishment, where Charles I is supposed to have stayed, is also haunted by `a couple of shadows like a man and a woman` One of the barmen told me that the shapes were, ` terribly vague and misty yet were tangible enough to recognise as that of two people. They are not seen quite so often these days but were certainly active in the early 1970`s. There is no clue as to the identity of any of the three `visitors`.
© Andrew Green


OXFORDSHIRE, SOUTHERN ENGLAND

KENTON THEATRE
New Street
Henley-on-Thames
Oxfordshire
Stated to be the fourth oldest theatre in England, this `hall of entertainment` was originally built in 1805 but he ghost has somehow become associated with a local girl hanged in Oxford in 1752. The reason for this `irrational belief` is that although she had been seen in the theatre on a few occasions over the years, she gained notoriety in 1969 when the play 'The Hanging Tree' by Joan Morgan was being staged. The play is based on the story of Mary Blandy who was found guilty of poisoning her father when he refused to give her permission to marry. Admittedly the figure of the young phantom appears in clothing of the period but to seriously suggest that she, the ghost, has now moved her haunt yet again - she genuinely visits her old home and is also claimed to haunt Henley Town Hall - is difficult to accept. The ghost was seen once or twice in 1969 by members of the cast during rehearsals at the back of the stalls and lights over a mirror in a dressing room have often been mysteriously moved. The more imaginative believe Mary is responsible.
© Andrew Green

WESTON MANOR HOTEL
Oxford Road
West on the Green
Oxfordshire
In September, 1975 a reporter from the British Tourist Authority was called upon to stay the night here to investigate the claim of the mysterious haunting in the `oak room`. Although he saw nothing of the ghostly coach and horses which have on occasions been witnessed careering silently through the courtyard, the investigator certainly suffered from the unusual heat experienced when sleeping in `Maude`s bedroom'. Maude was according to legend, a nun who was caught `in flagrante delecto` in a monks cell and burnt at the stake in the grounds of the monastery. The site of the tiny room in which she was discovered is now `the oak room` of this fourteenth century building. originally a monastery. The Journalists comment in her report was , `I cannot remember even in Africa, such a close and oppressive atmosphere. I was not only hot but unable to breathe properly. Stangely, as daylight filled the room, the temperature dropped.`
© Andrew Green