Ghost Stories From Rye, Hastings and Brighton, East Sussex
as Halloween is upon us, we decided to visit three iconic location in East Sussex and explore some of the ghost stories associated with them.
We begin our tour here in Rye.
Haunted Rye’s historic half-timbered buildings and winding cobble streets are home to many things that go bump in the night. With a turbulent history of medieval warfare, invasion, murder and smuggling it’s no wonder that Rye’s historic Inns have ghostly residents that appear when the sun goes down!
Haunted Rye’s most famous and oldest pub is the Mermaid Inn dating back to 1156, rebuilt in 1420 after the town had been sacked and burnt to the ground by the French. This atmospheric pub had many secret passages, priest-holes and sliding wall panels. Smugglers would have used these areas as a hiding place for their contraband or as an escape route from the customs officers.
The Mermaid Inn has 8 resident ghosts and is reputed to be one of the most haunted pubs in England. Can you imagine awaking to find a ghostly duel in your bedroom?
One night, not to long ago A guest reported that she was awoken by two phantoms duelling around the bed she slept in. The ghosts were clashing their swords until one of the apparitions was cut down and collapsed to the floor. The victor then dragged the body to a trap door in the corner of the room and disposed the slain ghost into the secret passage which led to the bar.
Other spooky tales include that of a lady in grey, who it is thought to be the spirit of a chambermaid who was murdered by a smuggler for talking too much about his criminal exploits. Then there’s the woman who moves clothes around and the man in old-fashioned garments that takes to sitting on occupied beds whilst guests try to sleep!. Rooms often turn cold for no reason and rocking chairs move of their own accord.
Our second location in todays video is here in Hastings, and here’s a couple of spooky tales about Hastings Castle –
The apparition of a woman in a brown-hooded cloak has been seen on West Hill below the castle. According to some accounts, she carries a baby in her arms. She makes her way towards the south wall of the castle and, on reaching it, she and the baby simply melt into the stonework. Some hold that she is the ghost of a Victorian girl who had an affair with a fisherman, who then abandoned her. Unable to bear the shame, she killed herself and the baby, since then their ghosts have made periodic returns to relive the tragic event.
Some say, she leapt to her death.
Other spiritual activity includes sightings of a female ghost dressed in white and the ghost of Thomas Beckett has also been seen wandering the castle grounds.
The most interesting story of all though, happened in the 18th century, Sailors at sea began reporting they had seen Hastings Castle appear in its original entirety, as it was long before it collapsed into the sea.
Maybe tragedy struck that day, and the collapse took with it hundreds of soldiers to very untimely death.
Our last ghostly location in todays video, comes from that very popular seaside resort of Brighton.
Today, Brighton is known for being a bright and colourful seaside resort filled with neon lights and thousands of tourists. However, the town has a long and rich history. It can actually be traced all the way back to the very dawn of society as we know it. The first people to settle here would have been Pagan, followed by the Celts and then the Romans, the Angles and the Saxons. Each new culture worshipped at the various shrines and holy places in Brighton albeit in their own unique ways. One such location is Saint Anne’s Wells.
This is a known hotspot for paranormal activity, so if you are in search of Brighton ghosts then this is a great place to make a stop. The most prevalent tales involve demonic children with cat-like eyes and it has been suggested that the site is a Hellmouth which serves as a gateway between our world and the spirit world!
Brighton’s Churchill Square Shopping Centre is said to be home to a very unpleasant spirit who is known as either ‘Black Belly’ or ‘Angry Mick’. He is particularly aggressive and usually is glimpsed in the witnesses peripheral vision. He wears a shirt which is open at the bottom, exposing a bloated and bruised stomach. If the witness turns their complete attention on the apparition he will begin wailing loudly and charges at the individual! CCTV footage has recorded people reacting to him and fleeing, but Angry Mick himself is never seen on camera!
Brighton was one of the British towns which really took a severe hit during World War II since it was actually used as a dumpsite for Luftwaffe pilots to jettison unused bombs before retreating. In 1940, the Odeon Theatre was bombed during a matinee performance killing a staggering number of local school children. This prompted Brighton to be declared part of the front line. The beaches were closed, the piers were dismantled and armed guards patrolled roads in and out of the city. On particularly affected area was the site where Brighton Library now stands. This is a fairly new development since up until the 1990s, the remains of the bombed buildings were still visible here. As you might expect the area has several ghosts linked to it including a little boy In pyjamas who clutches a wooden train and appears to be in some distress.
I can share my own ghost story from this location too, as I once lived here in Brighton for two years, One cold autumn morning about 5am as I trundled to work in this direction, I glanced across the road and saw a middle aged woman in old fashioned 1940’s clothing. Waking in my direction but on the opposite side of the road, I didn’t pay to much attention at first, but then my vision was blocked for just a few seconds as I past a lamp post.
To my surprise the woman had disappeared, I stopped and glanced around in sheer surprise as still to this day, I have no idea where she could have gone.
Maybe she was one of the teachers, who lost her life alongside those children.
#eastsussex #hauntedsussex #ghoststories #brighton
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- Published: 24 October 2022
- Location: East Sussex, England
- Duration: 10:45
- Photography – Stephen Robert Kuta
- Written by – Stephen Robert Kuta
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