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Spooky Sussex!

PUBLISHED: 12:08 20 September 2012 | UPDATED: 22:08 20 February 2013

Spooky Sussex!

Spooky Sussex!

Here are some of our favourite haunted locations. Visit them if you dare!

Bodiam Castle
Medieval England comes to life at 14th century Bodiam Castle. This ancient stronghold takes you back in time to an era where knights on horseback would have galloped across the drawbridge. Its the perfect setting for a ghostly encounter. So when I heard the castle was haunted, I went to investigate.


Inside the grand castle walls, the building is a ruin, but the haunted towers are intact. I climbed the spiral staircases to check out the ghostly
hot-spots and enjoy views across the Sussex countryside.


Back on the ground, I caught up with the estates property manager George Bailey, who was well aware of the castles spooky reputation: Some people do say they can feel a presence, but Ive been here for years and have never seen anything, he said.


In 2003 a book by Richard Jones, called Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland, claimed that Bodiam Castle is haunted by a ghostly red lady who is sometimes seen gazing from one of the towers. To add to the intrigue, strange sounds, music and song have been heard in the dead of night, emanating from inside the castle walls. Spectral revels, strange oaths, and foreign-sounding songs have been reported.


Do you ever allow groups inside for ceremonies and song? I asked George. He gave a dry laugh and told me that the unexplained raves are actually the noise of 300 sheep, echoing down the valley.


Its remarkable how it sounds when youre a few miles away, he said.


According to the book, in 1994 the castle custodian saw the spirit of a young boy running towards Bodiam Castle, only to disappear half way across the drawbridge. It was believed to be the spirit of a boy who drowned in the moat. George knew nothing of this phantom, but said: Occasionally todays visitors report a cool atmosphere or strange aura.


Batemans
Batemans was Rudyard Kiplings house in Burwash and it has a few spooky tales to tell. A BBC film crew went to Batemans in the 1960s to film a short piece about writers and their houses. They left with a strong negative impression about the house, saying it had a depressing atmosphere and they would not wish to stay there overnight.


Today, the parlours crackling gramophone brings the room to life and upstairs, it is reported that Mr Kipling still haunts the library, moving his stationery around on the desk. The study is a fascinating room, lined
with his old books and filled with
his presence.


Kipling moved to the house in 1902 and stayed there until his death in 1936. The study was his creative enclave, where he produced many of his literary works, so it seems right that if his spirit lingers, it would be drawn to this room. He is said to look out onto the gardens from the window of his study, letting his creative juices flow.


Brighton Nightlife
Brighton is a particularly haunting location, especially at night. The long beach and the old burnt-out West Pier have a haunting appearance which sets the scene for ghost walks, spooky tales and lively imaginations. There are claims that a phantom dog roams the beaches, following lone walkers before vanishing into thin air. Does the dog belong to the strange Victorian figure spotted on the promenade, whose form vanishes into the mist?


Or are these just sightings of the nightly ghost tour? Entertainer Rob Marks, in full Victorian dress, takes tourists on a tour of the haunted hot-spots in Brightons famous Lanes.


One of the citys best known haunted locations is the Duke of Yorks Cinema. The building housed a brewery in the 19th century, and according to legend, a local brewery worker, Tim, was crushed to death on the site. The brewery was converted to a cinema, which opened in 1910 and at the time, staff at the cinema reported Tims presence watching them whilst the smell of brewing beer filled the air. The current owners have not reported any ghostly sightings, but who knows whats lurking on a dark chilly night!


A few streets away in Kings Road is the Rendezvous Fun Casino. This building operated as a cinema in the 1960s and staff at the time reported the sound of running water and clouds of steam appearing from nowhere. The cinema was built on the site of an old Turkish bathhouse, and it is thought that spirits of those who drowned in the facility may have haunted the area.


Clayton Tunnel
The Clayton Tunnel rail crash, which took place on Sunday 25 August 1861, five miles from Brighton, was the worst rail accident of the time. In a devastating impact, two trains collided inside the 2,066 metre-long tunnel. Twenty-three people were killed and 176 passengers were injured.


The tunnel is still in daily use by the modern rail network, but ever since the accident, there have been reports of screams, cries and the sound of crunching metal emanating from the tunnel. Ghostly apparitions have also been reported, but some say these figures are the spirits of two soldiers who died in the tunnel while sheltering from a storm.


Brighton Town Hall
In 2009, ghostbusters descended upon Brighton Town Hall to find out if the rumours of hauntings were true. Sussex Paranormal Investigators spent the night in the basement where the towns Chief Constable, Henry Solomon, was murdered 160 years ago. He was hit around the head with a red hot poker when a prisoner attempted to escape from the cells.


As the ghost hunt began, the investigators switched off the lights and called out Henrys name. One of the team, Nathan, said the spirit had touched his arm: To be struck like I was, is pretty rare. I think it was his truncheon.
I often get feelings and emotions from a place but tonight I have had this piercing headache, which began as soon as we entered the building. I dont think the spirit was being aggressive. I think he just presumed we should know who he was.


As the evening drew on, more paranormal activity was witnessed: small unexplained lights crossed the room, temperature changes were detected, and at the end, the evening was declared a success. Well be back, they said.


Maybe theyll focus on the upper parts of the building next time, which according to local legend, is haunted by a monk a phantom memory from when a monastery stood on the site.


For more information on the ghost tours visit http://www.ghostwalk.co.uk

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