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ghosthunting south coast

Let’s go ghosthunting – the most haunted sites on the South Coast 

Put your nerves to the test and do something a little different – explore the mysterious and creepy side of the south of England by visiting some of the regions most notoriously haunted sites. Search for ghosts and ghouls as well as taking in the fascinating history of these corners of the counties - perfect for any time of year (assuming you’re feeling brave – of course!)

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Borley Rectory - Essex

Strange poltergeist activity like ringing doorbells, mysterious footsteps and smashed glasses have been reported by inhabitants of Borley Rectory for centuries, so it’s no surprise that many are too scared to explore this corner of Essex.

Said to have been one of the most haunted houses in Britain, Borley Rectory has many accounts of hauntings on its grounds before and after it was burnt down and later demolished in the 1940’s. Story has it, that a nun was sentenced to death after falling in love with a monk, and while he also was sentenced to death, she was doomed to be sealed in the walls of the nunnery alive – and would haunt the building ever since.

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Dover Castle – Kent

One of the most famous castles in England with its secret corridors, medieval tunnels and many original features still standing, many visitors wouldn’t walk through it alone at night…. and it’s no wonder why! Many reports of ghostly goings-on, such as the headless drummer boy, a mysterious floating lady and World War II soldiers still carrying out their duties in the wartime tunnels have led to there being popular ghost tours around the castle and even events that run throughout the night for the bravest among your group.

It's been said that there’s so much history at Dover Castle, you’d wish walls could talk - but if you’re faint hearted, maybe its best they don’t!

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Pevensey Castle – East Sussex

Standing in Pevensey since 290AD, Pevensey Castle has a rich history boasting many accounts of ghost sightings throughout the centuries. Phantom armies heard approaching the castle walls as well as ghostly white figures gliding around the grounds, whether you brave it alone or book onto one of the regular weekend ghostwalk tours, a visit is a great way to learn about the history of Sussex and get a fright!

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The Mermaid Inn, Rye – East Sussex

The Mermaid Inn dates back to the 12th century and with its rich history, it’s no surprise that the presence of spirits has been reported by guests in almost every room! Nestled in the cobbled streets of Rye, the Mermaid has a long standing reputation of being haunted and was even the centre of an investigation by popular television programme "Most Haunted". If you’re too scared to stay the night, don’t worry – our Rye Harbour Holiday Park isn’t far away and gives you the chance to ghosthunt without a sleepless night!

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Image credit: Keith Evans

The Nutshell Pub, Bury St Edmunds – Suffolk

Britain’s smallest pub and only able to accommodate 10-15 people at a time – if claustrophobia wasn’t enough to scare you off, the cursed mummified cat hanging from the ceiling might be! Punters beware, there are a few stories of people suffering misfortune after touching the cursed ceiling-hanging feline, and these come second to the stories of drinking your pint sitting next to ghosts of phantom monks and centuries old townsfolk that met a grizzly end.

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Okehampton Castle, Devon

Over a thousand years old, Okehampton castle is said to be the home to one of the most renowned ghouls in the county, the murderous Lady Howard who once resided there with her four consecutive husbands, all of whom she joyously killed.

According to the tale, as punishment for her deadly crimes, the evil widow is forced to spend her time in the afterlife making a nightly journey from Okehampton to Dartmoor to pick a single blade of grass. The legend states that only once the hillside is stripped completely bare will she have her freedom.

It’s during these nightly journeys that reports have been made of Lady Howard’s sighting. Locals who have encountered the widow have described her as travelling in a carriage driven by a headless chauffeur, supposedly comprised of her dead husbands’ bones. Whether you want to visit in the dark to chance seeing Lady Howard or visit in daylight to explore the ruins of what was once the largest castle in Devon, this visit will be sure to leave a chill down your spine….

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Knowlton Church, Wimbourne – Dorset

Knowlton Church, located 6 miles north of the town of Wimborne, is a ruin that was built in the middle of a Pagan site during the 12th Century (a time when Christianity was spreading). The church is all that remains of what was thought to be a bustling village that suffered many casualties during the Bubonic Plague or ‘Black Death’. It is now consider one of Dorset’s most haunted places.

Recent sightings have included a dark figure walking around the site - in broad daylight! There have also been reports of strange sounds of people fighting, faces appearing in the church windows, men on horseback and eerie hooded figures walking the grounds.

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Image credit: Ptelea

Eclipse Inn, Winchester – Hampshire

The Eclipse Inn dates from 1540 and over the past centuries the building has had many uses including a rectory, private residence, ale house (around 1750) and from the nineteenth century an Inn.

A Grey Lady has reputedly been seen several times in one of the corridors upstairs and this apparition is said to be Dame Alice Lisle of Moyles Court who was beheaded at the inn in 1685 after harbouring traitors to the crown – still haunting the halls and upper story rooms where she spend her last night alive before her sentence.

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