PRESTON MANOR, BRIGHTON
Thirteenth century Preston Manor has a sinister reputation and TV series ‘Most Haunted’ filmed an episode here to try and meet The White Lady, who has been troubling visitors at the house since the 1500’s. One theory claims she was a nun called Sister Agnes, from when the manor was a monastery, and a 400-year-old skeleton of a woman has since been found in the foundations of the estate. Other gruesome sights include disembodied hands on the bedposts and a ghost playing with toys in the nursery. Now owned by Brighton & Hove City Council, Preston Manor can be hired for events, and there are private ghost tours available – if you dare!
MICHELHAM PRIORY, HAILSHAM, EAST SUSSEX
Boasting the longest water-filled moat in England, beautiful Michelham Priory dates from the Middle Ages and was originally a friary. It has also been a manor, a farmhouse and even a base during the Second World War. Nowadays, the stunning barns and Tudor House are a popular choice for weddings and corporate events. The priory’s chequered history includes many spooky characters, including Thomas Sackville, one-time Lord of the manor whose malevolent spirit haunts the priory. In the crypt, you may bump into the black hooded monk. A grey lady roams the moat looking for her drowned child, and a servant boy has been spotted in the kitchens.
AMBERLEY CASTLE, NEAR ARUNDEL, WEST SUSSEX
Often cited as one of the best luxury hotels and restaurants in the business, the site of Amberley is over 900 years old and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Across its history, the castle has been a fortress for bishops, hosted visits from Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II and Charles II, and attacked by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. Amberley’s most well-known spectre is supposedly a 14th century village girl called Emily, who resides around the Herstmonceux room. Emily fell pregnant by a bishop and supposedly leapt to her death from the battlements. The shouts of soldiers and their footsteps rushing up and down staircases can also be heard around the castle. These are believed to be the Royalist armies preparing to fight against Cromwell.
THE MERMAID INN, RYE, EAST SUSSEX
A guaranteed talking point for any event held at The Mermaid Inn, this historic hotel famously has a spectre residing in every room! Originally constructed in 1156 and re-built in 1420, the Inn remains largely un-changed and its interior certainly sets the spooky scene. Imagine narrow, snaking passageways, dimed lighting and four poster beds in classically styled bedrooms. As for supernatural sightings, previous visitors and hotel staff regularly see the apparition of a woman sitting by the fireplace, and in the cellar there lurks the ghost of a man who died in a duel at the Inn. In another bedroom, you can find Mrs Gray, wife of an infamous gang leader, who sits in the corner watching guests sleep – eek!
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