The countdown to Halloween has officially begun, and the bravest of us are on the lookout for a good scare. The thrill seekers among you will be delighted to hear that there are an array of haunted houses, right on your doorstep. We’ve compiled a list of the Sussex houses with the creakiest floors, squeakiest doors and spookiest histories, to get you in the Halloween spirit…
Preston Manor, Brighton
Of all the haunted houses in Britain, Preston Manor is one of the most chilling. Tucked away in a corner of Preston Park, this 13th-century manor is the home of The White Lady. This white-clad figure has appeared to many guests over the years and it’s said that her bones were found on the grounds, having been wrongly buried in unconsecrated ground. There have also been reports of ghostly hands seen turning doorknobs or roving over the house’s four-poster beds. The reputation of the house has spread so widely that the TV show Most Haunted has paid a visit, and regular ghost tours are now on offer to the public.
Michelham Priory, Hailsham
Another 13th-century haunt, Michelham Priory started life as a monastery, before being converted to a residence in the 16th century. It was around this time that the ghost of Thomas Sackville, a former owner of the estate, started to wreak havoc on the new inhabitants. This unpleasant apparition is said to get his kicks out of tormenting visitors to the manor, as well as his fellow spirits. It’s purported that Tom is a frequent cause of poltergeist activity throughout the house, pushing and hitting visitors, slamming shut windows and doors and doing his best to ward people off.
St Mary’s House, Bramber
Eerie goings-on have frequently been reported at St Mary’s House, and tales of ghostly visits date back to the Second World War. This paranormal activity challenges all the senses, with strange smells, knocking noises and sightings all giving the house it’s ghostly atmosphere. Spectres include a little girl and another White Lady.
Cuckfield Park, Cuckfield
Cuckfield Park has long been inhabited by its former owner, the bad-tempered Ann Sergison. Ann died in 1848 at the age of 85 and her sour temper hasn’t softened since then. In fact, her ghost is known as Wicked Dame Sergison and she often wanders the main corridors of the house and the surrounding park as, the story goes, she is too wicked to rest in peace.
Cowdray House, Midhurst
Cowdray House plays host to the Grey Lady. She appears so often that her path is now known as ‘Lady’s Walk’. Whilst the Lady seems to be harmless, it’s believed there is also a malevolent male presence in the cellar and the eerie voices of children can be heard in the gatehouse.
Mermaid Inn, Rye
The Mermaid Inn is a charming 12th century hotel, offering a cosy countryside retreat to those wanting to escape the city. But as well as the living guests, each room has its own less tangible visitor… Join us on Facebook or Twitter to take part in the Mishon Mackay Halloween festivities, and you could win a night’s stay in one of the most haunted houses in all of Sussex!