All posts in Sussex

Newhaven Fort. East Sussex

New Haven Fort Naval gun Firing

The year 1066 saw the last successful invasion of Britain, since then our coasts have been guarded by a succession of forts and castles strategically located all around the country.

Seaford Bay and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex have always been the most desired of landing zones for the enemies of Briton. British history of the area dates back to the Bronze age when a large enclosed fort was built on the cliff top. It has remained an important strategic location and continues to be so even today.

The current Newhaven Fort structure was built around the 1860’s and is believed to be the largest work of defence ever constructed in Sussex. It was also considered a vital element in Britain’s coastal defence through both World War 1 and World War 2.  Following its abandonment as a military fortification, Newhaven Fort suffered years of neglect and dereliction; almost in ruins, it has now been restored to provide an award-winning visitor attraction to both the locals of Sussex but also to the many visitors to the area.

Ghostly Happenings

There are numerous reports from visitors to the Fort, when walking into the main tunnels, of being pushed, seeing dark figures slipping into the shadows and multiple orbs have been caught on the security cameras and monitoring systems, other reports include sounds and smells, people have reported the noises of chains clinking. Some believe it is the ghost of a woman called Martha who committed suicide at the fort. Other occurrences happen in the magazines and laboratory.

The forts numerous exhibitions are also a hot bed of activity. People have reported hearing the sounds of footsteps and shuffling, moans of suffering have also been heard and reported on numerous occasions. for more information on visiting newhaven fort can be found here

Haunted House. Cuckfield. Sussex.

I had been invited to another friend’s house in a little village called Cuckfield which is in West Sussex.

Cuckfield is a large village in the district of West Sussex, England. It lies 34 miles (55 km) south of London, 13 miles (21 km) north of Brighton, and 31 miles (50 km) east northeast of the county town of Chichester.

Its in the Village of Cuckfield where our latest personal account comes from courtesy of Kevin Conway.

Many years ago I had been invited to a friends house in a little village called Cuckfield. I had stayed at the house before with no unpleasant experiences. So this was quite a surprise.  The names I’m going to give are all changed as I have my own theories as to what happened and frankly I don’t believe my friends would thank or believe me if they were to learn of my suspicions.

One weekend I traveled down as a guest at a party for my friends two year old son, we’ll call him Ben, his parents, particularly Mike the father, had been a friend of long standing, but I had now known Sue his wife for several years. It was summer and the majority of the party was staged outside in a quite large garden, the weather was great, the sun was out, there was no breeze. What took place however happened in the house so it’s perhaps best to give a general impression of what this was like.

Although the house was double fronted (window on each side of the front door) the house was in fact semi detached. I’m thinking it was of early Victorian build because of the styling of the front and the fireplaces etc inside. The front door opened to a hall way which rose at the end into the stair way. Facing in there were two doors on the right, the first was a small study and the next was into the kitchen. On the left was the door into the living room, this room ran the length of the house and had a sash window at the front and French windows at the back. Neither of these were open.

The party was going well, Ben and his friends were all running about as kids do at parties and the adults were helping themselves to the food and beverages available. Sue and I were both smokers so at various intervals we would retire inside the house for a crafty cigarette. We would quietly disengage from the party and go into the living room shutting the door for privacy. On this occasion we were just talking generally, catching up and enjoying our cigarettes. Sue was in a chair to the right of the door and I was sitting on the sofa to the left of the door. Suddenly, without warning – there was no noise, the door dramatically burst open. At first I expected to see Ben with his hands outstretched, standing giggling in the doorway.

From my position I could see the hall and the stair case, Sue could see the hall up to the study door and into the kitchen. There was no one there and there had been no time for anyone to throw the door open and not be seen. It gets better. At the speed that the door opened it should by rights have swung completely on its hinges and straight into the wall. It didn’t, the door came to a sudden full stop half way through its turn, as if someone were holding it. I have to admit that I didn’t know what to think, I looked at Sue who was gauging my reaction but not saying anything. I felt it odd that there was no shared look of surprise on her face, after a pause we merely picked up the conversation from where I think we had left it.

That night I was given the front bedroom to sleep in, this was over the living room. I don’t remember it being very late by the time I got to bed, but despite being summer it was nevertheless dark. I was quite tired and lay in bed and turned off the light. There was a street lamp on the road nearby so there was still some light. As I shut my eyes and tried to drift off I suddenly became aware of something a rapidly developing and irrational sense of foreboding. It’s difficult to explain but it felt like there was something in front of my bed hovering near the ceiling defying me to sleep because if I did….

I switched on the light and sat upright. Whatever it was I could practically hear its thoughts, this was a heavy threatening malevolence I had never encountered before. I knew if I shut my eyes I would find out what true terror was. It seemed to want me to understand that sleep should be the last thing I should do but tormenting me at the same time with its inevitability.

As time went on my eyelids began to get very heavy as I resisted with all my strength the urge to sleep, I could actually hear them closing slowly and had to force myself to keep them open. I was really desperate for the morning to come. At various times I felt myself drifting off only to feel the entity reminding me of its presence and I jolted myself back. I tried to distract myself by reading but realised quickly that lowering my guard was not the best thing to do. Then after several hours of feeling this impending threat I noticed the atmosphere suddenly became acutely more oppressive. A kind of heaviness, a change in pressure, the gnawing exertion and anxiety of staying awake. Perhaps this was it making its move? I was hit by a wave of nausea that demanded I immediately use the bathroom.

To say I was scared is to put it mildly, I have never run so fast or so blindly. I was violently ill and would be so on two more occasions during the rest of the night as the thing continued its hostilities. When the morning light started to show, I felt a tremendous relief and a lifting of the sense of threat. I never mentioned any of this to either Mike or Sue, but tried to restrict my overnight stays afterwards. Subsequent visits became easier when Ben outgrew his cot and moved into the front bedroom.

I never heard of Ben having any problems. My visits to Mike and Sue have gradually petered out over the years, Ben will now be in his teens. The reason I have not seen so much of them is that wherever they have lived since Cuckfield, they have moved a couple of times, I have always felt uncomfortable and unable to sleep. The visits in any event were fraught, Ben has an unrecognised (by his parents) hostility towards me which was demonstrated at every visit.

It became formulaic, I knew beforehand that Ben would misbehave to gain attention, there would follow loud angry voices of parental remonstration and Bens temper tantrums in reaction. I may be paranoid but I knew that Ben resented my intrusion and this was his way to get back at me. I can’t in closing this story, not ponder on whether there is something of the Damien about him, it’s an idea that has just occurred to me. Ben was conceived in the house in Cuckfield and it may be that the entity in the house considered me some sort of threat and continue s to have some kind of connection to him.

Chanctonbury Rings

Dominating the hilltop above the small village of Washington, which nestles gently in the South Downs National Park lies the ancient hill-fort of Chanctonbury Rings.

Commanding a strategic position from both a military and historical perspective, the hill-fort has had over the years many uses, including religious and sacrificial. There have also been numerous reports of Ghosts, Paranormal activity including levitation UFO’s and witchcraft.

The Beech trees found at Chanctonbury were the life long dream of a 20 year old young man named Charles Goring. When he decided to plant the trees on top of the Chanctonbury hill-fort there was a public outcry, for it was believed the trees would spoil the landscape and the majestic view of the beautiful South Downs. Charles Goring died in 1829, reaching the grand age of 85 years old and, fortunately, he witnessed many of his trees reach maturity despite the public opposition.

As the Beech trees grew thought the years their roots disturbed a previously undiscovered ruins of a Romano-British temple buried on the site. An excavation was conducted in the early 1900’s, the results of which showed the site to be that of a temple with a court, which had sunken into the soil.

Further excavations would reveal several finds of coins and other objects of worth dating back to Nero (54-68 AD) and Gratian (375-383 AD).  In addition to the Roman offering Anglo-Saxon coins have been also found, which suggests  the temple was of significant importance and of great spiritual value to both the early Romans and Saxons of Britain.

Ghosts, Witchcraft & the Supernatural

With this full and established history however comes many stories and tales of supernatural events that span the paranormal and supernatural realms. Chanctonbury Rings has become connected with ghosts, witchcraft, UFO’s, and paranormal forces. There have been several investigations in to the rings and one of the most informative came from the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group.

In 1974 the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group was formed in order further investigate the claims of supernatural and extraterrestrial phenomenon.

On the 24th August 1974 four members of the Ghost and Psychic Investigation Group, camped down for a night at Chanctonbury Rings, during the latter part of the evening a member of the group who walked through the centre of the Ring was lifted several feet off the ground by an unseen force.

Witnessed by the other members, the gentleman in question was heard crying out ‘No More! No More!’  and was obviously in considerable pain. After several seconds he was dropped to the ground landing injuring his back.

Over the past 50 years and more there have been an large number of UFO sightings reported.  In most cases the sightings of UFO’s are nothing more than unidentified lights in the sky. But one particular reported case stands out from the rest.

On  31st October 1972. At around 10.45 pm,  Mr. Simpson of Worthing, West Sussex was out walking up to the Chanctonbury Rings with two friends. As they approached the rings they saw what they thought were flames from a bonfire flickering among the trees on hill top. As they drew closer however the light faded out and out of the blue a  loud noise was heard by the group above them and, looking up they saw a dull red glow emanating from a large object hanging in the evening sky over the tree tops.

Further information on the above event can be found  at Chanctonbury Rings – Mysterious Britain

Arundel Castle. Sussex

Rodger de Montgomery, kinsman to William the Conqueror, built the Castle above the river Arun.

Rodger de Montgomery, kinsman to William the Conqueror, built the Castle above the river Arun.

It is haunted by a ‘Blue Man’ (seen since 1630) who frequents (and floats around) the library, he is thought to date from King Charles II’s time, and if often seen to be browsing the books in the library. A phantom scullion also haunts the kitchen, in life he was treated very badly and one day he was beaten to death. His ghost has been seen washing pots and pans. Continue reading →

Battle of Hastings. East Sussex

William, Duke of Normandy invaded Britain in 1066. The Saxons confronted the Norman invaders at the battle of Hastings.

William, Duke of Normandy invaded Britain in 1066. The Saxons confronted the Norman invaders at the battle of Hastings.

Harold was defeated and fell in battle, William ordered Battle Abbey to be erected upon the site that Harold died. The High Alter marks the exact spot on which he fell. King Harold’s blood stained ghost wanders on the anniversary of the battle (14 October). Legend also has it that the blood of the battle’s victims sweats from the grass when it rains. A Fountain of Blood has also been witnessed spewing from the altar.

More Information About The Battle Of Hastings