Touring Sussex’s haunted houses… Boo

Touring Sussex’s haunted houses… Boo

Do you believe in haunted houses? Is the haunted house label a tourist trap?. While this may be true, there are many houses throughout the world that are promoted as “haunted” for the purposes of tourism, and visitors spend thousands of pounds each year just to see them, regardless of your personal haunted house thoughts these are a great day out and they provide an interesting alternative history to the area and historic properties. The houses described below are all located in or near Sussex, which lies in the south of England just across the Channel from France.

Touring Haunted Houses

Mote House

Mote House is an erstwhile state home that forms part of Mote Park, a public area covering 180 hectares in Maidstone, central Kent. Before it was made into a municipal park during the 1700s, it had been a country estate. Although the building served as an old folks’ home for some time afterwards, no one has lived there for more than 200 years and it has fallen into disrepair. It is located on top of a hill.

Friends Meeting House, Langley Lane, Ifield

This house does not look too unfriendly – it is an attractive brick house with framed windows that was built as a meeting house for Quakers in 1676. It is said, however, to be haunted by the ghosts of two young boys of whom a photograph taken there has since been lost, and by that of a former sailor. Those of the boys are reported to do mischief like through things around and frightening visitors.

Bar Med, Crawley High Street

There have even been tales of ghosts that continue to haunt the buildings they occupied long after the walls have been torn down, as is the case with Bar Med, a former cinema. Two ghosts – one of a little girl who enjoys moving things all over the place and one of an aggressive personality who throws light bulbs at anyone within reach – are reported by staff members to inhabit the site where the bar once stood. Those who climb up to the highest level have recalled feeling a tingling sensation in their necks and an occasional light bulb flying in their direction.

The railway tunnel in Balcombe

The roster of supposedly haunted locations is not restricted to houses or even buildings. Balcombe, a village in northeastern West Sussex, is the location of a railway tunnel where a train is supposed to have run over and killed three soldiers fighting in World War I who were seeking shelter from a storm. Their spirits have continued to frequent the place (so they say) but the number of them is a matter of dispute: Some tourists claim to have seen four figures, but others have stated that there are only three. This comes as no surprise because whenever a living human being approaches the ghosts, they allegedly fade away – only to reappear once they have been left alone in their abode.

Smuggler’s Cottage, Snow Hill, Copthorne

As little is known about the events surrounding this place as about what is happening there now. The story goes something like this: A fellow by the name of either Colin Goodman or Colin Godmans was killed in the cellar of the cottage (where the ghost still lingers) or in a watch tower in Dane Hill, a border village in northwestern East Sussex, but no one knows who he was nor when, how or why we was murdered. A large oak tree grows opposite the cottage; smugglers who betrayed their fellow conspirators are believed to have been hanged thereon. If you really want to find out about this place, you are going to have to go there and see for yourself.

Sussex Hotels

Many of Sussex’s hotels are also marketed to the public as haunted. The title of “Most Haunted Hotel in Britain” must go to Ettington Park Hotel, which has a long history behind it that dates to ancient Roman times; archeologists have found coins and other artifacts there. The hotel has even been used as the setting for a 1963 movie called The Haunting.

Out top suggestion for visiting Sussex is the Group of Historic Sussex Hotels. These hotels are full of history, without the haunted attachment.


Tim Capper


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