The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Sussex Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Maid in Brighton

Location: Brighton - Private Residence in Regency Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2006
Further Comments: A ghostly servant or maid was seen running into the kitchen of this residence during the early hours of the morning. One of the current occupants is awoken during the night by constant nudging.

Tall, Thin Woman

Location: Brighton - Regency Tavern, Russell Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This figure, possibly a former landlady and seemingly made of misty material, drifted through a startled barman. The entity may have been responsible for the brief outbreak of poltergeist activity that occurred earlier in the twentieth century, or alternatively it could be attributed to the ghost of a young disabled girl who jumped from a window.

Man behind the Bed

Location: Brighton - Royal Albion Hotel, Old Steine
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 2010
Further Comments: One witness staying in this flat watched a male figure pass behind the bed and cross the room. The hotel is said to be haunted by Sir Harry Preston.

Martha Gunn

Location: Brighton - Royal Pavilion
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Between the two world wars (Gunn)
Further Comments: The ghost of an older-looking grey lady was seen in the Royal Pavilion flitting around examining banquet tables. The man who witnessed the spectre gave chase but was unable to catch the entity. After looking through some old documents, the witness identified the ghost as Martha Gunn, a celebrated 'dipper' (an eighteenth century person who operated a small, wooden hut on wheels to take people down to the sea). The Prince Regent who would later become King George IV, is also reported to walk inside his former home.


Location: Brighton - Sealife Centre, Madeira Drive
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several entities are said to haunt the Sealife Centre, including a man with a hunchback and a Victorian woman. Strange laughter has been reported close to the underwater tunnel.


Location: Brighton - Stanmer Park
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom priest was reported to haunt this site. Legend says he was shot by custom officers after being caught assisting the local smuggling operation some 200 years ago.

White Lady

Location: Brighton - Sussex Arms public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: Nothing is really known about this phantom white lady, and it is questionable whether she still exists.

Jemmy Botting

Location: Brighton - The Coal Shed restaurant, and Boyce's Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather dependent: dark, windy nights
Further Comments: Botting was a hangman who claimed to have executed 175 during his career. He died in October 1837 after falling out of his wheelchair - he was so despised locally, no one came to help him up. His ghost is said to haunt the Coal Shed, while the sound of his wheelchair is heard passing along Boyce's Street when the weather is right.

Henry Solomon

Location: Brighton - Brighton Town Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century?
Further Comments: Solomon (the first Chief Constable of Brighton) was killed around the middle of the eighteenth century, after being hit around the head with a red hot poker during the attempted escape of a prisoner in the cells. The former officer's ghost reportedly haunts the basement, while the upper parts of the building are haunted by a monk; a remnant from when a monastery stood on the site.

Naked Woman

Location: Brighton - Junk Shop, Upper Rock Gardens (no longer exists)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s
Further Comments: This naked, disfigured female phantom was said to have been murdered in the building's basement by her insane husband. A private house in the same area is home to the benign presence of an elderly woman.

Unseen Presence

Location: Brighton - Was a Vision Express shop, now Cheltenham & Gloucester bank
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 2000
Further Comments: Several staff experienced something that brushed past them on a landing leading to the top floor of the building. Another person reported feeling something tap him on the shoulder in the same area.

Black Belly

Location: Brighton - Area surrounding Churchill Square Shopping Centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1911 onwards
Further Comments: The area surrounding this shopping centre is reputedly home to Black Belly, an apparition which is normally observed from the corner of the eye. The figure is said to resemble a large bald man, wearing a shirt which does not quite cover his stomach, revealing a bloated and bruised stomach. The figure is also said to hover a few centimetres from the ground. One of the last witnesses to see Black Belly is reported to be a telecoms engineer who reported the sighting to the police.

Nocturnal Nigel

Location: Brighton - Private house along Ditchling Road
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: August 2003 onwards
Further Comments: A couple who moved into this property in 2003 reported an entity that turns on the radio and water taps, and groans when discussed.

Misty Figure

Location: Brighton - Dr Brighton's (bar)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: When this building was an hotel, it was said to be haunted by a misty male figure who would sit in the chair in one room.

Hooded Figure

Location: Brighton - Druid's Head public house, Market Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: Always seen from the corner of one's eye, a good description of this spirit was never forthcoming (although it may be the ghost of a smuggler who died after tripping on the staircase in the basement). However, another ghost in the building moves slightly slower - a woman in a red dress has been seen on one occasion in vicinity of the main bar.

Misty Figure

Location: Brighton - Private flat, Duke Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: A high number of spooky happenings occurred on this site, including a misty figure in a long coat being spotted looking out of a window, loud running footsteps being heard, something invisible that brushed past witnesses, and a presence which upset dogs.

Darkroom Presence

Location: Brighton - Evening Argus Offices, North Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: The photographic darkroom was said to be home to a paranormal presence which climbed upon the back on a man while he worked. Another member of staff spotted a man in a tricorn hat in one of the offices.


Location: Brighton - Kipling Gardens, Rottingdean
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: The child of a visiting American ghost hunter claimed to have seen a phantom man named Eric in the public convenience close to here.

Dark Cowled Figure

Location: Brighton - John Beal and Son (no longer trading), East Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950
Further Comments: This figure, most likely to be a monk, has been described appearing after dark, and having no face.

Victorian Woman

Location: Brighton - Private flat, Meeting House Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An unmarried mother killed herself out of shame (or the pressures placed upon her by an intolerant society) by leaping from the staircase, breaking her neck. The female figure in a Victorian dress is thought to be her.


Location: Brighton - Meeting House Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Killed for having a love affair with a local lass, this medieval monk has been observed vanishing though a brick wall.

Footsteps in the Attic

Location: Brighton - Private residence, Montpelier Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: An occupant of this residence would hear footsteps moving around the empty attic room on this site. On one occasion, three people heard a strange voice with an asexual timbre call out to one of the witnesses by name.

Heavy Breathing

Location: Brighton - Moulsecoomb Rail Station
Type: Other
Date / Time: Animal in 1986, phantom train in 2013
Further Comments: Two women reported hearing animal grunts, snarls, and feeling the breath of an animal close to their faces, although nothing could be seen. A phantom steam train was also heard at the station, and older man who vanished suddenly. It is said some locals have voiced concern about using the station after dark.


Location: Brighton - Area around Norfolk Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s onwards
Further Comments: A German bomb killed many people here during the Second World War. The screams of the injured could be heard for years after the event.

Glass Smashing

Location: Brighton - Ha! Ha! Bar, Pavilion Buildings
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Early 2001
Further Comments: Noises and the breaking of glasses resulted in the owners calling in the ghost hunters in early 2001.

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