Brighton’s Ghosts

Graham Chainey at the TLS:

Starlings gather for their nightly murmuration on Brighton Pier, Brighton, East Sussex.

I’m going to make a claim that it’s not just Brighton but the whole of Sussex that is saturated with ghosts, one of our most haunted counties. From Racton in the far west (Margaret Pole, with a red streak round her neck) to Rye in the far east (Henry James’s cook at Lamb House; or the Mermaid, one of the country’s most haunted inns, where spectral duellers in doublet and hose forever clash swords), there’s not a town or village that’s immune. All Sussex castles have their ghostly host – Arundel, Amberley, Herstmonceux, Pevensey – as do the county’s ancient houses, hostelries, abbeys. There are Roman centurions, Cavalier soldiers, Catholic priests, a Tudor lady chasing a cloaked man down a vanished stair, a black monk atop Beachy Head, beggar boys, phantom cyclists, hitchhikers and lady golfers. There are the screaming victims of the 1861 Clayton Tunnel rail crash, five miles north of Brighton, caused by a signalling error, that reputedly inspired Dickens to pen his ghost story “The Signalman”.

more here.