|Preston Manor, Copyright Janet Cameron|
The word "Preston" means "priest's holding" and it's believed the site was a medieval monastery. This could account for some of the bizarre paranormal activity and negative vibrations.
Dating from the 1600s, paranormal activity has been rife at this grand old house. Reports of weird events have been corroborated by visitors, local people and employees working in the building and in the gardens. Paranormal investigators and ghost tour operators confirm it is one of the most haunted buildings in Brighton. The house attracts many visitors across the world with its popular ghost tours.
Regular Paranormal Activity Claimed to Happen at Preston Manor:
· People have been locked in bedrooms when no one else (human and mortal) is present.
· A sight first experienced by firewatchers during the Second World War, a grey lady has been seen descending the grand staircase.
· Ghostly sighting by the caretaker's children in the 1950s.
· A ghost was playing with a child's toy tractor in the 1960s.
· The shade of Sister Agnes, a medieval nun, appears from time to time. Sister Agnes helped travellers to find their way.
· Lights turn on and off for no apparent reason.
· Doors slam when no one is about.
· In the north-west bedroom, guests report a disembodied hand floating around the four-poster bed.
· Another disembodied hand (or maybe the same one) turns a doorknob.
· Something inexplicably shouts at people. But - only the victim can hear them. The shouting is inaudible to everyone else.
· Lights and auras that are claimed to represent the dead appear.
· Horrible moning and groaning and peculiar spells accompany the above lights and auras.
· A child's voice can be heard in the nursery, demanding attention.
· A small child laughing in the attic.
· Ghostly apparitions at windows.
· Psychics say that dead people lurk among the visitors.
· There are ghostly manifestations in Preston Manor's churchyard.
· Clothes hanging in a wardrobe developed a cut-in diamond pattern.
· Photographs reveal ghostly figures that were not visible at the time the pictures were taken.
· Voices, in particular chldren's voices, can be heard on audiotape although there were none present at the time of the recording.
The Stanford Family
The Stanford family were the private owners of the house for four generations, from 1794 to 1932, but when the last of the Stanfords died, the house was gifted to the Corporation of Brighton and is now a museum. During the time the Stanford lived there, they became increasingly terrified of the supernatural manifestations and eventually, in the late nineteenth century, they called in a psychic. Unfortunately, this did not halt the phenomena.
Adapted from Paranormal Brighton and Hove, Janet Cameron, published by Amberley Publishing, 2009.
· The Argus, various dates, 2004.
· Personal input from staff and guide material, Preston Manor.