Preston Manor
  • Preston Manor

  • Event Date : Saturday, 30 March 2013
  • Start Time  : 8pm
  • End Time    : 2am
  • Address      : Preston Drove, Hove Brighton BN1 6SD

About this location

Preston Manor has a long-established reputation as a site of paranormal activity, and it has been described as one of Britain's most haunted houses. Ghosts allegedly seen since the 19th century include a grey-clad woman, a blonde woman who revealed herself to be an excommunicated nun, a floating hand and a toy tractor-riding phantom.

The blonde nun (often called ""The White Lady"") is the earliest and most famous purported ghost: first mentioned in the 16th century, the frequency of its appearance peaked at the end of the 19th century, and it was last recorded in 1903. One of Eleanor Stanford's children from her second marriage, already familiar with the descriptions of the ghost, encountered it in 1896, walking from the drawing room to the staircase. The apparition disappeared when the child tried to touch it. Soon afterwards, another daughter apparently saw the same figure at the top of the stairs.

Later in 1896, a friend of the Stanford family, who was staying at Preston Manor in the hope of seeing the White Lady, encountered it in the entrance hall. The man found out (supposedly through talking to the ghost) that it was the spirit of a nun who had been excommunicated and buried on unconsecrated land. More details—including that there were two ghosts, both of whom were nuns who had been excommunicated in about 1535 by a friar, even though one had done no wrong—emerged at a séance held in late 1896.

Early in 1897, the skeleton of a middle-aged woman, whose remains were dated to the 16th century by a doctor, was found behind the house during building work; it was secretly buried on consecrated ground in St Peter's churchyard, with help from the Stanford family. A séance held in 1898 reputedly made contact with the now pacified spirits, and only two more sightings occurred of a spirit with the characteristic long fair hair: both in 1903, once in a billiard room and once in a bedroom. White-clad female spirits were also reported by passers-by in 1976 and 1992 in the grounds of the manor, though.

The same daughter who allegedly saw the ghost on the staircase also reported seeing two phantom men apparently fighting on another staircase on the southwest side earlier in the 19th century.Early in the 20th century, she also reported an ""immensely evil"" presence in the southwest bedroom, moving around the room and then leaning over the bed. In the same room, a visitor to the house once observed a floating hand, not attached to any arm, attaching itself to her four-poster bed and moving up and down it. Another visitor later reported an identical experience, and also reported that the bed seemed to be shaking during the encounter. The southwest side of the building was apparently a focus for paranormal activity: strange noises, objects being moved, dresses being cut with regular patterns of holes, and doors opening and shutting were all reported there.

A grey-clad female ghost was reported several times throughout the 20th century. Reputed sightings included one in the boiler room of the house, early in the 20th century; two in quick succession by a World War II fire watcher, first on the main staircase then on the parapet of the roof; and one by a security guard. Another security guard reported a ghost in old-fashioned black clothing walking across a landing in the 1990s.

We would love you to join us on this exciting paranormal investigation, through which we can gain an insight into past times and, with the help of the ghosts of those who still frequent the site, relive the spirit of Preston Manor.

Included on this event

  • Refreshments
  • Use Of Equipment
  • Parking