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Archive for the ‘Brighton Unexplained’ Category

Woodvale Cemetery

Posted by Sara on February 3, 2012

A while back, I was lucky to attend a fascinating talk on Death and Mourning in the Victorian era, hosted by Sarah Tobias at the beautiful Extra-Mural Gothic Chapel in Woodvale Cemetery.

The good news is that Sarah has contacted me to say more of these tours are planned for the upcoming year, with a Cemetery walk on July 1st 2012 and the Victorian Death & Mourning tour taking place as part of the Brighton Festival on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May and Saturday 19th May 2012.

I can’t recommend these enough; the cemetery is a beautiful Brighton landmark worth exploring in its own right and Sarah’s talks bring the history of this place to life in such a fun and evocative way.

For more information please visit her website, Sarah’s Events, which is updated regularly and full of other exciting events, including an intriguingly sounding ‘Hidden House’ tour going behind the scenes at Preston Manor.

 Sarah’s Website can be found here: Sarah’s Events

The not so good news is that she has also informed me that The Centre for Community Engagement at Sussex University is being closed down with the loss of 231 associate lecturers plus all other staff.

This centre offers part-time and flexible learning for people from all walks of life and it would be such a sad loss to the community if it was to go. Please sign the petition to keep it open! The petition can be signed HERE (and is also accessible through Sarah’s web page).

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Posted in Brighton Bits and Pieces, Brighton Underground, Brighton Unexplained, Brighton Walks and Talks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bring Back Classic Horror to Television

Posted by Sara on November 12, 2010

The Bring Classic Horror Back to Television Alliance is a Brighton-based  campaign, fronted by UK Scream Queen Emily Booth and currently supported by various celebrities including Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories), Reese Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen), actress Eileen Daly, best-selling author David Moody and Hammer Horror stalwarts Shane Briant and Caroline Munro.

They aim to keep building awareness of this campaign through various magazines, film festivals and a series of events and classic horror film screenings starting in Brighton.

“In a world where television has become so bland it is now impossible to find any of the classic old horror films being screened anywhere, even on the BBC. Back in the 70’s and 80’s BBC2 ran a popular season of Saturday night Horror Double Bills every summer, which was a showcase for all the best in classic horror as well as some more obscure cult movies. Kids and parents alike looked forward to these iconic screenings every weekend and many of today’s top horror writers, actors and producers have claimed to have been inspired by these Horror Double Bills.Our aim is to bring back these classic horror double bills to the BBC so that these iconic movie moments can be shared and appreciated by a whole new generation.”

Website –

http://bringclassichorrorbacktotelevision.blogspot.com/

Petition –

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bringclassichorrorfilmsbacktothebbc/

Facebook –

http://bit.ly/cc2GVr

Twitter –

http://twitter.com/horrorcampaign



Posted in Brighton Bits and Pieces, Brighton Unexplained | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Sand Circles?

Posted by Sara on September 19, 2009

westpiersandcircle

A low, low tide yesterday has revealed what I’ve suspected for a while now. Fed up with trying to contact us through elaborately drawn patterns in corn crops, those pesky Aliens have decided to try communicating with their long lost brethren from Atlantis instead – via means of an undersea network of symbols  decipherable only by followers of the great Cthulhu himself.

iacthulhuwakeup

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Lucky Stones!

Posted by Sara on May 15, 2009

Pebbled beaches, who’d have them? They hurt your feet and are rubbish for making sandcastles. However, from this day forth I will complain no more, since I have recently discovered that, crunching beneath my poor tortured tootsies, these shingled shores hold an ancient and forgotten secret – the secret of the Lucky Stones.

So what’s a Lucky Stone ? Well, it’s a stone with a hole right through it and there are more found along the Sussex coast than anywhere else in the world. Collected and treasured as talismans from as far back as the Neolithic ages, these holy flints where considered to have magical powers and believed to be able to ward off illness and misfortune. Fishermen would not sail without them, keeping them on board to increase their catches and farmers would nail them to their barns to protect their livestock. In the Victorian days it was considered especially lucky to spit on the stone, and toss it over your left shoulder  chanting:

Lucky stone lucky stone bring me some luck
Today or tomorrow at Twelve O’Clock.
lucky horseshoe

It’s good luck to find a stone, even better to be given one and extra lucky to steal one from someone else. Rub them over any afflicted area of your body to relieve pain and sickness, or wear one for luck and to ward off witches, the devil and the evil eye. It was also believed that a stone hung over the bed of a woman in labour would make the birth go much smoother.

If all this is beginning to sound a bit Finbarr – fear not, for this isn’t something I’ve just hastily scribbled off the back of some  dodgy new age cereal packet. In fact, I recently stumbled across an amazing book at the bookstall down by the West Pier called Lucky Sussex by John Behague. This wonderfully entertaining and informative book contains everything you need to know about flint and Lucky Stones and is a treasure trove of  information and anecdotes on local characters, history and superstition. I loved this book and had great fun reading it. The book was published by Pomegranate Press in 1998 and might be out of print.

luckysussex

Of course if you aren’t lucky enough to find a copy for yourself or if you don’t live anywhere near any lucky beaches, you can always fall back on that old comic book classic and just Rub the Buddha for money.

Good Luck!

Posted in Brighton Unexplained | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ghost Photo

Posted by Sara on April 16, 2009

I took this photo last weekend when I visited the Sea Life centre; it’s a reconstruction of the beak of an octopus. Even though I’m telling myself it must be caused by a reflection in the glass, or some other such anomaly, I find the image of the eye in the upper left hand side wonderfully eerie. I’ve not doctored the picture in any way and I do not recognise the eye as my own or any one else’s who was with me at the time. It seems perfectly placed to create a rather fantastical, though menacing, looking creature. Sea Life is after all reputed to be haunted so who knows….?

beaky


Posted in Brighton Unexplained | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Ghosts Upstairs – an evening of candlelit tales.

Posted by Sara on April 14, 2009

There’s plenty to titillate the paranormal taste buds this week as tomorrow, Wednesday 15th April, Brighton’s very own Ghost Walker, Rob Marks, be appearing in one of his many guises as Charley Jeremiah Tench, showcasing his new performance ‘Ghosts Upstairs’.

Starting for 8.30pm and taking place upstairs in the haunted room at the Northern Lights Bar, Little East Street, Brighton, the show will feature an hour of ghostly tales told by candlelight with a break for drinks, and no doubt there will be plenty of the house specialty – the fiendishly fortifying ‘Fisherman’s Friend’ – on offer to chase away those chills. Tickets are priced at a very reasonable £3.

Anyone who’s been on the Ghost Walk of the Lanes (you can check out our review here) will already be familiar with Rob’s storytelling skills and Wednesday’s showcase promises to be a real treat. Hope to see you there!

charley-tench

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The Lanes Ghost Walk

Posted by Sara on December 21, 2008

Brighton Lanes Ghost Walk

sign113th December 2008 – It was on this damp and windy night we found ourselves outside the Druids Head pub in the lanes waiting for our host to lead us into the darker corners of Brighton’s past.The Ghost Walk of the Lanes runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from May till December and starts prompt at 7.30pm.

Our guide was the splendiferously attired Rob Marks. Unfortunately our camera ‘mysteriously‘ failed on this excursion so we are unable to provide any decent photo’s of him decked out in all his Victorian finery accompanied by his macabre props. Instead you will just have to make do with a poster and some photos taken a few days later.

From the Druid’s head, reputed to be the most haunted pub in Brighton and built near a stone circle,town-hall we traversed to the Town Hall to learn of ghostly monks and gruesome murders. We were then led to Old Steine, an area of open land near the sea front dominated by a gloriously grotesque huge Victorian fountain. This is the favourite haunt of what must be one of the most horrifically mutilated ghosts to ever flutter around this earth – the poor old John Robinson, an 18th century adventurer whose eyes were burnt out with hot irons in Persia. Destitute and destined to a life left begging in Tehran he eventually made it back to his home town in Brighton only to die soon after. It is rumoured that those who see him never forget the sight of the Arabic looking man, with eyes “gouged out so deep the bone of his skull can be seen with maggots still eating away at the rotting flesh on his face”.

Those kindly folk in the 1800’s even had a ditty for him which goes:

“Don’t ye dally, darling dear, in Brighton‘s city clear

The ghost of old John Robinson is waiting for ye there.

If ye look into his face, you’ll end your days that night.

For he’ll steal your eyes from you to give a beggar sight.

Our next stop was Dr Brightons and then on to the Northern Lights, a very convivial Scandinavian bar haunted by an even friendlier ghost. We were led upstairs and, for the bargain price of £1, were each treated to a shot of ‘fishermen’s friend’ – a special beverage concocted in honour of the fisherman who now haunts the place. The warmth from the fire and the alcohol were a welcome break from the cold outside and it was with some reluctance we left Northern Lights to make our way back to the lanes, reputably Brighton’s most haunted quarter.

the-lanes

the bricked up doorway in the lanes

Twisting and turning through Black Lion and Meeting House Lanes we were regaled with tales of amorous ghosts and mysterious nuns haunting bricked up doorways and cottages dating back to the 1500’s. Our last stop was the Cricketer’s Arms pub, where Graham Greene wrote much of Brighton Rock, and once thought to have housed one of Britain’s most notorious murderers – Jack the Ripper. Robert D’onston is one of the prime suspects in the Ripper case and hospital records show he resided here back in 1888. On several occasions a pale man wearing a long black cloak has been spotted by the manager and the pub is said to be the site of poltergeist activity including bottles and glasses falling off shelves, slamming doors and the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs.

From there it was a short stroll back to the Druids Head for a well deserved drink at the end of the tour. Although we didn’t see any ghosts that evening we all found it great fun and a cracking way to learn about the history of the area. The walk itself covers a relatively short distance and lasts approximate 70 minutes. A bargain and definitely recommended.

**STOP PRESS** What great news to find out this event is still going strong in 2012! I have been sent a recent update by Rob Marks which reads – 

Join actor and master storyteller, Rob Marks, as the mysterious Silas the Ghost Hunter, for a 70 minute walk around Brighton’s most haunted quarter. Take in the history and the spine-chilling tales whilst visiting seven of the area’s most haunted sites. Silas and his fellow storytellers, Jasper and Ebenezer, perform in full Victorian attire complete with Gladstone bag, which holds a few surprises!

The show runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from outside the Druid’s Head pub, Brighton Place (The Lanes). Seven nights a week throughout June, July and August!

Private bookings can be for any night of the week. £8 Adults, £4 Children, £5 Seniors & Students, Family Ticket £20 (2 adults, 2 children).

•     Name:Ghost Walk of the Lanes

•     City:Brighton

•     Telephone:01273 328927 / 07522 605524

http://www.ghostwalkbrighton.co.uk/

Posted in Brighton Unexplained, Brighton Walks and Talks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Brighton Zombies?

Posted by Sara on November 22, 2008

Ghostbuster called as sewage workers stalked by zombie

OK not quite Brighton but near enough to cause a section 5 harassment, alarm and distress; this is too good to leave out on a mere technicality…

BWRAIINNNNNNSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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what is this ?? a prize to anyone who can explain !

Posted by Sara on July 6, 2008

Posted in Brighton Unexplained | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »