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26 Aug 2013

The 10 most haunted places in Crawley

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Monday, August 26, 2013
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Crawley News

IF you hear a noise at the dead of night do you assume it’s probably just a mouse running around in your loft - or do you hide under the covers in fear that your house is haunted?

Most people know at least one ghost story or local legend to tell the kids whenever there’s a power cut.



Admittedly Scooby Doo would probably be able to unravel most of these spooky stories.

But as he doesn’t live round here there are still plenty of unexplained goings-on that have allowed reporter DAVE COMEAU to put together a list of Crawley’s ten most haunted spots.

1: The George Hotel, Crawley High Street

This is probably Crawley’s most famous spooky spot.

It is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a former night watchman, Mark Hurston, who died after drinking poisoned wine.

The wine is thought to have been either planted to trap someone who kept breaking into the inn or by a guest who was angry at being woken by Mr Hurston.

Both guests and staff have reported creepy goings-on, including lights being turned on and off, strange figures being seen and a broom cupboard often being found open despite having been locked.

If that’s not enough to make your legs wobbly with fear, a room at the hotel is said to be haunted by a young girl wearing a white Victorian dress.

Spooky rating: 5

2: Friends Meeting House, Langley Lane, Ifield

Built in 1676, this Quaker meeting house is the location for more than one paranormal paradox.

It is reportedly haunted by the ghosts of two young boys, who were apparently photographed at the house, although the picture has since been lost.

They like to hang around and cause mischief in the attic rooms, moving objects around, and seriously freaking out anyone who has the misfortune to be present at the time.

The ghost of a former sailor is also said to have been spotted there.

Spooky rating: 5

3: The Star Inn, Horsham Road, Rusper

You might want to be careful where you sit when you visit this pub, or you may get a sudden chill which has nothing to do with the ice in your gin and tonic.

Originally built in 1486, it has always been a pub and by far its oldest customer is a ghostly shadow, which has apparently been seen on a number of occasions over the years, sitting on a stool at the bar.

He’s going to be in serious trouble when he eventually gets home to the wife.

The ghoul’s history is unknown but he is first thought to have been seen in 1988.

Spooky rating: 3

4: Asda, Pegler Way, Town centre

The graveyard shift at Asda well and truly lives up to its name, with mysterious figures stalking the aisles late at night and all manner of poltergeist-like activity.

Before the store was open 24 hours, the night staff often spoke of other-worldly occurrences after closing time.

The most regular was the appearance of a tall man, who wears a large black coat and black hat, strolling through the centre aisles.

Items have also been seen flying off shelves and lights have mysteriously flickered on and off.

The shop is situated on the site of an old church and graveyard, and some staff believe spirits have stuck around - and we don’t think they mean vodka and whiskey past their sell-by-date.

Spooky rating: 4

5: Bar Med, Crawley High Street

The historic building may have been demolished but if horror movies have taught us anything, it’s that spirits can linger long after the four walls which surround them are torn down.

Staff and those who have lived on site have said there are two resident ghosts at the former nightspot.

There was a mischievous little girl who liked to move things around and an aggressive ghost who hurled light bulbs at people.

The building, which was formerly the Embassy Cinema, had three levels.

Whenever anyone went up to the top level they would get a prickly sensation on their neck and sometimes a light bulb would fly out of the darkness at them.

The little girl was reportedly seen in the lower part of the bar and sitting in the old cinema long after films had finished.

Spooky rating: 5

6: A23 between Handcross and Crawley

With the tendency of sat navs to periodically send you in the wrong direction there’s a good chance you will have ended up re-planning your route at the roadside at some point.

But if you find yourself needing to pull over on this stretch of road at night, you might be best just carrying on in the wrong direction.

A woman is said to linger at the side of the road looking as if she needs a lift.

When people have stopped to pick her up, she has reportedly vanished.

Other parts of the A23 are apparently regular haunts for the lingering dead.

Among them is a male figure seen walking in front of cars, then mysteriously vanishing when it appears he has been hit.

Spooky rating: 4

7: Smuggler’s Cottage, Snow Hill, Copthorne

The ghost of a mysterious man, who was thought to have been murdered in the cellar of this historic property, apparently haunts it to this day.

It is not known exactly when Colin Godmans, or Colin Goodman, was killed.

There are at least two references to his murder, although one of those claims he was killed in a watch tower in Danehill.

His ghost is said to linger in the cellar and legend has it another death occurred opposite the cottage which may also explain some of the ghostly goings-on.

And a large oak tree near the A264, opposite the cottage, was apparently used to hang a smuggler who betrayed his fellow criminals.

Spooky rating: 3

8: The Brewery Shades, High Street, Town centre

This timber framed pub, built around 1450, is said to be home to the ghost of a woman and her small child.

The pair have reportedly been seen in the past in the upper part of the building.

The pungent smell of pipe smoke is sometimes smelt in the pub for no apparent reason.

Clearly nobody has told those in limbo that a smoking ban has been introduced.

Spooky rating: 3

9: Railway tunnel in Balcombe

There are several accounts of sightings of what appear to be First World War soldiers, who, legend has it, were killed by a train while sheltering from a storm.

Some sources have described three figures while others have claimed to have seen four.

The soldiers are said to fade slowly when approached by those of flesh and blood.

Spooky rating: 4

10: St Leonard's Forest

NOT a ghost but just as scary - a nine-foot long poisonous dragon was rumoured to have lived in the woods around the year 1614.

The black beast had a red belly and apparently killed men with its flames of fury.

However, it supposedly didn't eat them as it preferred rabbits and smaller creatures.

Spooky rating: 1

Read more: http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/10-haunted-places-Crawley/story-19688263-detail/story.html#ixzz2d8ATUCpl
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