Things that go bump in the night… 25 Oct 2023
Known as one of the most haunted islands in the world and with Halloween just around the corner, we look at some of the spooky stories that give the Island its nickname – The Isle of Fright…
Ventnor Botanic Gardens
The site of the world-renowned Royal National Hospital, which specialised in treating tuberculosis for nearly a century, has its own stories to tell. After the massive hospital was raised to the ground in 1969, the grounds were transformed into the Ventnor Botanic Gardens. However, the ghosts of long-departed patients continue to linger – you might spot a gaunt ghost, reflecting the bygone days of tuberculosis treatment, or phantom nurses clad in old-fashioned uniforms wandering the gardens.
Although Carisbrooke Castle’s history spans nearly a millennium, it is not immune to ghostly visitations. Within its ancient walls, entities make their presence known. In the renowned well house, where donkeys once tirelessly operated the wooden tread wheel, the apparition of a young girl who tragically drowned in the 160-foot deep well has been seen. Other phantoms include a Victorian lady in grey and the forlorn spirit of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Charles I. She met her untimely demise while imprisoned at the castle and now rests within Newport Minster.
Appuldurcombe House, Wroxall
With its imposing 365 windows and 52 rooms, Appuldurcombe House may now be a mere shell of its former self, but some inhabitants have refused to depart. A phantom carriage silently traverses the premises, while the ghostly figures of brown-clad monks are glimpsed wandering the grounds. The eerie cries of an unseen baby reverberate through the air and even the visitors’ book is not spared from ghostly interference, as unseen hands leaf through its pages.
Hare and Hounds Pub, Arreton
The tale of Micah Morey has etched itself into Isle of Wight folklore. Morey mercilessly killed his own grandson in 1737. His heinous crime led to a trial, a hanging, and the gruesome spectacle of his lifeless body left to decay near the Hare and Hounds pub. The gibbet crossbeam that held Morey’s lifeless form can still be seen in the pub. Locals tell tales of Morey’s spirit, wandering Gallows Hill with an axe in hand.
Knighton Gorges is recognised as perhaps the most haunted on the Isle and draws curious folk every New Year’s Eve. As the clock strikes midnight, visitors await the reported reappearance of the ghostly manor house complete with horse and carriage. Today, only weathered stone gateposts stand as remnants of this once-grand estate.
Chale Church, located in the quaint village of Chale, has its own share of ghostly stories. Legend has it that a phantom monk roams the churchyard at night, carrying a lantern and searching for something lost. This spectral figure has been seen by numerous witnesses over the years.