New Stories and Pictures
'Another Pub Vanishes' and selected stories from Ghostisland
THE CHRISTMAS GHOST GIRLS
As a mother herself, Wendy Lane still worries about the fate of two little girls whose pathetically pale, bruised and neglected ghosts appeared at the foot of her bed one night. In the early 1980s, she and her husband and their young son Robert, were living in the upper two floors of a four-storey house in North Street at Ventnor. The first warning of something strange there came when Wendy’s elder brother, a frequent visitor, refused to use their bathroom, preferring instead to go downstairs to the other flat. “He would never explain why and it became a bit of a family joke,” said Wendy. As a toddler, young Robert hated going to sleep in his bedroom and also refused to use the bathroom at night. Wendy would sometimes go into that bathroom to find the taps turned on and the toilet flushing when she was alone in the flat.
The mystery deepened when one night, she was woken by the sensation of someone pushing against her feet. Thinking it was her son she sat up and opened her eyes. There at the end of the bed stood two little girls, aged about eight and ten. Both were stark naked, filthy dirty and smelled simply awful. Wendy could see their pale flesh was horribly bruised, the livid weals clearly visible on thin arms and legs, shoulders and chests. Both girls looked underfed and ill. Suddenly, they spoke, “Wendy, get up. We are here to see you.” Shocked, Wendy grabbed at her husband and hissed at him to wake up. Buy Most Haunted Island NOW to read more.....of this amazing story.
THE HAUNTER HAUNTED
Ghosts and spirits hold no fear for Steve Martin. For two years he was a ‘ghost’ himself on a regular basis when he helped Paranormal Perambulations to stage the popular Ghostwalks around Newport.
As a cast member and no stranger to chilling theatrical effects, on many a night, he would lurk, dressed in costume, in dark alleys and doorways waiting to step out and scare those brave souls taking part in the spooky walk. “I stood in graveyards and many other haunted places in pitch darkness and I was never the least bit afraid. It was just a bit of fun for me and I never saw anything supernatural myself – although sometimes people on the walk claimed they did!”
So when Steve’s friend Claire Lawrence suggested they should visit the Island’s most haunted place, the long-vanished manor house of Knighton Gorges one February night, he readily agreed. But perhaps he had tempted fate once too often, for this time the spirits had turned the tables. They were ready and waiting for him instead! Buy Most Haunted Island NOW to read more......of this spoooky story!
ANOTHER PUB VANISHES
In 1992 I wrote a strange and intriguing story about ‘The Pub That Wasn’t There’ This mysterious inn, somewhere between Newtown and Calbourne, has never been seen again since two Island friends dropped in there for a drink, one dark November night in 1982. Many readers are fascinated by this tale and more than a few have even tried to find it for themselves. I suppose a ghost-pub crawl is a good way to spend an evening and come home sober!
When Laurie West originally contacted me about his encounter that night, it wasn’t with the intention of having his story printed - in fact he was most reluctant to do so - it was to find out if anyone else had reported a similar experience. Nobody had - until now. (You can read Laurie West’s account of The Pub that Vanished in More Ghosts of the Isle of Wight.)
Once again this new story came to me in a roundabout way, via a friend of a friend. I wasn’t approached directly; in fact Wendy and Gary Lacey were initially surprised and dismayed that I wanted to talk to them about it. However, they finally agreed to meet me and for almost two hours we talked, going over their account in exhaustive detail. It bears certain similarities to Laurie’s story, but there are many essential differences, as you will see.
It was early one summer’s evening in 1990 and the couple who now live at Hazel Close in Upper Ventnor, had just dropped their young son Robert off at Corfe Scout Camp near Newtown. The weather was fine so they drove back via Yarmouth, where they intended to have a meal. However they were too early and the restaurants weren’t yet open.
“We continued out of Yarmouth, past Chessell and Brook, towards Shorwell. Somewhere, between Brook and Brighstone, at between 5pm and 6pm we stopped off at a pub. It was similar to but was definitely not, the Sun Inn at Hulverstone. The two-storey stone building, which had a slate roof, was decorated with a string of old-fashioned electric light bulbs, and there was an empty gravelled area at the side, where Gary parked our old Metro.
“From where we left the car we could see fields and the Downs. We could hear birds singing, for remarkably, there was no traffic passing on the road. It was a strange place,” said Wendy. “Gary who works as a postman has lived on the Isle of Wight all his life, and I’ve grown up here too. We both know our way around the Island pretty well – and where all the pubs are! However, this was not one we had ever seen before. We stood outside, in two minds whether or not to go in. Then Gary said, ‘Let’s go for it,’ and we pushed the front door open and stepped inside. Buy Most Haunted Island NOW to read more.....of this incredible story
THE AIRMAN’S LONELY SPIRIT
This poignant little story, which comes from Roger Williams, concerns his late aunt, Esther Twyman, who taught at Northwood School for many years. “At one time my aunt and uncle lived in Place Road at Cowes. At the time, my Uncle Stanley, a semi-invalid with heart trouble, was unwell and Aunt Esther was sleeping downstairs. One night she went to check on him and as she climbed upstairs she saw the ghost of a young airman in uniform, standing on the staircase, wearing his ‘Mae West’ lifejacket.
“As my aunt walked towards him, the solid-seeming figure simply disappeared. My aunt wasn’t afraid, but she was very curious, so set about discovering why the ghostly airman was haunting her house. After making inquiries locally, she learned that the daughter of the previous owners of the house had been engaged to a pilot. Tragically, his plane was shot down over the Channel and he was killed in the early years of World War II.
“Several months later, the phantom airman appeared to her again, still wearing his life jacket. This time, Aunt Esther was ready for him and she said, ‘I am very sorry but your girlfriend does not live here any more. She has gone away’. At that the young airman’s ghost disappeared through the wall." Buy NOW to read more.......
THE SOUND OF SOBBING
It was a beautiful August night in 1990 and Vincent Santini was still wide awake. He and his wife were spending their honeymoon on the Isle of Wight, at the Albion Hotel in Freshwater Bay. Their room, one of the best in the hotel had views across the bay. Although his new wife was fast asleep, Vincent lay beside her listening to the sound of the waves on the beach beneath their balcony. The moon was shining and everything was still and peaceful. Then something very odd happened. The sound of the sea stopped and Vincent heard a woman’s voice crying out a name and sobbing - although he was unable to make out what the name was. As she paced up and down the beach, Vincent could hear her footsteps crunching on the shingle below.
“I looked down but the beach was empty, although I could still hear her there, calling and crying. She sounded quite distraught and I was really concerned. Suddenly everything stopped and the murmuring sound of the waves began again.”
Next morning Vincent mentioned the strange episode to the hotel receptionist. “Ah yes,” she said. “Other people sometimes hear her too.” Many years ago, she told Vincent, a young woman threw herself and her baby into the sea at Freshwater Bay. Sadly both were drowned. But at certain times of year her ghost is heard - but never seen - running sobbing along the beach, calling desperately for her dead child. Buy NOW to read more.......
THE GHOSTS PARTY AT BRIGSTOCKE
Early in the nineteenth century as Ryde grew in fashion, population and stature, a handsome terrace of houses was built just below St Thomas’ Church. Designed by James Sanderson who was also architect for the church and nearby Town Hall, it was known simply as ‘The Terrace’. Consisting of uniform large and elegant houses, with a beautiful lawn-like field sloping to the sea, adorned with magnificent oaks and elms, residents included nobility and gentry; the very cream of Ryde society.
Over a century later Brigstocke Terrace, as it’s known today, fell into decline. But its fortunes reversed yet again in the 1970s, when local developer Arthur Ellis, gutted, renovated and restored the imposing Georgian terrace to its former splendour - this time as modernised one and two-bedroom apartments.
But the work evidently disturbed a few of the ghosts from The Terrace’s elegant past. Builder Kevin Burch of Vectis Road, East Cowes, recalled, “It must have been 1973 when I was working there in Block Five or Six. The building was almost gutted; an empty shell. We had taken out the floors leaving just the joists in place and you could see right up through the building. Suddenly we could hear voices, a sort of loud murmur with laughter, chatter, footsteps and the chink of glasses. It was the sound of a party and it was taking place right above us …”
They looked up at the sky. Of course there was nothing to see, just an empty space where the spirits of Ryde’s long dead gentry continue to socialise. And on another occasion Kevin was working alone in Block 10, when he heard the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. Although no one was there, the sound continued past him and those footsteps went on upwards….Buy NOW to read more.......
GENTLE GHOST AT POLARS
The gentle ghost of an elderly lady dressed in grey, appeared to care worker Dawn Blake when she was on duty at a Newport home for visually impaired and elderly people. It was the mid-1970s and Dawn was working at what was then known as the Polars Home for the Blind, in Staplers Road, (now the privately-owned Polars Residential Home).
Dawn explained, “It was about 2am one morning and as I was in an armchair doing a crossword puzzle, a cat came in through the window and ran off upstairs. But half-way up it froze, then came shooting down again and ran out.”
Wondering what had spooked the animal, Dawn looked up. There on the old wooden staircase stood a tall, slim elderly lady dressed in a long, grey slubbed-silk dress. On her hands were dainty lace gloves. Her soft, wavy hair was grey and she wore elegant drop-pearl earrings. The woman, who appeared quite solid, made no sound.
“She stood with her hand on the banister and just smiled at me. I shut my eyes. When I opened them again, she had gone. However, I wasn’t at all frightened. She had such a lovely face and sweet smile that I felt quite calm in her presence,” said Dawn. “I never told a soul about what I had seen. I started to believe I had imagined it until one evening a few months later, when there was a problem with the fire alarms and another girl, Marie, came in to fire watch with me. As we were discussing our duties she suddenly said, ‘You have seen her, haven’t you?’ “I said, ‘Who?’
“Marie replied, ‘The lady in grey. You’ve seen her.’ I nodded....... Buy NOW to read more.......