HAMPSHIRE has more than its fair share of ghosts. Here are just a selection:
The Eclipse Inn, Winchester: Probably Winchesters' most famous haunted Inn. Dame Alice Lisle spent her last night in this pub in 1685 after being condemned by Hanging Judge Jeffreys. She had been found guilty of harbouring fugitive cavaliers. She stepped from an upstairs window onto the scaffold structure which had been erected against the pub frontage. She was 71 years of age when she was beheaded. She had originally been condemned to be burnt at the stake but after the Winchester clergy pleaded with the Judge he kindly commuted the sentence to death by hanging.
Alice Lisle's last words
Hyde Inn: The Inn, reputed to be the oldest in the city (as opposed to the Old Royal Oak which is the oldest bar - whatever that means!) and haunted by a ghost of a lady.
Theatre Royal, Winchester: The ghost of a woman is said to haunt this theatre in Jewry Street, Winchester. She is apparently awaiting her long-lost lover. A number of ghost-watches have been held at the theatre in recent years but without success.
Hampshire Chronicle, High Street, Winchester: The former offices of the county's oldest newspaper date back to the 18th century so it is perhaps not surprising that there is a ghost. It is apparently a woman and she is heard more than seen - usually rattling chains or machinery in the High Street building. The ghost was last seen in October, 2001:
Chronicle Ghost Returns
It's back again... the Chronicle's own pet ghost--nicely in time for Hallowe'en. Sub-editor, , had the surprise of her life when she encountered the spectre in the corridors of the HampshireChronicle offices in High Street, Winchester.
"It was 6.30pm and I was getting ready to go home," said Lesley. "I was making my way towards the advertising offices when I saw what I took to be a man standing at the table outside the file room. He appeared to be studying a pile of newspapers. As I watched, the figure turned as if to walk into the file room, which was locked. But when I got to the corridor leading to the file room, it had vanished. Funnily enough, I didn't feel any fear, but if I'd been in the building on my own, it would have been different."
Caretaker, John Fane, and his wife, June, were not surprised when they heard of the ghostly encounter. "Several people have seen the apparition over the years--always in the same place," said John.
"I personally have never seen it. This place is very eerie at night. It's an old building and the floorboards creak. It's a bit spooky when you're on your own."
The Hampshire Chronicle moved out of the offices in 2001 and they are being converted to flats.
Bramshill House: The oft-told Mistletoe Bough legend is associated with this house - "the most haunted house in Hampshire". I suspect there's no more evidence for it having really happened at Bramshill than many of the other stately homes that claim it but author Donald Parr gives the most detailed account in Ghosts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. He dates it to Christmas Eve (of course) 1727 with Anne, eldest daughter of Sir John Cope, married on that day to Hugh Bethell of Yorkshire. After the wedding breakfast, the bride wanted to play hide-and-seek. The bride hid and the other guests tried to find her. But they never did find her - she had seemingly vanished into thin air. It was only years later that servants open a chest (the lock of which could only be opened from the outside) in a disused part of the house and find Anne's body - still clutching a sprig of Christmas mistletoe. Bramshill House is now a police training college. This legend is also claimed by Marwell House, near Colden Common.
Montagu Arms, Beaulieu: The Montagu Arms is in one of the most beautiful parts of Britain: The New Forest. It also has the added advantage of being close to the coast. The village of Beaulieu is close to the stately home of the Montagu family, an area well known for its hauntings. Many apparitions, including monks, have been seen walking in the area. There have been unaccounted aromas of incense, unexplained lights and other phenomena. One of the ghosts is believed to be that of Isabella, Countess of Beaulieu, who died in 1786. The ghosts even attracted the attention of Spiritualist and creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He believed he contacted one of the spirits through a seance. The Montagu Arms is itself believed to be haunted and reports of various phenomena have been received even in recent times.
Angel Inn, Lymington: Haunted by no fewer than six poltergeists and is one of many Inns that claims to be one of Britain's most haunted pubs.
Netley Hospital, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley: Grey Lady seen by countless frightened walkers. Said to be the ghost of a young nurse who committed suicide after accidentally killing a patient.
Dolphin Hotel, High Street, Southampton: A cleaner called Molly has been seen gliding across the ground floor.
The Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton: The spectral figure of an old man sits in a wicker chair backstage.
Red Lion, High Street, Southampton. A ghostly procession has been witnessed leaving the pub for the Bargate.