The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Brighton Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

A restaurant along New Road, Brighton.

Flying Knife

Location: Brighton - 7 New Road (was Leadbelly's, currently El Mexicano)
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1980s onwards
Further Comments: A knife was thrown through the air by an unseen hand and a set of keys vanished only to reappear in plain view an hour later, when this restaurant was Leadbelly's. Since that time, banging has been heard coming from the restaurant when empty, and a member of staff reportedly spotted a phantom old man in the basement.

Ali Cats public house, Brighton.


Location: Brighton - Ali Cats public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: During refurbishment work in this pub, workmen were said to have heard strange human groans and encountered unexplained cold spots.

All Saints Church, Brighton.

Pale Woman in Grey

Location: Brighton - All Saints church, Patcham
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This ill looking woman appeared along a pew during a Christmas service, disappearing after a kind gentleman placed his coat around her shoulders, trying to keep her warm.

Ape record shop, Brighton.


Location: Brighton - Ape (formally Lawleys), North Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former manager is said to have seen three phantom nuns in this property. The entities reportedly glide across the floor before vanishing through the back wall.

Aquarium public house, Brighton.

Known by Name

Location: Brighton - Aquarium Public House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An unknown voice is said to call out to staff and customers using their first names.


Location: Brighton - Area around Norfolk Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s onwards
Further Comments: A German bomb killed many people here during the Second World War. The screams of the injured could be heard for years after the event.

Area around the library, Brighton.

Child in Pyjamas

Location: Brighton - Area around the library
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to early 1990s
Further Comments: Thought to have been killed during a Second World War bombing raid, this small ghostly child dressed in pyjama is said to carry a wooden toy. It is not clear whether the ghost has been observed since the 1990s, when the last of the bomb damaged buildings were fully demolished.

Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton.

Black Belly

Location: Brighton - Area surrounding Churchill Square Shopping Centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1911 onwards
Further Comments: The area surrounding this shopping centre is reputedly home to Black Belly, an apparition which is normally observed from the corner of the eye. The figure is said to resemble a large bald man, wearing a shirt which does not quite cover his stomach, revealing a bloated and bruised stomach. The figure is also said to hover a few centimetres from the ground. One of the last witnesses to see Black Belly is reported to be a telecoms engineer who reported the sighting to the police.

Bandstand along Kings Road, Brighton.

Gaunt Girl

Location: Brighton - Bandstand along Kings Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: One person reportedly spotted this phantom, thought to be the ghost of a homeless girl who died of an overdose, as they stopped behind the bandstand to urinate. The ghost is said to be wearing ragged clothing and be very pale with sunken skin.

Bat and Ball pub, Brighton (photograph supplied).

Barefooted Woman

Location: Brighton - Bat & Ball public house, Ditchling Road
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: A witness cashing up at the end of the night watched a barefooted woman wearing a nightdress appear and start to dance. The figure passed through the bar and vanished when reaching the corner of the room. This dancing woman may or may not be the same as the phantom grey haired, middle aged woman who is said to vanish into thin air here.

Bath Arms pub, Brighton.

Victorian Man

Location: Brighton - Bath Arms public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Victorian man in 1990s
Further Comments: This phantom is said to be a middle aged Victorian man seen standing by a pillar. Another phantom reported to haunt the site wears a tricorn hat.

Brighton Beach.

Large White Dog

Location: Brighton - Beach
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Last dog sighting unknown, tall man seen in Spring 1977
Further Comments: Reportedly the size of a small horse, this phantom dog will follow lonely walkers on the beach for short distances before vanishing. A witness reported seeing a tall man in old fashioned clothing and a tall hat walking along the sidewalk during the night in 1977 - the figure vanished into the mist.

Grey-Haired Man

Location: Brighton - Bears and Friends (no longer present), Meeting House Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: A phantom grey-haired man wearing a knee length coat was said to have made a few appearances here during the 1990s.


Location: Brighton - Bedford Tavern
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The inn is reputedly haunted by a woman who died in the cellar where she was locked up by her abusive husband, or after childbirth, or both, or neither.

Escaping Extinguishers

Location: Brighton - Belgrave Hotel (now renamed)
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: One story says that certain fire extinguishers in this hotel would be moved around unaided at night, although it is possible that they were moved by a mortal practical joker.

Belle Vue Field, Brighton.

Betsy Bedlam

Location: Brighton - Belle Vue Field, Regency Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Eighteenth century
Further Comments: This female phantom is said to have acquired her name from her expression, not too dissimilar to inmates of Bethlem Hospital in London.

The Black Lion pub in Brighton.

Deryck Carver

Location: Brighton - Black Lion public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s onwards
Further Comments: Deryck Carver was burnt in a barrel of Tar in 1555 and is believed to have been the first brewer in Brighton and the first Protestant martyr in England to be put to death. Since the 1940s it has been claimed his ghost haunts the cellar, and in 2006 the manager of the building claimed have felt an unnerving presence in that area on several occasions. A builder in the upper part of the building spotted a shadowy figure in 1995.

Christine Holford

Location: Brighton - Blue Gardenia Club
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: April 1963
Further Comments: Club owner Harvey Holford was found guilty of manslaughter after shooting and killing his wife. Shortly after Holford's conviction, lights in the building would turn themselves on and off and kitchen utensils moved themselves around the room. The poltergeist was said to have left after a medium visited the club, although there are other reports that it may have lingered longer.

The Brighton Dome Theatre.

White Lady

Location: Brighton - Brighton Dome (theatre), New Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century?
Further Comments: Seen by actors as they rehearse, the phantom lady is described as wearing a long white dress wearing bouffant style hair. A soldier dressed in a red tunic, the sound of disembodied footsteps and the rattling of chains also haunt the building.

The Brighton Rocks pub, formally known as the Battle of Waterloo.

Coach Driver

Location: Brighton - Brighton Rocks public house (formerly Battle of Waterloo), Rock Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996, 2000s
Further Comments: This figure, complete with cloak, was seen in the 1990s drifting around the front door and the gentlemen's toilets. He was said to be the driver of a local mayor who was murdered by a highwayman shortly after leaving the pub. More recently, cupboards held shut by bricks have flung themselves open, heavy filing cabinets have fallen over, and a dog is either terrified of nothing or plays with something invisible.

Brighton's Town Hall.

Henry Solomon

Location: Brighton - Brighton Town Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century?
Further Comments: Solomon (the first Chief Constable of Brighton) was killed around the middle of the eighteenth century, after being hit around the head with a red hot poker during the attempted escape of a prisoner in the cells. The former officer's ghost reportedly haunts the basement, while the upper parts of the building are haunted by a monk; a remnant from when a monastery stood on the site.

Flashing Lights

Location: Brighton - Bugel Inn, St Martins Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1965
Further Comments: This public house was once plunged into chaos by a poltergeist - it played with door locks, moved furniture around, and would flick the lights on and off at speed.

The Bugle Inn in Brighton.


Location: Brighton - Bugle Inn, St Martins Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1965
Further Comments: Locals christened this entity 'Charlie', and blamed him for moving furnishings, flicking lights on and off, locking and unlocking doors, and generating other minor mischief.

The Caroline of Brunswick pub in Brighton.

Name Calling

Location: Brighton - Caroline Of Brunswick public house, Ditchling Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twenty-first century
Further Comments: An unknown phantom in this pub reputedly calls out to staff using their first name.


Location: Brighton - Clayton tunnel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Since a tragic train crash in 1862, there have been reports of screams, cries, and the sound of crunching metal emanating from this tunnel.

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