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Viva Brighton Issue #60 February 2018

SPOOKS

SPOOKS ........................................... Photos by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com ....82....

SPOOKS ........................................... where the White Lady is said to have appeared at the deathbed of the lady of the house, and the head maid’s bedroom, where a guide dog became agitated, and a staff member saw a ghost of a woman making the bed. She points out the corridor where a phantom child has been seen playing. Paula then shows me the room where, in November 1896, celebrity ‘psychic’ Ada Goodrich Freer ran a séance. It was Ada who started the story about a ghost nun who had been excommunicated. “If you pay a medium, they’ll come up with a good story.” That Christmas, the Stanford family were troubled by a smell from the drains. After investigation, the skeleton of a woman was discovered. But, Paula tells me, the son John Benett-Stanford was a notorious prankster who liked mucking about with skeletons. “I think he might have planted it.” I like Paula’s way of weaving sinister tales with pragmatism and historical context. My favourite story is about the holes in the leather wallpaper. “The twin daughters used to throw darts at the monkeys embossed in the pattern”. Lots of school children go to Preston Manor on Victorian-themed trips. It’s well worth a visit, even if you don’t believe in ghosts. Emma Chaplin House opens April. Open all year for group bookings. brightonmuseums.org.uk/prestonmanor. Ghost Hunt by Psychic Gold Events/Ghost Hunter Tours, Sat 17th Feb, 8pm, from £21 Photos by Adam Bronkhorst, adambronkhorst.com ....83....

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