Arew you brave enough for a ghost experience?

Ghost experience.
Ghost experience.

Once again things will be going bump in the cells of the Arundel Jailhouse for the Arundel Festival Ghost Experience.

The challenge is: are you brave enough to do your time in the old Arundel prison cells? Find out on a

20-minute candlelit tour of the haunted prison.

It’s a chance to hear stories of Sussex ghosts, as Collin Baxter, who runs the venue, explains: “This is our ninth year running it, and it is really scary. I am still amazed that people find it so scary. When I train a new master to do the tour, I let them take me on the tour – and I realise how creepy it is!

“What I think it is is the art of vulnerability. It’s very dark in there. It’s a creepy old place, and a lot of people are expecting some Disney-type ghost train with moving shapes. When they walk it, it’s really dark like a scene from Saw! People realise ‘Oh my god, this is serious!’ A lot of people don’t realise that it is going to be so authentic.

“We always tell people that nothing touches them or grabs them. It’s much more psychological. You do most of the work for us. Psychologically it’s their own mind that freaks them out. People either really love and start screaming – or they are just very silent!”

Among the ghosts you will learn of is the grey lady, a benevolent spook who got into a habit she can’t get out of, even after death. In times of gruesome conditions, she would come in to feed the prisoners and look after them. Even now, returning to the prison is a habit she just can’t break.

Rather more sinister is the armless ghost – even if you might conclude that he’s also harmless.

The poor chap was chained up and tortured with water placed in front of him. In desperation and despair, he ripped his arm off trying to reach some sustenance. His fate, however, was slowly and painfully to bleed to death – a grim ending with a sadness that you might still feel as you stand where he expired.

For times of ghost experience tours during the Arundel Festival (August 17-27), see