SPOOKY goings on in Henfield area featured in a fascinating book by Graham duHeaume, a Henfield Museum volunteer. A tale about a poltergeist at a Henfield home triggered his interest and he soon discovered a wealth of hauntings within the village and surrounding area.
Graham (74), who worked for 33 years in a Natural History Museum before he retired, was transcribing audio tapes to put on CDs at the museum when he encountered the story of the poltergeist, told by Stan Carey of Nep Town Road.
“It occurred to me there might be other tales and I began to talking to people. The result has been 45 different, strange and disturbing stories, mainly first hand experiences, many of which are ongoing. I don’t belong to any paranormal groups, but I wanted to preserve these as part of Henfield’s folklore, otherwise they would be lost forever,” he said.
Graham came to live at The Hooks, Henfield, with his wife Janet and cross collie dog Archie, six years ago and joined the team of volunteers at the local museum a year later.
“The more I started to talk to people, the more stories I was told, from the most unlikely properties, including the village supermarket post office and three pubs. At the Cat and Canary, a ghost pops up every time they do any renovation work on the place. I believe that people really do experience these happenings, but they have to be in tune to do it. I don’t think everybody is on the wave length to be affected by them,” he said.
Graham added:” Everybody likes a good ghost story and the book includes some tales from Partridge Green, Fulking and Poynings areas as well. They all come from ordinary people and nearly all of these tales are first hand. If you don’t record them, then they become lost forever when these people are no longer around.”
On the Ashurst Road from Partridge Green he encountered consistent stories of disturbing hauntings in the bedroom at a particular house.
“I found out that in 1941 a bomber was shot down there, with the body of one of crew landing in the bedroom,” he said.
Appropriately, all proceeds from the sale of the book, now that printing costs have been paid, will be going direct to museum funds.
Haunted Henfield is fully illustrated with photos of early Henfield from the private collection of Alan Barwick, Henfield Museum curator. Priced £8 can be bought from Stokes and Henfield Post Office, in Henfield High Street,