Haunted Jersey is a place full of dark ghostly mysteries sure to entertain even the most jaded tourist, says RICK HALE
The Island of Jersey, closer to the French coast than England, is the largest of the Channel Islands.
Every year, Jersey attracts tourists from all over the United Kingdom and is known for endless green fields, picturesque coasts and its many shops and first rate hotels.
However, just below the surface of the lovely island are terrifying tales of restless souls, horrific monsters and sinister witches.
If you should dare, the island of Haunted Jersey has much to offer those looking for a bit of darkness.
Ghost Hill, St Aubins, Jersey
In October of 1865, Louis XIV, King of France consolidated his power and revoked the edict of Nantes which gave the protestant Huguenots, a certain amount of religious freedom in an otherwise Catholic country.
With these protections gone, government forces began burning churches and Huguenot schools causing over 900,000 protestants to flee for their lives.
One of the many places the Huguenots settled was the island of Jersey
It was there these religious refugees believed they had the freedom to practice their faith. However, what they found was murder and madness.
When they arrived, they were met by a kindly old man who lived in a house on Mount Arthur.
Believing they had found an ally sent by God, the protestants followed him to his home.
There he provided a hot meal and a warm bed to sleep in.
An hour after the meal, the Huguenot refugees retired to their beds for a good night’s sleep.
When the kindly old man saw his guests were sound asleep, he transformed into a bloodthirsty killer and slit the necks of his guests and stole their belongings.
Not long after the death of this human monster, his house was razed to the ground. But, this did not give his victims they eternal rest they deserved.
Unnerving screams of anguish are still heard carried upon the winds and blood-soaked apparitions have been witnessed wandering the hill.
Mount Arthur has been renamed Ghost Hill, as these poor souls are forced to wander the hill for all time.
Longueville Manor Hotel
Jersey is known to have some of the poshest hotels and restaurants in the United Kingdom.
And Longueville Manor Hotel is quite possibly the most beautiful of them all.
Unlike all the other hotels on the island, Longueville Manor is home to a ghostly manifestation that occurs one night of the year. A manifestation bourne out of vengeance.
According to legend, the 16th century Lord of Longueville Manor was a man known for his cruelty.
On 11 June 1564, the cruel lord brutally killed a man. The reason for the murder being lost to history.
As the victim lay dying in a pool of his own blood, he swore vengeance on the man who killed him.
Since that fateful night so many centuries ago, on 11 June, the hooves of spectral horses can be heard galloping at breakneck speed towards the manor.
The horses are said to be driven by the murdered man returned from hell to claim the soul of the Lord of Longueville Manor. The spectre of death his companion.
As the horses race away, it’s said you can hear the maniacal laughter of the doomed soul before he descends back into the bowels of hell.
Gorey Castle, Haunted Jersey
On the eastern edge of Jersey, sitting atop Mont Orguell, is the impressive fortification the locals call, Gorey Castle – a castle with a history as gory as its name.
With a history dating as far back as the early days of the 13th century, Gorey Castle has witnessed numerous sieges and countless violent deaths.
It is not uncommon for visitors to catch a glimpse of a wispy apparition. Or hear disembodied voices scream out.
However, two of these shades stand out from among the rest, the doomed bride and her groom.
The story goes, the son of the castle guardian fell in love with a girl well below his social status.
One day the young man defied his father and married his lady love not far from the castle.
Upon hearing of his son’s disobedience, the guardian flew into a violent rage and murdered his son and his bride as they slept.
It is said that you can see the ghosts of the young man and his wife standing on the spot where their lives, and souls, were joined together so long ago.
Crack Ankle Lane
Hidden away in the very centre of the island of Haunted Jersey is the picturesque St. Peter’s Valley, a place known for its indescribable beauty as well as it’s solitude.
Nevertheless, I must warn you to be careful when visiting this valley.
An evil spirit is said to haunt the valley. Specifically, a steep footpath called Crack Ankle Lane.
It is here the dreaded Vioge is said to lurk awaiting his next unwitting victim.
According to the locals, the Vioge is sometimes believed to be a demonic spirit or a grotesque monster that looks like an emaciated scarecrow.
The footpath got its name from the Vioge, who is said to grab his victims by the ankles, break them and drag them screaming to his secret lair.
In his lair, he goes about butchering his victims and sucking their bones dry.
You would wise to avoid this oddly named footpath at all costs. Your life may just depend upon it.
On the southern coast is the parish of St. Clement, is a rose-coloured rocky outcrop called Rocqueberg.
It is here that sinister witches from around the island meet there to dance with the devil.
The hoofprints of the prince of darkness himself is said to be forever burned into the rock.
One old tale tells the story of a man named Hubert who was engaged to a beautiful young woman named, Madeleine.
Hubert, had an adventurous streak and explored the island at great length.
One day, Hubert, fell asleep next to Rocqueberg and awoke to a curious sight.
The rock had vanished and was replaced by a magical forest with lovely young women dancing among the trees.
When Hubert returned home and told Madeleine what he saw, she forbade him to return.
Madeleine was certain these beautiful young women could only be witches attempting to steal Hubert’s soul.
Hubert promised he would not return to Rocqueberg, but broke his promise.
What he didn’t know was Madeleine had followed him armed with a golden cross her priest had provided her.
Madeleine rushed into the wood wielding the cross like a sword. The lovely girls turned into hideous witches and fled from the sight of the cross.
Today, the ghost of Hubert is said to still show up at Rocqueberg in the hopes of once again dancing the night away with the witches.
The island of Haunted Jersey in the Channel Islands, is a great place to get away from it all.
And perhaps even experience a few of the island’s ghostly legends.