Pevensey Castle’s Haunting Melody of Ghostly Fear

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Pevensey Castle, in East Sussex, has a mixture of hauntings, intelligent apparitions and stone tape echoes, that have spooked the brave and curious for generations, write RICK HALE

Pevensey Castle

During my time as a ghost hunter, I’ve come upon several haunted places where more than one kind of haunting is going on.

This may sound like a strange statement, but these places appeared to have both intelligent as well as stone tape hauntings.

Situated along the far southern shore of Britain in East Sussex is one such place, Pevensey Castle.

An ancient fortress that now sits in ruin but is protected by the ever-watchful eye of the English Heritage.

The History of Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle can trace its early history to the Roman occupation and was first fortified in 290 CE.

The Romans built the fortress there due to it being a naturally defensible location from the surrounding tribes and foreign aggressors who sought to usurp Roman rule in Britain.

When the Romans withdrew in the 5th century CE, a small community continued to thrive behind its fortified walls.

That was until 471, when Saxon invaders broke through the walls and laid waste to the village.

No one was spared the edge of the sword. Every man, woman, and child were viciously murdered. No one survived.

Centuries later, Pevensey would play a pivotal role in the history of Britain. A role that forever changed its fortunes.

In 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, sailed his massive armada of ships into Pevensey Bay, touching off the Normandy Invasion.

William the Conqueror wasted no time in cutting a swathe of destruction across the land, burning and pillaging everything in sight.

His campaign ended in Hastings, where he defeated King Harald on the field of battle and was crowned King of Britain.

The intervening years saw Pevensey Castle being rebuilt and added on several times.

Intrigue, betrayal, and bloodshed became a serious part of Pevensey Castle’s history.

Among all the murder and betrayal, Pevensey Castle was also used by smugglers.

Under cover of night, French smugglers would silently sail their boats into Pevensey Bay and bring illegal goods and services into Britain, using the ancient castle as a base of operations.

And I’m sure that with that kind of criminal activity, murder and skullduggery were common occurrences at this already cursed castle.

However, the history of Pevensey Castle isn’t all darkness and death. During World War II, the castle did serve the realm.

Fearing an invasion from Nazi Germany, the military fitted Pevensey Castle with guns and housed British, Canadian, and American soldiers on the off chance Hitler tried to invade.

Thankfully, that invasion never came. It is unfortunate, however, that the years following the war were not kind to this once great stronghold.

For many centuries, Pevensey Castle was the home of kings and conquerors.

Today, although it’s protected by English Heritage, Pevensey Castle is now the home to ghosts. But those ghosts are not just metaphorical; Pevensey Castle has plenty of the real thing.

The Sound of Marching

When the foundations of Pevensey Castle were laid during the Roman occupation, it was known as Fort Anderitum.

There, Roman soldiers would march all day and train to prepare for battle.

That sound of marching soldiers apparently impressed itself on the grounds of the castle.

Visitors to Pevensey Castle have reported the eerie sound of marching feet in and near the castle. Along with the sound of voices speaking in a language long since dead.

The Camper’s Fright

Camping is a much-loved pastime for those who love the outdoors. To be honest, I am not one of those people.

Nevertheless, many are, and the last thing you would expect to encounter on a camping trip is a ghost. But then again, most have never camped at Pevensey Castle.

One night, as a group of 12 campers were sitting around the fire, they watched in horror and awe as the wispy apparition of a woman suddenly appeared.

They watched as she walked straight through a fence and disappeared when she reached the castle.

After hearing a story like this, I may have to rethink my stance on camping.

The Monk and the Drummer Boy

Along with this phantom white lady is the frightening apparition of a large man in a black monk’s robe.

This sinister spirit is said to give off a feeling of dread and is witnessed lurking in the shadows of the castle’s dark corners.

And the spirit of a young drummer boy is seen on the castle’s battlements, as well as being heard playing his drum for an attack that has been lost to history.

The Grey Lady

Iconic grey ladies are a big part of English ghostlore and can be found in almost every castle in Britain. Pevensey Castle is no different.

A spectral grey lady is seen floating silently about the castle, paying very little attention to those who see her as she goes about her business.

This particular grey lady is believed to be the ghost of Joan of Navarre, the second wife of Henry IV.

While married to the King, Joan was accused of attempting to poison the King’s son using witchcraft.

Back then, such an accusation would bring swift judgement and a date with the executioner.

But Joan was merely stripped of her assets and imprisoned at Pevensey Castle. She was later pardoned by Henry V, the very man she was accused of trying to murder.

Pevensey Castle has a long and rich history full of intrigue and murder. It is open to the public for tours. And if you’re lucky, you might just meet one of its many ghosts.

Have you seen a ghost in Pevensey Castle? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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Rick Hale
Rick Hale, is a native of Chicago, Illinois and first became interested in the paranormal after having a positive interaction with an apparition at a young age. Rick is the author of The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghosts and Demons. Behold! Shocking True Tales of Terror...and Some Other Spooky Stuff. And Bullets, Booze and Babes: The Haunted History of Chicago and Illinois. Rick is the co-host of The Shadow Initiative Paranormal Talk. Rick was featured in the documentary Ghost Tapes 2. Rick is a featured writer for Spooky Isles and Paranormalstudy.com. Rick has also been published by Haunted Times, Paranormal Underground, The Supernatural Magazine and Legends Magazine.

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