SEAFRONT SPECTRES

Brighton’s bandstand was first opened in 1884 and restored to its original specification to be reopened in 2009.Today it houses a café and is available as a venue for weddings and ceremonies. However, a shadow of darkness hangs about the place. The gaiety of its past has become overshadowed by the appearance of a terrifying and pitiful spectre.

The ghostly figure of a young woman, dressed in ragged clothing, with a face said to be deathly pale, is said to haunt the place. Many believe the phantom to be that of a homeless girl whose lifeless body was discovered there some years ago. Her troubled and restless spirit has been seen on numerous occasions, always seen to be lingering about the bandstand.

Regency Square was built between1818–1828, when Brighton was becoming a playground for the upper classes. It was originally known as Belle Vue Field. It was used, at various times, as a military camp, a showground and the location of a windmill.

It was during this time that one of Brighton’s most hideous apparitions was recorded of making its first terrifying appearance there. The apparition came to be known as Betsy Bedlam, so named because of her staring eyes and contorted face liked to that of the tortured inmates of London’s notorious Bedlum lunatic asylum.

Betsy was often said to appear as night began to fall. She would then lurk menacingly about the area only to terrify passers-by with her sudden dramatic appearance. So hideous was this loathsome spectre that in Victorian times locals would frequently take a wide berth of the area late at night for fear of coming upon her. Cast your eyes to the right and you will see the Hilton Metropole Hotel.

The Hilton Metropole dates from 1890 and is unique in being the only red terracotta hotel on the seafront. However, behind its grand façade darker forces are at work. A good deal of poltergeist activity has been witnessed there.

Light fittings and chandeliers have often been seen shake violently, although the air has remained quite still. On one occasion a waitress was startled to see a table cloth, and its contents, suddenly shoot about ten feet in the air. There have also been instances of extreme drops in temperature preceding the phantom sounds of a baby crying, although no infant has ever been present.

Drops in temperature have also been reported in the sixth floor vestibule area where, many years ago, a former night porter died. The man was said to have been very fond of the hotel. Perhaps his spirit has formed a sentimental attachment to the place and refuses to pass over the afterlife.

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