THE HARRIDAN ON THE STAIRS
Brighton Town Hall was built between1830-32 and designed in the classical style by Thomas Cooper. The building has an imposing presence with its giant fluted Ionic columns forming porticoes above the entrances. The interior of the building is no less impressive with large halls, corridors, Corinthian and Ionic columns and an impressive staircase, which becomes the focal point of my story.
There are thought to be three ghosts that haunt the Town Hall. However, the most disturbing entity is thought to be that of a repulsive hag-like creature. She is said to be hideous beyond belief, dressed in a long, voluminous black dress with a conical hat on her head similar to witches of folklore. More than one Town Hall employee has had the misfortune of actually seeing her materialise while ascending the interior staircase.
Many council employees have sensed her presence, while others have complained of feeling a sudden unearthly chill pass through them. More disturbing are the accounts from those who have actually experienced her long, flowing gown brush past them. Such incidents, however, seem mere paranormal trivia compared to what happened to a lady cleaner unfortunate enough to find herself alone one night in that part of the building.
While cleaning the stairs the woman began to sense that someone was glaring menacing upon her. The feeling then became increasingly intense. At which point she decided to hastily pack away her cleaning things and leave. In that instant, the feeling of an unearthly presence became overwhelming. The cleaner was about to leave when, to her horror, the sickening witch-like creature began to materialise before her.
The terrified woman stood for a moment literally quaking with fear from the look of bitter hatred on the woman’s face. Then, stumbling down the staircase, took refuge beneath a table at the foot of the stairs. The terrified woman remained there, huddled and trembling, until discovered sometime later by another employee.
Why this loathsome creature persists in manifesting itself, or to what purpose, remains a mystery. Nevertheless, one thing is certain, she seems consumed with a bitter hatred and continues to strike terror and fear into the hearts of all who come upon her.