In IdeasEvents

The Isle of Wight is reputed to be one of the spookiest places in the UK and is often referred to by enthusiasts as “Ghost Island”. So with our October “Isle of Fright” only a month away we thought we’d take a look at some of our favourite “spooky” tales from around the Island:

Ventnor Botanics Ghostly Gardens

Britain’s hottest garden is famed for its beautiful location and incredible range of plants from around the world, but did you know it is also reputed to be one of the Isle of Wight’s most haunted places?

Long before it became the tourist attraction it is today the Ventnor Botanic Gardens used to be the location of the OId Royal National Hospital, where patients were treated for the deadly killer disease tuberculosis. Over many years thousands of patients sadly died at the Hospital, which itself was thought to be haunted, and since the half-mile long building was demolished in 1969 there have been reported sightings of old patients and phantom nurses walking the gardens. There are several remnants of the old hospital still remaining, including a dark Victorian refuse tunnel which leads out from the gardens to the edge of the cliff.

There is a special Halloween Ghost Walk taking place at Ventnor Botanic Garden on October 31st, which includes exclusive access to areas usually not open to the public!

St Catherine’s Lighthouse Ghost

The lighthouse at St Catherine’s Point is a spectacular place to watch storms work their way across the English Channel and on clear nights gives a perfect view of the stars and milkyway, making it a popular spot for night photography. But you may find more than just keen photographers on a late night visit!

There are many spooky tales surrounding the lighthouse, which is located near the village of Niton on the south of the Isle of Wight; these range from ghost animal sightings to unexplained footsteps and vanishing items. The lighthouse itself was the scene of tragedy when all three keepers on duty were killed by a bomb in an enemy air raid during World War 2. There is a memorial plaque for the three men inside the lighthouse, and they are buried in the nearby churchyard at Niton. Since then it is believed a ghost still walks the tower of what is now a fully automated lighthouse.

Want to hear more on the St Catherine’s Ghosts? There are special tours available in October and during October Half-term.

Knighton Gorges Disappearing / Reappearing House

Possibly the most famous ghost story on the Isle of Wight is the mystery that surrounds the old manor house at Knighton Gorges. The house itself has long since been demolished, leaving only the gateposts behind; however a ghostly apparition of the manor is thought to appear every New Year’s Eve at midnight.

Above picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Once one of the grandest manor houses on the Isle of Wight, Knighton Gorges Manor suffered a whole run of tragedies, before being destroyed as an act of spite by its then owner in 1821. There are many ghost stories surrounding it, including long since removed gargoyles appearing on the gateposts, and the ghost of a local MP who committed suicide in 1721 riding a ghostly horse on the anniversary of his death - but by far the biggest draw for ghost tourists is the reappearing manor house, which regularly draws a crowd on New Year’s Eve.

Newport Ghost Train

The Isle of Wight has a very real steam railway still in operation, which draws thousands of visitors every year. But the widespread Island train network which once existed is now limited to the east of the Island, and no trains have run through the Isle of Wight’s capital town of Newport since the last one carefully rolled out of its station over 40 years ago. Strange then that in the years since an old locomotive pulling three carriages has been reportedly sighted heading towards the town of Cowes!

Isle of Wight Steam Railway will be operating a very special “ghost train” service this Halloween.

Appuldurcombe House Hauntings

This incredible mansion at Wroxall is almost a ghost in itself, as from a distance the restored front looks like a grand and complete house; only when you get closer does it reveal itself to be a ruined shell!

Whilst the house was almost destroyed by a bomb that fell during World War 2, the spooky stories attributed to it have long since survived with tales of ghostly monks, phantom carriages, strange lights and changes of temperature amongst many others. Appuldurcombe House featured in the television series “Most Haunted” back in 2005 where they investigated several areas of the house, including the cellars, at night.

For more “spooky” Isle of Wight stories check out the Ghost Island website - – and for a full list of all the events taking place during October’s Isle of Fright go to the event page.