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Author Neil Arnold shares some of his favourite ghost stories from his book Haunted Isle of Sheppey for Halloween

Folklorist Neil Arnold has literally written the book on the Island's most spooky spots.

For Halloween, he shared some of his favourite legends from across Sheppey including a demonic dog, a murderous fisherman and an ape in a spacesuit.

Minster Abbey Gatehouse Museum

Minster Gatehouse Museum
Minster Gatehouse Museum

Long had a reputation of being haunted by a woman in grey as well as spectral monks. Built in the 12th century, the gatehouse is the remains of a monastery.

Its classic grey lady has caused some confusion, with some saying it is in fact a phantom nurse connected to the old hospital, while others mention how the figure is dressed in white and could be a nun.

Shurland Hall

Shurland Hall
Shurland Hall

One story attached to the building states that a giant, black, spectral dog has been seen in the building and prowling the grounds, along with all manner of creaks, bangs and bumps in the night.

The sound of horses’ hooves has also been reported while a cursed tree – once said to harbour a rusty knife embedded by a local witch – is also said to stand nearby.

The Old House Pond

No longer in existence. One of the Island’s best known ghost stories. It is said that on October 23, 1769, a woman named Grace Davis drowned herself in the murky water and was, “...duly buried in woollen, in strict accordance with a then existing Act of Parliament”. Some claim to have seen a spectre on the nearby road with a recent sighting taking place in 1988 when a couple entered a local pub and described seeing a figure “wrapped in wool”, which appeared in front of their vehicle and then vanished.

Kingsferry Bridge

One of Sheppey’s most bizarre tales goes that in the late 1970s a creature resembling an ape but wearing a space suit was said to have been observed by several motorists. Police received several reports of the phantom with one local man saying he was so frightened that he went to bed armed with a shotgun. The creature was never seen again.

Deadman’s Island

Long thought to have been the haunt of a vile, blood-thirsty hellhound that feasted on the heads of ship workers who were buried there after dying of malaria. The land is also said to be the burial place of Napoleonic soldiers taken by the British and in the 1950s it is said that investigations by a local ghost-hunter revealed the headless corpses of such men.

Blue Town

The Royal Fountain Hotel, now flats, may be famous for housing Lord Nelson’s bed, but also harboured a ghost or two. The sound of a baby crying, the figure of a man standing at the bottom of certain guests’ beds, the clanking of chains, banging doors and phantom footsteps have also been recorded.

The Red Lion public house was said to have been haunted by the spirit of a lady of the night, who years ago may have plied her trade in the area, accompanied by a ghostly dog.


The site of the old Co-op
The site of the old Co-op

The Civil Defence Corps, which used to sit in Bridge Road, was once plagued by a spirit of a ghost named George by staff. They blamed it for slamming doors and ghostly footsteps, although he seems to have moved on since the 1960s.

The site of the old Co-op in the High Street is believed to have been long haunted by a lady named Mary who may have perished in the building years ago at a Christmas dance. Those who have seen or experienced her claim that she often puts an icy hand on your shoulder or is responsible for items moving of their own accord.

Queenborough Town House

In the 1970s an ex-merchant seaman reportedly haunted a family living here. They told the local newspaper they had seen a dark, looming shape flitting from room to room yet they felt no fear from the spirit. Whiteway Road was also thought to be haunted by a young lady who was murdered in the 19th century.


A phantom fisherman is alleged to have haunted the waves around the town. Legend goes that he was caught fishing illegally and in panic shot a bailiff and to avoid capture fled in a boat which capsized before he succumbed to the frothing sea. On the anniversary of his death it is said the head and shoulders of the fisherman can be seen emerging from the water.

Warden Manor
Warden Manor

The surrounding cliffs have long been the haunt of ghostly smugglers and it is said that on stormy nights a man on horseback can be seen galloping along the cragged edge.

In the manor itself, a ghostly woman was seen wandering through walls.

It is said that the ruins of St James’ Church, which crumbled into the sea many years ago, can be seen on some nights protruding through the waves and the dull clang of its bells can also be heard.

Parsonage Farm

The 600-year old house was once owned by Cyril Poster, a former headmaster of Sheppey School, and his wife Doreen.

A woman in grey was said to have loitered near the top landing, “spiriting her way through the powder closets or disappearing in an ethereal breeze”.

Mrs Poster, far from being afraid of the lady in grey, said: “She’s very welcome – if she exists – and there is more than enough room for her.”

The Ferry House Inn

Said to date back to the 1600s. It is claimed a ghostly man has been seen sitting at one of the tables. Could it be a man who drowned in the Swale in the 1850s?

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