Top 9 super spooky and haunted places on the Isle of Wight
‘Ghost Island’ – Haunted places on the Isle of Wight
Some say the legends hold true to witness accounts of eerie feelings and sightings, and that the spirits will continue to haunt the places for years to come. Some others regard them, simply as stories.
The creepy-aura on the island piqued in the 1970s and earned itself a reputation as ‘Ghost Island’, attracting ghost-hunters and spooky enthusiasts alike ever since. There has been several books written on the witness’ accounts spurring on more interests in all things that goes “bump” in the night!
Whether one believes in the experiences or not is entirely up to the individual. In this article, I share the places where weird sightings, noises and feelings have been reportedly experienced.
Here are the top 9 most spine-tingling haunted places on the Isle of Wight and its stories:
Top 9 Haunted places on the Isle of Wight
1 | The Ghosts of Ventnor Botanic Gardens
Ventnor Botanic Gardens is a tourist hotspot on the Island. It is renowned for its scenic location and the incredible range of flora and fauna along with rare plants from around the globe that grows spectacularly here. The Ventnor Botanic Gardens is also home to a wide range of butterflies and insects not found any where else in UK.
It is hard to believe that this beautiful place could be haunted but it has been said that it is indeed one of the most haunted places on the Isle of Wight.
Before it became famed as Ventnor Botanic Gardens, it was the location of the Old Royal National Hospital. Patients here were treated for the deadly tuberculosis disease. Over the very many years, thousands of patients, sadly died and their souls are said to haunt the site. There has been several reported sightings since the demolition of the hospital building (where the car park for Ventnor Botanic Gardens is now located) in 1969.
Sightings of sickly-looking ghosts, and phantom nurses in old-fashioned uniforms walking between the flower beds has been reported. Ghostly weepings and groanings have also been heard. There are several remnants of the old building still remaining, including an old disuse tunnel leading out to the cliffs from the end of the gardens. The tunnel was once used for disposing of medical waste. A strong scent of ether has been reported at the garden end by some.
The Ventnor Botanic Gardens usually run a Halloween Ghost Walk special event with access to areas not usually open to the general public.
Where: Ventnor Botanic Garden, Undercliff Drive, Ventnor, Isle of Wight PO38 1UL
Recommended read: Anne Boleyn – Britain’s Most Well Travelled Ghost
2 | The Ghosts at St Catherine’s Lighthouse
Built in 1838 and located near the village of Niton, on the most southerly point of the island, the Lighthouse at St Catherine’s Point is a spectacular place on the Isle of Wight. It’s location is a photographer’s paradise for photos of storms working their way across the English Channel and for perfect views of the stars and milkyway at night.
This tranquil location has been home to many spooky tales which makes St Catherine’s Lighthouse to be one of the most haunted places on the Isle of Wight. From ghost animal sightings, unexplained footsteps and noises to slamming doors and missing items but the most striking story of St Catherine’s Lighthouse goes way back to Second World War.
In an enemy raid during the War, three lighthouse keepers were killed by a bomb. The three keepers were buried in the churchyard at Niton. A memorial plaque dedicated to them is placed inside the lighthouse.
The lighthouse has been fully automated since 1997 but it has been said that there is a ghost that still walks the tower with sightings of a figure in the lamp room and beams of light cutting through fog.
Stay at St Catherine’s Lighthouse
Ghostly sightings aside, St Catherine’s Lighthouse is a popular destination for overnight and weekend or short stays on the island for couples and families.
How about a timeless stay at St Catherine’s Lighthouse? Rural Retreats offer three individual accommodations to suit your needs. Select from the following:
Location: St Catherine’s Lighthouse, Niton, Ventnor PO38 2NF
3 | Appuldurcombe House and it’s ghosts hauntings
This incredibly grand and “complete” mansion at Wroxhall is rather deceiving from a distance but it is only when you are close that it reveals itself as nothing more than ruins.
This extraordinary English Baroque mansion began its story in the 18th century as the seat of the Worsley family. Once the grandest house on the island, it is now one of the grandest haunted places on the Isle of Wight!
Where: Appuldurcombe Road, Wroxall, Isle of Wight, PO38 3EW
4 | The mysterious house at Knighton Gorges
Reportedly, the Knighton Gorges location near Newchurch is another of the most haunted places on the Isle of Wight since medieval times.
Once, there stood a grandest Elizabethan-Tudor style manor house that has seen many tragic events and phenomenal curses had followed the residents throughout the ages.
The curse is said to have started with one Sir Hugh de Morville (d.1202) who was one of the four knights who murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett on December 27, 1170. He, along with the three took residence in the manor house. Mysterious deaths and weird happenings followed the owners and tenants of the manor house at Knighton Gorges throughout the centuries. This include the mysterious death of Sir Tristram Dillington in 1718, until the final owner, George Maurice who destroyed the house in 1821. He did so out of spite because he disapproved of his daughter marrying a clegyman, thus preventing her from inheriting the manor.
There are many ghost stories surrounding the manor house at Knighton Gorges. The removed gargoyles at the gates leading to the manor house are said to reappear every now and again and sightings of Sir Tristram riding his horse on the anniversary of his death. By far the greatest draw for thrill-seeking ghost-tourists is the reappearing of the manor house, all lit up with candles on New Year’s Eve. A New Year’s ball was said to have been held every year and ghost-hunters gather in the hope of hearing music echoing along the fields.
No public access
Just so you know – the land is privately owned and there is no public access to the property.
Recommended read: Ghosts of Blickling Hall, Norfolk
5 | The Hare and Hounds, Burnt House Lane
The stories surrounding the Hare and Hounds is unbelievably chilling – even for a ghost story!
This infamous location is the backdrop to the gruesome stories revolving around an infamous Michael Morey. He killed his grandson, James Dove (14 years old) in the nearby woods, known as Burnthouse Woods. Morey burnt his cottage to the ground to conceal his crime. Dove’s dismembered body was found three months later. Morey was eventually executed and his body hung on the gibbet. The gibbet was positioned near a crossroad on Gallows Hill at the end of Burnt House Lane. The scaffold has the date 1737 carved on it and now forms part of a roof beam in the original pub of the nearby Hare & Hounds.
People wandering or driving along Burnt House Lane has reportedly seen a headless torso directing them to take a different route home. Some others have had the unnerving experience of having their car engines turned off and lights dim for no apparent reason.
Where: Hare & Hounds, Downend Road, Newport, PO30 2NU
6 | Arreton Manor – Haunted places on the Isle of Wight
Where: Arreton Manor, Main Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 3AA
7 | Carisbrooke Castle
Carisbrooke Castle is a popular destination throughout the year for all the family. Deeply rooted in history since its beginnings in the 11th century, this famous castle had undergone modifications and added defences throughout centuries. Carisbrooke Castle was also a prison at one point in time. Notable prisoners were Charles I who tried to escape but was caught, and later executed in London. His two children, Prince Henry and Princess Elizabeth were sent here as prisoners after his execution. Soon afterwards, Princess Elizabeth, who was just fourteen at that time was found dead. Her face resting on the Bible given to her as gift by her father.
As a famous fortification in English history, Carisbrook Castle has a long-standing reputation of being haunted by all manner of residents. Tales of ghosts, supernatural sightings and horrors of history have all been cited. The moat seems to be one of the most popular locations for ghostly sightings. Reported sightings have been of a grey woman walking around the castle grounds and a huge man in a long white gown around the moat.
If you are up for a bone-chilling experience at Carisbrooke Castle, join-in in their Halloween Week activity designed for 16+ adults.
Where: Carisbrooke Castle, Castle Hill, Newport, PO30 1XY | Isle of Wight
Recommended read: Unmissable 9 fun things to do at Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
8 | Golden Hill Fort, Freshwater – haunted places on the Isle of Wight
Built in the Victorian era between 1863 and 1869, the Golden Hill Fort was built on highground in Freshwater as a barracks and coastal defence overlooking the Solent. The six-sided fort is a Grade I listed building and was recently converted to a series of luxury homes.
One may wonder why is this remarkable building one of the top haunted places on the Isle of Wight.
The ghostly happenings at the Golden Hill Fort goes way back to its days as an army barracks. There are accounts of the ghost of a much hated sergeant major who died “accidentally” by missing his steps on the spiral staircase. His yells, tobacco smoke and doors slamming have all been seen and felt over the years. There is also the ghost of a sailor who was put to death for espionage roaming the halls of the Fort.
Where: Golden Hill Fort, Norton Green, Freshwater, PO40 9SJ
9 | Whitecroft Hospital – haunted places on the Isle of Wight
After about a century in operation, the Whitecroft Hospital finally closed its doors in 1992. The building is converted to residential apartments as Gatcombe Manor.
Workmen involved in the construction of the apartments have reportedly seen nurses in faded uniforms, and the unnerving feeling of being watched. A regular sighting has been of a doctor strolling along the car park, seemingly arriving for work. He has also been seen peering through the ground floor windows of the building.
Where: Gatcombe Manor, Sandy Lane, Gatcombe PO30 3DW
On a final note…
Gaynor Baldwin is a world renowned paranormal expert and author who has written several books on the ghostly happenings of this island. Here are a few of them if you wish to learn more:
The Isle of Wight at a Glance
Coordinates: Latitude: 50° 40′ 30.59″ N Longitude: -1° 16′ 30.60″ W
Island: Largest island in England
Island’s city: Newport
Population: 141,538 | Second most populous island in England behind Portsea Island.
Landmass: The Isle is roughly 380.728 kilometer/147 square miles
County: Governed by one unitary authority.
Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) | British Summer Time (BST)
High season: July – August
Currency: Pounds Sterling (£)
Credit and Debit cards accepted.
Elevation: Maximum elevation: 242 m | Average elevation: 15 m | Minimum elevation: -1 m
Highest point: St Boniface Down – 241 metres (791 ft)
Famous for: Ghosts, Dinosaur bones, Victorian villages, Cycling routes, Walking & Hiking + Healing & Wellbeing retreats
Number of Visitors surpass residents >
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Resources used – Haunted places on the Isle of Wight:
Even More Ghosts of the Isle of Wight by Gay Baldwin
Top 9 Super Spooky and Haunted Places on the Isle of Wight first published at timelesstravelsteps.com in October 2021.