BY DAY the Isle of Wight is a place of spectacular countryside, beaches and great sports and leisure activities.

But it has a darker side too — our small island is home to hundreds of ghosts and spooky happenings.

Halloween is perhaps the perfect time to remind ourselves of some of the everyday places we can visit.

Think spooky histories and blood-curdling legends (Scroll down to see them...)! 

Isle of Wight County Press: Wroxall
Appuldurcombe House and grounds Photo: IWCP Archive

Wroxall's Appuldurcombe House has an interesting history.

The Isle of Wight has everything from phantom monks, grey ladies and poltergeists to smugglers, soldiers, royalty and Romans.

With the Island’s rich historical heritage and violent and colourful past, it’s not surprising that ghostly goings-on and haunting echoes of those turbulent times continue to reverberate through 21st century.

Just why the Island should have so many ghosts is a mystery. It may be due to powerful unseen energy or ley lines which run under the Island.

Journalist and paranormal author Gay Baldwin has been investigating and researching ghost stories for more than 40 years.

Her series of Isle of Wight Ghost books, DVDs, audio books and ghost hunter’s guides top the Island’s best-seller list.

Here are just a few of Gay’s favourite spooky haunts to try. But please heed this warning: If visiting churches or graveyards, please behave appropriately, and if ghost-hunting for Knighton Gorges, remember the land itself is privately owned, although the site can be seen from the road and public footpath.


This handsome haunted mansion with its 365 windows and 52 rooms is now just a shell of its former self.

The ghosts however, remain. They include a phantom carriage, brown-clad monks, dark shapes glimpsed flitting through the grounds. A baby’s cry is heard, and unseen hands regularly leaf through pages of the visitors’ book.

  • ISLE OF WIGHT ZOO (aka Wildheart Animal Sanctuary) Culver Parade, Sandown.

A young soldier who was cut in half in a tragic accident at the old Sandown Fort, has been seen in recent years by zoo staff and keepers.

Since his agonising death in 1888, the unfortunate soldier’s ghost has been sighted at the old gun emplacement in the fort and near the moat.

The young man was working on one of the fort’s 18-ton guns when it rolled backwards, cutting him in two.

Eerily, in an earlier tragedy at Sandown Barracks, a master gunner went insane, shot his wife and child, and cut his own throat.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hare and Hounds, Arreton. The outside. IWCP Archive.

Hare and Hounds, Arreton. Photo: IWCP Archive.

  • KNIGHTON GORGES, Newchurch

Recognised as the Island’s most haunted place, every New Year’s Eve, people gather to wait for the ghostly house to re-appear.

A pair of weathered stone gateposts are all that remain of the manor house of Knighton Gorges, yet it lives on, its blood-red history a testament to murder, suicide, insanity, malice, and a gallery of ghosts.

A coach and horses, poltergeist lights, phantom revels and tales of stone creatures seen upon the gate pillars are just a few of the spooky happenings in this strange place.

Isle of Wight County Press: Carisbrooke Castle. Photo by Pamela Parker.Carisbrooke Castle. Photo by Pamela Parker.


For more than nine centuries it has stood firm against attack, but within its walls, ghosts roam.

In the famous well-house where donkeys work the wooden tread wheel, the face of a dead girl who drowned in the160ft deep well, has been seen.

A mysterious cloaked figure, with four dainty lap dogs, walks the castle grounds.

Other phantoms include a Victorian lady in grey and tragic Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Charles I, who died a prisoner here in 1650, aged 14.

  • HARE AND HOUNDS, Arreton

Murderous woodcutter Micah Morey who killed his young grandson in cold blood in 1737, was tried and hanged, and his corpse left rotting on the gibbet at Gallows Hill, near the Hare and Hounds, until it became “an offence to eye and nostril”.

The gibbet crossbeam, complete with a notch cut in it beside the date of his execution can be seen in the pub.

Morey’s restless spirit can also be seen, roaming Gallows Hill, carrying a large axe.

Isle of Wight County Press: Downend, Arreton. Micah Morey, Michah Morey, Michal Morey. Michal Morey's Hump or Michal Morey's Mound where the gallows were erected for his hanging. The site is about 150 yards east of the Hare and Hounds by the side of the road. PICTURE: IWCP

Michal Morey's Mound where the gallows were erected for his hanging. The site is about 150 yards east of the Hare and Hounds, Downend, Arreton, by the road. Photo: IWCP Archive.


For almost a century the world-renowned chest hospital, the Royal National Hospital, specialised in treating the killer disease, tuberculosis.

When the half-mile long building was demolished in 1969, the site was transformed into gardens.

The hospital was haunted long before this, and even today long-dead patients are still seen and heard.

Ghostly weeping, groaning, and smells of ether are reported. A sickly, consumptive-looking ghost, and phantom nurses in old-fashioned uniforms walk the gardens.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Royal National Hospital once stood at what is now Ventnor Botanic Garden. Picture: IWCP Archive.

The Royal National Hospital once stood at what is now Ventnor Botanic Garden. Picture: IWCP Archive.

Or what about a ghost walk?

As well as writing ghost books, 21 years ago Gay teamed up with Marc Tuckey, to devise the popular Newport Ghost Walk around the old town.

These popular walks with a supernatural slant have flourished and have introduced thousands of Islanders and visitors to the darker side of the Wight.

Although better known for sailing, Cowes has more than its share of haunted places.

Why not try the Old Cowes Ghost Trail, a free, self-guided tour around the streets and alleyways of the town?

Starting from The Parade, the circular walk features more than a dozen spooky haunts, including several inns and pubs, where spirits of all kinds can be found.

  • Download it free at HERE where you can also pick up tips on ghost-hunting and learn about more of the Island’s haunted places to visit.

You can also submit your own ghostly experiences and photos and check for regular updates and new stories.

Dressing up for Halloween? Made your house look super-spooky for a party?

Send us your photos for our gallery of Halloween pictures in our November 5 paper and online!

Click on the submissions box below!