The Unexplained: Haunting the Mermaid Inn

Strange things happen at the haunted Mermaid Inn in Rye, England.

Guests of the hotel have seen a crying chambermaid and whole families of spirits, children included, walk through walls.

What would you say if I told you there is a place in Rye, England that was a hotel for smugglers and pirates of old.  A pirate hotel?

Moreover, many guests have testified to the inn being haunted by rambunctious spirits.  The ghost of a chambermaid who was employed there in the long ago is a frequent visitor.  There was once a duel in the hotel and the soul of the man who lost still frequently paces about the place.  There is the wispy apparition of a woman in white that will not go away.  The members if a gang who stayed there once killed a girl who knew too much about their shady dealings–and might have a tendency to blab.  It was a pity as one of the members of the gang was in love with her.  She roams about crying.

Guests of the hotel have seen whole families of spirits, children included, walk through walls.  People that stay in the James Room find their laid-out clothes sopping wet.  In another room, a man in period dress is known to sit on the end of occupied beds.  What a shock, upon awakening!

Queen Elizabeth I stayed there in the 1500s.  The handsome and tragic poet, Rupert Brooke has stayed there.  The Queen Mother was honored at a fete there.  Henry James was a frequent guest.

Sara Marie Hogg

This paranormal hot spot is The Mermaid Inn in ancient Rye, East Sussex, England. It was constructed in 1156, but only the cellars of that original building survive.  It has been rebuilt several times, once due to a fire.  The current structure dates from 1420 and additions were made in the 16th century.

The Tudor-style building is plaster and lath, wattle and dab.  The exterior is picturesque, with exposed half-timbers and a light cloak of ivy vines.  The more recent sign over the hotel pub has a mermaid on it.

For a short time there were some guests that possessed stronger character than the nefarious lot–priests fleeing from The Reformation, around 1530 lodged there.

The infamous Hawkhurst Gang commanded most of The hotel in the1730s-1740s.  These renegades and smugglers, 600 strong, loomed over the territory from Kent to Dorset and used the Mermaid Inn for their secondary base.  There was a system of tunnels that they put to good use.  The gang unnerved the other patrons as they sat in the Inn smoking their pipes with their loaded pistols displayed on the table tops.

The inn has been called The Mermaid Inn and The Mermaid Hotel at various times.  The street on which it is located has been given the name also– Mermaid.

Because of the hotel’s draw, in later years, it has been the site if a popular club, and it is a magnet for artists and writers.  It was used some as a setting in the movie, Yellowbeard, made in the Monty Python style.

The Mermaid Inn is still an attraction to travelers and the curious.  Plenty of spirits still languish about the place.  One employee, a barman, resigned when bottles kept falling off a shelf at the other end of the room when he was working.  A woman was pestered by a spirit when she was having her picture taken.  When the film was developed, there were orbs floating all about.  The night porter, Patrick, has worked there fourteen years and is not usually surprised by paranormal activity.  Every now and then he does get a jolt, like the time he saw a door latch lift on its own and the door fling open.

The Sun-Online decided to spend the a winter night in the hotel.  The reporters spent the night in room 17.  Room 17 is a room chambermaids are afraid to enter.  For years this room had a ghost that rocked back and forth in a rocking chair.  The chair is no longer there.

The guests from The Sun admitted to being frightened all night by creaking noises and rattling.  They sat up a video camera to capture any activity and the battery had a full charge.  During the night the tape in the camera ejected itself – even though ejection required hard pressure on a button the guests had not pushed.  The tape never ran–no video was obtained.

Other news outlets that made overnight visits captured orbs on film.  Ghostbusters and haunting investigators have their own creepy stories to tell.  It is still a very hot spot.

Pleased click HERE to find Sara’s delightful novel of growing up in the 1950s, Catho Darlington.

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