A Henfield resident told the County Times her shocking encounter with a white spectre in the Cat and Canary pub 20 years ago.
Jenny Allaston moved to Henfield from Texas in 1978 without previous knowledge of the village’s spooky past.
In the early 1990s, she was given the task of managing the Upper Station Road pub whilst it was between owners. Little did Jenny know that she would not be running the venue alone.
“I ran it for a little while after the owner left and they were waiting for someone else to step in.
“I had to stay here the night a couple of times, but I had heard nothing about a ghost prior to working there.”
Without any preconceptions of the Cat and Canary - with its long history, strange occurrences and darkened corners - Jenny spent the night in a bedroom at the front of the building.
“All by myself at the pub, no-one there, it was at night and all of a sudden the door opens and this person dressed in white comes walking into the room.”
The ‘lady in white’, as Jenny refers to her, emerged as a woman in her late teens, dressed in a white Victorian-style dress.
“She stood by the bed and looked at me and then went back out again.
“I went ‘oh no’ and I kind of freaked out and then I refused to stay there by myself the next night. I made somebody come and stay with me - that was the last time I slept there on my own.”
However, Jenny’s chilling tale does not end there as the ‘lady in white’ was spotted by her children in a completely different location.
“The weird thing is that after it happened I actually moved to Beechings just down the road, which is where the railway line used to be, and my daughters have said they’ve seen the same sort of person under one of the street lights down there.”
Jenny admits that she was a sceptic before the incident, but since spending the night in the Cat and Canary she is a full believer of life beyond the grave. “This kind of got me believing, because she just looked like a real person. She was serene and very quietly drifted in. I’m sure other people have seen her. There are a lot of ghosts in Henfield, my grandchildren used to talk to a man at the bottom of the stairs in our house. Sometimes I’ll go downstairs knowing that I’ve turned everything off in the room and they’ll be switched on again.”
The Cat and Canary account, among many other tales, features in ‘Haunted Henfield’ by Graham duHeaume - available on Amazon.