The Lavender Line Ghosts
Being located in such a remote area of the Sussex Isfield has seen its fair share of history, this has led to strange and reoccurring events that have taken place at Isfield from the early Millham days in the 80’s to the present day.
The White Lady
The first ghost discovered at the Lavender Line during the 1980’s is the disturbing but sad story of the White Lady, with reoccurring appearances taken place on late summer evenings. At the start of World War One many young men in the local areas were called up to fight, leaving many families split and devastated with the loss of loved ones. In 1915 a local girl recently married to her new husband had been waiting for a reply from him after he had recently been sent to the frontline to fight in the trenches. After many months she finally received a letter declaring that he had been killed in action, this news tore her apart to the point whereby she could take no more.
After walking down through the village passes by found it strange that she was wearing the very white dress that she married in. Making her way down to Isfield station she walked down platform 1 without saying a word, clutching the sides of her wedding dress. At that point the early Fast train to Brighton was due to pass Isfield at speed, she knew this train was due to pass through so she calmly walked across the line in front of the speeding train. She was struck and killed instantly leaving the station devastated with not only the loss of local young men but also the loss of a grieving widow who could not bare to live without her husband.
Her ghost has been seen by many members over the years on a warm summer’s night, the White Lady can be seen walking to the far end of platform 1 where she stops, looks and slowly walks across the line where she has been seen to disappear just in front of the signal box where she was killed. On any evening at Isfield station be it in the warm summer months or during the damp cold winter there is always a cold presence at the end of Platform 1 where the spirit of the White Lady is said to lie.
The Drunken Game Keeper
When you travel down the line on the train there is one part of the journey where you will notice it becomes very damp and cold, this is the called the cutting, a short section of hill side that has been dug through to allow the railway to carry on the straight course towards Lewes. Just by the cutting lies our engine shed and this is where the Lavender Lines other ghost lies.
When the railway was first introduced in the Uckfield area from the early 1850’s there was a number of people who opposed the railway. This could have been from people who thought the idea was mad with trains travelling at such high speed to farmers and game keepers who believed the railway would trespass across their land. One story stands out about a local game keeper who had recently been to a local village meeting to discuss the plans of the new railway passing through Isfield, with his intensions of defying the railway company he did everything possible to ensure that the railway could not pass through his land.
After months of meetings and talks the railway finally had the permission it needed to pass through the village and by the spring of 1857 the railway was well on the way to completion and on its way to Lewes. This devastated the Game Keeper and so he drank a serious amount of alcohol to num the pain of loosing his precious land. That same evening he took a walk along his farm where the railway was being built, he finally passed out due to the drink and supposedly drowned on his own vomit! He was found a few days later by railway workers and identified in the village as a lonely game keeper who was found to be extremely against the modern age of the railway.
Ever since the Lavender Line preservation society took of the railway in 1991 there have been a number of encounters between working members and this ghost in our engine shed. Some examples range from paint pots abruptly launching themselves across the shed to eye witnesses actually seeing the ghost! The shed is a naturally cold place due to the concrete flooring and the location in the cutting but day or night there always seems to be a cold and dark presence situated around that area.
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