Superstitions, old wives’ tales and the Devil: haunted histories at Brighton’s Preston Manor

Superstitions, old wives’ tales and the Devil: haunted histories at Brighton’s Preston Manor
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Emily Turner

[This story was published on September 2 in the Brighton and Hove Independent. Read the original story at]


Preston Manor’s current exhibition, Folklore, Magic and Mysteries: Modern Witchcraft and Folk Culture in Britain, is a suitable showcase for a place considered the most haunted in Brighton.

Featuring a unique display of artefacts, manuscripts and documents from the Doreen Valiente Foundation, this exhibition explores the folklore and county cultures which shape the heritage of Sussex.

Altarpieces, witch beads, and jars containing ‘live curses’ are also brought together to tell the story of the Brighton witch Valiente.

Venue officer Paula Wrighton, at a recent event at the house which explored domestic rituals, beliefs and old wives’ tales both thriving and extinct, spoke about Preston Manor’s position within this local history of spectral presences and ancient customs.

Revealing an antiquated ledger, Paula told the story of the Kent family who had contacted…

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