The Lighthouse arts centre in Poole which opened in April 1978 has a reputation of being haunted. In a Bournemouth Daily Echo article by Nick Findley entitled ‘The ghostly encounters staff have had at Poole Lighthouse’ (31st October 2017), Nick Findley mentions some strange experiences of the staff there. ‘Cleaners Maureen (Mo) Fletcher and Sue Richards recall an early morning encounter in the cinema when Mo became startled by the sight of a leg sticking out in front of her between the rows of seats.
Sue says she looked up and saw an old lady with curly hair sat stock still in a seat like a mannequin. “She was a big lady with long curly hair. I didn’t see her face, but I was terrified she was going to turn her head and look at me. Both of us just put our heads down and got out of there quick.”
Mo reveals: “I went in there once with our supervisor and we heard dripping from behind this door at the back on the cinema. She took out her key to put in the lock and the dripping stopped instantly. When she opened the cupboard there was nothing in there to drip. There’s a lot of things happen that we can’t explain and because of the stories we probably spook ourselves a bit. I’ve only just started going into the cinema on my own in the mornings, but as soon as anything happens again I’ll be out of there like a shot.”
Several people have seen a man in t-shirt and jeans outside the Sherling Studio and on one occasion in the gents toilets. He appears and disappears very quickly.
Some say it might be the ghost of Bill Duffield, a 21-year-old lighting engineer who tragically fell to his death in the concert hall after a Kate Bush show on April 2 in 1979.
Other reports include a lady in Victorian dress in the corner of the Sherling Studio and a humming lady in the studio dressing room.
Other curious happenings reported by staff include a mysterious smell of hot chocolate at the foot of a flight of stairs and children’s voices.
Duty manager Craig Kingshott adds: “I was locking up the building at the end of one evening and doing my usual security checks. I was outside the Sherling Studio and called out to ask if there was anybody in the room before I locked it. To my amazement a raspy, out of breath voice replied “yes” – but when I double-checked the room there was nobody there!”