Haunted Hotels: The Mermaid Inn – Rye, East Sussex (UK)

Take a look at this Inn, the only Mermaid Inn rich in history in the UK!


The Cellars dating is from 1156 and the building was rebuilt in 1420.

Mermaid Inn is a Rosette recognized dining, with affordable rooms and medieval architecture, but those are not the only things going on in Rye’s historic Mermaid Inn.

Guests who check-in at the centuries-old pub, can expect to rub shoulders with some of its regulars, not all of whom are alive. The Mermaid Inn has a reputation for being haunted, 600 years of history and there are so many stories, and I tried to check all the reviews out there to write them down here.



What to Expect at the Mermaid Inn

There are 31 unique rooms to choose from, with sloping ceilings and creaking floorboards, and numerous staircases.

Experience a drink in the Giant’s Fireplace Bar and imagine how the Hawkhurst Gang, local smugglers in the 1730s and 1740s, caroused in the bar. Can you see the secret passageway entrance?

Dine in the Linen Fold Panelled Restaurant. Enjoy the ambiance of the large restaurant, the cosiness of the Dr Syn dining room or the privacy of the Boardroom for your evening meal, lunch, and breakfast.

Relax in one of the two lounges. Enjoy the comfort and atmosphere of Dr Syn’s Lounge and look for the wall carvings of the Catholic priests fleeing to the continent at the time of the Reformation. The Small Lounge overlooks the cobbles of Mermaid Street, which was once the main route to the anchorage in Rye in years gone by.

They are the only hotel in the Medieval citadel of Rye with on-site parking – for 15 cars at present as per Covid Guidelines.


The Story and the Hauntings

Mermaid Inn has more than 600 years of haunting history.

It is not surprising, then, that the pub has its fair share of ghosts. Though there have been incidents throughout the building, many of the sightings are confined to 6 of its 32 rooms.

In Room 16, there are reports of guests waking up to a duel being fought by the bedside. The combatants, both of whom are dressed in doublets and hose, fight to the death with rapiers, with the loser thrown down a secret staircase to what is now the bar.

Other guests in room 1 have reported seeing a lady in white, sat by the fireplace. Despite the lack of pipes or windows nearby, guests who have laid their clothes on the chair overnight claimed to find them soaking wet by morning.

This may or may not be the same Lady in White made famous in Room 5 for stopping at the foot of the bed on her way across the room and through the door, nor is it necessarily related to the rocking chair in room 17, which is known to start creaking back and forth, entirely of its own accord.

As varied as they are spooky, The Mermaid Inn’s ghosts are the stuff of local legend, with no shortage of mediums, psychics and amateur ghost hunters lending credence to its incorporeal credentials.

Orbs (not dust)

Owner Judith Blincow, who has run The Mermaid Inn since 1993, the ghosts come part and parcel with the property. She ain’t afraid of no ghost. She said: “I’ve never had a bad feeling here, so if there’s anything really there, it’s accepted me.”

Even if this building wasn’t haunted, I can honestly say I need to go there for its wonderful architectural and historical place. Reminds me of the “Leaky Cauldron” when Harry Potter stayed there.



Go on a tour online with Google 360:

-> Mermaid Inn Tour

To book your stay please visit www.mermaidinn.com

And share your stay with us and what happened. Boo!



Facts checked in the Mermaid Inn website, the Observer, Trip Advisor and Bookings.

All Pictures credit to Tripadvisor

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