Start Dates:     

26th October 2019   –   BOOK HERE

Time:               8.30 pm to 01:30 am

Location:        42 Kent Street, Portsea, Hampshire, PO1 3BS


Referred to as one of the most haunted buildings in Portsmouth, Groundlings is a unique and impressive Georgian Theatre built back in 1784 and steeped in history. It is a magical place with secret doors and hidden rooms, said to be haunted by up to ten friendly ghosts who regularly visit the building.

Originally built as the Old Beneficiary School for boys only, it was opened to girls and a formal junior school added in 1873. The building served both the rich and the poor with the downstairs floor serving as the classroom for impoverished children of the area and the upstairs being used by the high society for meetings, concerts and as a theatre.  The school applied a very disciplinarian attitude to education but had to be closed in 1939 due to the outbreak of WW2. To this day there remains many of the old school features including a punishment hook where children were tied to receive punishment, many of the original floorboards and original fire places!

There have been reports of unexplained smells, children laughing, a girl called Emily and a boy called George roaming the building. Also poltergeist activity has been reported over the years. For one night, you have the opportunity to explore this incredible building and experience the spirit activity for yourself!

Are you brave enough to join us?

The Groundlings Theatre and Old Beneficiary School Ghost Hunt includes:

Initial Briefing including information about Fright Nights, health and safety talk, and the evenings schedule.
Mediumship walk round – who haunts tonight?
Psychic experiments including séances, glass divination, your own senses and more.
Ghost Hunting Vigils in the dark with our medium.
Ghost Hunting Vigils using our range of ghost hunting and psychic equipment.
Hot Drinks and Biscuits.
Free time to explore on your own.
Your chance to ghost hunt in a haunted location at night!

Whilst the school was closed during the war, it is said that a Nazi sympathizer used the roof to shine a torch to direct bombers seeking to hit Portsmouth Dockyard. The school re-opened after the war, and finally closed it’s doors in 1962, when it became a Youth Training Centre before it was destroyed by fire from a stray firework.
In 2010 Richard Stride bought the burned-out shell of a theatre and embarked on a major restoration project. He appealed to locals to roll their sleeves up and builders and local volunteers came to lend a hand. With Groundlings Theatre finally fully restored, a team of actors, locals and volunteers moved in and now run a varied programme of events for young and old from pantos to comedy and new plays to Shakespeare. But who watches with them?….

It is no surprise with it’s long history that the building is haunted. Who will we find as we explore this incredible building.  Might we find the German sympathizer?  Or how about the children who went to school there?  A little girl is said to haunt the staircase and will walk down the stairs with you.  The manager has heard child’s laughter when locking up at the top of the main stairs and whistling coming from the main theatre when he was the only one in the building.


Fright Nights Surrey have hired the Groundlings for two nights this year. You are joined by experienced paranormal investigators and medium to try and experience paranormal activity in one of the most haunted buildings in Portsmouth.

Please note: Over 18’s only and NO pregnant women allowed as per our insurance cover. Venue is unsuitable for disabled guests due to the nature of the building. NO accommodation is provided unless specifically detailed. For more information please see our full terms and conditions here. This event is organised by Fright Nights Surrey.

With thanks to Lynda Hughes of Fright Nights Head Office for the Research & Detailed Write-up for this event.

13th July 2019   –   BOOK HERE

26th October 2019   –   BOOK HERE