The spookiest spots at a 200-year-old theatre have been revealed with some truly terrifying ghost stories from cast members of years gone by.

The Theatre Royal in Brighton is said to be home to many phantoms who roam the backstage corridors and even sit among the audience.

The Argus was given an exclusive tour with resident ghost expert Jackie Alexander ahead of the "spooky love story" 2:22 opening at the venue earlier this week.

The Argus: Jackie in the old theatre bar looking at historic show postersJackie in the old theatre bar looking at historic show posters (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

The dressing rooms corridor is said to be haunted by a "grey lady" and also a nun which "always freaks people out."

Jackie said: "Staff don't like being in the dark down here.

"About 15 years ago there was a man performing with one of the local companies who was absolutely spooked by a grey lad.

"There was also a report from The Argus in the Sixties with an actress who thinks she saw it."

The Argus: The dressing room corridor is said to be hauntedThe dressing room corridor is said to be haunted (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

In the bowels of the theatre there is a covered tunnel believed to have once connected the Royal Pavilion with the theatre. Electricity wires and pipes run the length of the ceiling.

Jackie said: "When people walk across the stage, you can hear the footsteps when you are down here. There are times when you think the theatre is empty and then you hear those sounds, it's really scary."

But the spirits do not stay backstage. The ghost of actress Ellen Nye Chart is known to frequent the auditorium - and even has a favourite seat.

The Argus: A bust of Ellen's head is in the theatreA bust of Ellen's head is in the theatre (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

She joined the company of Henry Nye Chart, who owned the Theatre Royal in 1865, and worked her way up the ranks after marrying him in 1867. She managed the theatre and eventually owned it when he died in 1876.

Theatregoers with a ticket for seat G16 may arrive to find the chair already folded down, showing that Mrs Nye Chart is in the house.

The Argus: Seat G16 at the theatreSeat G16 at the theatre (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

"This is her favourite seat. She comes quite often to see how everyone is doing. She loves this place, so she is clearly checking up on us," said Jackie.

"Various people who have worked here have felt her presence. We also had a little boy once who came to see a show with his dad, sitting in one of the boxes.

"He kept asking about the lady in a Victorian costume in the opposite box, so his dad asked a staff member if there was a heritage event going on.

"They said no. There is nothing. That was obviously her."

The Argus: The substage at the Theatre Royal with the tunnel in the left cornerThe substage at the Theatre Royal with the tunnel in the left corner (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

In another encounter, actor Edward Fox was said to be performing a solo show at the theatre when a woman asked someone at the front of house who was on stage with him.

Jackie said: "It didn't appear as if she had gone mad but she had seen someone on stage throughout."

And it is now the cast of 2:22's turn to see the ghosts themselves as they perform at the Theatre Royal this week.

The Argus: Nathaniel and Charlene in the theatreNathaniel and Charlene in the theatre (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Actress Charlene Boyd, who plays Lauren, one of the main characters, said: "I’ve never seen a real ghost. I don’t not believe.

"I’m always on the fence because people genuinely do see them and I’m spooking myself saying this in the theatre, in case the ghosts hear me and decide to prove me wrong.

“I get spooked very easily. I still jump. It’s not even a character thing."

Read more: Director of Theatre Royal to step down after 18 years

But Nathaniel Curtis, who plays Sam, said: "I don’t believe in ghosts and if I did believe in ghosts this is not the play I would be doing. To tempt fate in that way would be a really bad idea."