A mother and her young children got an unwelcome Halloween surprise when they found themselves locked in Bexhill Cemetery.
Jay Brewerton and her three children, aged three, six and nine, found themselves trapped in the Turkey Road site on Tuesday afternoon (October 30) as the temperature plummeted.
Jay explained: “I went up at about 3.15pm to decorate my daughter’s grave.
“We had taken our time doing that and then we saw it was nearly 4pm.
“So we went to the bottom gate and it was locked. The top gate was also locked.”
After discovering the service yard, where the vehicles and equipment is kept, was also locked, Jay returned to the gate and spent 20 agonising minutes on hold to keyholder Rother District Council.
Jay’s phone was low on battery and her car was low on petrol.
Fearing council staff may have gone home for the day, Jay said: “I was on there for ages and that was scary.
“I was worried if they could not let me out I would be there all night!
“I was considering whether to call a friend who could come round with some bolt cutters to let me out.”
Eventually she managed to get hold of a member of staff and Jay and her family were soon released, about an hour after their ordeal began.
Jay said: “I reckon the guy who did it must have locked the bottom gate, driven out the cemetery and locked the top gate.
“He definitely did not see our car.”
Jay said her children felt scared as the light faded.
She added: “My nine-year-old son was extremely distressed because he has autism, but he’s just so pragmatic about things and asked why I had not packed the car properly for emergencies like being locked in the cemetery!”
Jay added: “I go up there every day and it’s never happened to me in five years.
“It’s just one of those things... I nearly got the real Halloween experience there!”
A Rother District Council spokesman said: “The cemetery closing time is advertised on the gates at the entrance. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the woman and her family but, once we were made aware of the situation, we immediately sent a member of staff to open the gates and they arrived at the cemetery within 15 minutes.”