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Ghosts & Hauntings

What are the most haunted pubs in Britain ?

What are the most haunted pubs in Britain ? 1
Fancy a fright with your pint? The 9 scariest haunted pubs in the UK
Maybe they should have got rid of the cells (Pictures: Ewan Munro/Victor Keegan/Flickr CC)

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?

Well, these nine pubs, dotted throughout the UK, have some pretty terrifying tales to tell. They may look like harmless locals but they’ve got us seriously spooked.

If you like your pint served with an uneasy sense of foreboding, then these are for you.

1. The Skirrid Mountain Inn, near Abergavenny, Wales


Yeah the noose is a little off-putting (Pictures: Andy Dolman/Philip Halling/Geograph)

This is believed to be the oldest pub in Wales and it’s got a ‘long and grim’ history dating back to the Norman Conquest. (yes, really) picks it out as a top place for ghost spotting. The first floor of the inn was once used as a courthouse – 180 felons were convicted there and then hanged from the oak beam over the staircase.

Markings made by the rope can still be seen on the staircase wood today while there have been several supernatural spottings. And of course, there’s the noose they still hang from the beam to scare tourists.

2. Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Phil Rees/REX (570982a)nJamaica Inn, Cornwall's legendary coaching house which was immortalised in Daphne du Maurier's novel of the same name, has stood high on Bodmin Moor for over four centuries, Cornwall, England, Britain.nVARIOUSnn

Jamaica Inn has a strange ghostly visitor who sits outside (Pictures: Phil Rees/Christopher Jones/Rex)

This legendary pub was immortalised in Daphne du Maurier’s novel and then this year’s BBC adaptation (you know, the one you couldn’t hear).

It’s been a welcome pit-stop for travellers crossing Bodmin Moor for nearly 300 years. And it’s played host to a fair few ghosts too – it featured in Most Haunted in what the programme makers called one of the scariest episodes ever.

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A man was mysteriously murdered there centuries ago and a crop of press cuttings from 1911 mention reports of a strange gentleman regularly seen sitting outside the inn, who neither spoke, moved, nor responded to greetings. He was said to look uncannily like the murdered stranger.

Previous owners have also reported hearing voices in foreign tongue (possibly old world Cornish) and horses’ hooves and carriage wheels on the cobbles outside, despite the courtyard being empty.

3. Mermaid Inn Rye, Sussex

The chambermaids clean rooms in pairs here (Pictures: Tony Hiskett/Phillip Capper/Flickr CC)

The chambermaids clean rooms in pairs here (Pictures: Tony Hiskett/Phillip Capper/Flickr CC)

Parts of this pub date back to 1156. And it boasts a resident ghost in virtually every room.

In the Kingsmill suite, it occasionally gets very cold and a rocking chair starts to rock maniacally of its own accord. The chambermaids only clean this room in pairs.

An American lady staying in the Hawkhurst suite also claimed a gentleman in old fashioned clothes sat on her bed during the night and wouldn’t go away. She dragged her mattress into her sons’ room and slept there instead. Sensible.

4. Marsden Grotto, South Shields, Tyne & Wear


This one looks pretty scary (Pictures: Reinholdbehringer/Gary Bath/Flickr CC)

This pub/restaurant is built into the cliff face and can be accessed via lift or stairs.

We recommend the lift for a quick get-away if you ever run into the ghost of John the Jibber, a smuggler, believed to haunt the bar.

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John was murdered by fellow criminals after selling information to HM Customs.

He met a rather grisly death – they hung him in a barrel in the cave and left him to starve to death.

The old landlord used to set a tankard of beer out on the bar for the ghost every evening at closing and in the morning it would always be empty.

When a local DJ decided to drink from the tankard, he so angered the spirit that ashtrays were inexplicably sent smashing against the wall, beer taps left on and the cellar flooded. The landlord was forced to sell up.

5. The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, London

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alex Segre/REX (1733791ap)nThe Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, London, England, BritainnLondon, Britain - 2012nn

This one has indoor and outdoor ghouls (Pictures: Charles Harper/Alex Segre/Rex)

If you like spirits of a celeb kind, this is the pub for you (well, it is Hampstead).

Dating back to 1585 and mentioned in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the bar is believed to get its name from two early Spanish landlords Francesco Porero and Juan Porero.

The two fell in love with the same woman and fought a duel over her. Juan was killed in the fight and later buried nearby. His ghost is now believed to haunt the place.

Famous highway man Dick Turpin is also a former landlord and his spirit is believed to stalk the road outside.

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6. The Viaduct Tavern, Holborn, London

Fancy a fright with your pint? The 9 scariest haunted pubs in the UK

Don’t go down to the cellar alone (Pictures: Ewan Munro/Victor Keegan/Flickr CC)

Based opposite the Old Bailey, this boozer is built on the cells of an old remand prison (now used as the bar’s cellar).

A man is believed to have died in one of the cells and staff like to regale customers with stories of lights suddenly going out and doors locking themselves down there.

In 1996, a landlord said he’d been tidying in the cell when the lights turned off and the door slammed shut. No matter how hard he pushed, it wouldn’t open.

Fortunately, his wife heard his cries and came to release him – the door, which wouldn’t open from the inside, was easily pushed open from outside.

Staff now refuse to go down there alone at night.

7. The Golden Fleece, York


Officially the most haunted pub in the country (Pictures: Roberto Strauss/IlgiovaneWalter/Glen Harvey/Rex/Flickr CC)

This is believed to be the most haunted pub in the country. Its bedrooms come complete with creaking doors that open by themselves, footsteps outside rooms at night and just an astonishing amount of paranormal activity.

If you go on YouTube, you can watch videos shot by terrified guests of things going bump in the night. Reviews talk of chairs moving across the room and strange voices heard in empty rooms.

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Oh, and apparently the food’s really good too.

8. The Grenadier, Belgravia, London


Looks innocent enough (Picture: Peter Clark/Flickr CC)

Built in 1720 and frequented by King George IV, this pub has an illustrious past.

It’s named after a young grenadier, called Cedric, who was savagely beaten to death by his comrades for cheating at a card game (seems harsh).

It’s not known what year this happened but it’s believed to have been in September, as this is the month when supernatural activity ramps up every year.

A solemn, silent spectre has been witnessed creeping slowly across the pub, bar workers speak of an icy chill that can last days, and moans are heard coming from the cellar.

Visitors have attempted to pay off Cedric’s debt by attaching money to the ceiling – it’s now covered in foreign notes – but he still comes back every September.

9. Ye Old Man & Scythe, Bolton

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The CCTV footage will terrify you (Picture: David Millar/Flickr CC)

This 750-year-old establishment is apparently haunted by the ghost of James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby.

Stanley once owned the pub and spent the last hours of his life there before he was beheaded in 1651 towards the end of the Civil War.

The Earl’s ghost has even been caught on CCTV. Bar manager Tony Dooley checked the overnight footage after he came down one morning to find broken glass all over the floor.

He expected to see would-be burglars but, instead, he saw a mysterious figure floating at the bar – before the recording suddenly shut off.

Seriously spooky stuff.



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