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Ghosts & Hauntings

What are the most haunted pubs in Britain ?

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

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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.

HauntedRooms.co.uk (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.

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

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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

8. The Grenadier, Belgravia, London

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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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Ghosts & Hauntings

Reality show to be filmed in medieval “haunted castle” in Wales

British celebrities will take part in a reality show at the medieval castle of Grich in the city-county of Conwy (Wales), which, according to legend, is full of ghosts. It is reported by The Sun.

According to data from open sources, the castle was built in 1283-1289 by order of Edward I of England. For four years one and a half thousand people erected the fortress and walls. The castle is surrounded by a stone wall with round towers and loopholes. 

According to local residents, the ghost of the previous owner, Countess Dandonald, who died in 1924, wanders around the castle. According to legend, the woman’s spirit is angry because her husband took the valuables out of here. 

About ten years ago, a mysterious silhouette appeared in the photo, which was noticed on the first floor of the castle in the former banquet hall. In addition, it is rumored that objects are moving mysteriously in the castle. Also, fans of everything mystical believe that there you can meet the ghosts of gamekeepers and a maid who died after falling from a horse.

The creators of the reality survival show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Became interested in the legends of the ancient castle, in which celebrities perform creepy tasks. 

The producers are delighted with Greich Castle. It is planned to spend almost 1 million pounds and six weeks to prepare the location for filming.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Loftus Hall is the most famous haunted house

Almost any house built 150 years ago is tempting to think of ghosts. Of course, if it was not restored beyond recognition. But a special pleasure is to visit, or at least look at photographs of a house in which ghosts are definitely found. Well, exactly: in the opinion of its owners and those who live nearby.

Loftus Hall is one of those. Even if, in the opinion of the locals, ghosts were not found in it, they would be worth inventing again – this is how the atmosphere of this gloomy house located on the windswept and washed by waves of the Hook Peninsula in the Irish County of Wexford has to do this.

But, before we tell you what is so paranormal in this Loftus Hall, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with real historical events related to the house. Moreover, they are worthy of attention without any devilry.

Photo # 2 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
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We can say that the history of the house began in 1135, when the Norman knight, Raymond Le Gros, landed on the peninsula. To assimilate faster, the knight renamed himself the more familiar to the Irish ear by the name Redmond.

The castle, built by the knight, stood for two centuries, until in 1350 the descendants of Redmond built a new house in its place. It is interesting that they were building right during the Black Death – a plague pandemic that arrived in Ireland by ship from Bristol a year earlier. The new house, Redmond Hall, was named.

Photo # 3 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photo: Shutterstock

Three centuries later, in 1650, the house became the site of one of the fiercest sieges of the Irish Uprising. The owner of the house, 68-year-old Alexander Redmond, with his two sons, a couple of local activists and a tailor who happened to be in the house at an unfortunate time, barricaded himself and bravely repulsed the attack of almost 90 British for several days. 

In all fairness, most of these Englishmen have crawled into neighboring villages, indulging in robbery and violence, instead of laying siege to an impregnable home.

The attack was repulsed with the help of the Irish forces arrived in time, which attacked the British under the cover of a thick fog, which in time fell on the Hoek Peninsula.

According to local chronicles, Alexander repelled several more attacks. When the British nevertheless conquered Ireland in general, and Redmond Hall in particular, Cromwell even let Alexander die in peace in his own house – for his courage.

Photo # 4 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Well, after the death of Redmond, his relatives were evicted from the house and soon the house was sold to a family of Englishmen named Loftus, who live nearby. 

Subsequently, the Redmond repeatedly tried to sue Loftus Hall back, but to no avail. But as compensation, they were given land in the neighborhood.

The Loftuses moved rapidly up the court stairs. If in the 18th century the head of the family was called Baron Loftus of Loftus Hall, then already in 1800 the title of Marquis of Eli was created especially for the Loftus.

Actually, the 4th Marquess of Ely gave the modern look to Loftus Hall. A major renovation was undertaken by the Marquis in the second half of the 19th century: he very much hoped that Queen Victoria would come to visit. After all, the Marquis’s mother was her maid of honor!

Photo # 5 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

The Queen never came. But the 4th Marquis of Ely became the owner of a luxurious house with such unprecedented conveniences as flush toilets at that time. And, alas, the owner of huge debts. Soon the house had to be sold and its wanderings began among different owners.

In 1917, the house was sold to the monastery order of the Sisters of Providence. In 1983, the house was converted into a hotel. Well, in the early 2000s, it was acquired by the Quickly family. In 2020, it became known that the house was again put up for sale. Moreover, Quickly emphasize that they will not choose a new owner, but “the house will choose him.” And that’s why…

The story of how the devil sailed to Loftus Hall and what happened after his visit dates back to the 19th century. It sounds like this.

On a cold rainy night, a dark-robed rider rode up to Loftus Hall on a dark horse. He said that his ship was caught in a storm and had to dock in a nearby bay. The Loftuses were away, the family of their distant relatives, the Tottenham, lived in the house. They sheltered the rider and offered him shelter and bread.

Photo # 6 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Tottenham’s daughter, young Anna, immediately fell in love with a mysterious stranger. A couple of days later, in the evening, everyone sat down to play cards. During the game, Anna dropped the map and, bending down to pick it up, saw that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of legs.

The stranger realized that he had been discovered. He immediately soared up, surrounded by devilish flames – and, as expected, made a huge hole in the roof.

It would seem that the devil is expelled, you can live on. But Anna, after the disappearance of the stranger, became not herself. She went crazy by leaps and bounds. The family, frightened by this development of affairs, locked the girl in her favorite sewing room.

There Anna sat, almost motionless, clasping her knees with her hands and soon died. 

According to another version of the legend, before her death, she managed to give birth to a child – that is, the devil did not lose time during two days in the house. 

Anna was not buried in an ordinary coffin: they could not straighten her and buried her in a sitting position, in which she spent the last months of her life.

Since then, according to numerous testimonies of guests and owners of the house, ghosts of a girl have been walking around the house. And the house itself has become a place of attraction for lovers of everything paranormal and creepy – excursions, especially popular on Halloween, are regularly conducted in Loftus Hall.

If you consider yourself a mystic, but do not have the opportunity to visit Loftus Hall yet, we recommend watching the gothic horror film The Lodgers 2017. It is filmed entirely in the luxe and eerie interiors of Loftus Hall, and has received excellent critical reviews. Here’s the trailer:

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Ghosts & Hauntings

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building

For decades, the Haycock Manor Hotel, located in the small English village of Wansford, has attracted tourists by claiming to be the home of the ghost of Queen Mary Stuart.

Mary of Scotland, aka Mary Stuart, according to legend, visited the Haycock Hotel on the way to Fotheringay Castle, where she was executed. Why, in this case, she chose a hotel in a small village as her last refuge , and not a stone castle, is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, visitors to the hotel claimed to have seen the ghost of Queen Mary, the Mirror writes.

The last resting place of Mary Stuart

Because of her intrigues against Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart was put on trial and sentenced to death, which took place at Fotheringay Castle. On the way to the castle, Mary of Scotch stopped at the Haycock Hotel.

Mary Stuart

Despite the fact that the woman spent only one night in the hotel, this is the place she, for some reason, decided to choose as her last home. At least that’s what those who encountered her ghost say.

Manifestations of supernatural powers

Many of the hotel guests, who ventured to spend the night in the last refuge of Mary Stuart, complained about strange things that happened to them.

Some guests claimed to have seen a ghost, which they identified as Mary of Scotland. Why they were so sure that the ghost was exactly Mary Stuart is not clear, because the history of England has a large number of women rulers, and it is simply impossible to remember them all.

Other hotel guests recall seeing an obscure ghostly cloud-like figure in the oldest part of the hotel. They also shared that they often encountered the feeling that there is someone else in the room – someone who cannot be seen, but can be felt.

Hotel Haycock

Guests also reported that they heard quiet voices and footsteps, although there was no one else in the rooms.

Despite the fact that such stories can scare ordinary people, they are not of interest to real seekers of the paranormal, since they can easily be explained by the dilapidated state of the building.

haycock hotel

Haycock Manor is currently closed for renovation, which means that if the phenomena of supernatural forces could be explained by the state of the hotel, then after the renovation they should disappear.

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