As we barrel head long towards Halloween, there will be a seemingly endless barrage of haunted houses and horror movie premieres at everyone’s disposal in the coming days. Let’s not forget the traditional ‘lady of the lake’ story that seems to fluctuate from urban myth to “..no, it really happened to my brother, I promise“.
Far more important from our perspective and in keeping with the focus of Tellyspotting, will be to turn our attention to the Top-10 Haunted Pubs in Britain this Halloween. While there are a number of top-10 lists floating around of Britain’s most haunted, one thing remains a constant as to why pubs are the way to go. As Spooky Stuff explains, “…all-night vigils in haunted buildings are all very well. But wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to wait cold and bored while hoping to see a ghost? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a bite to eat socialise with friends, maybe even quaff some cold beer while waiting for the spooks to appear?” Couldn’t agree more. Here are their top-10 to check out this year if in the neighborhood…
Grenadier Pub, London - once the favourite haunt of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington’s regiment, one unfortunate grenadier seems to still be hanging around. As the story goes, he was playing cards with his fellows guards and was caught cheating. Outraged, they beat him up and threw him down the pub stairwell. The poor chap died and is said to haunt the pub to this day. Numerous lists consider The Grenadier the most-haunted pub in London.
Golden Fleece, York – this pub is said to house both a ghostly pickpocket and a phantom curmudgeon who sometimes gets upset whenever a customer sits in what used to be his favourite seat in addition to a ghostly dog that tugs at punters’ trouser legs.
Red Lion, Avebury – amidst the stone circles, UFO reports and some fairly regular paranormal activity, be on the lookout for the ghost of a woman called Florrie who was murdered by her soldier husband in the 17th century after he discovered that she had been unfaithful to him while he was away at war.
The Kings Arms, Monkton Farleigh – filled with an array of ghostly patrons, head on over to the Kings Arms to maybe catch a glimpse of a monk who reportedly died in the pub in mysterious circumstances or a woman whose runaway carriage crashed into the building, killing her. There is also a mysterious key which was unearthed during recent building work on the site. Allegedly two ghosts appeared and warned the bar staff not to knock down the wall behind which the key was eventually found. The purpose of the key is still not known but it now hangs proudly on the pub wall.
St. Anne’s Castle, Essex – home to numerous ‘ghost hunter’ vigils, St. Anne’s Castle is the oldest public house in England and home to a woman who was burned to death as a witch in the early 17th century.
The Skirrid Inn, Wales - used as a place of execution in the medieval period, The Skirrid Inn has the dubious distinction of having been pronounced the most haunted pub in Britain by famed ghost hunter Richard Jones.
Devil’s Stone Inn, Devon – gets its name from the mysterious giant boulder which sits at the centre of the town. No one knows where it came from and legend has it that it was dropped by the Devil himself as he was flying overhead. Not really a reason to classify this as a top haunted pub but is, supposedly, haunted by quite a few ghosts. Most of these seem to have a fairly pleasant disposition save for the single curmudgeon who was believed to be a rent collector in life.
Seven Stars Pub, Sussex – with a history dating back to the Middle Ages, there are regular occurrences of phantom footsteps, shadowy apparitions, and dogs reacting to the presence of something unseen.
Marsden Grotto, South Shields – this private residence was soon transformed into an inn which became a favorite with the local smugglers. The spirit of one unfortunate is believed to be that of a smuggler who informed on his fellows and was brutalised by them after being caught. Psychics have claimed to detect a high level of paranormal activity in the building on numerous occasions.
If you’re looking for some closer to home options in Central London, theres’s always The Morpeth Arms, The Old Bull & Bush, The Black Cap, The Blind Beggar and The Old Queen’s Head. How can you not include the The Bucket of Blood in Cornwall, Ye Old Cheshire Cheese which is just off Fleet Street or The Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden?
Happy Haunting. Let us know if you are aware of any others or have experienced anything first hand….