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How To Open A Conversation About Ghosts At A Pub

SimonBurchell

Justified & Ancient
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Anyone regular on the boards knows that I hike a lot. I often end up at a pub in some previously unknown (to me) pub for either a pint or two, or fish and chips and a pint or two. On Saturday, if all goes well, I'm heading well out-of-area to hike from Aylesbury to Leighton Buzzard. I see from @DrPaulLee 's substantial tome on haunted pubs that there is a haunted pub in town, so I may as well at least stop for a pint. Anyone have any good approaches for asking the staff if the pub is haunted other than "Oi. I read you got a ghost?"

In my lical area, I turned up a case of Spontaneous Human Combustion linked to one of two pubs (only one still in business, sadly), and the same goes, how do you broach such a weird subject of conversation to unsuspecting, unfortean staff?
 
When Techy and I visit a new pub we always ask the staff about ghosts. Haven't been chucked out yet. :wink2:
Here’s one for you, in Lower Peover, Cheshire.

Nigel Ramsay took over the running of The Crown Inn in the idyllic village of Lower Peover, Cheshire, earlier this year, but the spirits of the bar have been making his life a living hell.

Yes, hell.

From a stool collapsing beneath him to glasses swaying on their own and even a TV remote flying across the bar, Mr Ramsay now lives in fear of his pub.

He approached Cheshire psychic Deborah Davies, who offered to conduct a ghost investigation with Linzi Steer from Ghosts of Britain.
Terrified

The results have terrified Mr Ramsay, when former Real Housewives of Cheshire star Ms Davies, known as the ‘Ghost Whisperer’, said she ‘had to go back and clear the place’ after hearing the ‘most chilling EVP [electronic voice phenomenon recording] that I have ever heard in my entire life’.

They believe a ghost of a young girl was murdered 200 years ago in the village is haunting the pub, alongside the ghost of a ‘nasty’ man who murdered the child.

Mr Ramsay said: ‘We hear “shh shh” noises when we go through doors. We see glasses swinging on their own for no apparent reason.

‘I found out that a young girl named Maria Rathbone died here in December 1821, Little Girl Lost was the story. She was basically sent to the shop in the frozen winter and got lost, and no one would let her in.

‘She was found dead 400 yards from here still with bacon under her arm, she was just under eight years old.

‘They found that she had perished to death. But when I sent this to Deborah Davies, she said she thinks the ghost is saying that she was murdered.’

So girl found with bacon under her arm a quarter of a mile away is haunting the place. I note that

'we serve up food every night of the week for guests wanting to come and join us.’

 
In this particularly case you can just say how someone has recommended a book to you by a Dr Paul Lee on the history of their lovely pub - (shrug shoulders as if you have never heard of him) and they might have heard of it or read it themselves - thus cunningly alluring them to tell you how it's haunted.

Failing that, my method; Hey pal, I hear this gaff is haunted?
 
In this particularly case you can just say how someone has recommended a book to you by a Dr Paul Lee on the history of their lovely pub - (shrug shoulders as if you have never heard of him) and they might have heard of it or read it themselves - thus cunningly alluring them to tell you how it's haunted.

Failing that, my method; Hey pal, I hear this gaff is haunted?
That's great - I'll go with the first option!
 
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Most places I know of are friendly enough, they'll either say politely "sorry, we've heard nothing" or give you some details which may vary in length and detail.

It beats a (now closed) branch of cafe rouge somewhere in worcestershire. They were very hostile to people asking about their ghosts. If memory serves, they nearly threw out a researcher who asked.
 
Weirdest research of a haunted pub was the Minster Tavern in Ely. I emailed them and asked if there had been any recent encounters with the resident spook. They asked how did I hear it was haunted and I told them it was written on a blackboard inside their very own pub.
 
You could try the good old 'I'm writing a book about the area' (everyone wants to be in a book) 'and I'm doing some research into supposedly 'haunted' places in the locality; have you heard any good stories?'

That way, if they don't know anything about the pub, you are going to hear ALL about the neighbourhood...
 
I normally just ask. The most potentially awkward one was The White Horse in Cromer because it's on the ghost tour but I had to ask if it was true that the stairs round the back were haunted by a single ghost foot. The landlady answered to me that she'd never seen anything but we both had a sense of humour about my question. I ended up working for her there a few years later.

The most enthusiastic pub regarding questions about the paranormal was The White Lady in Worstead. The barmaid was super enthusiastic and was even pressuring us to stick around until the landlord got back who's apparently also super enthusiastic but we had to get the last train back.

The infamous haunted Golden Fleece in York staff couldn't give a toss. They weren't rude, they just seemed pretty jaded.
 
The lady who runs The Vanilla Alternative in Bedford spent hours on the phone giving me loads of stories. She certainly was very enthusiastic!
She admitted openly that it's a swingers den.
Very sadly in its previous incarnation it was used for child sex abuse and she told me something of the events that occurred there. I still get emotional recalling what she told me.
 
The Golden Fleece is always pretty busy so either they're too rushed to chat - after all, it's easy to read about - or they don't need the added publicity.
I've promised a couple of nights stay there, and see what transpires.
 
The Golden Fleece is always pretty busy so either they're too rushed to chat - after all, it's easy to read about - or they don't need the added publicity.
I've promised a couple of nights stay there, and see what transpires.
Also quite a turnover of staff - many of whom might well be students who are from out-of-area and therefore not know anything about the reputation.
 
Also quite a turnover of staff - many of whom might well be students who are from out-of-area and therefore not know anything about the reputation.
I suppose in all fairness, they get hundreds of tourists asking them the same ghost questions day in day out when all they want to do is just get on with their work shifts so I didn't take it personally. I was hoping to get my old crew down there to do some filming, I was given a head office email contact (fair enough), a member of staff promised to come over and chat with me then didn't so I suppose her manager reasonably needed her to keep working instead of talking to 'another nutter' instead.

Unless you're staying as a paying hotel guest, you're now allowed to go upstairs (they have a sign at the bottom of the staircase saying that) but some kind woman from Canada invited us up to the room she was staying in which was also meant to be haunted. The floor in the back bar room is so heavily warped, I held my pint of beer instead of trusting it being on the table.
 
The Golden Fleece is always pretty busy so either they're too rushed to chat - after all, it's easy to read about - or they don't need the added publicity.
I've promised a couple of nights stay there, and see what transpires.
The room the guest was staying in that we were invited to visit is called The Shambles. It overlooks a Tudor era street with the same name and isn't over the busiest bar room so if you do decide to book a room there, I reckon that's a good room to recommend to you for a quieter night's sleep.. I didn't go in any of the other upstairs rooms although I did creep about up there to film (before we were officially allowed to go up there, I figured what the hell, they can only kick me out once, fortune favours the bold and all that) and there's another level above that room with a couple more rooms to rent.
 
The lady who runs The Vanilla Alternative in Bedford spent hours on the phone giving me loads of stories. She certainly was very enthusiastic!
She admitted openly that it's a swingers den.
Very sadly in its previous incarnation it was used for child sex abuse and she told me something of the events that occurred there. I still get emotional recalling what she told me.
That's just up the A1 from me!
I hadn't heard about the child abuse thing, but I did wonder why that pub had closed for quite a while before the Vanilla Alternative took it over.
As it's an old building, it is quite likely to be haunted.
 
An autistic take on this - use at your own risk!

I'd put the book, front cover up on the bar and keep my finger at the right page. Order your drink and in a gap say something like "did you know your pub is in this book? It's why I came in for a drink! Here - look at this....."

Obviously only if there is nobody waiting. I'm trying to be friendly, link ghosts positively with increased footfall and given them a nice open goal. If they don't take the bait then they don't. Can also drop the book by a table of locals while juggling drink and book and bag etc.

As I say, at your own risk :) It's my script for hunting down green men!
 
An autistic take on this - use at your own risk!

I'd put the book, front cover up on the bar and keep my finger at the right page. Order your drink and in a gap say something like "did you know your pub is in this book? It's why I came in for a drink! Here - look at this....."

Obviously only if there is nobody waiting. I'm trying to be friendly, link ghosts positively with increased footfall and given them a nice open goal. If they don't take the bait then they don't. Can also drop the book by a table of locals while juggling drink and book and bag etc.

As I say, at your own risk :) It's my script for hunting down green men!
Nice idea, but it'll be at the tail end of a longish walk, and have you seen the  size of Doc Paul's venerable tome?
 
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