10 of the Most Disturbingly Haunted Public Houses in the UK

Public houses and inns have existed in what today is the United Kingdom for a thousand years, at least. And many of the watering holes of the contemporary era are buildings that date back hundreds of years. With that in mind, then, it is perhaps not surprising that many of these pubs are some of the most haunted buildings in the UK, each with its own chilling backstory and its own specific apparitions and ghostly figures.

Related: 10 of the Coolest Pubs in the World

10 The Spaniards Inn: The One-Time Hideout of Dick Turpin

Perhaps what makes The Spaniards Inn in Hampstead Heath in North London stand out is the assertion that one of the spirits said to haunt the public house is the famous highwayman, Dick Turpin. Turpin’s father was once the landlord of the pub, and it is said that Turpin used the watering hole as a hideout. Many people claim to have seen Turpin’s ghost roaming from room to room on the upper floors of the building, while others offer they have witnessed his horse walking around the parking lot.

Even before that, though, the Spaniards Inn has an intriguing and bloody past. It was first opened in 1585 by two Spanish brothers, Francesco and Juan Porero. All was well, to begin with, but then they each fell in love with the same woman. Ultimately, the two brothers would take part in a duel that resulted in Juan being killed. Francesco would bury his body in the pub’s grounds, with many people claiming to have seen the one-time owner roaming the land around the pub ever since.

There are also many reports from staff members of being prodded or having their clothing pulled by an apparently invisible pair of hands.[1]

9 The Grenadier: One of the Most Haunted Pubs in London

The Grenadier in Wilton Mews is not only one of the most haunted public houses in London but in the whole of the United Kingdom. Although there are strange incidents reported all year round, it is said that these paranormal events reach a peak of sorts in the month of September. This is because, according to local legend, it is where a soldier met his end after cheating at cards. He was beaten and thrown down a flight of stairs in the pub, where he died.

Both staff and customers alike have heard footsteps sounding out of nowhere, as well as seeing tables and chairs move of their own accord. Perhaps of more concern are the strange and disturbing cries often heard coming from the cellar, even though there is no one there. Even stranger, rooms suddenly plummet in temperature, remaining icy cold for several hours at a time. Many people have also reported seeing smoke appear out of thin air before disappearing again with no explanation.[2]

8 The Volunteer: Built on the Burned Remains of the Neville Family Home

The foundations of The Volunteer on Baker Street in London were once the home of the Neville family, who perished when their property burned to the ground in 1654. After the public house was built upon the ruins, people began seeing a “well-dressed man” walking through the cellar of the building. The spirit, which some claim was a member of the Neville family, Rupert Neville, was a particularly wealthy businessman during his lifetime.

There are many other reports of strange activity inside the Volunteer, including lights flickering on and off, as well as ominous, unsettling sounds coming from nowhere. Whether of consequence or not, the pub also served as a recruiting post during both the world wars during the first part of the twentieth century, perhaps also lending the building an extra sense of sadness and fear.[3]

7 The Drovers Inn: A Long Morose History That Manifests Today

The grounds around the Drovers Inn in Loch Lomond in Scotland have certainly seen their fair share of horrific actions and events, which most likely contribute to the ghostly goings-on that have been reported there for years.

One of these spirits is that of a young girl who legend states drowned in a nearby river. Her body was brought to the pub, where it was laid in a room until the family came to collect her. Over the years, those who have stopped in the room have reported seeing the small child, while others claim to have noticed the temperature drop to an icy level.

Another ghost is said to be that of a cattle drover named Angus, who was hanged from a large tree near the pub by rival cattle drovers. There have been regular reports of his spirit roaming the grounds of the pub, as well as sightings of the unfortunate cattle drover in the pub itself.[4]

6 The Ostrich Inn – One of the Oldest Drinking Establishments in the UK

In Berkshire, England, The Ostrich Inn is one of the oldest public houses in the United Kingdom (the fourth oldest to be exact), first opening in 1106. Multiple murders have unfolded there, including several committed by the one-time landlord of the establishment in the seventeenth century, Mr. Jarman, who, along with his wife, murdered several wealthy guests in order to relieve them of their riches.

As well as having several brutal murders in its past, it is another public house, like the first pub on our list, where Dick Turpin was said to have frequented during his crime sprees. According to local legends, Turpin is said to have shot the landlord of the pub dead following a disagreement before making off from one of the pub windows.

Many people report sensing a strange and disturbing presence within the building, as well as being pushed or prodded by “invisible” hands.[5]

5 The Golden Fleece: Home to over a Dozen Spirits

Regarded as the most haunted public house in the city of York, the Golden Fleece dates back to 1503 and is said to be home to over a dozen spirits. One of these ghostly manifestations is said to be Lady Anne Peckett, the wife of the one-time York mayor, John Peckett. Multiple people have reported hearing her walking around the building (usually at night), while others have claimed to see her walking around the corridors.

There is also a mean, grumpy old man often seen in one bar and a young boy witnessed in the other. Perhaps one of the most interesting spirits is One-Eyed Jack, a manifestation that is seen walking around the public house carrying an old-fashioned pistol. Ultimately, sightings of strange figures and chilling noises are more than common at the Golden Fleece, and its reputation is well-deserved.[6]

4 The Snickleway Inn: Many Sprits Witnessed Throughout the Building

Parts of The Snickleway Inn, also in York, date back to the fifteenth century, and as we might expect with all that history, at least five different spirits have been reported within its walls. Perhaps the most sinister of these is a mysterious old man who has been reported multiple times in the pub’s cellar. As well as the strange, uneasy feeling this apparition seemingly evokes, some people have even reported having tools and other items thrown at them by this menacing entity.

There are also reports of a young girl seen in the building, most often on the stairs, who is seemingly there one minute and gone the next. Perhaps one of the most well-known, though, is a spirit thought to have once been a lady named Mrs. Tulliver. Not only has she been seen on multiple occasions in this historic watering hole, but many customers and staff have reported feeling her cat brush against them out of nowhere.[7]

3 Ye Olde Man and Scythe: A Ghostly Manifestation Captured on Video

Without a doubt, one of the most chilling manifestations in a UK public house exists at Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Bolton, one of the oldest public houses in England, dating back to 1251. And while several spirits have been seen in the building—such as that of a young girl and a woman who was hanged outside the pub—one particular manifestation is said to be of a very specific and known person.

According to official records, the seventh Earl of Derby, James Stanley—a Royalist officer during the English Civil War—was held in the public house before his beheading in 1651. Furthermore, Stanley was executed for his part in a horrific massacre outside the very same pub in 1644. Even more chilling, the chair in which Stanley sat while awaiting his execution remains in the pub to this day.

In 2014, the public house made mainstream news channels when security cameras allegedly captured footage of this one-time Royalist officer. On the morning of February 14, the landlord of the pub, Tony Dooley, discovered several glasses smashed on the floor of the bar and immediately checked the security footage to try and establish what had happened.

To his shock and amazement, he saw a faint shadowy figure of a man walking close to the bar at 6:18 am that morning. Moments later, the footage simply came to an unexplained stop. The video was shared widely on social media.[8]

2 The Ancient Ram Inn: Built on Ancient Pagan Burial Ground

Perhaps the reason the Ancient Ram Inn in Gloucestershire is so haunted is the fact that it was built on ancient Pagan burial ground. Dating back to 1145, those who are familiar with the building offer that over 20 different spirits have been seen there. One of these is said to be a young girl called Rosie.

According to local legend, Rosie was murdered at the pub and is now said to roam from room to room, very much making her presence known. Some people have recalled seeing her move furniture, while others have felt a sudden icy-cold hand press against them. Perhaps most unsettling of all, though, are the reports from people who claim to hear the screams of a young girl coming from nowhere.

If all that wasn’t unsettling enough, another one of the entities at the Ancient Ram Inn is said not to be the spirit of a person but a demonic being. Many people have claimed to have had a sudden feeling of being watched in the pub, and some even claim to have been pushed by this apparent entity.[9]

1 The Flask: Refurbishments Reveal Ghostly Goings-On

The Flask in London is another public house that is said to be home to multiple different spirits. Although the pub dates back to 1663, it has undergone many refurbishments over the years, particularly in modern times. One of these refurbishment projects turned the old cellar into a seating area. Almost immediately, customers began reporting seeing a strange lady dressed in old attire walking through the area before disappearing. Some customers, while not seeing the apparition, also claimed to have felt icy-cold breathing on the back of their necks.

The spirit is said to be that of a young Spanish barmaid who became romantically involved with the landlord of the pub. However, when he ended the relationship, she was distraught and hanged herself in the very same cellar.

She is not the only spirit said to haunt The Flask, however. Many customers and staff have long reported witnessing the appearance of a soldier in Cavalier uniform in the main room of the pub. He appears only very briefly before walking past one of the pillars in the building and then disappearing.[10]

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a passion for anything interesting, be it UFOs, the Ancient Astronaut Theory, the paranormal or conspiracies. He also has a liking for the NFL, film and music.


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