Written by Staff Writer
19 Feb, 2014 | 6:45 pm
Staff at one of Britain’s oldest pubs, rumoured to be haunted by an aristocrat executed during the Civil War, believe they have caught a ghost on CCTV.
The footage, which appears to show a shadowy figure flickering into view by the bar, was filmed at Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Bolton on Valentine’s Day.
Tony Dooley, the pub’s manager, spotted the spectre when he checked the cameras on Friday morning and found they had stopped recording at 6.18 a.m.
“I came down and saw a glass smashed on the floor so I was instantly suspicious and went to check the CCTV and found it has stopped working,” he said.
“We checked the footage and it revealed this figure. To be honest I was a bit concerned – I’m a bit of a sceptic when it comes to ghosts but you become more of a believer when you see things like that.”
The pub, which dates from 1251, is the fourth-oldest pub in Britain and is reputedly haunted by the Seventh Earl of Derby, James Stanley.
The royalist, whose family originally owned the inn, is said to have spent the last hours of his life there before he was beheaded in 1651 towards the end of the Civil War.
The chair he sat in before he was taken outside and executed is still in the pub today – and some say so is he.
Hundreds of soldiers and civilians were also killed outside the pub in the Bolton Massacre of 1644.
With such a bloody history, it has long been considered a hotspot for paranormal activity and a psychic evening held there in 2006 reportedly found it to be haunted by at least 25 spirits.
Among them is said to be a woman who hung herself in the cellar several centuries ago as well as an eight-year-old girl and a phantom dog.
“There have always been rumours it is haunted and we’ve had psychic readings done here in the past,” said Mr Dooley.
“Occasionally you hear things and wonder if it’s just the building settling down or whether it’s something else.
“It’s the fourth-oldest pub in Great Britain so it’s had its fair share of deaths and whatnot.”
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