3 Haunted Pubs in Essex
Stewart | On 23, Jun 2014
AMBERLY CASTLE: A Haunted Castle You Can Actually Stay the Night In!
The Grade I listed 12th century Amberley Castle Hotel is located in the picturesque village of Amberley.
Today, the castle has been transferred into an amazing luxury hotel.
It's said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl called Emily who committed suicide at the castle.
Her ghostly apparition has been seen by terrified witnesses in and around the Herstmonceux Room!
The Anchor Inn, Canewdon
There’s a pub in the centre of Canewdon called the Anchor Inn…
Yes, it’s haunted but not by the ghosts of witches which Canewdon is infamous for!
The smell of unexplained perfume, a baby crying, flying TV remotes and kitchen knives have all been witnessed by both staff and visitors alike.
The paranormal activity is believed to come from the ghost of a young woman called Sarah.
Sarah’s story goes something like this…
Back in the 1500s she became pregnant as a result of an affair with a local wealthy landowner.
The landowner’s wife found out about the affair and the pregnancy and by all accounts she wasn’t too happy!
She ordered her husband to lock Sarah up out of sight in a building which later became the Anchor Inn.
Shockingly, after having the baby… Sarah was murdered!
So you probably understand why it’s believed that Sarah still haunts the Anchor Inn to this very day.
St Annes Castle Inn, Great Leighs
At the junction of Main Road and Boreham Road in Great Leighs is a pub called the St Anne’s Castle Inn… it claims to be the oldest licensed premises in England!
The pub was actually mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086… so it’s pretty old!
The timber framework of the pub dates back hundreds of years.
But to look at the pub from the outside you would never think that it was that old.
This is due to a fire in the 1500s which destroyed the thatched roof and look of the pub.
In the cellar of the pub are the remains of tunnels which are said to be linked to the nearby church and Leez Priory.
Poltergeist activity has been reported regularly at St Anne’s Castle.
The pub is reported to be haunted by many ghosts…
There’s believed to be the ghosts of a blonde curly haired girl and a little boy, a lady in a wedding dress called Elizabeth, a man who sits in the bar smoking his pipe and a ghostly cat!
These ghosts are all said to be benign.
But there are reports of darker spirits lurking within the old pub…
In the 19th century a gentleman called George Harry Benfield lived at the Old School House within the village.
He was hung in 1875 for murdering his wife and son!
You see, he found out that his first born son Thomas was in fact his brother’s child.
Enraged by his findings, he brutally reacted…
He killed his wife and son by tightening a length of rope around their necks with a piece of wood until their necks snapped!
His evil spirit is believed to haunt the old pub.
Mediums visiting St Anne’s Castle have also picked up upon the spirits of not so Christian monks plus a huntsman from the 1300s who’s believed to have practiced the dark arts!
Over the years, paranormal groups, the BBC and the famous ghost hunter Harry Price have all investigated the old inn.
One infamous ghost associated with Great Leighs and the St Anne’s Castle Inn is that of Anne Hughes…
Anne was burnt at the stake and buried in Great Leighs!
The Bell Inn, Thorpe-le-Soken
Along the Thorpe-le-Soken High Street there’s an impressive listed pub called The Bell…
Yep, you’ve guessed it… its haunted!
The Bell was originally a Guild Hall and a much larger structure but today that building has now been split into a pub and an adjacent cottage.
Now the ghost who is said to haunt The Bell is an interesting one…
She’s believed to be a beautiful bigamist called Kitty Canham!
Back in the mid 1700s, Kitty was married to Alexander Gough who was the vicar of St Michael’s Church.
One day Kitty disappeared and it later came to light that she had left and married a wealthy businessman called Lord Dalmeny.
Technically, she was still a vicar’s wife and married to Alexander Gough!
Kitty and Lord Dalmeny ended up living in Italy but in 1752 she became terminally ill.
Kitty last wish was to be buried in Thorpe-le-Soken…
She’s now buried in the parish churchyard and it’s said that both her husbands attended the funeral!
It’s said that many of the paranormal activity which happens in the Bell today are due to Kitty.
In 1972, a guest staying in Room 6 of the pub awoke to find the room’s heavy wardrobe had been moved and the spare bed looked like it had been slept in.
In fact, many people have reported feeling a presence watching them whilst they are in Room 6.
Her ghost has been seen walking through doors and many minor spooky pranks which occur in the pub are blamed on her.
In 1999, a fire swept through the pub destroying most of the building and attached cottage.
The strange thing is… the painting of Kitty that hung on the pub’s wall was totally undamaged by the fire!
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press