Ghost Story: The Angel Inn, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex
Stewart | On 11, Sep 2017
The Haunting of the Angel Inn
Karen has sent me her ghostly accounts from the time when she was working as a live in childminder for the landlord of the Angel Inn…
Allow me to give you some background.
In 1989 I had just left school.
A chance meeting with the then Landlord and his wife during a family holiday led them to offer me a job childminding their children.
I moved in about a month later and lived with them for approximately a year.
I recall the first night I moved in quite vividly, I sat chatting with the landlords wife and she asked me quite bluntly if I was afraid of ghosts?
I recall laughing nervously and replying that I wasn’t sure as I had never met one! She went on to tell me that there were at least two on the property.
One which resided upstairs and another that occupied the public bar, she claimed that the one downstairs was quite audible on a regular basis and that her own mother had seen an apparition upstairs.
To be honest I never really put much stock in it, I was young and just excited about living away from home. It wasn’t long before I started to think there might be something to the stories.
I’m not sure of the current layout as I have been back since and it had changed considerably but back in my time there was an old minstrels gallery that separated the two end of the living accommodation, this wasn’t visible to the paying public, it had survived hundreds of years but it was partitioned from view.
To gain access to the kitchen, living room and dining room a person would have to duck their head through a short door (about 4ft) walk across the wooden gallery open the second short door which was solid wood and about 6″ thick again ducking their head.
That door was heavy and had no natural swing yet there were a great many times that door would swing open..hold for a few seconds then close quietly too and latch!
I was always a little creeped out but it’s odd what you get used too.
In the bedrooms the little baby who was about 8 months when I arrived would babble in her cot and giggle as though she was communicating with someone who was not there.
The only time I remember being afraid was at night.
My room was at the top of the main stairs just to the left.
Late at night long after the customers had gone home and we had all retired for the evening footsteps heading up the stairs could be clearly heard..believe me when I say these weren’t sounds that we thought maybe footsteps they were very clear and distinct.
The footsteps would go right the way up and then stop.
I remember more than once holding my breath waiting for the door to my room to open but it never did.
I went out more than once to find no one outside my room!
As I was young my parents were obviously anxious to keep checking I was being treated well and my boss the landlord and his wife invited them to come over and stay with us one weekend, they stayed in my room and I slept elsewhere.
We all gathered at breakfast the following morning but there was an odd atmosphere and then my mum started to laugh…
We all looked at each other and tried to figure out what was so funny.
She then went on to mockingly scold the landlord saying “I hope you don’t do that when my daughter is in the room!”
The landlord seemed genuinely shocked and said “what on earth are you talking about?”
My mother went on to explain that in the middle of the night the bedroom door opened and in walked a man, not only that but he was apparently naked!!
My mother wore glasses but being the middle of the night wasn’t wearing them and admitted she couldn’t make out the face but it was definitely a naked man.
She had nudged my father who was sleeping and he too had witnessed it.
My mum had asked the man what he was doing and he simply turned around and left the room saying nothing.
My mother had simply put it down to the landlord sleepwalking.
Understandably at this point the landlords wife was becoming disgruntled and said that she didn’t know what my mother had saw as her husband hadn’t left the room all night, she knew this because she was having tummy troubles and couldn’t sleep a wink all night and besides her husband never slept naked!
For the record I never saw anyone in my room.
In 1989 there were some terrible winds, and trees were going down like flies, opposite the pub were a row of very tall trees and the local police came to advise us to not use the living quarters that faced on to them in fear that they might fall and damage the building, so for a few days we couldn’t use the lounge upstairs so we bunked into the dining room area to watch tv and generally relax.
It was the dining area that the door from the minstrels gallery led into.
One night it was getting late, the children were sleeping and the landlord and his wife were still working so I was alone watching tv.
The door to the gallery opened just as it had before but this time as I looked up a white mist hovered in the air, it was a fraction of a second and then it was gone and the door closed, but I recall being frozen to the spot, it took what seemed like hours until I could breath properly again!
I never saw or did I ever hear anyone claim to ‘see’ a ghost or apparition downstairs in the public bars or the back of house but we certainly heard it.
In fact the presence or whatever you want to call it was very audible indeed.
You would hear barrels moving in the cellar.
Tables being knocked over, glass breaking and chairs being dragged.
In the morning it was common to find items moved from one end of the bar to the other.
It’s worth noting that the Angel Inn at that time had a very ‘modern’ alarm system, there was no way that people were getting into the premises without triggering these alarms and so we were always left with little or no plausible explanation.
There was at that time, for all I know it may still be there a “hidden” stairwell it was accessible through a mirrored panel and led directly upstairs into the residential dining area, very often in the morning the panel would be found wide open!
So who were these spirits:
Well I was told that the spirit upstairs was known as the white lady.
Story has it that a lady living at the pub or coaching inn as it was once known was unfaithful to her husband and the pair were caught out in the act as it were.
She is alleged to have been been dragged through the streets naked by her hair and ultimately was killed, I don’t know the fate of the man.
Someone told me that this white lady was documented in a book in the local library and I did seek it out successfully and true enough the story certainly had been documented a long time before.. the book was quite old, I’m afraid I never made a note of the title of the book I was merely satisfying my own curiosity.
I left the pub after a year or so and not because of the happenings there.
In all my time there I heard and witnessed some strange things and at times I felt afraid but I never felt threatened if that makes sense, I never got the feeling that any harm was going to come to me.
I would like to thank Karen for sending me her ghost stories and for giving me permission to share them with you.