Haunted: St Annes Castle Inn, Great Leighs, Essex
Stewart | On 18, Jun 2017
The Hauntings at St Annes Castle Inn
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!
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press