Boaters beware

Published: Monday, 15 June 2009

BOATERS of a nervous disposition are warned about visiting the Ship Inn by the Ouse at Acaster Malbis near York.

For the pub, that was re-opened last month, is haunted by a grey figure that walks its corridors, with landlady Carol Temple being terrified when it brushed past her, and manager and licensee Alan Deans telling of the pub's fire spontaneously lighting in the grate and a lamp suddenly flying from its shelf in the bar, reveals Alan Tilbury.

Of the figure, Carol relates:

"It was in a storeroom where, funnily enough, we keep the spirits. I had bent down to get something out of a cupboard and I felt a cold shiver, so I stood up and turned around and I saw a grey figure coming past me—it was only about a foot away from me.

"I was terrified. It was a dark grey figure. I wouldn't describe it as mist, it was more like smoke in the form of a tall male."

She contacted the previous owner of the pub who confirmed her children had reported strange happenings in the building, including furniture moving on its own.

The pub dates back more than 300 years, and its location on the banks of the Ouse makes it popular with boaters.

It closed last September for refurbishment and re-opened in May with the new management. Alan too has experienced supernatural happenings, relating:

"The first thing that happened was when I came to light the fire. I put a match to it and it just went up, like I was putting a match to a gas flame.

"But what really brought attention to it was during the recent warm weather a few weeks ago. The fire lit of its own accord one afternoon. I poured water on it to make sure it was out, but two hours later it lit itself again."

Alan also tells of a lamp that often flies off a shelf, and had been witnessed by a regular drinker.

It seems that such happenings have been occurring for many years according to former drinkers, though nothing aggressive.