Weird Suffolk: Haunted Inn - Ghostly footsteps, shaking beds and a ghost wearing a Poldark-style hat

Weird Suffolk: Haunting of the Bildeston Cown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Weird Suffolk: Haunting of the Bildeston Cown Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The Bildeston Crown has not one, but four resident ghosts. From a friendly grey lady to shaking beds, Poldark-like apparitions at the bar to a landlady locked in her room by a spectre, the Suffolk pub boasts spirits that aren’t just available in single and double measures from the bar.

Pubs are often renowned for having a good selection of spirits, but few can boast as many as the beautiful Bildeston Crown, which can lay claim to at least four ghosts on the premises.

Originally built for wool merchants in 1495, the Bildeston Crown has been a thriving inn at the heart of its community since the 17th century, if not before and is a Grade II listed coaching inn, a higgledy-piggeldy looking building which peers over the pavement and boasts 12 bedrooms, a restaurant meeting rooms, a courtyard garden and some supernatural guests.

There have been reports of a friendly grey lady waving goodbye to guests from a window overlooking the car park, two children dressed in Victorian outfits who like to hold hands with people and a regular who sits at the same place in a corner of the main bar and who wears a Poldark-style tri-corn hat.

The grey lady has also been spotted drifting across the courtyard and a landlady in the late 1970s, Jean Fairbanks, reported being bolted in her room and also finding that small objects that she put down would inexplicably disappear - cleaning products she used would be removed and would then reappear in strange places.


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Not only did the cleaning supplies go walkabouts, a previous landlord noted that his wife's blouse had been a favourite toy for the ghosts at the Inn!

In the East Anglian Daily Times of June 25 1966, there is an account of a visit from a well-known clairvoyant, Tom Corbett, who visited the Inn to investigate its spectral inhabitants.

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"Ghostly footsteps, unexplained hammering sounds and supernatural manifestations have been reported, and a few years ago several people complained of being touched by cold, invisible fingers," the piece read, "Mr Corbett, a reporter and photographer visited the Crown and though nothing unusual was seen or heard, the clairvoyant said he felt there was a 'psychic atmosphere' in the inn.

"When Mr Corbett left, the two newspapermen decided to stay in one of the Crown's double rooms. Paul Hensall writes: 'During the night we were suddenly awakened by loud, mysterious footsteps in the corridor outside. We ventured out only to find the passage empty. When we nervously returned to the room, we both began shivering. There had been a dramatic and unaccountable drop in the temperature. It was very spooky indeed!'"

In 1977, a guest who was staying got up to go to the toilet and as he was returning to bed, it began to shake and he found himself entirely unable to move - he watched as his partner slept on unaware, completely unable to alert them to what was happening.

Ghost hunters have made regular visits to Bildeston's Crown Inn, including some years ago a party of 45 Americans who stayed overnight in order to spot spectres.

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