A writer has hunted down the ghosts of the past and published them in an e-book that features three Lynn and Hillington pubs as having particularly spooky secrets to tell.
Retired journalist and author, Donald Stuart, has gathered his collection of legends of a total of 1,250 haunted pubs throughout England, but picks out three from West Norfolk.
He said: “With many of England’s ancient pubs gradually disappearing, this is a timely account of some of their paranormal associations.”
The author, from Mortlake in London, visited over 1,000 towns and villages across the country, often on his trusty bicycle, to pick up the yarns and images of these haunted pubs and publish them in Haunted Engliah Pubs.
He picks out Hillington’s Ffolkes Arms, once a popular coaching inn, with attic rooms often used as an overnight gaol for prisoners on the way to Norwich.
Mr Stuart said: “A young nanny haunts the inn. She is said to have thrown herself from one of the attic bedrooms during the latter part of the 19th century. The nanny was impaled on the iron railings, which at the time, ran along the front of the inn.
“The attic rooms are also haunted by a man in an 18th century black uniform, which could be that of a police officer or a prison guard.”
Mr Stuart takes the reader more than 400 years into the past as he re-tells the spooky story of the haunting of Lynn’s Duke’s Head Hotel.
He said: “Over the years, there have been tales of a woman dressed in 16th century dress haunting the inn, and weeping. It is maintained this is the earthbound spirit of Margaret Read, a local witch.
“She had been employed at the hotel, and had poisoned her mistress in 1590. Legend has it that Read was boiled to death in a large cauldron in Tuesday Market Place. At one point, her heart burst from her body and flew through the air into the wall where the mark can still be seen.”
He added: “A figure in red has been witnessed walking the corridors of the Dukes Head, and gliding or floating, up staircases. She is believed to be the ghost of a woman who killed herself over her two lovers.
“One room is haunted after an attempted suicide resulted in a dying man being brought into the suite. His ghostly moaning, heard during the night, has driven people away.”
Finally, he tells of the tale that lurks within the walls of Lynn’s Tudor Rose Hotel, which was built on the site of an old nunnery from the 15th century.
Mr Stuart said: “There are reports of a Grey Lady, she drifts through, leaving cold spots in her trail, and occasionally her quiet footsteps are heard.
“Shortly after her wedding, a bride was stabbed to death by her new husband in the hotel. Since then, a short woman in a long white dress has been seen, and phantom footsteps heard.”
He mentions a range of other spots within the town which are haunted by suicidal brides soldiers killed in battle around the quayside and whole groups of men who disappeared into the mist, never to be seen again.
To read more, and order copies, go to www.donaldstuartinnbooks.co.uk