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haunted pubs in lancashire
The county of Lancashire has some very old public houses and hotels - in fact I find tourists get very upset if certain pubs don't have any ghost stories relating to them!
One such hotel has a very interesting and ghostly past, The Swan and Royal Hotel in Clitheroe. This gorgeous building dates back to 1786, and stands proudly in the centre of Clitheroe.
Way back in the year 1878 the cotton workers of Lancashire went on strike and in towns such as Burnley, Colne, Blackburn and Preston, riots took place. As a direct result of this, troops were sent to all these towns.
Clitheroe town council always met in the Swan and Royal, and the Mayor addressed his fellow councillors... "Gentlemen if we have a riot in Clitheroe we cannot quell it as we have only 12 police officers." One bright councillor shouted "Sir let's contact the war department!" The war department sent them a section of troops from the 24th Regiment of Foot, under the command of 19 year old lieutenant, Darren Hutchinson, and his men were billeted in the Swan and Royal building.
The same week a group of Manchester cotton workers came to the town to meet their fellow brothers through the trade union. The town alderman had all the pubs closed apart from the Swan and Royal, in the hope that the cotton workers would have no access to alcohol.
But rioting started. Windows were smashed and then the Mayor stood on the steps of the Hotel and shouted the Riot Act. In five minutes they had regained full control of the town, though sadly some cotton workers lost their lives. The troops were never used again and spent the next month just patrolling the town. During this time two troopers became very friendly with two local young ladies and both couples agreed to a double wedding at St Mary's Parish Church.
Letters were sent back to the barracks, relatives were informed and two days before the double wedding was going to take place, Hutchinson received a letter informing him that his regiment was going to be sent overseas. The double wedding was cancelled and the troops left town leaving two girls heart broken.
The 24th Regiment were then sent to South Africa to invade Zulu land, a disastrous campaign. Their commander Lord Chelmsford was a novice in tactics and split his Infantry from the Cavalry and on the 21st January 1879, King Catcewayo defeated the 24th Regiment at the Battle of Isandlwana. Hutchinson and his men died 16 weeks after leaving Clitheroe.
Word got back to Clitheroe that both girls had lost their future husbands, and one of them, 17 year old Anne Druce, found to her horror that she was carrying a child. Her parents disowned her and she tearfully made her way to the Swan and Royal Hotel, the last place she saw her husband-to-be and she committed suicide in the room her child was conceived.
Anne's ghost has been seen on many occasions always on the top floor, duvets are pulled off the beds, windows slam shut, toilets flush by themselves, curtains close and according to the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, an American gentleman having his breakfast in this room suddenly became aware of the sound of running water. He looked at the bedroom sink and the taps were both running... he watched in amazement as the soap left the soap dish, rotated and was then placed back in the dish. He then saw both taps turn of by themselves.
Bedroom number five was the most upsetting room as guests couldn't sleep as they were constantly being woken by the sound of a baby crying. This went on year after year, with many complaints from guests. The problem was solved in 1957, when renovation took place in the Hotel's attic, and workmen came across a huge amount of Victorian newspapers, and a package wrapped up in newspaper. A thick crust of dust from many years covered the package, sheet after sheet of newspaper was removed and to the horror of the workmen the last sheet of paper revealed a baby skeleton. The newspaper was dated March 1879.
you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same
Jun/10/2008, 12:00 pm
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