The Avebury Red Lion pub in Wiltshire connects with ancient stone circles – is it any wonder it’s been named one of the world’s most haunted pubs, says CHRISTINE MILLER
Brief History of the Avebury Red Lion Pub
The Red Lion pub Avebury has been voted as one of the 10 most haunted pubs….in the world!
Perhaps this might have something to do with the fact that it is the only pub (again in the world) to be surrounded by the ancient Avebury Stone Circles which are believed to be more than 4,000 years old.
The Grade II listed building situated in Avebury, Wiltshire, dates all the way back to the 17th century when it was first used as a farm, with it being in usage as a pub since 1802.
There are at least five ghosts which reside in the Red Lion pub in Avebury.
One of them is one time landlady, Florrie, who is said to have been murdered by her husband. The story goes that Florrie was having an affair with another man while her husband was fighting in the English Civil War. When he found this out, he was furious and in a fit of jealous rage strangled her – or slit her throat depending on what version of the story you believe. Panicking, he threw her limp, lifeless body into the village well which is now located inside the pub (thanks to expansion work).
The ghost of Florrie has walked the corridors of The Avebury Red Lion Avebury ever since, and is said to have a particular loathing of men with beards. Whether this has something to do with any possible likeness to her husband, is unknown. It is said that one particular chandelier has been known to swing violently whenever an unfortunate bearded male has walked under it – could this be Florrie attempting to display her contempt?
Terrifyingly, she has even been witnessed slowly crawling out of the well where her body was dumped. The well was glassed over and now serves as a rather macabre table for punters to rest their drinks!
One can’t help but wonder if any punters, after a tipple of two have looked down into the dark well, only to see the ghosts of Florrie attempting to climb her prison, only to put it down to the side effects of the alcohol the next day?
Florrie also likes to make herself known in the ladies’ lavatory on occasion, but it is unclear as to why she has been seen in this particular area so often, She has also been blamed for some of the poltergeist-like activity reported, such as items going missing only to turn up in rather strange places days later, and for throwing various bits and bobs around, much to the dismay, and terror, of staff.
A Harbinger of Doom and Other Ghostly Phenomena
As already mentioned, Florrie isn’t the only spirit of the Avebury Red Lion pub.
The Avenue Room within the building is said to be home to two phantom cowering children, alongside a lady who sits writing at the nearby desk in the room. What exactly she is writing is not known, but so preoccupied with it is she, that she is wholly oblivious to the children and their fearful state. What is it that these ghostly young children are so afraid of?
When the building was a farm, it is said that the farmer who owned it once helped some outlaws to hideout, giving them use of his cellar. However, it is not clear why but the farmer ended up being murdered by them. His ghost has been seen in the premises on some occasions – clutching a knife in hand.
Further strange paranormal activity that has been reported at the pub includes: orbs, people being touched, a general feeling of great discomfort, temperature drops, phantom footsteps, presences felt, and electricals turning on and off by an unseen force.
Guests throughout various bedrooms in the pub have become unnerved when their rooms go icy cold for no apparent reason. This phenomenon has been reported even in the height of summer.
Many guests have refused to stay another night in the hotel and promptly leave. Some have even checked out in the middle of the night.
One terrifying haunting you won’t want to witness here is the phantom horse-drawn carriage that has been seen every once in a while hurtling through the courtyard. It is said to be a harbinger of death, so witnessing it usually means there is bad news to follow…
The spooky pub has even been featured on television. British paranormal show Most Haunted once investigated the pub in the very first series of the show. (You can read a review of the Avebury Stones and Red Lion Most Haunted episode here.)
From the tales of ghostly inhabitants and the vast amount of activity witnessed here, perhaps one could argue that The Red Lion Avebury is most deserved of its title of The Most Haunted Pub in the World!
Have you visited the Red Lion Avebury and witnessed anything strange? Let us know in the comments section below.