CHRISTINE MILLER heads to West Yorkshire to discover the ghosts and hauntings of Haworth’s spookiest pubs

Haworth Old Hall, Sun Street, BD22 8BP

Haworth Old Hall
Haworth Old Hall

Stories of hauntings in Haworth Old Hall have been rife for generations.

One particular story attached to the pub is that of two workmen being terrified out of their wits during a 1992 renovation when they saw the ghost of a man staring at them.

Could this be the same man who has been seen in a long coat and hat which has been seen for years before this?

Many staff members have reported various strange goings on throughout the years too with the most commonly reported being the intense feeling of being watched as they go about their duties.

It is not just staff who have had strange experiences however, guests to the pub have had more than their fair share of oddities, including one gentleman who claimed to have stayed up all night talking to the ghost of a young girl. 

The King’s Arms, 2 Church Street, Haworth BD22 8DR

The King’s Arms has a fascinating history.

The underground cellars were used by the local undertakers when there was a shortage of space in the mortuary (which was up until recently the Tourist Information Centre), and so bodies would lie in these cellars until they could be buried in the nearby graveyard.

The beer garden area of the pub was also used as a slaughter house, a thick, congealed torrent of blood would regularly flow from here into Main Street and further down into the village.

With an unusual history such as this, is is not surprising that the building boasts so much paranormal activity, unsurprisingly largely focused around the cellar area, although the private quarters of the building also have multiple reported spirits which are said to move items, only for them to turn up in the strangest of places at the later date.

A succession of landlords and landladies have heard unusual noises from the cellars in the dead of nighttime, only to find nothing amiss when they bravely descend the steps of the cellar to investigate. 

The Old White Lion, 6-19 West Lane, BD22 8DU

The ghost of the famous parachutist Lily Cove is said to haunt the very room she died in after a tragic accident at the village Annual Gala in 1906.

Lily was attempting a daring stunt by jumping from a hot air balloon, but tragically her parachute failed and she plummeted to the ground close to nearby Ponden.

Barely alive, she was taken to The White Lion, where moments later she passed away. Her ghost has been witnessed many times by hotel guests staying in room 7 where Lily expired.

Her full body apparition has been seen staring at guests while they are in bed, while others have had the sensation of a heavy mass falling on top of them as they were about to drift to sleep. 

The Black Bull, 119 Main Street, BD22 8DP

Black Bull pub Haworth
The Black Bull in Haworth

Branwell Bronte, the only brother of the three literary sisters was known to frequent the Black Bull a bit too often.

Branwell was an alcoholic and opium addict who died aged only 31.

He would while away his days drinking copious amounts in the bar, and in death it would seem that he has found it difficult to stay away from his favourite haunt.

There is a bell within the pub which Branwell used to ring when he wanted served another drink; this bell has been known to ring constantly in the dead of night when the bar is closed for business.

Various owners have awoken in the middle of the night upstairs to hear it ringing, and upon going downstairs to investigate, have found no one there.

There is also an original chair (or a replica, depending on who you speak to) which was said to belong to Branwell and his ghostly shadowy figure has been seen on various occasions sitting in it, and then suddenly disappearing.

Just outside of the pub, Branwell’s spirit is said to be seen crossing the cobbles of Main Street to the old chemist where he would be served his laudanum. 

The Fleece Inn, 67 Main Street BD22 8DA

The Fleece Inn is yet another of Haworth’s Haunted pubs.

While the actual bar area plays host to a number of unseen forces at work, it is upstairs where most of the activity occurs.

The ladies’ toilet in particular is home to a particularly dark force. Numerous visitors have reported seeing a black mass in one of the cubicles which slowly starts to move towards them.

It is said to be the spirit of an evil man who tortured his wife; his wife’s ghost patrols the corridor just outside of the toilet. 

Various overnight guests have reported seeing a Victorian gentleman in a top hat standing in the corner of one of the bedrooms.

One woman, half asleep and believing the figure to be her husband asked him to come back to bed, however, upon turning over, was petrified to discover her husband was sound asleep beside her in bed.

She refused to look back at the figure standing the the darkened Corner and prayed for the morning to come quickly.

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