5 Most Haunted Milton Keynes Pubs


Guest writer CLAIRE EVANS looks at the most haunted Milton Keynes pubs and reveals her extraordinary paranormal investigations she has conducted within their spooky walls.

The Black Horse, Great Linford

People have the misconception that because Milton Keynes is a ‘new town’, it can’t be haunted. However, this is very far from the truth. 

I was born in Milton Keynes some time ago, longer than I’d like to remember! I spent most of my younger years growing up in the beautiful village of Loughton which runs alongside the old Watling Street. Watling Street cuts through Milton Keynes and is scattered with a number of old coaching inns which have mostly been modified and turned into pubs and restaurants.

The village of Loughton has buildings recorded in the doomsday book as far back as 1086. The road we lived on, London Road, was the original Watling Street, so needless to say, the area had its tales of hauntings.

Hauntings of Milton Keynes Pubs

Human settlement began in Milton Keynes approximately 2000 BC with evidence of first settlement in Blue Bridge, which lies just across the road from Bancroft, where you can still visit the ruins of a Roman villa built 2000 years ago!  Many ancient artefacts have been collected in Milton Keyes and are displayed in a number of museums.   

As the skyline of Milton Keynes changes all the time with the construction of apartment blocks, smart homes and entertainment venues, there is still a wealth of historical buildings nestled between them, most of which are now public houses. I tried to count how many historic pubs there are here, but there are so many!

I wanted to write this article to share the paranormal experiences myself and others have had in the pubs of Milton Keynes. Before I began, I wanted to hear of other people’s experiences, so I popped a post on my social media asking for people’s input. I was inundated with messages of activity and encounters, including many other pubs in Milton Keynes, but I am only including the accounts from the establishments that I have had a personal experience in, whether on an investigation or a leisurely visit. 

Having always had the ability to see and sense spirits, the older buildings here were always fascinating. I would visit them often, feeling the energies of those that lived there before and seeing their life stories unfold through my third eye. As a child, my dream was to become a psychic medium, so I could utilise my gift to help others and connect to these old buildings. I joined a paranormal team 20 years ago and visited a few of our haunted pubs. Seven years ago, I took a leap of faith and fulfilled that dream by becoming a full-time psychic medium and starting up my own paranormal events company, investigating some amazing buildings across the country.

When I ‘see’ spirits now, it’s all through the third eye, like a movie playing in my mind. I used to see them clearly when I was younger, just as I would see anyone else, but as I’ve got older, I don’t often see them like that anymore, which is frustrating.  

I have a heightened awareness of spiritual energy and can often feel pain and emotions connected to those that have passed. In some places, where there has been a traumatic event like a murder, the energy from that trauma can leave an impression in the atmosphere, and these events can replay over time, like a stain that’s been imprinted into the atmosphere and I can often see the event replay in front of me.  

I will begin with my first pub paranormal experience when I was approximately nine years old.

The Swan Revived, Newport Pagnell

The Swan Revived, Newport Pagnell
The Swan Revived, Newport Pagnell

The imposing building, built in the 1600s, is situated on the busy high street of Newport Pagnell and was once a coaching inn offering overnight stays for weary travellers. It fed and watered some well-known people throughout its time, including the famous diarist Samuel Pepys. The building was fortunate to have survived the fire of Newport Pagnell in 1880, and over the years, the façade has changed considerably.

It sits a stone’s throw from St Peter and St Paul’s Church, originally a wooden structure built in approximately 1100 AD with the stone building we see now constructed in 1350. Newport Pagnell is well known as one of the UK’s most haunted towns, and there have been numerous stories of its ghostly past, including a monk who likes to frequent The Kings Arms, a grey lady (every town must have one!) and a whispering child. 

A local ghost tour visits the area regularly and shares some of its most gruesome tales.  

My paranormal experience here happened on a Saturday evening while I was out for dinner with my parents. At this age, although I had seen many spirits, I was now becoming more aware of my ability to connect with them, and I always felt an excitement at the prospect of an encounter. I wasn’t aware of the history of Newport Pagnell and just saw the hotel as any other building until this one visit! 

We were sitting at the table, eating and chatting away, when I became very distracted by something in the corner of the restaurant, which I could see over my mum’s shoulder.  When she spoke to me, I could see it in my line of vision and the only way I can describe it is that it looked like a million fireflies all gathered together, creating an oval shape around two feet tall by one foot, floating above an empty table. 

I wasn’t confident enough then to tell people what I saw, so I tried to ignore it. Our meals arrived, and halfway through eating, I started to feel a bit odd. My head was spinning; I became breathless and felt very heavy in my body. This was all new to me at the time, and I didn’t understand what was happening. I got up to go to the toilet, and on standing, felt the room spinning around me. 

I walked out into the corridor to go up a small flight of stairs when I heard a woman’s voice behind me say, “you better hurry up”. I looked back, and there was no one there, so I quickly rushed into the toilet and was almost sick but didn’t actually vomit. I just sat for a while, waiting for this feeling to pass. 

On the way back to the table, I felt what I could only describe as something passing through me as I walked down the stairs. It was such a strange feeling. At first, it felt like a gravity pull from within, like my body was a magnet drawing something towards me going out through my back. It literally took my breath away. 

Back at the table, mum and dad were in conversation and, as I sat down, asked me if I was ok. “Think this place is haunted,” I said. “There’s something in the hallway by the toilet”.

They then told me how old the building was, and that was very possible. I could speak openly about these things as the gift runs in the family, but I wouldn’t always share what I’d seen as even then, I would question my sanity all the time!

I didn’t visit again until 20 years later with a paranormal investigation team. Unfortunately, we were unable to explore the area I had my childhood experience, but we were lucky to be able to use some of the function rooms and bedrooms on the first floor. We spent most of the evening in the larger function room, which faced out onto the high street. Being a busy Friday night there was a lot of noise pollution from the nearby pubs and takeaway shops, so we couldn’t really appreciate the quietness until 1 am. 

I recall one of the ladies in the group feeling very overwhelmed by a male spirit, and we caught a few taps and raps, but I was really disappointed we didn’t get more. It wasn’t until nearer the end of the evening when we are all stood outside in the courtyard that I had an experience. I was with 3 others, and they were all engaged in a discussion about the evening’s events. For a moment, I couldn’t hear them anymore, like my ears had become blocked, and I felt a tingling across the top of my head.

It’s hard to explain, but from inside my own head, I heard what sounded like horse hooves and what I can only describe as the wheels of a moving cart. At this point in my life, I was able to really connect to energies by simply closing my eyes and saying, “show me”. Then I would have lots of visualisations of spirits and what was going on at the time.

I saw a man in a top hat and tails, wearing white gloves approach a horse drawn carriage and assist a lady stepping out of it. I could see her clear as day with a long ivory dress and fur stole. They both looked wealthy and happy. He led her by the hand and they disappeared towards the building. 

I was almost frozen to the spot at this point, totally unaware of where I was, almost like I was out of my body. Everything I witnessed was in black and white, and I now know that this means it happened a long time ago. A few seconds passed, and they reappeared from where they vanished. Again, the gentleman was leading the lady, this time towards the carriage. I then had a sudden feeling of dread wash over me, and I became aware of a different energy.

I then saw a man come out of the darkness and he lunged forward, grabbed the lady and slit her throat! I watched as she fell to the ground. The gentleman rushed towards the man and was stabbed in the stomach. I could see them both bleeding out in the street. I told the people I was with what I saw but didn’t feel they were taking me seriously so I just left it at that. It was about 10 minutes later when someone else said they had also heard the horse and carriage but didn’t want to say anything.

Everyone else went back inside, and I waited until I was alone and stood on the spot where the lady had fallen. The feeling of sadness from that moment still touches me to this day. It’s one of the downfalls of this gift, the emotions connected to those experiences stay with you for a long time. I haven’t been back since.

Following my post for friends to share their experiences, I was contacted by a chap called Glen who organises the ghost walks in Newport Pagnell. He told me that many injured soldiers were brought into Newport and Stony Stratford after the Civil War. 

One night, one of the soldiers had a few too many drinks at the inn and met up with a prostitute. Unfortunately, due to the amount of alcohol he’d consumed that evening, he wasn’t able to ‘perform’ and he became angry with her. He took her into the nearby graveyard and smashed her head against a tombstone, killing her on the church grounds. He then disposed of her body in the river which runs along the back of the hotel. 

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There have been a few sightings of “the Grey Soldier” – could it be this man who killed the poor woman in the graveyard and unable to cross over because of his crime?

Another story Glen shared with me was that of a family staying in one of the hotel’s most active rooms some years ago. While sleeping, the father was pulled right out of bed! The family was so distressed by what happened in that room that they packed up and left there and then left a note for the landlord telling them exactly what happened! 

The Talbot, Loughton 

Situated at the bottom of London Road, the Talbot was built in the 17th century on the original Watling Street to accommodate travellers on their way through the area. Being one of our locals, my family started eating and drinking here when I was approximately 11 years old, and apart from sensing an oppressive energy in the restaurant area (the original part of the building), I didn’t really pick up on much.

My first paranormal experience here didn’t happen until I was 18, when I got a job working behind the bar. Being our local, I knew all of the regular patrons, and I had heard people speak of ‘the chair’ a few times and, when finding out more information, I was told that anyone who sat on the chair would have bad luck! One Sunday, when it was quiet in the bar, I went to look for the chair and found it situated on the far side of the restaurant against a back wall, near the toilets. It was quite old in its appearance, but nothing fancy. 

As I walked towards it, one of the waitresses asked, “you’re not going to sit in that chair, are you?”. I looked at her and laughed, “well, there’s no sign to say not to sit on it, surely if it were dangerous, it wouldn’t just be left there for the public to sit on it?” So, me being me (!) went and plopped myself down on it.

“You’re brave!” she said. Then as she walked away, muttered, “but you’re also stupid”.

As I watched her walk away, I remember thinking to myself, maybe she’s right! So I sat for a moment, and apart from feeling a little sickness in the solar plexus, I didn’t pick anything up from it, and I walked back to the bar to carry on my shift. It was still fairly quiet, so I went into the kitchen area to clean some glasses. 

As I stood at the sink, tackling the vast amounts of wine glasses left behind from the Sunday lunch rush. I started to have a weird feeling of dread wash over me and sensed someone standing behind me. I looked around, but no one was there. Then, as I reached over to pick up a glass, it literally flew away from me, smashing onto the floor. It spooked me a little, but, always trying to think of a logical explanation, I put it down to the surface being wet and it sliding along the counter. 

A customer then came to the bar, and as I served them, a glass from the shelf above me fell and just missed my head! Annoyed that I had more broken glass to clean up, I finished serving the customer and as I went to place their cash into the till, the drawer closed very aggressively and almost trapped my hand. 

At this point I was now telling myself I wasn’t brave; I was just stupid! I stood for a minute processing what had happened. 

“You ok?” 

It was the waitress that saw me sit in the chair. She was stood at the end of the bar waiting for her drinks. “Anything happened yet?” 

I walked over to her and told her what was going on, and she just said, “well, you were told,” and walked off. I was a bit miffed at her lack of understanding, but then she was right; I brought it upon myself! 

The manager came to the bar five minutes later to take the cash out from the lunchtime rush. “Where’s the till key? I can’t open the drawer?” he looked at me, puzzled. “Erm, should be up here….” I said, walking towards the till, looking up at the shelf where the key was always kept. “Oh, I don’t know. It was up there earlier. You sure you didn’t take it?” He wasn’t happy and sneered at me, “no, I didn’t take it because we all know it is always put back on that shelf”. I felt embarrassed and worried I might have misplaced the key.

At this point, some customers had come to the bar, and I had to use the till on the restaurant bar as the landlord couldn’t open the till. Eventually, after about an hour, they managed to open the drawer, and the keys were underneath the money tray right at the back. “Which idiot put the keys in the bloody till?!” he looked at the other team member who had now come back from their break and I. “Honestly, it wasn’t me,” I said sheepishly.” Well, I’ve been on my break, so I haven’t got a clue,” said my teammate. 

The landlord walked off in a bad mood, and I know he thought it was me. But it wasn’t.  

I really wasn’t sure what to do, so I just went up to the chair and said, “I’m sorry I was so cocky and so rude sitting in your chair. I do hope you can forgive me. I won’t sit on it again. Please forgive me.” At that point, I got a powerful smell of flowers followed by stale cigarette smoke. It was at the time when people smoked in pubs. However, it wasn’t allowed in this part of the restaurant, and there were no occupied tables in this area. Could this have been the fragrance of those spirits connected to this chair? 

I never had any further experiences here; however, I always felt a little uncomfortable passing the chair after this and would always acknowledge it as I walked past very quickly with a “hello chair spirits”. 

When I spoke to people about my experiences, I was told that some people were physically harmed after sitting on it, so I got off lightly! 

Interestingly, when I asked friends if they had any experiences at the Talbot, one told me that she would always feel uneasy by the toilets, and when washing her hands, would feel that someone was stood behind her. I also felt that uneasiness in that area, and of course, the feeling of the person stood behind me when I was cleaning the glasses. 

The Black Horse, Great Linford

Great Linford is a very old part of Milton Keynes with its manor house and many little cottages still standing. I didn’t visit the pub often, only for business lunches a few times and didn’t pick up much, although I was aware of a presence on the top floor where the toilets are. It’s hard to explain, but when I walk into an area where there is a spirit, I feel a tingling on the crown if it’s light or a pressure across the whole head if it’s oppressive. Imagine wearing a swimming cap that’s far too tight! Not the nicest of feelings. 

I remember one day going up to the ladies toilets and feeling that pressure in my head. As I entered, I thought I could see a light grey mist between the cubicles and the mirror. I went into the cubicle and although there was no one else in the toilet, I certainly didn’t feel alone in there. I started to feel a little on edge when I noticed under the door, a shadow move outside. I called out “hello” but there was no answer. The shadow moved away and I was quick to leave the cubicle to see what it was.

When I opened the door there was no one there. As I stood and washed my hands the hand dryer situated about 10ft away went off. This wasn’t the time of automatic dryers but back in the days where you had to press the button to activate it. I was a little unsettled by this and the pressure in my head was now really starting to hurt me. 

I looked at myself in the mirror, and it wasn’t my face that looked back at me! It was a young girl of about 12 years old with her hair in pigtails. She was wearing a light-coloured dress and had blue ribbons in her hair. She had mud on her face and smiled at me. 

By the time I could register what on earth I was seeing, she was gone. Now I can assure you I had not been drinking alcohol at this point as it was a business lunch, and I had to drive back to work. Although I had being seeing spirit for years now, for me this was mind-blowing, as I could see her face so very clearly. I have and always will question what I’m seeing, but there was no doubt with this one. When I returned to the table, everyone asked me if I was ok as I was very quiet; I was still trying to process what I had seen.  

I didn’t go back for many years as I left the company and didn’t live nearby; however, I was invited to a paranormal investigation there about 15 years ago. I didn’t want to share what I had seen with anyone as I don’t like to ‘programme’ people’s thoughts on these events by telling them what I’ve seen, as it can influence their own experiences. Also, I didn’t have the confidence in my abilities at this time in my life, so I would often keep quiet about these things, so all I shared was that the toilets made me feel weird.  

We arrived about 10.30, and the pub was just starting to quieten down. By the time they all left, we were heading towards 11.30. Without the conversation and music, and the lighting low, the building takes on a whole new ambience. Not threatening but heavy. We split into separate groups, and I began by going outside while it was still dry. Apart from an uneasy feeling, nobody really picked anything up outside. We went back inside so the groups could change over and heard someone say they had sensed something in the toilet and couldn’t look in the mirror. 

I said that I had once seen something in the mirror that freaked me out and was keen to see if I would see it again. It was our groups turn to investigate the toilets. I asked everyone to stand in front of the mirror and relax their minds and see what they saw. There was only a small torchlight gently illuminating our faces as we stood patiently waiting. After a few minutes, two of the ladies with me both said they could see their faces changing, with one exclaiming, “I look like a little girl!” 

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I stood behind her and watched as her face did indeed start to resemble that of the little girl. “You look like you have pigtails!” another lady said excitedly. I smiled and felt reassured looking at the little girls face in the mirror for the second time – reassured that what happened to me was very real and that others had seen her too.  

One of my friends commented on my social media post, “there’s a little girl at the Black Horse!” It seems the little girl here isn’t shy and perhaps if you were to visit, you may see her too!

Ye Olde Swan Woughton-on-the-Green

Ye Olde Swan Woughton-on-the-Green - Milton Keynes pubs
Ye Olde Swan Woughton-on-the-Green

This picturesque, thatched cottage has been extended over the years, but stepping inside, you still see and feel the original character of its 400 years. A popular establishment in Milton Keynes, situated on the main road running through the pretty village, is probably most famous for the large stone outside the building. Some refer to this as Turpins Stone, as it is believed Dick Turpin would stand on it to mount his horse on his many visits. There have been stories of phantom highwaymen riding along the narrow windy road outside; however, I haven’t seen anything like that myself.

Similar to the chair at The Talbot, folklore says that if you were to touch this stone, you would experience bad luck! Now, you would think after the chair incident, I would leave well alone, but curiosity ALWAYS gets the better of me, and on a private investigation, the first thing I did was to touch it! Nothing obvious in the way of bad luck – so far, thankfully! 

The pub was extremely busy the night we investigated three years ago, which meant we either began while people were still there or waited until they left, which potentially would have been way after midnight. We decided to begin in the far part of the building where the main restaurant was out of the way of the public.

We were aware of a group of people being very loud and taking the mickey out of us, but we just ignored them and their droll of singing ‘ghostbusters’ whenever one of us walked past. They were very drunk, and one man, in particular, started being quite rude and asking awkward questions.

We were sat doing a spirit box session at one of the tables, which were situated close to a small set of steps. We noticed that when the drunk man began talking to us, a male’s voice came through the spirit box; at first, he was just saying random words. We thought it might be picking up a radio station until the following happened! The drunk man soon became bored, and as he walked away, the spirit box said, “ar**hole”. We all laughed and said, “yep, he is”. Then the Spirit box said, “careful!”, and at that moment, the drunk man fell down the three steps. We all chuckled quietly not to antagonise the man, and he got up, very red in the face and quickly went back to his table! 

We got a lot of activity throughout the night, including people being touched, motion sensors going off in an empty room, and one of the staff becoming very overwhelmed with emotion. At one point in the night, we noticed that things had been moved about on the tables; however, we couldn’t rule out that may have been done by a human hand.

The Swan, Cranfield

I couldn’t find much in the way of this pub’s history, but Cranfield is mentioned in the Doomsday Book, and the first mention of the village was in 918. The pub is situated right next to the impressive stone church, which was built towards the end of the 12th century, just a thick stone wall separating the two. 

I had never visited this pub before, and a few years ago, I received a call from the landlady as she felt she was being terrorised by ‘something’ and was worried it was affecting the other staff members. I have to respect confidentiality to the landlady at the time, but I will share as much as I can, as I do believe whatever it was, was feeding on her energy.

As she walked me around the pub and the grounds, I sensed a very dark presence. 

Cutting a long story short, she told me that bottles of milk were being smashed in the kitchen, glasses of water were being launched across the bar at staff and customers, and that she felt very uneasy in many parts of the building. Some staff members had seen things in the corner of their eye, and one heard her name being called. Several staff had also mentioned a presence in the cellar. 

At this time, I had my own investigation team who were all there, and we also invited along a few locals. Once there, we split into groups and held vigils in a number of the bedrooms, the kitchen, living quarters and of course, the cellar. There was a room for staff at the back of the property and a large barn with a small piece of land next to it.

At the back of the gardens stood Cranfield church and graveyard, and I immediately felt there was a connection to the church. I kept feeling that the pub had been built on part of the graveyard, but I haven’t been able to prove or disprove that. This small piece of land had a strange vibe to it. It’s so hard to put these feelings into words, but when I was near it, I felt a pulling sensation in the pit of my stomach and felt very emotional. 

We went into the barn, there was around eight of us in there, and almost everyone stated how uneasy they felt. We had a small amount of light from the security light outside for a short time, and when it went out, it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. I was calling out asking if there was anyone that wanted to come forward and communicate with us. My friend was filming with our night vision camera, and others were using voice recorders to try and capture some audio. 

I was looking around into the darkness when I saw a red light in the corner of the barn, like a laser beam. I asked if anyone had used the thermometer as that has a similar light, but we didn’t have that with us. I now know that this red light is a warning sign for me to be careful!  A minute or so later, I felt a presence really close behind me, and before I could say, ‘back off,’ my friend who was filming called out, “Claire, there’s someone stood behind you, there’s a dark shadow.”

At this point, without sharing too much detail, I believe I was sexually assaulted. I felt something happening in my body that was very unpleasant.

Thankfully, I know a process I carry out whenever I’m under attack, so I did that and it moved away from me.  

We went back into the pub, and I took half an hour out to compose myself. The landlady came over, I didn’t tell her what happened because I didn’t feel that was it fair to leave that information with her knowing she lived here, but I did tell her to be very careful in the barn and not to let staff go in there on their own. I asked her, “that piece of land by the barn, what’s that for?” She explained that it was meant to be their allotment area to grow their own produce; however, anything they planted there just died. They had planted many different things in the soil, but nothing survived.

She also told me that the assistant manager who stays in that back room facing the barn had undergone a significant personality change. He joined the team three months ago, full of energy, always smiling and laughing about with the locals. However, within a few weeks, they had noticed he became quite moody and would have angry outbursts over the most insignificant things. They thought he might have trouble back home (he came here from overseas), so they just put it down to that. However, when he started rocking back and forth in the bar one night with his eyes glazed over, they became very worried it may be something more sinister. 

We moved down into the cellar, and not much happened there except a brand new torch I brought for that evening flew off one of the shelves. When I picked it up, it was boiling hot, and when I opened it, the batteries had exploded. This could just be a dodgy torch, and we can’t say that it’s definitely paranormal, but at the same moment, we caught an orb going towards it.  

As it got later, we went into the main dining room and set up the table for a spirit board session. My friend hosted the séance, and I stood on the outside of the circle, just keeping an eye on what was happening to make sure no spirits would try and trick us pretending to be someone else.  

My friend and a few of the locals had their fingers on the planchette, and the board was active within minutes. A man came forward claiming that he knew the landlady when she was a little girl and spelt her name out on the board. The landlady couldn’t place the man at first. I asked the man if he was throwing the milk bottles and glasses of water, and he spelt out “yes”. When I asked the landlady if the milk or water being thrown had any connection to this old man, her face changed; something clicked. She now had an idea of who it may be, and the thought of his presence made her feel very uneasy!

We asked a few more questions to establish if it was who she thought, and his answers confirmed in fact, it was him. Long story short, when the landlady was a child, she lived in a village with her mum, dad and brother. Her brother was quite disruptive and would often pinch from the local shop. The man that owned the shop was well known as being a grumpy old so and so, and the local children would often terrorise him. Her brother would often steal milk bottles and throw them at the shop front, leaving a big puddle of milk for the old man to clear up. He would often chase the children out of his shop, threatening to “get you one day!” 

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Well, one day, one of the boys was found face down in the village pond and immediately foul play was suspected. It didn’t take long for the fingers to be pointed towards the shop owner. In the following months, although he was never convicted of any crime, he was – quite literally – run out of town and the accusations followed with him and he was never able to live a normal life after this. 

We established that we were indeed communicating with the shop owner, and he was really keen to tell us who really committed the crime and gave a name on the board that the landlady recognised! No one else around the table would have known this information, and she wasn’t touching the planchette at all. The landlady apologised to him and on behalf of her brother, and we felt the energy release as he left the board. 

We had a break, and then returned to the board. It didn’t take long for the activity to start again as the planchette began moving.

This time, the energy felt very different. I didn’t like it. My friend, who is also a medium, looked up at me, and I know that look means we have something unpleasant. The energy around the table then took a turn, which I expected following what happened in the barn! My friend called me over and whispered in my ear that she felt a dark presence and we needed to be careful. I stood behind her, sending her some extra energy and protection, while she was holding the séance. The landlord was sat in front of her, so also opposite me; we both had eyes on him throughout the session.

The spirit talking to us through the board, said it knew me “from under the bridge”. I won’t go into this with you as it’s such a long story, but when I was about 14/15 years old, a very dark spirit came into my world and turned it upside down! I had a lot of bad things happen under a particular bridge, so I believed the spirit. It said its name was Isaiah, so I started to ask questions about what was going on in my life at that time, but it didn’t get anything right so I then said I didn’t think it was the dark spirit from my younger years. 

I was still standing behind my friend at this point and could see the landlord still sat in front, with his back to the fireplace. No one around the table had moved. Everyone was just astounded by what was happening on the board! Suddenly, the landlord jumped up and shouted,ARGH MY BACK!!! Something’s just scratched me!” My friend quickly closed down the board, and I went over to him. He lifted his shirt and chef jacket, and he had several deep, bleeding scratches down his back! I immediately removed him from the area into the kitchen. 

“I’m sorry to ask you, but I need to see your fingernails,” I said to him. He showed me his fingers and the nails were bitten right down to the skin. There was no way he could have scratched himself with those. I had eyes on the table at all times, and many of us would have seen if someone had scratched him. We closed down the board and did a psychic protection. Over the evening more scratches started to appear on his back. 

That night at the Swan I will never forget. There were many others who witnessed and experienced the darkness from that night. 

A few days later, in one of my development groups, I wanted to reach out and help the lost souls from that night, the good and the bad. I have learned through my journey that even those negative entities may need some help finding peace in their darkness.  So, I sat in a healing circle and, through meditation, connected to the energies. I could see a figure in my mind, very tall, dark and wearing a hooded cloak of some sort. A bit like a monk, I guess. He showed me snippets of his life, and I learnt that he had such a horrific time. He was involved in the death of several innocent babies against his own will and was threatened with death if he ever tried to step away from what was going on. 

Eventually, he took his own life as he couldn’t carry the guilt of his actions. Being a religious man, he believed he would be sent to hell, so he was afraid to let go, and in time, his guilt, anger and sorrow twisted him into this ‘evil’ presence. He showed me that the babies were buried in the piece of land by the barn, and that’s why nothing grows there. We sent healing to this poor soul, and while doing so, I watched his old, pained face and his crooked body become young again. He smiled at me, and I heard a voice in my head say, “thank you”, and I watched as he disappeared into a golden light. We then carried out a distant soul retrieval on all the babies and sent them all into the light. 

We are not born bad; we are moulded by society and beliefs. No matter how dark energy is, they may need our help too.

Unfortunately, a week or so after this, I had a suspected miscarriage. Could it have been the assault in the barn that caused it?  

I have only visited the pub once since that crazy evening, and since new owners have taken over, the energy seems so much lighter. Hopefully whatever was stuck there, causing that negative energy, has now gone into the light.

We tried to replay our footage from the barn that evening, but the camera we used completely stopped working and we haven’t been able to replay the recording. However, I have been able to include the photo of the scratches on the landlords back, witnessed by 13 others that night.

Have you been in a haunted Milton Keynes pub? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Scratches on the back of the landlord at The Swan, Cranfield - could they be paranormal?
Scratches on the back of the landlord at The Swan, Cranfield – could they be paranormal?

About Claire Evans

From a very young age I have known spirit to be a big part of my life. My grandmother was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, and superstition says that this makes you very connected to the spiritual realm and connects to the darker side.  

My dad’s aunt was a well-known medium in Glasgow and ran the spiritualist church there for years, so talking about ghostly encounters was quite a common occurrence around the dinner table. My mum, also very psychic, would never shun anything I told her. It would encourage me to try and find out why spirit was visiting and what their message was.

I would share most of my experiences, but when they become so common, I would often just keep quiet about it. 

At school, some of my peers were aware of my ‘gift’ and would often ask questions very intrigued with what I would experience, and of course, when I hit my teens it became a bit of a party piece and I would often hold seances with my friends. Obviously, being young and naïve, I wasn’t aware of how to protect myself and it was around the age of 15 (maybe even sooner) that a darker entity ‘attached’ itself to me causing complete chaos in my life.

At the age of 19, I felt that spirit had stepped back as my life became consumed with career and relationships. Although I would still see the odd apparition, I didn’t feel they were around me as much.

I worked for a television production company for many years and then found myself working in big corporate companies before becoming pregnant. Becoming a mum changed my outlook on life completely, and I began working as a carer for children with complex needs, as well as being a foster carer and working in a school, so life was pretty hectic, to say the least, especially with a new baby coming into the family. I was also practising giving readings at this point and had started to sit development circles.

I had been out with a few paranormal teams, and my dream was to run my own and do readings full time, but I never had the confidence to take the plunge. A good friend of mine, a professional medium, asked me to go into business with her eight years ago but I didn’t believe in myself enough. My confidence has always been a big hurdle to me as I have come across many negative people who have said some really horrible things purely because of what I believe.  Thankfully, I’m now at the point in my life where I do not let these comments get to me, as I know I work with the best of intentions.  

Seven years ago, I took a fall and smashed both of my kneecaps. I was working full time at the school and I had to take six months off of work and I became depressed. Having been someone who was always on the go, sitting in a little chair all day unable to walk, I decided to put my focus into something and put a business plan together. I called my friend and told her I was now ready to take the leap of faith, so I quit the job at the school and began my professional career as a psychic medium.

Seven years on, and I’m so thankful for how everything is going. I have given thousands of readings, helping so many people. In their most vulnerable times, I run a paranormal events team holding paranormal investigations and haunted weekends in some fantastic locations, including The Ancient Ram Inn, Shepton Mallet Prison and 30 East Drive. I also run psychic fayres, development workshops and circles, do healing and mindfulness and have now had many short stories published. I’ve also done yearly horoscopes for Boris Johnson and Drake!

My goal now is to focus more on the paranormal events and be as mindful of my own wellbeing as I am of others.

If you would like more information on my workshops and psychic fayres, I am on Facebook as claireevanspsychicmedium and for all my fabulous paranormal events check the Facebook group National Paranormal Investigators.


  1. With ref to Black horse Linford.
    I experienced a presence in the mens toilet, I was in a cubicle and it was like the door was hit hard it really rattled I stepped out there was no one there. I was then washed my hands and the cubicle door slammed twice followed by the sound of what sounded like fast footsteps.
    I went back downstairs and spoke to bar staff if the pub is haunted I was met with blank expression. I was pleased to read of you’re experience and that I didn’t imagine the experience as my wife and freinds think. I had only had a pint and a meal.
    Peter Andrews

  2. yy grandmother was a true romany gypsy traveler Resevoir Goodman (maiden name Smith )she married a householder Ted Goodman my father (scrap iron yard New Bradwell which there were2 yards) femail of the family had the sight as myself,,,,,My brother Roy died age 28 years old his wife Daphne 4 years later the 2 young chilren went to live with my parents,,,Now i had a sister Barbara the oldest of our family died 2 years old Christmas dat buried Newport Pagnell church yard neer the river an angel stone I had never been to the grave ever however shortly after Daphne died i went and found Barbara grave on my husband fetching water for flowers i was weeping on my knees when John came back saying “Ihave just seen Daphne and she told me to tell my mum Not to worry anymore she has found Roy then she faded and i was left bereft around 64 years ago since then seen many times predicting something and it comes true Rosalie Osborne (Goodman )86 years old June 2024

  3. My husband and I went to the Black Horse at Linford with another couple half way through the evening I needed the ladies and was told it was at the other end of the pub up the stairs and right along a corridor
    The door was very heavy as I opened it and I remember a second door the ladies was empty I went in the cubicle and immediately felt uneasy my hairs on my arms were standing up and then I heard the heavy door slam but nothing I came out there was no one in the ladies but I did feel I wasn’t alone I literally ran out and back to our table petrified. I asked the staff if anyone else had experienced and most of them said they didn’t want to be the person who licks up or stays late the place is definitely haunted !! I decided to see if there was anything written about the pub which led me here !!!
    Never will I go upstairs again it’s the disabled loo for me !!!!!


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