The Old Silent Inn is an ideal base for exploring Haworth, Bronte Country, and surrounding West Yorkshire but you better ready for ghosts, says RICK HALE
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, any pub, inn or hotel can make up a frightening tale of ghosts and practically print the money they bring in from curiosity seekers.
Usually such places are well known and have been investigated so many times it borders on the absurd. And at the end of the day, all they really have are just stories.
However, there are places like the Old Silent Inn near Haworth in West Yorkshire.
A 400-year-old inn in the breathtaking Bronte country, not far from the Pennine Way.
The Old Silent Inn truly lives up to all the stories. So much so, they’ve come to embrace the ghosts that haunt the old inn.
History Of The Old Silent Inn
There are countless pubs and inns across Britain with unusual names, and an even more unusual story how they got their names.
But the Old Silent Inn is so unusual, we can’t help but wonder how it came up with it’s odd name. For that we have to go back to it’s earliest days
Long before the Inn came about it’s name it was known as the Eagle Inn and was a popular hangout for gameskeepers and hunters .
The early history of this much loved West Yorkshire inn is relatively free of any tragedy or controversy.
That came later in the 18th century, when the great pretender to the throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived at the inn.
According to the legend, Charlie was running for his life and hightailing it back to Scotland when he needed a hiding place. Apparently the Eagle Inn met his criteria.
It was a well known secret among the locals that Charlie was hiding out in the Inn and when his enemies came looking for him, the locals kept their mouths shut.
No one can really say if fear or loyalty compelled the citizenry to keep silent on their secret guest. Either way tte whereabouts of the young Stuart was protected.
Of course, many historians regard this as being nothing more than a mere legend.
However, the owners of the Inn insist the story is real and no matter what, they’re sticking to it.
The early decades of the 20th century were unkind to the Eagle Inn when in 1926, the owners allowed the business license to lapse and the inn was forced to close its doors.
Many years later in 1973, new owners resurrected the old pub and upon hearing the legend of Bonnie Prince Charlie, they named it The Old Silent Inn
But the Old Silent Inn was anything but, at least not where its many ghosts were concerned.
The late great ghost hunter, Peter Underwood believed that stairs held great significance in hauntings.
He, himself, witnessed many apparitions on stairs. Some of those being the focus of the haunting.
On the stairs leading to the second floor, the ghostly image of a man has been witnessed ascending the stairs.
When he reaches the top, he looks around with a contemptible scowl and then vanishes from view.
A Conversation With The Dead
Believe it or not, seeing a ghost is extraordinarily rare, and actually conversing with one even more so.
Nevertheless, one lucky guest, or unlucky depending on your point of view, claimed to have held a night long conversation with the ghost of a young girl.
I can only speculate what the man and his spectral visitor chatted about. I will say, I sincerely hope he got any of his questions about the afterlife answered.
Phantom Cats and A Bell
Many years ago, the Inn was run by a kindly old landlady who took a liking and mercy on the stray cats that wandered the streets around the inn.
It was said that she would summon her feline friends with the ringing of a bell that would alert them it was dinner time.
The kindly landlord may be long gone, but if you stand outside the Old Silent Inn, you may hear the tinkling of a bell and the unmistakable sound of purring cats surrounding the door.
One couple received the fright of their lives when they were awakened from a sound sleep by a deep rumbling and their room violently shaking.
Almost as if an earthquake threatened to tear the building down around them.
When they were fully awake they watched in horror as a teapot launched itself across the room and crashed against the wall.
When they summoned the manager, the three watched as the curtains opened and closed as if moved by some unseen hand.
I’m sure in the confusion and horror, the couple gathered their belongings and fled as soon as possible.
The Editor’s Adventure
Recently, David Saunderson, founder and editor of Spooky Isles paid a visit to the Old Silent Inn and engaged the manager in a conversation concerning the Inn’s ghosts.
As you might expect , she had much to say on her ghostly guests.
According to the manager, children have been heard laughing and giggling in the halls of the Inn.
When someone goes to scold the rambunctious children, they find nothing more than an eerie silence.
The manager further revealed to David that she had captured a blurred image on her phone of what she believes to be one of the Inn’s many ghosts.
Of course she offered an alternative by saying, “It could be something paranormal. Again, it’s maybe just light.”
It’s safe to always have an alternative explanation where ghosts are involved. Nonetheless, considering the activity at the Old Silent Inn, she may just have a legitimate photo on her hands.
The Old Silent Inn is located at the heart of the market town of Keighley. And it’s not far from Haworth, the home of the Bronte sisters whose books are considered a cornerstone of English literature.
As for the Old Silent Inn, it’s a cozy little inn known for its hospitality. And has every amenity you would expect from a modern hotel.
The Old Silent Inn embraces its spirited history and allows discreet ghost hunts upon request.
The Old Silent Inn near Haworth is well worth the visit not only for the stay but the ghosts as well.
Have you stayed at the Old Silent Inn? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!