‘Friendly ghost’ secures The Fleece Inn’s reputation as most haunted pub

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Fright night: most haunted pub ups its scaring game with camera crew
Fright night: most haunted pub ups its scaring game with camera crew

Related tags Ghost

A team of paranormal TV investigators, famed for examining cases as far afield as Dracula’s old haunts in Transylvania, came close to being chased out of a West Yorkshire pub by a ghost that bar staff consider “friendly”.

The team from Really Channel’s Most Haunted​, fronted by Yvette Fielding, visited Elland’s 400-year-old Fleece Inn, heralded as Britain’s most haunted pub, for the second episode in the 20th season of the cult show.

Having hoped for a quiet night, the team were almost forced to abort their investigation after some of the most violent poltergeist activity the show has seen since first airing in January 2002. This included a glass being hurled at investigator Karl Beattie, death threats picked up by the crew’s hi-tech equipment, and damage to furniture and glassware.

Fielding concluded that the unruly bar-fly was "a really horrible, nasty piece of s**t".

Paranormal activity

The 17th century Fleece Inn is renowned for paranormal activity with historic reports of murders, secret tunnels, and even its own headless horseman. The Most Haunted​ team, whose investigations have taken them as far afield as the United States and Romania, investigated the Fleece after reports of shadowy figures moving between rooms, and a hostile entity which appeared to do all it could to scare off regulars.

According to landlady Christine Watson, paranormal happenings occur as regularly as twice a week and normally take the form of a glass falling off a shelf or a staff member getting a “tap on the shoulder”. More vivid cases include faces appearing at the inn’s windows and ghostly customers sitting at the bar.

Watson, a fan of the show, commented that the Most Haunted​ crew had apparently tried to visit the Fleece under previous landlords but had always been refused. She said that while she’d hosted many mediums and investigators at the pub, she wanted an investigation with a big name attached and contacted The Most Haunted Experience, a separate team of investigators under the TV show’s name, in March this year. She was surprised that the next day the team from the show itself contacted them and asked if they could come in and film.

Resident ghost

Having been surprised by the extreme welcome the Most Haunted crew received from the Fleece’s resident ghost, Watson said that the explanation offered by mediums is that the spirits were possibly “putting on a show” for the cameras or that they were angry that the crew were there. Watson said that the level of activity was ”disconcerting” and “shook me up quite a lot” especially after she was nearly hit by a chair thrown from a balcony before the cameras rolled.

Despite all this, Watson maintains that while the show makes the pub look a scary place, this couldn’t be further from the truth. She said: “The staff are all used to it and are quite blasé about it.” Asked if she warns job applicants and new staff about the she added: “I don’t warn them, no, but the other staff do – they say ‘come and meet our friendly ghost’.”

  • The investigation was first aired at 10pm on Saturday 28 October on the second night of Really’s #MostHauntedhalloween and is available on demand via UKTV Player.

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