Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October Headlines: Pub’s Specter Stolen

By Joy Neighbors

Welcome to the annual Joy’s Joy of Wine spooktauclar series of October-themed blog posts. This is the time of year for tales of hauntings and things that go bump (or burp, as the case may be,) in the night.

Bolton, England
Some people brag about having a ghost, others don’t want to discuss the subject, and then there are those who relish the thought of a haunting. The folks in Bolton, England take their ghosts seriously. So seriously that when one went missing, they demanded he be returned!

Ye Olde Man and Sythe Pub
Last year a Chinese student contacted Ye Olde Man & Sythe Pub claiming that he had stolen their ghost. The specter is said to be that of James Stanley, the Seventh Earl of Derby who has haunted Bolten’s oldest pub for centuries. According to the student (who possibly had a dram too many), the Earl agreed to go with him and willing went into a metal canister so that he could be “exhibited” at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester.

Richard Greenwood
Richard Greenwood, the pub’s owner wrote a letter to the student saying, “I feel very strongly that James Stanley’s ghost should remain in Bolton and at Ye Olde Man and Scythe to preserve the natural order of things.”

Greenwood continued, “That said I do believe that your exhibition should travel and be seen by many people around the world and I would like to contribute to this as long as at the end of your exhibition it returns home.”

Apparently, Greenwood didn't mind being accommodating but he’s not willing to “give up the ghost.”

James Stanley
According to lore, Stanley spent his last few hours in the pub before being beheaded outside the building for his part in the 1644 Bolton massacre. Why is the Earl attracted to the pub? His family owned it at the time of his death. The chair he sat in to eat his last meal is still there. And Greenwood, (very generously, I think) volunteered to allow the chair to accompany the traveling art exhibit.

No word if his offer was ever accepted or if the Earl has been returned, but here’s a  short video clip from the pub’s interior camera with what the staff believe is their ghost dropping in for a visit.

Pour a glass of wine, or something stronger because there's more to come next week - Enjoy the season!