THE cellar at the Rose & Crown is the focus for many of the ghost sightings reported at the hotel, including one by owner Mark Weber, which he says gave him a major shock.
“I’m an absolute sceptic when it comes to those sorts of things, but I had stayed back at the hotel one night early on in the days when we first owned the pub around 13 years ago,” he said.
“My wife Tracy and I were staying upstairs and she had gone off to bed and I was here with one of my duty managers. We’d locked up and were just having one glass of wine before we left.
“I was standing by the bar and everything was locked as far as we knew and I saw something.
“At first I thought it was a person who had come past us and gone straight down into the cellar.
“I said ‘s***, we’ve left the door open’. The duty manager was knee high to a grasshopper but I didn’t really even think about it and said ‘you go that way and I’ll go around the other way and we’ll corner them’.
“I ran around and we met in the middle and there was nobody there.
“I asked the duty manager if she’d seen a person and she nodded.
“I remember it definitely being a man with a hat on that looked a bit like a captain’s hat, but it could have been like a railway cap.
“It’s funny because I can’t remember seeing any legs, which has always bothered me.”
Experts in the paranormal have visited the hotel with monitoring equipment and according to Mr Weber found three ghosts downstairs and two upstairs.
“They said the three downstairs were mischievous,” he said.
“Another expert who came through said the ghosts upstairs were more like poltergeists that come and go and can attach themselves to you.”
Mr Weber said visitors frequently reported ghost sightings.
“When we used to have the old storeroom open downstairs in the cellar people would report seeing a girl in a rocking chair,” he said.
In their early days of owning the Rose & Crown, Mr Weber and his wife Tracy lived upstairs, sleeping in what is called the Emerald Room.
“For a time, each of us thought the other was playing a joke by removing the cushions from the bed,” he said.
“When we finally talked about it, neither of us was removing the cushions. Somehow those cushions were finding their own way onto the floor – and that was the room where they found the ghosts.”
There’s also a story that one of the early owners killed his wife. He threw her down the stairs after he caught her in bed with another man.
“They call him Charlie and they reckon he floats around the hotel a lot,” Mr Weber said.
Several deaths have been recorded at the hotel, including a man who picked up an apple from a buffet which used to be in the 1841 restaurant.
The man took a bite and choked to death in front of a crowd of people.