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Ghost, Spiritual Or Historic Stories For Pubs And Restaurants


Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 48

Snow. There is nothing strange about it, unless it’s the middle of August and everyone is wearing shorts. It wasn’t just snowing, there was a right-down blizzard, and you couldn’t see anything but snow. The lodge was packed with people, who wanted to explore trails and enjoy the sun, and no one in the small dining room could understand what was going on.

It was around midday, when a middle-aged, traveller arrived. He was covered in snow, but he also was the only one who seemed prepared for this weather, and he entered the room with the biggest, heart-warming, smile on his face, despite his frozen eyebrows.

He sat down at a table, ordered a cup of mulled wine, and asked the host what was going on with the weather. There was a bit of sarcasm in his voice, but no one noticed it. The young lady replied that she had no idea. She said that the TV and radio are down, and there is no way to contact the outside world. She apologised for the temperature in the room, and said that she hasn’t yet prepared for winter. He smiled and said that it’s OK, the cold chills the body, but warms the heart. The woman thought the answer was strange, but then he smiled at her with kindness, and she forgot all about it.

At the table next to him, there was a large group of young people. They all looked a bit discouraged and annoyed, so he approached them and asked why they weren’t having fun, since they were obviously on vacation. They said that the weather is so bad, that there isn’t anything for them to do, and that they were just sitting there, wasting valuable time.

The traveller sat down at their table, and began to tell them a story. The story was about him and his friends who once were trapped for an entire week in a house, due to a flood. As he was talking, an old couple joined the table and they too started to speak about how they met, 30 years ago, in a similar situation.

Shortly, everyone in the lodge was recounting various stories from their life. By nightfall, they were all drinking, laughing, and there even was this one lad, who borrowed a guitar from the owner of the lodge, and started to play it. He wasn’t that good, in fact, he was terrible, but with all that mulled wine and rum, he sounded like BB King.

That night, people ate, danced and made new friends. Two lonely travellers found each other, and discovered that they live in the same city, and that they both like the same things. In the years to come, they will return every August, in a few short years, they will also bring their children, they will tell them about this night, and about how sometimes the cold can bring people together.

No one knows when the traveller left, he never said goodbye. No one knew his name, and even if some of the people who were there that night, remained friends for a very long time, no one was ever able to contact the traveller who brought all of them together.

Funny enough, the next day, the blizzard had stopped, and the Sun made his long expected appearance, and weirdly, there was nothing on the news about the strange snowstorm.

Soul Ghost

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 47

Being a traveller is beautiful, isn’t it? Every time we embark on a journey we get to see new places, we get to meet new people, and we learn a bit more about the world. Little did I know, when I left home, that I was going to meet someone truly special, and that this trip will change my life forever.

I left in the afternoon, eager to set camp, and when I arrived to the lake, the Sun was just setting. The scenery was incredible, and the mist that was rising above the lake would have given the creeps to anyone, but not to me. I didn’t believe that story people told me, about the ghost who guarded the lake and stole people’s soul. I only believe in things that are real.

After setting the tent, I made a fire and enjoyed some melted cheese with a, not as cold as I’d want, beer. I laid on my back and stared at the stars, it’s amazing what you can see with no light pollution. In the background, my favorite song was playing, and in just a few seconds, I realized that I didn’t have my headphones on, and my phone had no battery. I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only camper that night, and that there are others who share my taste in music. They must have camped on the other side of the lake, because I couldn’t see them.

By midnight it started to rain, so I crawled in my tent and tried to get some sleep. I dozed off for a few seconds, but I was awoken by...a girl entering my tent. She was a bit euphoric, and right away, she started to talk to me. I asked her if she was also camping here and she said yes, and that she likes to travel alone because it allows her to gain perspective.

She was beautiful in a simple way, with brown eyes and brown hair, and we spent the entire night talking about everything. She told me about how she couldn’t decide what to do, and that she travels because it helps her escape, and that, ever since her brother died, she couldn’t find a place to call home.

I wanted to tell her that I am going through the exact same problem, and I mean exactly, but I didn’t want her to think that I’m lying. So, instead I told her to pick a place and settle there, and that once she’ll find a few friends, she’ll be able to relate, and she’ll create a new home.

I spend the rest of the night giving her advice on her life, and before sunrise, she got up to live. I asked her if we could see each other in the morning. She smiled and said that if I wanted to see her again, I should take a bath in the lake.

After a few hours of sleep, I woke up, and I went looking for her. Her tent was nowhere to be found, and I figured that if she didn’t leave, she would be watching to see if I’ll take the plunge. So I did. I waited for her to show up, but she didn’t, and as I got out of the water, something caught my eye. The water was crystal clear and looking down, I saw clearly... a simple man with brown eyes and brown hair, a man who then decided to take his own advice. A man who now knows that people got it wrong, ghosts don’t steal souls, they mirror them.

Rufus The Funny Ghost

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 46

I’m Rufus, and I want to welcome you here. We might have a chance to get to know each other, while you enjoy your stay, but before we meet, let me tell you a bit more about who I am, and what brought me here in the first place.

I was walking by a house one day, when I noticed that a little girl was staring at me with a look that mimicked both fear and curiosity. I felt embarrassed, I was a total mess, and I probably scared the bejesus of that poor child. I never thought that I could frighten a child, I mean, I am not the best-looking lad, but I can’t even hurt a fly.

However, on that particular day, I was a bit off... I blamed my confusion on a series of events that I caused a few days ago. It all started one night, when I enjoyed one of the fine pleasures in life... wine. Oh, I love a nice glass of red wine, sometimes I love the same glass repeatedly.

Sadly, for my friends, I also love pranks. I never took life too seriously, I figured that we only live once, so we should make the best of it, and what is better than having a good laugh from time to time?

But, back to my story. I was sitting at my desk, drinking a half a century old, bottle of Chardonnay, and smoking a hand rolled Cuban cigar, when I had, what I thought to be, the best idea of a prank. Therefore, I started writing a letter to each and every friend I had, saying that Rufus Grant died in a tragic fire.

Maybe I should have stopped there, but... I like pranks to be realistic. So, I poured myself another glass of wine and, trusting that my insurance will cover the damage, I dropped the cigar on the wool carpet, which was warming my feet. Who knew that wool burned that fast?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not crazy, I got up and walked away, but I wasn’t as fast as I would have been if I were drinking coffee instead of wine. I made it out, just in time to hide from the fire fighters.

Now, I couldn’t go home, because I wanted to pretend that I’m dead, so I spent a few days roaming the streets. At some point, I noticed that I wasn’t hungry nor sleepy, so you would think that I would have realised that there is something wrong. But I didn’t, I just enjoyed the energy boost. Three days after my fake death, I went home, and I was a bit surprised to see my family carrying a coffin. They were never the target of this joke, so I rushed to them but... no one could see me, no one but my five years old niece.

I eventually realised that I am in fact dead, and now I have lot of time on my hands. The fact that no one can see me can only be an advantage. What am I doing here? Well... I do need a place to stay, and there are many nice people here. I do hope they appreciate my humour.

How to Get the Most from Your Haunted Experience

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 45

Do you enjoy the thrill of staying in a haunted house or hotel, do you go somewhere because of the stories rather than despite of them, or do you regard them as nonsense but sort of hope that they are true?

If any of the above applies to you then here are some tips for improving the odds of an encounter.

But before you act on these tips, be sure that this is what you want!

1. Specifically ask to stay in the most haunted room - some places may have one particular room which is the most active. Sometimes this room will be extremely popular and you will need to book well in advance, sometimes it may be the most available and cheapest.

2. Choose a room near a staircase or lift - these are the rooms most commonly haunted as this usually where the tragic and heroic attempt to escape fire, the madman or worse, the man who was not mad, ended. Where is the drama in a nice quiet departure from life because of old age whilst asleep?

3. Turn off the television, radio and all other sources of noise, ghosts are more likely to enter your room if they think that you are asleep. Imagine the humiliation in turning up only to be ignored because Radio 4’s “Book At Bedtime” was more creepy or the late night repeat of Eastenders more exciting!

4. Turn out all the lights – this is a physics thing, we don’t emit much light when we are alive, you can’t see people in the dark, why should this change just because someone is dead? Actually it does change but only by a small amount, the room really does need to be as dark as possible.

5. Set your alarm for 4am - many ghosts make themselves known in the wee hours of the morning, at that time of day everything is sadder. However, it's also a good idea to check with the management for local schedules, a tragic ending at mid-day may be repeated at that time daily, annually or infrequently.

6. Knock before entering your room - you never know if a ghost is going to be friendly or not. If the ghost is friendly he will appreciate the courtesy and may be more comfortable returning. If the ghost is hostile, you have shown weakness and he will be keen to exploit it.

7. Remember that if you go looking for something dangerous, you are waiving “Duty Of Care” obligations and that your booking does not guarantee an appearance. Ghosts are like the spoons on the Tea & Coffee tray, they were there once and they will appear again and if they do will they be…..

8. Casper or “With its green skin, Qing Dynasty robes and bizarre ability to “hop” with its arms outstretched, the Jiang Shi must spend the daylight hours in hiding from humans in either a coffin or cave. However, at night, the Jiang Shi leaves its nest to prey upon the unsuspecting.”

Trapped Between Worlds

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 44

The following story was related to us from someone passed on, commonly known as a ghost. You are free to believe or not believe.

Not so long ago Rupert was off to work as usual, traffic was heavy, his phone was playing some classic rock with a new video and he was so engrossed that he neither saw nor heard the lorry coming out of the side road.

One moment it was “Floating” by the Moody Blues and the next it was floating in the air looking down on an accident scene. Rupert wasn't sure what was going on but when he saw a body bag, he knew it was not a good day.

Just as this was all starting to make sense he jumps to a place that looks like a doctor's surgery and after a while a woman dressed in white, with a clipboard, called his name and took him to a man at a desk.

"Hi Rupert, my name is Irving and I am your intermediary, I know you have a lot of questions, but first let me tell you; You are dead and at a transport station”.

“I see from your records that you have several unresolved issues which you must take care of before you can transfer, so you'll need to spend the next 50 years at the ‘The Vodka And Muesli’.”

Rupert look shocked and asked, "Why there?

Irving shrugs and says "Who knows, that's what the computer picked, think of it as an extended holiday.”

"What am I to do?" Rupert asked.

"You know the usual things; make a few noises, show up every now and then, occasionally throw something, scream out loud in colourful language. It's an easy job and the 50 years will pass before you know it.

Rupert had no choice but to agree, and he has been with us ever since, so remember that we take paranormal activity very seriously and actively encourage it.

So please notify the management if you do not experience at least one of these phenomena:

• Strange beings in your peripheral vision

• Shadow figures

• Sudden cold sensations

• A feeling of being watched

• Whispering sounds

• Floating objects

• Unusual voices coming from your significant other

• Lights turning on and off

We cannot guarantee Rupert will show up. However, you can encourage him to do his job, by calling out his name four times in succession.

Steakhouse Night

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 34

The Bistro was the most popular restaurant in town and the food was always great, but for some reason it always tasted better on Wednesdays.

Back in the late 1970s The Bistro was part of a much bigger Bernie Inn, the steak house chain. In those days marathon running was only for a few dedicated souls and one such soul worked as a chef on Wednesday evenings and as sometimes happens the fit die young, usually as a result of heart attack during or after a strenuous period of exercise.

In the present, table 6 had two couples, a butcher and his wife and a fishmonger and her husband, both suppliers to the restaurant. The fishmonger, really impressed by the steak jokingly suggested that it must have come from someone other than the butcher, embarrassed silence followed as it turns out that the butcher indeed hadn’t supplied that piece of meat.

Trying to recover the situation the fishmonger admitted that he didn’t supply the scampi either.

Next week back at the same table, the fish monger mentioned that the fruit and veg man doesn’t come on a Wednesday nor does the baker.

Being regulars they chat to the owner, Steven, and mention that no-one seems to supply him on a Wednesday. The owner smiles and says that as Wednesdays are the chef’s night-off things are done differently. Noticing that the question hasn’t been answered but not wanting to ruin their business relationship the conversation moves on.

The other owner, Sandra, pop’s out of the kitchen to ask how things are going and they are going great. If you have ever eaten a fish immediately after it has been caught you will know what I mean about it tasting “light” and “clean”. The food this Wednesday tasted like that but only more so.

Suspecting that the regular chef wasn’t as good a cook as the owner nobody wanted to comment on this so they merely said that the food was excellent as always.

So “everybody” would be surprised to see the mess and burnt pans in the private kitchen where Sandra continually fails at all cooking tasks including this morning’s breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs.

“Everybody” also wonders why the washer up is given Wednesdays off, in fact all of the staff have Wednesday off leaving just the two owners to run the place.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Wednesday was Retro Night, Prawn Cocktail followed by either Scampi and Chips or Steak and Chips and Black Forrest Gateau for dessert?

Or that it has always been assumed that the beer pump that says Watney’s Red Barrel is a bit of a joke and the actual beer is something else? There is an older gentleman who insists that it tastes like the real thing, but everyone just smiles at him, and despite its reputation it is always sold out by start of business Thursday. Which is quite odd as nobody seems to drink it.

Friesians, or the cost of milk

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 32

Joe was a city bloke, milk came from a supermarket, smartphones from China and jeans from Taiwan, that's just the way the world worked.

So he was really surprised to be enjoying his weekend in the countryside, the locals were friendly, the food and drink was superb and the room was as bad as expected. If nobody has trade marked The No Power Shower yet then they should and Sky Sports yeah sure.

Anyway after a wonderful Sunday roast he mentions that he is going for a walk down by the river, the whole pub falls silent and an old bloke who has clearly been there for a hundred years says "It's Friesians' Day, so I wouldn't do that". Of course he wasn’t that concise, there were a few ohs and ahhs and the delivery was quite prolonged but I guess that you can imagine that part.

Assuming that this is a locals' joke he responds with "Don't worry I won't let myself get eaten" and exits before anyone gets a chance to reply, not getting that the reference was to dairy cows rather than beef cows.

Definitely tipsy, Joe walks along the river bank still smiling at the notion of a bovine family of 4 siting down to eat him and complaining that his rump was tough. He comes across a sign that says Danger, No Swimming and determined to show his respect for the Health and Safety brigade he recycles the liquid part of lunch over the base of the sign post.

After this victory for freedom he looks up and about 100 yards away some idiot is driving a herd down this narrow track. In the odd way that time sometimes passes quickly after a few drinks the herd was upon him and he notices something odd, there are a couple bulls, about 50 cows and around 500 newly born calves.

Without knowing how he knows he finds himself in front of a "family", one bull, one heifer and 10 calves. Looking at the bull all he can feel is rage, looking at the cow it changes to bewilderment and deep sorrow, and the calves are just confused, where is mum?

Taking a step back from this emotional onslaught didn’t help, the "family" moved slowly forward in that slow and unstoppable way that cows have. One more step back, and then another, and finally the next step has him toppling backwards into the river.

It was warmer than he had expected and as the current was taking him to the other side of the river he was quite happy to drift. As he drifted around the bend the reason for the sign became clear, there was this ruddy great big weir, the water sped up and the inevitable happened.

A few days later the local newspaper carried a story with an eye witness saying that she saw the deceased walking down by the river, he appeared to stop suddenly and started walking backwards as if being pushed, but she was too far away to help when he went into the river.

Some may say that this is a fair price…

The Case of Valentina Andrecozzi and the Olde Bell Tavern, Fleet Street, London

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 23

The ghost is such a complicated phenomenon that one or two relatively simplistic explanations cannot hope to account for the whole range of variations within the subject. An investigation into the numerous ghosts and hauntings around the world must necessarily include why they occur and our willingness to believe in the supernatural.

As always, ghosts live in the borderland between this world and the other.

Born in Putignano, Italy, as a child Valentina Andrecozzi liked to play in the karst caves, creating stories inspired by the ridges, towers, fissures, and sinkholes formed by the eroding landscape. Her friends would sit before her for hours, spellbound as she wove tales of ghosts, spirits and apparitions. Everywhere she went people were captivated to her magnetic personality.

In 1871, her family moved to London where she grew to be a plump woman, a bit madcap, with a boisterous sense of humor, great energy, and a talent for profanity. Her bawdy speechifying was fueled by all the fanciful details of her life as she commonly held court in the pubs and taverns in Fleet Street, and those who knew her well were always surprised at her ability to mesmerise a crowd.

Her untimely disappearance occurred on Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (Martedi Grasso or Mardi Gras). This was the day when everyone overindulged in rich foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. After this typical night of tippling and rabble rousing, she left the pub and was never seen again.

Her route home was predictable. She would walk along Fleet Street to the Strand, Westminster, and so to Ludgate Circus and on to Ludgate Street (what is now Ludgate Hill), where she would turn into one of the small alleys in which her flat was located.

Her friends and “followers” searched for many days but could find no trace of her.

In 1909, an anonymous letter appeared in the London Times suggesting that there was a woman in an unmarked grave near St. Paul’s Churchyard. Along with this were these words:

"I cannot feel the sun. I cannot take in air. Darkness faces me every day, and no one comes to find me." The letter seems to complain of some accident that has happened, but it does not specify the subject or cause of it.

The hauntings on Fleet Street began about a year after Adrecozzi’s disappearance and continued every night for about four years. As hacks and inkies (printers) frequented the pubs, particularly the Olde Bell Tavern, many complained of a woman, probably a down-and-outer, who accosted them with tales of injustice, and sometimes talked of “living in the graves” (referring to the graves at the Church of St. Bride’s).

Recent activity (2012) to repair the crumbling stonework of the old church has disturbed the ground, and the haunting of this area of Fleet Street by Valentina Andrecozzi is said to have begun again.

R. Fintan Drost, a professor of paranormal activity studies at Queen’s University in Belfast had this to say:

“The disappearance of Valentina Andrecozzi at the height of her grandeur was as if her whole “kingdom” had sunk into the sea.”

As it happened, Andrecozzi left the Olde Bell Tavern on Shrove Tuesday night and, being tipsy, walked toward the church and passed out, stumbling into an open grave. In the morning, the hole was filled with dirt, with no one aware that she lay there.

For all the naysaying of science, there are those who still hope that the remains of Valentina Andrecozzi can be identified.

Bright Young Things

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 10

Gardner was known in our quiet village as a man with a peculiar interest in ghosts. I would see him sitting in the window of the pub as we walked past on the pavement, a drink in his hand, looking quite the gent. My mother, a woman deeply afraid of anything not contained with the walls of her home, would bow her head and walk in the street if she caught sight of him. With a quick little shuffle she would step off the pavement, grinding the joints of my hand in her white knuckle grip. I would turn and wave, stumbling over my feet as my mother dragged me down the street behind her.

He would always tip his hat and smile.

Our village had the basics: green-grocer, butcher, chemist; but by the time I was a young man, you had to travel for proper kit. Saturday morning half the village would walk to the station for the early train into town. Though by that time it had been several years since Mr. Gardner had been able walk further than the shops near his home.

I have no idea why I stopped. I stepped off of the pavement and onto the porch without a thought, pounding on Mr. Gardner’s door like I had a right to be there. Had my mother known she would have pitched an epic wobbler, pinging off the walls like some demented pinball only to take to bed with “nerves” after.

He wasn’t the least surprised to find me banging down his door, seeing’s how he opened it with a hand-written list and a fistful of notes.

I returned to Mr. Gardner’s home that evening, skint but loaded down with books and packages from across London. He met me at the door with a smile, doddering as he led me from the front to a half-buried kitchen table at the back. I left him his things and was well on my way to the door when I turned back. “Why? What got you started in all that?” I pointed to the bags and packages from Treadwells, Atlantis, Watkins and half a dozen other places I am never able to remember.

He grinned. Over tea he told me the story. “I had a beautiful car. A 1962 Ford Anglia. Lovely little thing. I was driving along Longcross Road with the windows open, nice summer’s day, when I came ‘round the corner to find myself head-on with Delage Tourer packed with bright young things in their finest. Three of them were standing with their heads and shoulders above the windscreen, all in fresh, new uniforms and evening suits, scarves blowing in the wind. And they were singing. I swerved onto the verge and came to a bumping stop just to see their car weave across the road inches from my fender and slam into a tree. Before I could get out of the car they had disappeared.”

“Come on, now. You’re just taking the…”

“No,” he held a trembling hand in the air, “I swear it. Never drove after that. Every time I came near the car I would see that Delage Tourer smashed against thatt tree, those bright young things scattered across the macadam and then just… gone.”

It became a routine. Every other Saturday I would stop, take his list and notes into town and get a story in return. Eventually though I would drift off, first college, then university. I was a grown man, back in the village to for a long put-off visit, tugging my own uncooperative son down the pavement when I saw Mr. Gardner again. I stared at his unlined face as he brushed passed, his wool suit fresh in the summer heat.

I stopped dead on the pavement, turned my head and waved.

He tipped his hat and smiled.

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