If the thought of Halloween sends chills down your spine, you might be in need of a drink to settle your nerves. The good news is that there are any number of fantastic pubs on the Island, the bad news is that many of these are to be haunted too…
Here’s a selection of pubs where you might be able to enjoy an unexpected spirit with your beer:
The Three Bishops, Brighstone
This pub was formerly called The New Inn and it was extensively rebuilt in the 1920s and renamed in the 1970s as The Three Bishops. Brighstone is a pretty village that sits just inland from the picturesque south west coast of the Island. Considering this area had been a hotbed for smuggling and wrecking over the past few hundred years, its ghost is fairly recent. Old Maggie Hawker, who was the proprietor in the 1950s, is still in residence. It’s said that she appears, muttering, then disappears after unlocking doors.
The Castle, Newport
Charles I was reputed to have visited The Castle under armed guard whilst imprisoned in the nearby Carisbrooke Castle. In fact the pub dates back to at least 1550 and has a distinctive style created by the Dutch bricks used in a rebuild after a fire in 1684. The Castle is supposedly haunted by a boy, a cavalier from the English Civil War, a female ghost who resides in the kitchen and a ghost cat. Stories of odd going on include the final call bell ringing on its own and pennies being mysteriously left on the stairs within the pub.
The Anchor, Cowes
This pub opened its doors in 1704, was originally called the House of the Three Trumpeters and it was once the main coaching inn for Cowes. It changed its name to The Anchor in the early 1820s and the stables which once stood separate to the main building are now incorporated into the pub although still called the Stable Bar. It is said that years ago a young man with a broken heart committed suicide in the stables. The pub is full of character and one of the most frequented in Cowes High Street.
The Buddle, Niton
Known as a smuggler’s inn, The Buddle is over 400 years old. It sits overlooking the sea in Lower Niton near the most southerly point on the Island. Over the years many folk are said to have seen ghostly figures walking across to the bar from the fireplace that sits at the centre of the pub. These apparitions have ranged from sailors and smugglers to wreckers, fishermen and customs men. It’s a perfect pub to hole up in on a dark and stormy winter’s day ghosts or no ghosts.
Hare and Hounds, Downend
Located in the heart of the Island, the Hare and Hounds Inn is an historic haunted pub that sits high on the downs not far from the site of Gallows Hill. In 1737, one Islander Michael Morey, who had been convicted of killing his young grandson in cold blood, was tried and hanged at Winchester but afterwards his corpse was brought back to Arreton and left rotting on the local gibbet not that far from the pub. Morey’s restless spirit is said to roam the area carrying an axe….
So come and visit these haunted pubs for yourself! And if you’re travelling over to the Island by foot, take advantage of the combination travel tickets that allow you to travel by train or bus across the Isle of Wight.
Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed our tour of some of the most haunted pubs on the Island. Hopefully you can pop in soon - if you dare!
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