Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Ghosts at the Marquis of Granby, Esher, Surrey, England

Two ghosts in one building might seem a bit excessive, but the Marquis of Granby manages to cope. The pub lies beside the A307, at the roundabout known locally as the Scilly Isles. The modern extensions to this pub hide the fact that it dates back almost 400 years, and it is in the oldest part of the pub that the ghost – or ghosts – lurk.

Mark Nicholls a former bar manager talked about the haunting in 2002. “The lady upstairs. We all know her. I’ve only heard her once myself, but everyone knows all about her. You hear her footsteps behind you and some rustling - like a silk dress they tell me. Then when you turn around there is nobody there. It’s a really weird feeling to know that somebody is in the room with you, but there isn’t really. Mind you, she’s no bother really. It gives you a bit of a start, that’s all.”

Nobody seems to know who this ghost is, though she is usually described as a servant girl. From the descriptions given by those who have heard the footsteps and skirts of the ghostly lady, she would seem to date back at least 180 years. The dainty steps and heavy silk rustling seem to indicate fashions from the early 19th century at least. And stories of the ghost have been circulating in the area since the later 19th century when a local gentleman mentioned the story as typical of the gullible nature of local farming folk.

But the ghostly goings-on at the Marquis of Granby are not entirely harmless. In one of the upstairs rooms is a small cupboard set into a wall. The door is nailed shut and an old Bible is kept pushed against it. A former employee at the pub said that the Bible must never be moved or “the Thing in the Cupboard” will get out. This “Thing” was a most dreadful phantom much given to slamming doors, smashing crockery and hammering on the walls. The “Thing” made life a misery at the Marquis in the middle of the 19th century. However, all that is of the past since a passing clergyman banished the “Thing” to the cupboard and left his Bible to secure the door with Holy powers.

But the lady continues to walk. Not that she is much trouble, of course. So long as she does not learn how to open a particular cupboard door, that is.

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