Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ghosts at the Windmill pub in York

Continue to walk southwest along Blossom Street to find the Windmill Hotel on the right at No.14. The ghost here is usually said to be that of an 18th century ostler. He is not seen very often, but when he does appear he most certainly does seem to be wearing clothes that would fit with such a date and occupation. He has, on occasion, been mistaken for a workman. Perhaps the best documented case of this came when a cleaner was going up the stairs and spotted, as she thought, a building coming down. The pub at this time was having some building work done, so her assumption was a natural one. The cleaner stepped aside to let the burly figure pass her. At that moment she thought that there was something odd about the man, and simultaneously wondered what a builder supposed to be working in the yard would be doing upstairs. She turned to accost the man, but he had gone. She hurried downstairs, but the place was empty.

The ghostly ostler has also been blamed for the heavy, phantom footsteps that are heard climbing the staircase. Interestingly, the ghostly sounds are unmistakably those of a man’s boots thudding up wooden stairs even though the staircase is carpeted and has been for many years. This same ghost is also held to be responsible for the ice-cold mist that sometimes forms on the upper corridor. This strange mist takes the form of a column about six feet tall and some three feet across. Those who have encountered it say that it seems to suck all the warmth out of the air leaving the room as cold as a deep freeze, even on the warmest summer days.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in the 1970s, the then landlord hired a new barman who proved to be efficient, hard-working and popular with customers. Sadly the man had been in post only a week or so when he one day marched up to the landlord and announced that he was leaving. “I’m not staying here, not with what else is here,” the man said and left never to return.

Another, rather older, story about the Windmill maintains that there is a second ghost to be met just outside the front door. This sad little phantom is said to be the ghost of a little girl who was knocked down and killed by a horse and cart in the mid-19th century. This particular phantom does not seem to have been seen for a good many years. Perhaps, as is the way with many ghosts, she has faded from human view.

1 comment:

  1. Back in September of 2000 I did a 20 day drive around tour of England with a friend, it was awesome!
    I had a scary experience in a pub just outside of the old walls of the city of York, but for years I could not for the life of me remember the name of the place. Until now, I just found a travel book where I kept track of all I purchased and the places we visited and there it was : The Windmill, 14-16 Blossom St, York, North Yorkshire YO24 1AJ, United Kingdom

    What happened?

    We had a lovely afternoon lunch in which we had sat at a table by the windows, check was just paid and I wanted to go to the bathroom before we headed off to shop "the Shambles" of York. Into the single (no stalls) Ladies' room I went. There I sat for a moment when the room seemed to suddenly turn very cold, I figured it was a draft. However something about the room felt suddenly overwhelmingly creepy, every hair on my body stood on end, the air felt electric and then the paper towel dispenser fell open and paper towels started flying out of the dispenser on their own. I ran out of there as fast as I possibly could still buttoning my jeans as I stepped out the door of the pub!!! My friend did not believe a word of it but did believe that I was genuinely scared. I was.

    No, it was not an automatic dispenser. It was one of those stainless steel ones in which you need to manually pull them through the opening at the bottom. The front fell open as it would to be re-filled. This could have definitely happened from gravity or malfunction - but not the towels flying out as they were. That made no sense. No there was no open window, breeze or blowing air.