Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Haunted Swan Inn of Flitwick

The Swan public house is best described as being a traditional pub. The ghost, however, is more insubstantial than most.

Flitwick, itself, is one of those villages that until the mid-20th century had not changed much in hundreds of years. Thatched cottages crowded round a green, a medieval church had benefited from Victorian restoration and the 17th century manor house was home to the local gentry. Even the River Flitt was largely untouched, flowing through unstrengthened banks and forming wide flood meadows where rare bog plants grew in profusion.

The cottages, green, church, manor and rare plants remain, but Flitwick has changed radically. Large new housing estates have sprung up to cater for the rapidly increasing population. Many of these folk work in London, or in nearby satellite towns, but many of them go to the Swan to drink and eat.

And most welcoming the Swan is too. So is its ghost. The phantom is said to play host to a number of tricks. He will hide things, move objects around and such like pranks. Generally it is newcomers who attract his attention. Any new member of staff can expect their tools or jackets to be moved unexpectedly. Not terribly welcoming, some might think, but that is how the ghost is said to go about things.

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