Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Ghosthunting in the Brushmakers Arms, Upham, Hants

Ghostunting in the Brushmakers Arms, Upham, Hants

The Brushmaker’s Arms at Upham is easy enough to find, but actually visiting it requires a bit more dedication. The B2177 runs through Lower Upham. You need to turn north in the middle of the village along the lane signposted to Baybridge. This will lead you to Upham itself. The lane enters the village, then turns sharp right past the church. About 100 yards after this turn is a narrow side lane to the left. The Brushmaker’s Arms is up this side turning. It is no good driving up the turning, however, as the lane is far too narrow to park on. Best to leave your car near the church and walk, though make sure you have not obstructed any of the driveways or private parking places with which the village abounds.

The effort is well worth it for the Brushmaker’s Arms is exactly the sort of friendly, jovial local pub that everyone would want to have at the end of their road. Apart from the murders, that is.

Of course, both killings happened many years ago. Nobody has been murdered here for simply ages.

The less said about the gruesome events down in the cellar the better. They do not make for family reading and, in any case, have nothing to do with the haunting. It is the murder in the upstairs front bedroom that causes all the trouble and which brought me to this charming pub.

“I’ll fetch Jill”, said the barman when I called, and he trotted off upstairs.

“Here about the old feller upstairs?” asked a bearded man nursing a pint of ale at the bar. I confirmed that I was.

“Come to the right place for ghosts,” the man continued. He pointed out a framed certificate hanging on the wall by his head. It was from Teacher’s Whisky and confirmed that the Brushmaker’s Arms had come in the top 12 of the “Most Haunted Pubs in Britain Contest” held in 1982. I asked the man if he had seen the ghost.

“No trouble there,” chipped in a man sitting at a table by the window. “You’re talking to our resident spirit right now.” He laughed. “Been here long enough to qualify as a ghost yet?” he asked the bearded man.

“Only since I retired from the BBC,” came the reply. “What’s that 15 years now. Not as long as Rob there.” He pointed at the other man at the table, a distinguished looking gent with silver hair. “How long you been coming here, Rob.”

“Ooooh. Must be near seventy years now,” declared Rob. “Man and boy, I been coming here. Course back then they weren’t too particular about how old a boy was. If you done your hard work on the farm, you got your beer. Very haunted this place, mind.”

“Yep,” continued his friend. “Saw it myself in here. A few years back now. I was sitting at the bar, bout where you are, when the bottles started moving. They fell off the shelf, then flew across the bar. It was like someone was throwing them, but they didn’t break. Just shot across the room and landed.”

from "Haunted Hampshire" by Rupert Matthews.

Get your copy HERE

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