Derbyshire: Pop to the pub for Halloween

With pumpkins illuminating windows, sweet supplies ready for the trick-or-treaters and supermarkets jam-packed with creepy masks and outfits – it’s clear that Halloween has landed.

For spiritualists, Goths and ghost hunters, it means a mystical celebration of the dark arts. For others, it’s an evil and dark pastime that should be banned. And for the kids, it’s an amazing whirlwind of sweets, pranks, fancy dress, sweets and more sweets.

If there is one night to suspend your spiritual cynicism, Halloween is definitely it.

And if you’re going to do it, what better place than in the pub?

Luckily, for us Derbyshire residents, our county is full of haunted watering holes. So why not take a trip out, avoid the relentless trick-or-treat knocks, have a drink, and see if you can have a ghostly encounter along the way.

If you’re on board, your first port should definitely be the Bull i’ th’ Thorn, on the Ashbourne Road, between Matlock and Buxton.

Dubbed the most haunted pub in Derbyshire – maybe even England – the boozer was a prominent coaching inn on the Manchester to Derby route in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

But the pub has always had a more sinister edge. Visitors have experienced mirrors falling off the wall, and felt a strange sensation of ghostly hands touching their hair.

A ghost named Little Jenny has repeatedly been seen sitting on a small box in the pub.

Landlord Michael Coleman says he relishes the spooky status.

He explained: “All sorts of things have happened. Sometimes we hear sounds, like a voice or footsteps in the room above the bar.

“In photographs, you can sometimes see a blueish figure of an eight-year-old girl near the fireplace. A psychic told me her name was Jenny and she died in the plague.”

The Miner’s Arms, in Eyam, also reports various tormented spirits haunting the premises from the plague.

But what about the Sun Inn, which describes itself as the “most haunted pub in Chesterfield”?

Located on West Bars, in the town centre, the new tenants have already had numerous exorcisms – the most recent being last month.

Landlady Carla Flanagan, who runs the boozer with partner Andrew Macmillan, said: “We’ve had a demon in the cellar, which didn’t approve of female landladies, so he had to go.

“The cellar has been used as jails for hundreds of years, and occasionally you see a man sprinting out to escape.

“Our customers regularly report getting touched and feeling cold spots too,” she added.

The Castle, situated in Castleton, is steeped in spooky legends – with no less than four spirits haunting the grounds, including a jilted bride.

And the Eyre Arms, in Hassop, reports the Cavalier ghost lurking about on the road outside.

So, there you have it, a few pubs to get started with. If you have a ghostly tale, or know of a haunted pub, be sure to let us know by emailing news@matlockmercury.co.uk.