My thanks go to Spiriteam for inviting me to attend an investigation of this lovely limestone and thatch pub at Beckhampton.
Thanks also to the staff who joined in and for their own personal accounts, which all help to build a picture.
The pub was built in 1669 originally named The Black Bear. By 1724 is was known as The Hare & Hounds, becoming The Waggon & Horses in 1823. It stands on the busy route between Bristol and London which was popular with highwaymen. One of which supposedly haunts the road outside and was seen by a former landlady from an upstairs window. Walter Leader, seen wearing a tricorn hat and cloak was wrongly accused of the murder of a Royal Mail coachman and was hanged - just as he was given reprieve. He was buried beside the A361 and two Sarsen stones mark his grave. There is supposed to be a tunnel from the pub that runs under the road and ends at the old toll house, it's thought this was used by highwayman and smugglers for their unlawful deeds, so they could make a quick getaway. The thunderous hooves of a coach and four are also heard along the road which has resulted in several accidents near the roundabout.
Inside the pub a lady in a white smock has been seen, thought to be a 17th Century owner. She is misty in appearance and vanishes when spotted.
A Victorian elderly gent has been seen to lean against the main fireplace, accompanied by a small dog curled at his feet. He smokes a pipe and the tobacco is often smelt.
There is also an elderly stable hand who sits at the end of the bar along with brief glimpses of a phantom feline.
Some activities reported have been a pile of plates crashing to the floor in the kitchen, dark shadows rapidly moving across the bar, doors slamming and the sense of not being alone.
We all felt drawn to 'The Snug', an attractive room at the front of the pub. One of the longtime regulars remembered when it was basically a junk room filled with lots of unused furniture and recalled it had been an old tack room with saddle racks still hanging on the walls. He stated that everyone sensed the room had a certain veil of coldness about it. This wasn't evident for us, we thought it was quite cosy and spent time calling out and doing lone vigils. Quite a lot of interaction from devices which we kept swapping positions around.
Someone felt as if their face had been stroked, another brushed on the arm. A breath and a whistle were thought to have been heard and someone else was poked quite hard in the ribs.
Two of us ventured into the cellar via a ladder. The cellar consisted of three small areas, one containing to our amusement the 'spirit cupboard'. We checked - there were no ghostly spirits in there, only bottles! The spirit lady has been spotted down in the cellar however and we did hear several noises we couldn't account for. These would happen while we were chatting amongst ourselves but would stop when we paid attention. There was possibly a brief unusual shadow.
We underwent a whole group Spirit Box session sat around a table in the main bar. No clear interaction, although we think that a device on the table may have moved a short distance unaided. Will it show on camera?
Into the kitchen areas there were several high EMF readings as expected. Some thought they felt slightly unstable or seasick in the area which used to be a stable. High EMF or could this be attributed to slightly uneven floors?
We were joined by a guest with some mediumship ability who was shown by the landlady, to a certain area of the building where things have been heard and sensed. She picked up on the spirit of a young girl who she felt had been killed on the road and brought back to the pub. She sensed her pain and got very emotional.
Fun had by all, great little pub.
Written by Selena Wright - Paranormal Wiltshire and Spiriteam member
Since Spiriteam has started their search for paranormal existence we have had the pleasure to investigate some fantastic locations. See here where we visited and what we experienced.
A4, Beckhampton, Marlborough SN8 1QJ