As a self-professed wuss, if you tell me a building is 400 years old, I’m gonna immediately get a shiver down my spine at the thought of the potential ghosts (and spiders) that may dwell there. And a shiver down your spine is exactly what you’ll get upon entering the pretty ancient Fleece Inn in Elland, West Yorkshire.
Dating back to the 1600s, the quaint pub looks like a lovely, traditional, cosy boozer at first glance, but below the surface lies plenty of ghostly activity – activity that’s even piqued the interest of the team behind Most Haunted.
Describing it as one of the ‘most haunted pubs in Britain’, the pub has seen many a gruesome death and murder over the years, with an estimated 15 ghosts calling the old property home – many of which aren’t too shy about hiding themselves from the pubs’ customers.
Stories from punters include the strange feeling of something breathing on their necks, a general chilly and unwelcoming feeling in some areas of the pub, glasses smashing, scratching noises, and even furniture being moved, while others claim to have seen a headless ghost roaming the front of the pub (headless horses in tow). It’s also said that blood remains on a staircase from hundreds of years ago, and despite attempts to remove it, the blood simply reappears as soon as the wood has dried. OoOoH. Spooky.
While you may be skeptical of these reports – and rightfully so since there are so many stories – the property became one of many subjects on the hit show Most Haunted back in 2017, and it’s safe to say that the team had quite the eventful night at the pub.
The team set up a variety of ‘traps’, you could say, in a bid to draw out poltergeists and apparitions – including a helium balloon test designed to draw out a little girl who reportedly haunts the premises. The ghost, known as Eleanor, allegedly enjoys playing with leftover balloons from events and parties held at The Ram Bar within the pub – but it was another entity altogether that the investigators encountered.
Freaky footage revealed furniture being thrown across rooms, an allegedly murderous poltergeist claiming he wants to hurt more people, a glass being thrown at the head of one of the investigators, and taps curiously being turned on without an explanation as to how. Much of the activity appears to have been created by the pub’s resident ‘grumpy man’, who many mediums have also claimed to have encountered upon visiting the property.
The team at Most Haunted was so freaked out, that they actually admitted there were initially skeptical that the pub was simply looking for a little extra publicity, but deemed it the ‘real deal’ after checking it out for themselves.
The grumpy man is believed to have been an old shepherd, who has been responsible for plenty of paranormal goings-ons at the pub – including wrecking the pub’s store room. He’s also reported to have spoken to children who have visited the pub, with numerous parents coming forward with tales their kids have told them of being told off by the ghostly being.
Landlady Christine – a former skeptic – has told of plenty of sightings during her time at the pub, including ghostly figures standing at the end of her bed, faces appearing in her bedroom window, something stroking her arm as she sleeps, and her three dogs lining up in a row staring and tilting their heads in unison at what appears to be nothing. Christine has also reported that her children’s toys were moved around regularly – and even locked her child’s room after sprinkling flour around the toys to ‘test’ if they were being moved. In true spooky fashion, Christine found various smear marks in the flour that were otherwise unexplainable.
Former landlords have also come forward with stories of their own, including rows of glasses smashing in the night and freaky noises in the small hours of the morning.
Whether you remain cynical or not about the show’s findings, it’s definitely worth checking out for the excuse of a pint alone. And while it seems there’s definitely something freaky going on at The Fleece Inn, Christine promises a friendly welcome, great beers, and a traditional menu of homecooked grub. Just maybe with a side of paranormal activity – if you’re lucky.
The Fleece Inn, Westgate, Elland, HX5 0BB.