Mine’s A Spirit! Drinking With The Dead In Britain’s Most Haunted Pubs

4 – The Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook, Berkshire

Another building with roots in Norman times, this pub, originally called The Hospice, dates to 1106. The town’s location on the London to Bath road made it a traveller’s hotspot, with 10 coaching inns by the 16th century. That is no doubt what attracted Dick Turpin to park Black Bess at The Ostrich from time to time. It’s not Britain’s most famous highwayman, but a nefarious landlord who’s the really spooky resident though. Known now only as Jarman, this 17th-century proprietor is said to have set a trap door under the best bed in the house which flipped open to dump well-to-do guests into a boiling bot in the kitchen. More than 60 visitors were said to have checked out this way before Mine Host and his wife met their own end courtesy of the official trapdoor. Jarman’s story may be behind the Sweeny Todd tale. With so many unquiet spirits potentially hanging around, it’s no surprise that The Ostrich is a favourite with ghost hunters, who see a Victorian woman and experience cold spots in the ladies toilet, the reported location of the ghastly saucepan.

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