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

3 – The Chough Hotel, Chard, Somerset

As well as boasting a unique name (the chough is a now-rare crow-like bird found on Britain’s coasts) the Chough has a link to one of the nastiest episodes in British history. The Monmouth Rebellion of 1685 was a reaction to the arrival of a Catholic king, James II, on the England’s throne. James didn’t last long, losing the kingdom to William of Orange in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but the rag-tag West Country army that signed up with James, Duke of Monmouth (a bastard son of Charles II) was no match for the well-trained Royalist army and many were slaughtered at the Battle of Sedgemoor near Chard. Those that weren’t slain faced the tender “justice” of the original Hanging Judge, Judge Jeffreys, whose Bloody Assizes saw 320 hanged and many more transported. Jeffreys stayed at the Chough during his still-remembered tour of Somerset. He is just one of many ghosts said to hang around the pub, where camera flashes are said to fail in front of a gravestone set into a fireplace, and a sealed room was opened in the 1890s

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