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The Haunch of Venison

A phantom lady in a white shawl has been seen in the street outside and also staring out from the inn's upper floors towards St Thomas's church, behind the pub; she indulges in playful antics with the staff, such as moving crockery back to the bar after they have been taken to the kitchen, and switching electrical items on and off. The legend is that the lady sent her son to the pub to fetch a few bottles but he never returned and the distraught mother followed his path to find out if he was still there, to no avail. She continued her search until she died. The most active spectre is known as "The Demented Whist Player"; he was a traveller in 1820 who joined in the local's card game and proved to be extremely adept - this angered a butcher who was seated nearby as cheating was suspected and cut off the man's right hand which is still on display (or at least, a replica). The card player's spectre is said to throw things around, make candle holders 'explode', move chairs and tables, makes knives standing on end, throws pints of ale to the ground, opens and closes doors, and leaves lights and taps switched on - even exchanging white napkins in the restaurant for red overnight (though some of these pranks may also be due to the phantom lady mentioned above). Sometimes there is an earthy smell or the odour of lavender, usually on the stairs, rooms 'humming with noise', 'sudden gusts of freezing cold air', cold spots and footsteps heard upstairs in the half hour before midnight. A "Grey Lady" wearing a shawl has been seen on the stairs and in the original dining room - she may be the female spectre mentioned above however. Descrption of her vary; one witness called her a "blue lady" and saw her coming down the stairs, wearing a long dress but having no legs. However, other intriguing descriptions of the ghostly lady say that she has a solid, but blurred form, with a distinct silhouette, akin to when someone walks in front of a light making it difficult to discern details. There could also be another spectral lady, who was seen sitting next to the fireplace and whose appearance made one sceptical tourist flee from the building! Additionally, on at least one occasion, a man in old brown trousers and a shirt and a braces was seen next to the owner's bed watching them sleep.

Update: 21/2/20: the Haunch of Venison team infom me that they "definitely have some activities" but were not specific.

Link: The Express

Link: Wiltshire Live

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