The Cellar Bar

Events here are blamed on the ghost of an old actor, named "Harry". Items will often disappear, and people will be touched, pushed over or even have their face stroked. A black figure was once seen to walk up the stairs to the arts centre, and a figure of a man in a hat has been seen seated in the chairs opposite the bar. A covert attempt to gather evidence was attempted, with a camera set up overnight. Clinking of bottles, a door handle rattling and the sounds of a person exhaling and a noise like a guillotine were picked up on tape.

Update 24/2/22: I spoke to Andrew Croft, who ran the bar from 1997 till 2018. Although the bar is still closed, he did inform me of a few more phenomena in addition to the ones mentioned in the newspapers, and summarised above. Although nothing was picked up visually by the camera, he says that the sounds were of a door's push bar being rattled, the sound of bottles being rattled in recycling bins, a metal box being dragged across the floor, as well as the (very loud!) sound like a guillotine and the breathing mentioned above; at the time, the building was definitely empty and the burglar alarm wasn't activated. Andrew says that sometimes they would see a man who quickly disappeared while they were cashing up - and indeed the phantom was nicknamed "Harry." Other visible phantoms include a man in a soldier's outfit from the Georgian era being seen in the toilet area; and a cleaner seeing a floating figure, his head almost touching the ceiling, and moving so fast that she thought he was on a skateboard (it later turned out that the floors levels in the area had been altered over the decades). It was also in the toilet that the house manageress was spooked by noises coming from a vacant cubicle next to her - she refused to go alone in that area again. The sound of footsteps in the room above the bar (again, the building was otherwise unoccupied) have been heard, and the smell of pipe tobacco detected. Items that disappeared include two of the four stainless shot glass measures that vanished from the bar were found on a table a week later. Andrew also told me of objects moving around and "floating". The stories of staff who felt a push on the stairs, and two female members of staff who felt their heads touched and their faces stroked was also recounted; it turns out that one of the girls was plagued by a poltergeist while at University.
On 25/2/22, I contacted the Stamford Arts Center to determine it's ghostly status, based on Andrew's recollections, and I received an email from Graham Burley, the Arts & Cultural Services Operations Manager for South Kesteven District Council and he said, "We ran the bar in-house for a few years after Mr Croft left never any sightings, I have worked in the building for 25 years and nothing..." When I clarified whether he meant the bar or the Arts Centre, he said, "No sightings anywhere in my time. Sorry"

Link: Rutland and Stamford Mercury


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