A new ghost sighting, in that it has never been reported in any literature (to the best of my knowledge). In an interview with the current publican, Phil Emery (who started at the pub on May 8th, 1997), he told me of the events that had occurred on site and a little of the history of the place.
The Queen's Head was constructed in the 1730's and has been, in its lifetime, a coaching house and a courthouse, complete with gallows. About 17 years ago, it became a pub, complete with an in-house brewery before being bought by the nationwide pub chain Intrepeneur about 1983. The pub does have a cellar but it is sealed and anyway, the fact that the pub is below water level precludes access anyway. The previous landlord, Brian Ford, who now works at the 'Prince of Wales' pub in Weybridge did not tell Phil of the ghosts that he had encountered, but his staff did! The activity seems to consist of poltergeist activity and the sighting/hearing of phantoms. The poltergeist behaviour is fairly typical- bottles moving, cabinets flying open etc. Also, one night after closing time, Phil investigated a possible break-in and traced the occurrent to the men's toilets; in it, there was a hand-dryer blowing, with the flexible 'lid' flipped up, and an oppressive atmosphere telling him to 'get out'. The activity seems to have escalated and become increasingly intense around Christmas time. This was after Phil had moved in and had become annyoyed enough to tell the ghost to "Calm it!" - this worked until close to Christmas. It was then that Phil saw one of the ghosts.
He had been troubled for some time by movement in his peripheral vision but this night he saw a 'lady...wearing an older dress.....it was a large skirt, full dress and an apron...' This ghost was to recur, but seems to be limited to the downstars area. The second apparition was of an old man sitting at a bench, wearing what was described at a puritans hat. But the best description of the ghosts was given by staff member Kieren (unfortunately, he was not there when I investigated the premises)- he saw an old man sitting a bench (this seems to be a seperate spectre from the ghost described above)- he was wearing a black jacket and a white scarf. He also had on grey trousers and hobnail boots. Interestingly, Kieren doesn't mind working in the pub, but detests cleaning up afterward because the female ghost throws things at him!! The female ghost also likes the disco apparently, but liked to take sides- it had an aversion to the previous landlord/
All of the ghosts are sighted at random times of the year, day or night. Also 'encountered' was the sound of a baby crying, and a feeling of intense heat all over one of the rooms.
Phils "other half" has apparently never seen a ghost but is extremely nervy and can feel a presence. Of interest is that Phil has seen phantoms before and has been described by his great aunt,a spiritualist, as a sensitive.
Phil did not desire publicity and the case only arose when a conversation in his local hairdresser's turned to ghosts. Phil retorted that they should try the Queen's Head. The hairdresser contacted Tamsyn Starr at the Informer newspaper and that is how I heard of the case (the first one I have had 'hands-on' experience with). Tamsyn and myself are concerned by the lack of written history concerning this pub. The Weybridge musuem possesses information on every other pub in this town. By comparison, information on The Queens Head is very scant.
Without further information, it is very unlikely that the figures will be identified although Phil has promised to attempt to contact previous Landlords via his managers at Entrepeneur, and maybe locals may provide some information. He has given tacit approval for an investigation although this will, of course, need to be cleared.
UPDATE! I visited the pub again on Sunday, October 10th, 1999 and found that there was a new publican; Adam Harland. He had only been at the pub for 6-8 weeks, and had encountered nothing at all during that time. He described himself as sceptical, and with two small children, it seems unlikely that an investigation will take place (he didn't want them frightened!).