A 1930s art deco swimming pool is not the first place you think of when people mention the most haunted places in the country. So why is this 85-year-old building bursting at the seams...
When Andy first got in touch regarding his new book I was intrigued by the concept of a paranormal book which contained a collection of stories from what I consider to be one of the most reliable forms of evidence – Police Statements.
The Old Cat is certainly old and was originally converted from a row of cottages which would have been around at the time of the English Civil War. Cavalier figures from the war have been seen in other parts of Wordsley and it is indeed a Royalist soldier in full attire who has startled staff mainly around the cellar area.
The Greyhound and Punchbowl is an ancient pub which has the unusual feature of a tree trunk in the middle of the pub. A number of figures have been sighted here. A tall man in a black cloak and large black hat has been seen around the kitchen area. When staff go to investigate further of course there is no one there.
A previous landlord, known as Bob, allegedly haunts The Crown. He died in the cellar from a heart attack many years ago. Dogs are prone to behaving strangely when Bob is about and on one occasion a previous landlord found himself locked in his own bedroom even though he was on his own.
The Old Stags Head has a haunting associated with nearby St Bart’s Church. The story goes that one of the vicars knew the location of a tunnel leading to the pub cellar and would use it to enjoy regular pints of beer. His less than amused wife would follow him into the cellar and turn off the beer taps.
The Old Mill is named after one of two windmills which existed in Gornal. The remains of one, Ruiton Windmill, can still be seen in nearby Vale Street. In common with many other Black Country pubs The Old Mill has a history of poltergeist type activity. Things get moved around when there is nobody in the pub and unexplained bumps and bangs are often heard.
The Crabmill used to be known as The Oldswinford and at one time many years ago it was a Doctor’s surgery. Temporary managers are particularly wary here as they are likely to be treated to loud noises coming from the empty rooms in the early hours of the morning.
The Courthouse is situated in one of the most haunted areas of Dudley. Much of the activity here is auditory with noises coming from the cellar when there has been no one down there. The names of staff are often called coming from the room upstairs again when there is nobody up there.
The Black Country Arms was formerly The Green Dragon and is recorded as far back as 1627 when it was part of the municipal buildings. It became part of the Magistrate’s Court in 1910 but is now returned to its former use as a pub.