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Malt Shovel Public House, Oswaldkirk


The Malt Shovel is a Grade II listed building and according Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (born 30 January 1902 – died 18 August 1983) dates from around 1720. Originally built as a house by William Moore, the Malt Shovel has a reputation of being haunted. When a new landlady took over the pub in 2007 the following article by Mike Laycock entitled 'Landlady’s haunted look at 16th-century pub' appeared in the The York Press (28th February 2007).

IT is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a little boy who died more than a century ago, aged only five.

Thomas Bamber's body was kept for weeks in his bedroom at the Malt Shovel pub, at Oswaldkirk, near Helmsley, for weeks before his mother Sally eventually allowed it to be buried.

Now the pub's new landlady believes she has encountered the spirit within a week of moving in to the 16th century building.

Pam Wilson, who works front-of-house, says she was walking down the stairs when she felt a "presence" just behind her, and she briefly saw a light shining before it suddenly disappeared.

"It was like a torch," she said.

"There was definitely something there."

She says she was not fazed by the experience, though, saying: "I'm into ghosts. It doesn't bother me."

However, her husband Kevin, who works in the kitchens preparing meals, is relieved he did not experience the encounter it as well.

"If it had been me, I would have been straight off across the Vale of York," he said.

The couple, who have moved to the Malt Shovel after working for the past two or three years at pubs and hotels in Helmsley, say everyone has been asking if they have seen the ghost. "Even the draymen were asking," said Kevin.

Philip Entwistle said in a village history publication, Oswaldkirk: A Living Village, that there was said to be a ghost who patrolled the pub's stairs and landing.

"There are stories of chairs and tables thrown into disarray and of objects flying though the air," he said.

"However, in the late nineties, the rector exorcised the building and the tales of haunting have ceased."


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