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The Black Boy (Buoy) Inn

On Northgate Street, in the Royal Borough of Caernarfon, you will find an excellent free house called the Black Boy Inn which is reputedly haunted. When it was built, circa 1522 it consisted of two inns, one the ‘Kings Arms’ and the other the ‘Fleur de Lys’. At some stage, one landlord acquired both buildings and the ‘Black Boy’ as we know it today was created. [NB] The ‘Kings Arms’, before 1828 was known as the ‘Black Boy’.

It’s not known how the Black Boy Inn got its name, but there are three theories. The first relates to a black boy entering the country on a ship, the second refers to a black navigational buoy in the harbour and the third to the nickname given to King Charles II by his mother Queen Henrietta Maria of France, because it was reputedly a secret meeting place for Royalists. Never the less, there is a black navigational buoy outside the inn with a black boy painted on it, and each of the outside signs has a black boy on one side and a black buoy on the other.

The inn is allegedly haunted; well it is one of the oldest surviving pubs in Wales.
1. It is reputed that the ghost of a nun has been seen walking through the inn, and that there was once a convent or vicarage to the rear of the inn where the ghost may have been seen heading towards.
2. A child has been heard crying in one of the bedrooms, and when asked “Are you OK?” the crying ceased.
3. Former guest have supposedly seen strange mists and heard bangs and voices thought to be coming from empty rooms in the inn.
4. In the bar area, it has been said that a ghostly male figure has been seen sitting and watching customers come and go.
5. A senior member of staff who was working late doing some cleaning one night, was certain that there was a woman in the bar area when the inn was closed sometime between 00:30 and 01:00, but when the CCTV footage of the lounge bar was examined later there was nobody to be seen.
6. One of the local customers is reported to have said that she felt like something was strangling her on some stairs in the inn.

Simon Topham

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