The Applebank Inn, Millheugh
The Applebank Inn dates from around 1714 and is said to be haunted a ghost associated with a stone door lintel. The lintel originally came from Broomhill House, home of the local laird, Captain McNeil, which fell into disrepair and or was burned to the ground. Captain McNeil was a seafarer who had travelled to many exotic places and had returned with an Indian princess as a bride. According to tradition she found the cultural change difficult to adjust too and caused her husband some embarrassment at social functions. Eventually he forbade her to leave the house during daylight hours and somehow she mysteriously died.
It is said her ghost would appear around the house, peering out of the window and wandering the nearby orchard. Referred to as ‘The Black Lady’ the apparition that haunts The Applebank Inn is said to be McNeil’s Indian wife, connected to the building by the stone lintel. The lintel apparently took five men to carry from the house to the pub, though the day after it was supposed to have been found lying on the opposite side of the road with no explanation as to how it got there.
In The Haunted Pub Guide, Guy Lyon Playfair quotes an old customer and local who claimed ‘when the landlady, Mrs Morgan, was filling a glass of porter, glass and contents suddenly shot up and hit the ceiling’. I don’t which Mrs Morgan the witness referred to or what date the quote came from, however, there was an Isabella Morgan shown as owning The Applebank Inn on the 1861 and 1871 census. Such poltergeist type occurrences have according to Playfair been reported since the 1920’s and have included exploding bottles, moving glasses and strange banging noises being heard by local fishermen on the river, long after the Inn was closed for the night. A grey apparition has been seen beside the bar.
In the 1960’s the first attempted live broadcast of an exorcism by the BBC concentrated on the The Black Lady. It was for a programme called ‘Tonight’ and their cameras are said to have frozen, even though the weather was not especially cold. The director of this film apparently died in a car crash driving to the next location, which has resulted in a curse being associated with the ghost.
Note: Personally I don’t know how much of this is modern folklore, as elements such as the moving lintel and the curse almost makes me regard part of this as an urban myth.