North Wales has a fantastic selection of pubs to choose from and many are housed in old buildings with long histories and fascinating past lives. You’ll probably visit one or two during a stay with us – perhaps to sample some great local food or a craft beer from one of the many microbreweries in the region.
Be on your guard, just in case you attract an unwelcome drinking buddy – who won’t be drinking pints but prefers spirits!
Many of our regional pubs claim to have ghostly residents. Along with them come some truly spine-tingling tales to listen to over a drink and, whether you believe in ghosts or not, everyone loves a good story.
For this week’s blog, we’ve been on the trail of some of the most haunted pubs in North Wales.
The Black Boy Inn, Caernarfon
Built in 1522, the Black Boy has been a welcome sight for weary travellers for centuries and is one of the oldest hostelries in North Wales. There have been hundreds of paranormal sightings here over the years, but three spirits in particular are firm fixtures: at the spirit of a prostitute, the ghost of a nun and the sinister ‘Strangler’.
Martha, as she’s believed to be called, frequents the taproom of the pub and has been known to interact with the staff. She’s a friendly if sad spirit thought to have been a prostitute who worked the neighbourhood in the days when Caernarfon was a busy port.
Behind the pub is the site of a convent from Caernarfon’s medieval period. A nun is often seen passing through the bar, presumably on her way to the convent.
The pub’s most nefarious character, however, is the ‘Strangler’, a ghost that manifests itself with a feeling of hands being placed around the neck – eek! It’s thought the Strangler was responsible for the murder of several prostitutes in Caernarfon in the 1800s, North Wales’ answer to Jack the Ripper.
The Fairy Falls, Trefriw
This quaint country pub on the road to Betws-y-Coed in the Conwy Valley is home to two ghosts, named John Lucas and Lucy. The current landlady even claims to have seen them herself!
The Castle Hotel, Conwy
Along the corridors of the hotel an angry housemaid makes her presence felt. Falling ill very suddenly she requested that her body be returned home for burial but the hotel manager ignored these last wishes.
It’s rumoured that strange incidents started to take place after she was buried in the local graveyard – water jugs would shatter, people would be tripped up by invisible feet – shortly after, her body was exhumed and returned home to Anglesey but ghostly goings-on still occur from time to time.
Penryhn Old Hall, Penrhyn Bay
If the regulars are to be believed, there’s barely room for the living at this ancient pub!
The ghost of a monk resides above the Baronial Hall, while an angry soldier (frustrated at not being able to go to war) haunts the the old dance floor.
Elsewhere, a mournful noblewoman murdered in the house drifts on the stairway, refusing to believe she is really dead.
An old lady has been seen seated at the bar, occasionally getting up to mount the stairs nearby, and in the restaurant a cheeky young male spirit likes to sprinkle salt across the tables.
The Bull Hotel, Abergele
It’s such a hotbed of paranormal activity, regular ghost hunts are held at the pub. As well as all the usual ‘things that go bump in the night’ the Bull is home to some very specific ghostly residents, including an unlucky monk who died after a fall and a young man in bike leathers killed in a motorcycle accident nearby.
The Owain Glyndwr, Corwen
This inn is ancient, dating back to 1329. Originally a monastery, the site then became a coaching inn before hosting the very first Welsh Eisteddfod in 1789.
Despite its many uses, the pub has a sad and gloomy past. A local clergyman and young woman were having an affair but when discovered by outraged locals the clergyman ended the affair abruptly.
The poor, cast-off girl died of a broken heart. It is said that she still haunts the inn, waiting for her lost love to return to her and make amends.
But never fear, here at the Royal Victoria, we’ll be on hand with a stiff drink and comfortable surroundings to settle your nerves when you return after a terrifying day of ghost hunting.