Emma’s ghostly scare at the pub

Landlady: Emma Clarke on that staircase at the pub
Landlady: Emma Clarke on that staircase at the pub

Landlady Emma Clarke lives in the most haunted pub in Calderdale.

The Fleece Inn at Elland has had several spooky moments – and that’s just since Emma took over in July.

She has heard and read tales of the pub, which include a horse and carriage driven by a headless horseman, re-appearing bloodstains and a dancing chair.

She said: “I fell in love with the place before I had even set foot inside because it’s such a beautiful building, so I tried not to think about the stories people told me.

“But sometimes it can be quite nerve wracking.”

Even in the short time she has been landlady there, Emma has had some unnerving moments.

“I put two rows of Champagne glasses on a shelf behind the bar one night and when I came down the next morning, the second row were all smashed, several feet away on the other side of the bar. But the first row hadn’t moved.

“I have no idea what caused it. You can also hear knocking and tapping quite often, and the function room gets cold the second you turn the heating off,” she said.

What is now the function room once contained a staircase which led to a cellar.

Legend has it that on those stairs, a man was murdered following a dispute over money which began in Elland town centre.

Bloodstains remained on the bottom three steps, which, despite repeated attempts from several landlords, could never be washed off.

The blood remained there for years, as did a bloodied handprint on the wall, until it was all destroyed in error following the refurbishment of the pub in the 1960s.

As part of the Hallowe’en weekend, Emma is offering a series of ghostly events.

There will be two Hallowe’en discos, one for adults tonight and a children’s disco tomorrow afternoon, before a truly spooky Hallowe’en night on Monday.

Historian Brian Hargreaves will give a talk and a tour of the pub, before a clairvoyance evening with mediums Gray Davies and Aurora Jayne.

Emma said that although living in a haunted pub was at times a bit scary, she was enjoying running the Fleece.

“We’ve already managed to improve things a lot by just giving it a good clean and a lick of paint,” she said.

“Lots of people know the stories of the pub and we love to hear the rumours that people have heard have about it – even if it does make living here a little more scary”