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Wednesday 27th March 2002
Real life ghost busters wanted
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A local country pub are appealing for real-life ghost busters. After a number of spooky and unearthly events at the Fleece Inn pub in Bretforton, licensee Peter Clarke wants to get to the bottom of it.

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FACTS

The Fleece Inn has featured in many films, including Martin Chuzzlewit, Clarissa and Silas Marner

Miss Lola Taplin is said to haunt the pub, as she was the last to manage the Fleece Inn before handing it over to the National Trust on condition that it would continue to run as a unspoilt country pub

It is said that Miss Taplin was a formidable lady and ruled the inn with a rod of iron

Miss Taplin was said to never allow food on the premises. Some time after she passed away, the builders arrived and they, of course, ate their sandwiches in the disused pub. To their surprise, they found that their lunch boxes were often turned upside down and the sandwiches scattered about

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Spooked staff at the Fleece Inn in Bretforton are appealing for psychic investigators to spend a night at the historic pub and restaurant to uncover the secrets of its ghostly past.

Following a series of eerie events at the National Trust owned medieval farmhouse, licensee Peter Clarke is determined to get to the bottom of why apparitions, mysterious noises and a sinister presence has disturbed staff and customers for years.

He comments: "Since I arrived here only a few months ago I've heard a succession of spine-chilling accounts of supernatural incidents. It would be fascinating to discover what is causing them and why it is determined to communicate through us. I understand there are teams of paranormal researchers who can communicate with ghosts via scientific equipment. It would be a huge relief just to get proof that the experiences are real and that we're not just imagining them."

The venues haunted reputation began a few years ago when the security beam guarding the venue's priceless set of Stuart pewter activated the alarm. On arrival at the scene, a wooden chair in the corner was said to be rocking rapidly and the vague figure of an elderly lady was said to be seated in it.

"I have also heard reports of sightings of a lady in the upstairs window," recalls Peter. "And I often hear strange noises coming from the top rooms. I admit the building is 500 years old and it is bound to creak but these noises are unearthly, somehow."

Similar accounts have since been reported from lights inexplicably turning off and indistinct figures being seen to glide unearthly across the bar.

Peter continues: "We have a series of ancient witch circles on the floor which are shrouded in mystery. Another strange phenomenon is the strong smell of perfume around the fireplace which nobody can explain."

Anxious to unearth the truth, Peter concludes: "With its rich history and ancient folklore it is entirely possible that the building has more than one ghost. The question is, what do they want from us and that's what I'm hoping to find out from the experts."

If anyone could investigate the experiences at the Fleece Inn or know of anyone who could they should contact Peter on 01386 831173.

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