A village inn in the Vale of Clwyd claims to be the most haunted pub in North Wales after being home to seven ghosts.
An exorcism a few years ago whittled that down to three but the Salusbury Arms in Tremeirchion, which features in the Domesday Book, is still certainly spook central.
Locals from the Tremeirchion 2000 community organisation are even celebrating the supernatural ahead of Christmas with a ghost walk around the village near St Asaph which will feature several scary tales before they adjourn to the Salusbury.
A former landlady, Glenys Taylor, who passed away in an upstairs bedroom over 30 years ago, is still a presence although the pub is now run by Richard and Sue Green, of Dovecote Brewery, in Denbigh, who live in the village and took over the Salusbury earlier this year, breathing new life into it after it closed for 14 months.
Richard, an industrial chemist originally from Walsall, in the West Midlands, and Sue, from Rhyl, set up Dovecote Brewery in Denbigh two years ago when they decided to turn his home brewing hobby into an alternative career.
They hit on a way to make sure they had a ready market for their craft beers, opening seven micro pubs in the Denbighshire and Conwy areas.
There are now Dove pubs in Rhyl and Prestatyn with a Taproom in Denbigh and The Hoptimist pubs have popped up in Abergele, Rhuddlan and Llangollen and it was this success that led to locals persuading them to take over the running of the Salusbury and its resident spirits.
Richard Green said: “The exorcism got rid of four of the ghosts but we’ve still got three including an old spirit in the cellar who once shoved one of the barmen down the steep stairs and a little boy in one of the bedrooms, but the spirit most people report seeing is Mrs Taylor.
“She was a very generous and popular landlady whose fantastic food put the Salusbury Arms on the map with stars such as Barry Manilow coming to eat here when he was doing a show in Manchester.
“The customers who have seen her say she wears a lavender twinset, has short grey hair and sits in the upper bar.”
“She’s protective, and if she thinks you’re doing a good job in the kitchen which was her domain, she gives you a pat on the back which Sue and her kitchen team have felt more than once.”
The most sinister spot is the cellar which is the oldest part of the building and dates back to the 13th century and which is where a former barman reported that he had been pushed down the stairs.
Bar manager Dominic Green, Richard and Sue’s son, who lives at the pub, has had a few ghostly experiences and said: “There’s a sump in the floor where the water drains away and apparently spirits like a water source.
“There was an exorcism down here a few years ago but this is an old spirit and it’s still in here because we get barrels moved, beer lines swapped round and taps turned on.
“Lots of people get intimidated down here but I just think if you don’t upset him you’ll be all right.”
Other customers speak of ghostly experiences and one local resident who used to work at the pub said: “If you were in the kitchen you would often feel like there was someone’s hand on your back or a push even though there was no-one there.”
Another remembers: “When building work was going on here, the pub was closed and there was a curtain across one of the doorways, the lone builder felt someone from behind the curtain grab him, it really spooked him but he didn’t think there was any malice in it.”
Brian Williams, a regular at the Salusbury for many years, said: “I remember Ted and Glenys Taylor well and although I haven’t had any supernatural experiences I know quite a few people have.
“I’m just delighted the pub is open again. I was in mourning for 14 months while it was closed.”
Locals from the Tremeirchion 2000 community organisation are even celebrating the supernatural ahead of Christmas with a ghost walk around the village near St Asaph which will feature spine chilling stories and live action gothic folk tales of ghoulish brides and witches risen from the dead.
This spooky evening of frights and fun is being led by Mark Pullin on Saturday, December 14, starting at 6pm at the community telephone box at Heol y Brenin and ending at the Salusbury for a restorative tipple.
For more on what’s happening at the Salusbury Arms go to https://www.facebook.com/salusburyarms/ and for more on Dovecote Brewery go to https://www.facebook.com/Dovecoteatdenbigh/ while for Tremeirchion go to https://www.facebook.com/Tremeirchion2000/