Haunted Pub Captures Ghostly Figure of Royalist officer from the Civil War on Surveillance


A ghostly figure was caught on film on Valentine’s Day at the Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Bolton, which is one of the oldest operating pubs in Britain—dating back 1251, although the current building is that of a newer construction from 1636. Tony Dooly, the landlord of the pub, discovered broken glass on the floor when he opened the pub on Friday morning; however when he watched the video surveillance, he discovered the film had stopped recording shortly after 6:18 am.

When he watched the tape, he was surprised to see the outline of what appeared to be a man crossing into view and then standing at the end of the bar.

“We checked the footage and it revealed this figure,” he said, The Telegraph reported. “To be honest I was a bit concerned – I’m a bit of a sceptic when it comes to ghosts but you become more of a believer when you see things like that.”

The pub is believed to be haunted by at least 20 other spirits. One of which was said to have been a Royalist officer from the Civil War. The story goes is that the gentleman spent his final night at the pub before being executed the following morning. Outside of the pub, the town experienced a bloody massacre in 1644. Royalists under Prince Rupert of the Rhine captured Bolton and put the Parliamentarian garrison and some of the population to death.  It is believed that the executed officer was James Stanley, the 7th Earth of Derby, who was executed in Bolton in 1651 for supposedly playing a role in the massacre of 1644.

He was beheaded in the square directly in front of the pub and the chair he sat in while he waited to be executed still remains in the pub today. “There have always been rumors it is haunted and we’ve had psychic readings done here in the past,” said Dooley. “Occasionally you hear things and wonder if it’s just the building settling down or whether it’s something else.

“It’s the fourth-oldest pub in Great Britain so it’s had its fair share of deaths and whatnot.” Of the other ghosts Ye Olde Man and Scythe is said to be haunted by there is a phantom dog, a hanged woman and an eight-year-old girl.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE