Video: Take a tour below Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Ever felt the hairs stand up on the back of your neck for no particular reason? Felt you were being watched when there’s no-one else in the room? As part of a series leading up to Halloween Holly Skelton is visiting some of the spookiest places in Notts.
It is said to be the oldest pub in England – but Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem could also be one of Nottingham’s most haunted.
Nestled into the rocks under Nottingham castle, the ancient pub sits above a network of caves and is thought to date back as far as 1068 AD.
Originally used as a brewery, the pub is said to have been a resting place for travellers setting out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem – hence the name – and with so many passing through, it’s no wonder the pub is subject to countless spooky stories and tales.
Karl Gibson has been the pub’s landlord since 2012 and has a great knowledge of its history.
He said: “The Old Trip’s cellars were originally part of the castle’s cell system and held any overflow of prisoners or bad people from there.
“They are shaped in a ‘U’ so that prisoners couldn’t hide from the guards and could be chained down to the sandstone or to the wall.”
Karl explained how many people have witnessed paranormal activity and heard sounds such as voices, moans and groans when spending time in the haunted cellars.
He said: “There could have been up to 30 or 40 prisoners at any given time in here and you can still see the marks on the walls where they have scraped their initials.”
At the front of the pub is a small spooky room known as the ‘haunted snug’, where CCTV cameras have captured footage of strange behaviour.
Karl said: “Quite a lot of different energies and weird experiences have been witnessed in here by both staff and customers.
“We had one instance where a couple were recorded walking over to the clock and changing the position of the dials, one after the other, almost as if they were in a trance.”
I can get very uncomfortable just being here
He explained how a portrait of an unknown woman hangs on the wall and appears to keep watch over people in the room.
He said: “What we know is this lady is either a previous landlady or a member of one of the families that had ownership of the pub, and she’s always been on this wall.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re sat in the room, she’s watching you and her eyes follow you around the room.
“Personally I don’t like this room – there’s a weird, uncomfortable feeling and I get very uncomfortable just being here.”
One of the pub’s most famous tales is of the cursed galleon, a small wooden model of a ship that hangs above the bar in one of the oldest parts of the building.
Karl said: “There have been many reports of a real draw of energy on the staircase leading towards the cursed galleon, and in many cases people have not been able to pass due to the feeling of an object in the way.”
Legend has it that hundreds of years ago a gentleman who entered the pub was made to bestow his handmade galleon as payment for the bar bill when he could not afford to pay.
The galleon was hung downstairs in the front room to gather dust and when the time came to clean it, the curse began.
Karl said: “People started to become ill and then subsequently began to die.
“Over time they refused to clean it or touch it, so it’s been hung from the ceiling for the last couple hundred of years.”
The ship is now displayed in a glass case to prevent people from getting too close.
Karl said: “It was put in the glass box a long time ago by one of the cleaners just before they retired.
“Subsequently they then died within a couple of weeks.”
A more positive tale is the one of an antique chair which is said to enhance a woman’s chances of getting pregnant after sitting in it.
However, the chair is believed to have lost its powers after so many people sitting in it and is now too weak to withstand the demand.
Cellar tours can be booked at the pub which is open from Monday to Sunday, from 11am – 11pm.