Uncanny UK reader and host of the Potter-Geist website Ivan Latham has kindly let me know about a Staffordshire pub with a growing reputation for hauntings. It has the unusual name of The Leopard. Ivan visited the pub recently. Here is his report, together with one of his photos:
‘The Leopard pub, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, is reputedly one of the most haunted places in Britain. Since it was founded in the mid-18th century, it has played host to numerous luminaries from the worlds of science, industry and entertainment. Naturalist Charles Darwin, ceramics pioneer Josiah Wedgewood and Hollywoodstar Ava Gardner have all hallowed its walls.
‘In addition, several murders have reportedly occurred there, and it has a strong association with the famous Burslem witch, Molly Leigh, who is said to have been incarcerated in The Leopard’scellar following her arrest for witchcraft. No surprise then that after 250 years, the souls of some of these individuals may continue to walk its corridors.
‘Attached to the present-day pub is the ruin of a long-abandoned hotel complex comprising more than 50 rooms, and it is within this now derelict section that earth-bound souls are said to wander. Television’s Most Haunted team famously visited in 2010 together with Burslem-born pop star turned paranormal sleuth Robbie Williams. More recently, local ghost-hunter and illusionist Chris Stokes has begun regular ghost tours, which attract widespread local interest.
Sharing a lifelong interest in the paranormal, my wife and I recently hooked up with one of these tours. We were led by torchlight with several other curious members of the public down a maze of forgotten corridors, peering into small musty rooms bedecked with peeling wallpaper. Although no one heard or saw anything other than one or two theatrical effects laid on for entertainment value, we did capture numerous orbs and curious light anomalies on many of the photos we shot during the walk.
While this is hardly conclusive proof of spiritual activity, their presence on camera does nothing to detract from The Leopard’s reputation as a haunted site par excellence.
Read more about paranormal phenomena in the Stoke area at http://pottergeist.webs.com/