“Just last week I saw another glass break suddenly all by itself,” says the bartender at The Ship, near New Cavendish Street. Apparently, there have been many failed attempts to get rid of the troublesome ghost of the pub.
I look around, taking in the antique furniture by the fireplace, and the devil- green light lamps in the corners, and think that if there’s anywhere her story could be true, it’s here.
She explains that she believes there is a certain haunting element attached to this pub. There have been many occasions when people here have witnessed strange activities, that she calls supernatural.
There was a Jamaican cleaner who used to work here, who wanted to confront the alleged ghost but was later found unconscious on the first floor, with a fuming block of wood near her. At that same moment, the bartender tells me, there were two accidents on the street outside.
While the manager wasn’t disagreeing over all these claims during the conversation, he moved away when the bartender told me that the manager’s son claims he once saw a woman standing by his bed.
He watched the bartender talk from a distance, a look on his face, that made her account somehow more believable, as if he did not want to hear the story told again.
Patrons of the pub do not seem bothered about the stories, but the bartender is happy to talk, if nervous about the subject. She smiles while she takes empty beer glasses off the counter but there’s a strange apprehension in her expressions while she tries to camouflage them with a smile.
I stood watching the empty glasses carefully, wondering if any of them would break while I was there. Sitting in the dim light, on a chair that creaked every time I moved, I thought about how much the atmosphere of the pub had changed for me since I heard the story.
Before long it was time to go. I left the pub by gazing at the haunting décor, the old sofa where I sat, thinking someone might just come and put their hands on my shoulder any moment. I’m happy to leave, but feel a shiver as I wonder whether the ghost stayed in the pub or followed me home..
Reporting by Shefali Saxena
Behind the Story : The Ship was a little dilapidated pub. The old bar tender and a woman were handling customers late in the evening. Their regular customers were heading to play a game on the first floor of the pub. I stood back as there were no customers anymore.
The woman bar tender agreed to talk to me while she was clearing the counter. Shrugging her shoulders she denied having any interesting tale to tell.
The old man moved away to bring down his wife. I sat on the wrecked sofa in dim light. She grabbed my attention and said that the pub was haunted. As she narrated the story, I listened carefully, and felt creepy, thinking that an arm would suddenly clasp my neck and strangle me.
When I asked her about what the owner thinks about it, his wife dragged him away, in anger, but she definitely knew more than the bar tender.