Spirit of Admiral Grog returns to pub
SPIRITS of a rather different kind have descended on an Ipswich pub - led by a 18th century admiral nicknamed 'Grog'.The ghost of Admiral Edward Vernon, who died in 1757, is reckoned to have surfaced at the town's Woolpack pub at the head of a 'bevvie' of ghouls, including a persecuted monk, a drowned seaman and a long-dead publican called George.
By James Fraser
SPIRITS of a rather different kind have descended on an Ipswich pub - led by a 18th century admiral nicknamed 'Grog'.
The ghost of Admiral Edward Vernon, who died in 1757, is reckoned to have surfaced at the town's Woolpack pub at the head of a 'bevvie' of ghouls, including a persecuted monk, a drowned seaman and a long-dead publican called George.
These are the revelations of Suffolk clairvoyant Sue Knock as she declared the Tuddenham Road inn "the most haunted" pub in the county.
Despite her years of experience, Ms Knock has been bowled over by her latest discoveries, which she has backed up with hours of research at the county public records office.
Live-in chef Justin Hurn, 20, was left terrified when an apparition scamper through his bedroom at the pub, which has parts dating back to the 16th century.
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Scared out of his wits, he contacted medium Mrs Knock – who unearthed more spooks than she bargained for!
Without telling renowned Mrs Knock a thing of his own experience, she saw exactly the same ghost when she stepped into his room.
"As I entered the bedroom immediately in front of me, I noticed an ash grey figure scuttle across the wall where it then disappeared. I had to grab the bedpost in desperation. It ran in a crouch just like a spider," she said.
The bedroom is right next to an ancient priesthole – in which Roman Catholics used to hide their priests during times of persecution in the late 16th century.
Mrs Knock said that it was a member of the order of Greyfriars who had died as he tried to escape from the authorities – by suffocating in a barrel.
"They used to hide Catholics in wooden barrels in a bid to let them escape to the docks," she said. "This one didn't get that far. That's why I felt I couldn't breathe as soon as I stepped inside. He's trapped in time."
She reckoned a landlord called George, whom she saw dressed in clothes of the same period, had been helping him in his bid for freedom as he tried to enter a tunnel that ran back to Christchurch Mansion.
As soon as he entered the bar, this Star reporter could sense the constriction and a sickening feeling well up in his stomach.
She added that, according to her research, it was common practice for Catholic holymen to hold secret services in pubs after their religion was outlawed by Henry VIII.
In the notorious back bar – which Justin said punters hardly ever want to sit in – the ghost of a pony-tailed Mediterranean sailor appeared to walk right through landlord Stuart Appleby, 31. Sue saw it happen and said that he told her he was "looking for Mary".
But the most startling of her ghostly findings was spotting Admiral Vernon, who was Ipswich MP from 1741 to 1754, during her psychic investigation last month.
He is best known for introducing watered-down rum into the British Navy – and lent the mixture his own nickname of 'Grog'.
Though he is buried at Claydon, Ms Knock claimed he was standing fully formed in the pub "and appeared very authoritative".
Mr Appleby has also seen the Admiral – who Ms Knock claimed was responsible for tearing down a screwed-down ad for her Ghost Tour last Monday when a couple of drinkers began to mock it.
Pub regular Rick Hayman also witnessed the paranormal strop – and couldn't believe his eyes.
"They were taking the mickey and then the sign tilted off the wall and came clattering down," he said. "I can't understand it – it was fixed to the wall," added an astounded Mr Appleby.
* Sue Knock is holding a ghost talk at the scene of previous investigations at PJ McGinty's, Northgate Street, on Saturday. For more supernatural info you can visit her website at www.sue-Knock.com.