What – or who – is that shadowy figure behind the bar?
That is the question that has dogged Susanne Taggart ever since she took this picture in the Golden Fleece on Pavement in York.
The pub is said to be among the most haunted in the country, with as many as 15 different spirits spotted there.
One of the founders of paranormal investigation team UK Shadow Seekers, Susanne took a team to investigate the Golden Fleece in September 2007.
It was then that she took this photograph. But she hadn’t made it public – until now.
The Golden Fleece is one of York’s earliest coaching inns, with the first record of its existence dating to 1503
A ghost named One Eyed Jack, wearing a 16th Century red coat and carrying a pistol, has been seen in the bottom bar
She described the shape as “very creepy” and “deeply unsettling”. The figure lets no light through – it completely obscures a kitchen door behind it.
At the last moment the barmaid entered the frame on the left. But there doesn’t appear to be any way she could have cast a shadow like the one seen in the picture – and she later confirmed there was no one behind the bar with her.
“I can’t fathom it out. Neither can the people we’ve shown it to,” Susanne said.
She speculated that it might be the spirit of a former landlord who hung himself.
The ghost of a grumpy old man is often spotted sitting in one of the Golden Fleece alcoves
The top bar is haunted by the ghost of a young boy from Victorian times. He was trampled to death by the horse that pulled a brewer’s dray.
Hear the recording of a girl’s voice
“We took an EVP at the same time upstairs.
“It sounds like a little girl saying, ‘now I will show you’. We heard the taps come on at the same time.”
Susanne and her team, based in Greater Manchester, have undertaken research in reputedly haunted locations across the UK.
In more than ten years of carrying out investigations, she has never come across anything as strange as the Golden Fleece photograph.
In the Second World War a Canadian airman fell to his death from one of the upstairs windows at the Golden Fleece and then took up residence as a ghost
Best in ten years
With paranormal investigations, we’re there to debunk it. Over ten years I could probably count on one hand the stuff we’ve actually picked up on.
But nothing as good as the Golden Fleece.
“If anyone can shed some light on it then fair enough.”
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There are a number of accounts of staff who have felt a sudden tightening around their neck while standing at the bar – the very bar where, it is said, an earlier landlord hanged himself.