Hotel where ‘child spirits tickle your feet’ is so haunted guests have to sign a disclaimer

A former pub turned hotel and museum is apparently so haunted guests brave enough to stay overnight have to sign a disclaimer.

A whole host of spooky goings-on have been reported at the Hanbury Arms, in Pontypool, Wales, including whispers, singing, whistling, footsteps, glass smashing and lights turning off.

Guests have said their feet were tickled in bed by ghosts and a rocking horse is said to have rocked all on its own.

Among the many spirits said to live here are children, a hangman and a sinister black shadow that lurks in the cellar, reports Wales Online.

Builders working on updating the property have walked off site. There is a strange stench of garlic that emanates from one room. And one ghost distinctly smells like Brut aftershave.

For Welsh couple Tracey and Nigel Turner all of the above were reasons why this property was a perfect home for them.

The couple were aware of the ‘haunted’ Hanbury Arms hotel and pub in Pontypool from their background in paranormal investigating but it didn’t really fit their location requirements. But it kept popping up on Rightmove, people kept mentioning it, and in the end they decided to at least go and have a look at the property.

Turning up to meet the agent from Paul Fosh Auctions, Tracey and Nigel thought she was already there as the deadbolt on the inside of the front door was heard sliding open but then Deborah turned up in her car – the building was empty – it seemed like the property had already decided the couple were going to be its new owners.

Even the coffins in the cellar didn’t put the couple off, if anything it made them even keener. The property was a perfect fit for Tracey and Nigel’s home and paranormal needs.

The couple say they got an overwhelming feeling of home the first time they visited the place. Nigel says: “We thought ‘this is the one’. It’s like whatever was here wanted us here, it felt it should be our home.”

Tracey says: “As soon as we walked in we could feel the energy here, added to by the underground tunnels underneath the pub and the ley lines going through it. It’s everything we wanted.”

The property was due to go under the hammer with Paul Fosh Auctions with a guide of £140,000, but Tracey and Nigel were so keen, they bagged it prior to the auction for an undisclosed amount.

It is believed that the building dates back to the 1830s and in its lifetime has been a court, a morgue and a pub and this mix of stress, fear, death and many thousands of pints makes for an intriguing atmosphere and, some might say, a hotbed for paranormal activity.

Reports are numerous from former pub staff and customers over many years before it closed and Tracey and Nigel bought it as their new home, with whispers, glass smashing, lights turning off and distinct smells a regular occurrence.

The most frequent activity now appears to be multiple light anomalies, also known as orbs, many of which have been caught on cameras that are constantly rolling in the corridors, bar and reception rooms.

In the past, builders working on updating the property have walked off site and refused to return. Former owner Sean O’Connor told Gwent News at the time when he owned the building in 2012 with business partner Mark Baker: “The experiences we have had have been so profound and tangible that you’ve got no option but to believe it.”

The property has been investigated many times, including most recently by well-known paranormal investigator Barri Ghai from TV show ‘Help! My House is Haunted’, who also investigated BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Robert’s haunted Rhondda farmhouse.

The couple believe that the Hanbury Arms is full of spirits from children to a hangman, pub customers to a sinister black shadow that lurks in the cellar – the Hanbury couldn’t be more perfect as the couple’s home and place to establish their expanding haunted museum, with many years worth of haunted items people have donated to them.

These include toys and books and many dolls, some of which are so possessed that they remain in cases for safety reasons and can only be touched with gloves by the couple and definitely not visitors.

Tracey says all the rooms are haunted and reports of experiences are growing. She says: “For example, in the old nursery, guests’ feet sticking out of the bed and being tickled by the child spirits and Chestnut the old rocking horse will rock, and pulled out into the centre of the room, we’ve heard him in the morning and guests have witnessed it.

“The portrait room is a very active room with spirits going back and forth to the landing. We’ve got two landings and one is where the hangman wanders around. The black widow room has the spirit of a Victorian lady, but it all comes and goes around the building.

“The cellar, yes, there’s a dark energy down there, a spirit portal down there that has been there for a long time before we moved in. We’ve had guests wake up in the night and felt and seen a dark oppressive, cloaked figure just hovering over them.

“Some days and some nights you go in the building and it’s pretty quiet, but sometimes the place comes alive in different areas. All in all there’s nothing that will harm you, you do get the odd oppressive feeling when you come up onto the hangman’s landing but the rest of the spirits are just people.”