Is The Leopard Pub Haunted?

Or, Visit A British Haunted Pub

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Is the Leopard Pub in Burslem Haunted?

Written by Colette Warbrook in Jan. 2015

28-06-2008 The Leopard pub, Market Place, Burslem Staffordshire Adults Autism Associations steering committee are  doing a charity ghost hunt at the pub to raise funds. Reporter. Richard Ault Category. nws ld Date. Saturday, June 28 Time.  6pm Pictured is Kevin Healey in some of the upper rooms of the pub, which are allegedly haunted.

A FEW months back, I took a younger friend to Burslem and was surprised to learn that he had never patronised the revered Leopard in Market Place.

In a jiffy, I had dragged my friend Kevin into the hostelry and ordered some drinks while he looked around his “new pub”.

It wasn’t long before he told me he felt unsettled, explaining that he could sense an unhappy presence.

At this stage, I should reveal that Kevin appears to be sensitive to such phenomena, as he claims to have seen a non-corporeal young girl in his Pittshill house on many occasions – as indeed have his wife and two children.

I introduced him to Sharon Crisp, the Leopard’s landlady, with whom he cheerfully swapped notes about creepy experiences.

Sharon and her team often advertise ghost tours at this historic pub.

Some of the unlit – and largely unused – upstairs rooms have been draped with such as fake spiders’ webs, and you’ll even find a representation of the alleged Burslem Witch, Molly Leigh, to further enhance the entertainment value.

And this is the point. Are the ghost tours a bit of harmless fun, or is the Leopard really haunted?

My visit with Kevin triggered a follow-up visit by about 14 members of Burslem History Club, who were given an extensive tour of the building just before Christmas.

I’m lucky enough to possess an architect’s plan of the Leopard as it was in 1903, and the upper floors have changed relatively little.

Our guide related various incidents that had allegedly occurred in the pub, including the inexplicable flinging of a horse statuette that normally sits on top of the mantelpiece in one of the front rooms.

All this was prime fodder for the team of Most Haunted, who filmed at the Leopard in 2007.

Then again, I’d be highly dubious of that television programme’s angle on things.

Just before production began on the Leopard segment, one of their team rang me and told me they were thinking of running with the story that Molly Leigh – who they claimed was well-known in the Leopard – had been put on trial as a witch in Burslem Town Hall.

I pointed out that at the time of Margaret’s death in 1748 – at the age of 24, incidentally – Burslem’s first town hall was still about 13 years in the future.

Burslem History Club members survived the tour without beer mats being thrown at us, or hairs standing up on the tops of our heads. However, one of our lady members commented that she had definitely sensed a presence.

I am a firm believer in the idea that some people are more psychically receptive to these things than others, such as this lady and my friend Kevin.

There is a rational explanation for most things, but this is no reason to dismiss my friends’ observations.

On the night when Kev and I visited, Sharon permitted us to go up to one of the landings.

My friend took a number of inquisitive steps forward, while I stood at the top of a staircase.

The strange thing is that I began to feel very cold down my left side, and even when we returned below for a drink, I felt a sense of unease that I had never previously experienced in a pub.

Someone asked me during our ghost tour whether I could handle a sleep-over at the Leopard. I have to say that a cage-fight with Mike Tyson might be preferable.

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