A historic hotel located in Clitheroe, England, is currently for sale but the new owners may get more than they bargained for as the building is rumored to be haunted.
The centuries-old Swan and Royal has six en-suite bedrooms on the first floor in addition to a pub/restaurant and a function room. A three-bedroom owner’s apartment can be found on the second floor. Several famous guests stayed there over the years including Sir Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sir Frank Whittle who invented the jet engine.
As for the paranormal activity, it’s actually quite a tragic story. In the year 1878, cotton workers went on strike and troops were sent in to control the riots. The Mayor of Clitheroe stood on the steps of the Swan and Royal and began yelling out the Riot Act. Although he did regain control of the town, several cotton workers had died.
Since the riots had stopped, the troops just quietly patrolled the town for the next month. Two of the troopers, however, found love with two local girls and they planned a double wedding. Unfortunately, the two men were scheduled to be sent overseas and the weddings were called off. Sixteen weeks after leaving Clitheroe, both men had died in battle.
Needless to say, the two young women were devastated, but more so for 17-year-old Anne Druce who had just found out that she was pregnant. After her parents found out and disowned her, Anne went to the Swan and Royal – the last place that she had spent time with her fiancé. She couldn’t handle the heartbreak and committed suicide in the same room where they had conceived the baby.
There have been reports of people seeing Anne’s ghost on the top floor of the building. She is said to pull duvets off the bed, as well as slamming shut the windows, closing the curtains in the room, and flushing the toilet. And according a report by the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, a man from the United States had stayed there and one morning while he was eating breakfast in his room, he heard water running. When he went into the bathroom to investigate, he noticed that both sink taps were turned on. But that’s not all he witnessed, as he allegedly saw the soap rise up from the dish before being placed back down. At that point, he saw both of the taps turn off.
Bedroom number five is said to be the most haunted as guests have reported being constantly woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of a crying baby. When workers were renovating the building’s attic in 1957, they came upon a gruesome discovery, as they found something wrapped in several pieces of newspaper. After unwrapping it, they discovered the skeleton of a baby. What’s even more disturbing is that the newspaper was dated March 1879 which is quite a coincidence (or not) since Anne committed suicide around that time.
Although her story is heartbreaking, it doesn’t seem as though Anne is an angry spirit, so potential owners should be safe with buying the haunted Swan and Royal.