I've just returned from a wonderful weekend at the haunted Cridford Inn at Thrusham, a sleepy Devonshire village lying just outside the eastern border of Dartmoor National Park. It's a place I visited with work nearly a decade ago, but this weekend was the first time I ever dined, drank and stayed there as a patron of its incredible hospitality!
The Cridford Inn dates back to before the Norman Conquest. It was once a Devon longhouse, which history is pretty obvious in the picture above. It also served as a nunnery for a while. There is a memorial in one of the dining rooms, commemorating the visit in 1081 of the future King Henry I.
With so much history, it comes as no surprise that there are tales of ghosts being seen. Two in particular are often witnessed by staff and guests alike, a Civil War cavalier and a young nun. Nessa the landlady has also left a couple of soft toys out for the ghost of a little boy, said to be bored and lonely when haunting the Cridford Inn.
Needless to say, I hoped to see something myself when visiting. I wasn't disappointed...
Saturday afternoon and, having enjoyed a delicious Full English for breakfast, then taken a wander around the pretty village of Thrusham, my girlfriend and I settled into a snug by the old fireplace for red wine and ghost stories. Unfortunately, the Cridford Inn was mentioned in neither book we read, a shocking oversight on the part of the authors responsible!! Paranormal activity is frequent at the inn and we saw things ourself.
First, I saw what's best described as the black, shadowy silhouette of a man rising to his feet from beside a nearby table. For his texture and complexion, think very dark fog; more a shadow than a being. He seemed to come up from the ground before disappearing almost immediately afterwards. Maybe he was the infamous cavalier but that wasn't the impression I got. His shape was large and bulky, a mixture of muscle and fat. As one might expect from a farm labourer or the like.
My girlfriend's experience trumped this. Whilst I was at the bar, fetching us a couple more glasses of red wine, she witnessed something far more exciting.
By now we'd changed tables. The sun had finally come out for a bit, so we'd moved to the other end of the Cridford Inn's lovely old dining room. Light was streaming through the stained glass windows, an especially fine feature of this historic room. My girlfriend saw the ghost of a young woman materialise by the fireplace and walk towards the area we'd previously sat.
She described her to me as having the body of a twelve year old girl. She didn't think the ghost was a nun but perhaps a noblewoman, for although the ghost stooped as though carrying something heavy, she wore a hennin. That is to say, the conical hat and headdress fashionable amongst the wealthy during mediaeval times.
There was nothing frightening about either apparition. Nothing scary or sinister about the way the ghosts behaved. Indeed, neither acted as though aware of our own presence in the room, although Nessa did later say that my girlfriend had sat upon a chair apparently favoured by the ghostly nun.
Food was excellent that night and sleep undisturbed. We saw nothing in the dining room when breakfasting on Sunday morning. I took my iPhone out to photograph the room for this blog. I wanted to show where the ghostly lady had been.
And that's where things got really interesting...
For although nothing could be seen by the naked eye, a gold dot appeared on the iPhone's screen. At first, I thought it was a speck of dirt and tried cleaning it off; then I guessed it was a reflection, but it clearly wasn't that either. There was nothing visible except on the screen itself.
I took a few photographs and the gold dot was captured on each. I then shot a short video and the gold dot (let's call it an orb) followed me around before moving upwards. I've attached the video and photographs here.
One final note about the Cridford Inn, one of the most haunted pubs in Devon. When I took the following pictures of its lovely old dining room and snug on Saturday afternoon, I didn't see anything unusual. I didn't notice the strange golden orb that followed me around on Sunday. However, on looking at these pictures last night, I saw the one taken in the snug captured that self-same floating gold object.
I have no explanation for its presence. You'll have to decide for yourselves what it is.