An Ashurst innkeeper, parish councillor and other residents across the South Downs have told the County Times their scary tales of the supernatural for Halloween.
With its strange folklore, historic sites and vast wooded areas, the South Downs is the ideal setting for a spooky story to unfold, so it is no surprise that residents have stepped forward to share their frightening encounters.
The Fountain Inn in Ashurst is a quaint village pub boasting timber frames, creaking floorboards and an Inglenook fireplace, but it is this fireplace where the apparition of a former punter has been sighted.
The innkeeper Alex Tipping has been experiencing strange goings on since starting his job at the pub.
“I have heard a lot of stories from locals about Old Jake who is supposed to haunt this place,” said Alex.
It is said that a customer saw a man with his dog sitting by the Inglenook fireplace.
The customer collected his drink from the bar and turned around to find the man and his furry companion had both disappeared.
Upon questioning the staff about the vanished man, the barman pointed to a painting of Old Jake on the wall that was of the deceased gentleman he had just ‘witnessed’.
“When I’m alone after hours the doors crack open and close on their own, but there’s no ventilation.”
Once frequented by Laurence Olivier and Sir Paul McCartney, the pub is popular amongst villagers, but barmaid Immy Smithson said she did not like to be alone there.
“When we shut down and no-one’s about things like a mug on top of the coffee machine will fall on its own,” said Immy.
To celebrate Halloween, The Fountain Inn will be throwing a party with games and giveaways for the best dressed tonight (Thursday October 31). All welcome.
To read more stories of unexplained events in the South Downs, see our website later loday.