AT more than 1,000 years old Winchester’s Royal Oak is one of the oldest pubs in Britain, so it is no surprise ghost hunters and paranormal investigators flock in search of spooky happenings.
The pub has stood in the heart of Winchester since 1002, with the earliest reference of it opening as a pub dated 1390- 1430.
Tonight it will the centre of a major investigation as ghost hunters try to find its haunting regulars.
The pub will undergo a paranormal investigation, after an ex-Winchester University student, Graham Crabb, witnessed spooky goings on four years ago whilst he was filming a project.
The team of four, part of GhostQuest UK, will explore the pub for up to five hours from 11pm, and co-founder Ana Luty said they have been looking forward to it for some time.
“The last time Graham went there it was quite unruly and aggressive. There were dark shadows moving across the room, and things were moving.
“The landlord has said we can come back for the investigation but only if we bring a medium this time because he doesn’t want us to stir anything up and bring on aggressive spirits.”
Graham said: “We were downstairs in the basement, and there were no windows. There were little orbs, or balls of light, moving around the room, bouncing up and down. We couldn’t explain it,” he said.
“Of everywhere I have investigated, the Royal Oak had the most activity.
“We did a makeshift Ouija board with a glass, and put our fingers on top, and that was moving around. When we asked them to make noises they did.”
Graham said he tried to scientifically explain the events at the Royal Oak, but admitted he couldn’t.
From 1012 to 1974 there have been approximately 30 listed occupants or landlords, including Queen Emma in 1012.
It also believed that Edward the Confessor spent part of his early years at the property, which gained its current name from the English Civil War fought between King Charles I and the Long Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell.
From 1653 to 1658 under Cromwell's rule, the Royal Oak was a notorious haunt for the city’s royalist supporters.
The pub has also recently been used as a starting point for ghost tours.