WITH tales of glasses flying through the air and feet being tickled by invisible fingers, it is fair to say there is more than alcoholic spirits to welcome any new landlords to one Hampshire pub.

Screams have often been heard crying out from the vaulted cellar as staff find themselves locked inside while footsteps roam the floorboards of the Hiltonbury Farmhouse.

However, the ghost - believed to be that of Richard, son of Oliver Cromwell - means no harm, he just gets annoyed when punters do not believe in him.

Landlords Lynne and Mike Sinker have run the Hilton-bury Farmhouse in Miller's Dale Estate, Chandler's Ford, since it was transformed from a derelict farmhouse.

After 23 years at the 16th century building the family have called time and decided to sell up as they downsize from four pubs to two.

From day one the Sinker's knew they were not alone in the pub, experiencing all kinds of ghostly goings-on and they have noticed a sudden increase in paranormal activity since they made the decision to sell up.

Richard Cromwell, the eldest surviving son and successor of the Lord Protector, bought the former Elizabethan farmhouse in 1649 after his marriage to Dorothy Major, whose father owned the land.

Rachel Sinker, 31, who has grown up at the Farmhouse and now runs it for her parents, said: "We have our friendly ghost but lately a lot more things have been happening.

"More glasses and plates have been falling off shelves and my stereo keeps switching on, so I think he probably knows we are moving out and he's a bit on edge.

"I was watching television with two members of staff and we could have sworn we saw a figure walking about, but I have never felt frightened or threatened by it, even living here on my own.

"I have grown up here so this pub is in the blood. It is going to be very upsetting to leave."

Lynne added: "So many spooky things have happened but the ghost means no harm - he just gets upset when customers fail to believe in him, that's when you notice things start to happen.