IT is a place where there definitely should not be any spirits for the Southwick Brewhouse is supposed to be in the business of making beer and cider.

However, since it was opened a year ago ghostly things have been brewing.

Visitors and staff have been pouring their hearts out about the ghost whose spirit is haunting the upstairs hop store of the early Victorian steam brewery near Fareham.

Opened a year ago the historic building has attracted hundreds of visitors, included real ale enthusiasts, amateur historians and steam engine fanciers.

Now you can add to that list a visitor of the supernatural kind. The presence of a ghost has mystified brewhouse owners Martin Bazeley and Al Stringer.

Martin, 49, who is also a farmer, has felt the ghost's presence and said: "You could say it is the only spirit on the premises!"

He has not found it particularly unnerving but his business partner Ali, 40, has had a closer encounter with a ghostly hand on the shoulder.

Martin said: "Ali has experienced a strange feeling on a number of occasions and people have reported hearing mysterious footsteps and a male voice murmering upstairs."

The ghost has been heard to say: "I want you."

Ghost spotters have also included visitors to the ancient brewery and local builders.

Martin said: "Lots of visitors have told us they get an odd feeling in the hop store upstairs and a little girl came downstairs and said I don't like it up there - there is a funny man.'"

Local builders have also asked "Have you seen the ghost?"

Martin said: "There have been sightings over the years of an old man at the window upstairs."

He quipped: "It is enough to drive you to drink!"

Asked if they had a name for the ghost, Martin said: " We do not but perhaps we could run a competition."

The Brewhouse is a scheduled ancient monument and it was last used in 1957 when master brewer Dick Olding hung up his keys for the last time at the ripe old age of 81.

Much of the equipment is as Mr Olding left it, including the 145-year-old steam boiler which powered all the brewing equipment. But no one knows where the ghost comes from.

There are 175 different beers and ciders - and of course that one unexplained item of stock which has spirited its way into the old brewery.