Ghostly Patron Still Visits Cricketers Arms in Keighley

The ghost of a man in a flat cap is said to haunt the Cricketers Arms, in Keighley.

Landlord John Mitchell claims to have seen the ghostly figure three times while locking up at night. He suspects the man died in the late 1950s following an incident at the Coney Lane pub.

Local ghost hunter Malcolm Hanson is now looking into the possible origin of the spectre.

He hopes to reveal the full story of the ghost in his upcoming book Mysterious Keighley.

And he wants to hear other people’s spooky stories about the Cricketers and other old Keighley pubs.

Mr Hanson first highlighted the Cricketers story in 2006 while leading ghost tours for Keighley Festival. He and his party called at the tiny pub for a half-time rest during their town centre trek. Mr Mitchell laid on a fake spook to shock the ghost hunters, involving fishing wire and a dummy. But he believes there is a real ghost haunting the narrow passage linking the outside door with the bar. In recent years he has seen a figure through the glass at least three times.

He said: “I turned the lights out and looked into the porchway and there was a figure, a man with a flat cap.

“I shouted and turned the lights on but he wasn’t there. About a year later I saw him again.

“One of our customers told us the story about in the late 1950s or 1960s when a guy died just outside the pub.

“There was an accident in here. He went out, banged his head on the pavement and died.”

Mr Mitchell also feels an icy presence in the cellar of the hostelry from time to time. His cleaner has seen the figure in the morning, sitting at a table with his bike next to him. He was transparent and had a flat cap.

He has owned the Cricketers Arms for 11 years and moved in to run it six years ago. He did not believe in ghosts until his 1990s’ tenancy at the Brewery Arms, formerly the Masons Arms, in nearby Longcroft.

“In the 1800s there was a lot of trouble. One night I glanced over to the cellar door and there was a woman standing there in Victorian dress. It always seemed to be midnight, so I started waiting till quarter past to lock-up.”

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