St Annes Castle
Main Road, Great Leighs, Chelmsford, Essex
After the Witchcraft Act of 1563, there were a large number of executions in the area around this pub. These have been detailed history from the 12th century. It has, on one outside wall, a painted inscription claiming to be the oldest pub in the country. The building was included in the Domesday Book of 1086. When St Anne’s Castle was investigated by a psychic medium, she reported contact with a man wearing hunting clothes, who had been involved in the occult or black magic during the mid-14th century. She added it had been the scene of a murder when a man had strangled a woman in the building. During the Second World War, there was an excavation of Scrap Faggot Green. This was the local name for where witches had lived. This disturbed a number of apparitions that continue to haunt the village and this inn. In recent years, a large number of people have made strenuous effort to sleep in a particular room with a conspicuous lack of success. This was because of icy draughts, curtains being ripped apart, with furniture moved. In several instances, the bedclothes have been pulled from the cowering occupants. Coincidentally, there have been reports of black shapes around the beds, described as medieval and satanic with malevolent faces and hands.