Famously described as the only pub in the world that is inside a stone circle, The Red Lion Pub at Avebury hosts a myriad of ghostly tales and paranormal experiences. Originally built in the late 16th century as a farm house, it wasn’t licensed to be the villages “local” until 1802. The building is situated inside one of three stone circles, also known as Avebury. The pubs later extension was built over a preexisting well, a fact that comes into play in one of the pubs ghostly tales. The ghostly folklore that surrounds The Red Lion is in no short supply. Some of these paranormal events include strange glowing orbs that are seen in the pub, a ghostly dog in the pub area, the ghost of a former landlords wife Florrie who was reportedly thrown down the well by her jealous husband, and a phantom carriage that is said to be a harbinger of death when it appears.
In today’s blog, I am going to present to you a tale we collected from one of our readers, John Chadwick, who lives in the United Kingdom. He had ventured down to Avebury in 2007 with his then girlfriend, because he had heard The Red Lion was one of the most haunted pubs in all of the U.K. Originally he camped in the Malborough area because he couldn’t get a room in the pub, but as luck would have it, later, after exploring Avebury and Silbury Hill he ventured back to The Red Lion where he was told the only room they had opened was supposed to be haunted. Perfect!
Here is his story:
As soon as I got to the top of the stairs of the landing I could feel a heavy static electricity, your hairs would stand on end. It felt like someone was rubbing a balloon all over my body. The employee at The Red Lion took us down a corridor and declared that the first room on the right, no one was allowed to go into or stay in because it was deemed to be too dangerous to patrons. Apparently, the owner’s mother had been a medium and had done some work inside the forbidden room to shift some negative spirit energy. She shifted it into the bar area, wherein in began to create tons of havoc for the owners and staff. Eventually, at a later time, she did another session to shift the energy back into the room and it has since been closed off for rental.
The rooms in the pub are all named after archeologists that have worked on the Avebury stone circle site in the past. The rooms in the back are not haunted, however, the two front rooms are indeed of the ghostly reputation. Once we were in the room the charge I felt initially on the landing was intensified and right away I had the strangest experience when I went to place my cell phone on charge in the outlet. I was bent down placing the plug into the socket when a ball of light the size of a tennis ball appeared by my hand and then exploded into shards. I thought I was hallucinating and I looked at my girlfriend to tell her about my experience, but she had already seen similar ball of lights going over the bed area. Eventually, multiple balls of light, in various size and color would turn up and as they moved they behaved almost like frames of movement. They would be there and then cancel in and out of vision as they traveled in a line of movement.
After that experience, we decided to go downstairs for a pint and some of the great food. We met up with and started talking to many travelers that were in the pub, including an American guy called Chuck. The travelers had been making jokes about the place being haunted, but Chuck wanted to experience it for his own eyes. We realized that we had seen Chuck earlier out on Silbury Hill before we had obtained the room at The Red Lion. So Chuck came with us to check out our room and once in the room he started acting all strange and illogical, almost overly dramatic. When he would say there was lights in the cupboard (closet) area, I couldn’t see anything, but they were clearly in other areas. He seemed to be over acting. In fact, his presence seemed to irritate whatever energy was in the room. I actually saw a red ball follow him leaving an “L” shape as he left the room after he was done.
After all that ordeal and “Chuck” had gone we decided not to go out exploring with the other travelers from down in the pub and instead stay in and get some must be needed sleep. My girlfriend fell into a deep sleep fast, which left me alone, attempting sleep, but being disrupted by the constant sighting of the ball of lights throughout the room. At one point I heard tapping on our window and my logical mind thought perhaps someone was throwing stones at the window, perhaps it was our traveler friends playing a trick. I checked and alas no one was there. The lights continued throughout the night and they had a vibration to them that, to me, felt threatening. They started making a sound that I could only explain as the sound of paper ripping, or wallpaper being torn off a wall. I had bought along with us a crucifix my mother made me take on this journey, and at one point I swore the sounds were coming from where I had stored it. Needless to say I decided not to use it for protection and even though I attempted the Lords Prayer, I became too scared to actually utter the words properly.
I tried without much success to fall asleep and as the night wore on I suddenly looked at the end of the bed and saw a hooded figure with a beard walking by, and as it walked it transformed into a woman from the 16th century with a squarish bonnet. I thought perhaps I was projecting something outwards and whatever was there had shifted and decided to take on my thoughts in it’s form to meet my preconceptions. Perhaps taking on the form of a bearded Druid type figure would have been too obvious so it shifted. I endured it all night on my own, not wanting to wake my partner, because honestly I wanted someone to be well rested to drive the route to Cornwall the next day. Fortunately, the next day arrived and needless to say I was completely exhausted as I hadn’t slept a wink. My partner did the driving and I have to admit it was the most intense and frightening paranormal experience I have ever had.
Above is John’s Sketches rendering the transforming figure he saw at the end of his bed.
John didn’t have an absolute explanation for his experience, but he swears it to be 100% truthful. Could it be the effects of the stones that surround the pub? Perhaps there truly is some phantom entities roaming the two front rooms that respond to the individual’s own projections as John suggested. It could be perhaps, that The Red Lion has a myriad of historical elements working in its favor in order to create an intense paranormal energy. It’s an energy, if you should happen to visit, that is sure to make your hair stand on end!
John, our story contributor, is a designer and illustrator and you can find him here: