Parts one and two of the Royal Oak series gave a little background into the kinds of activity at the Royal Oak: Residual Haunting and Poltergeist. Two for the price of one this week! Two short, but intriguing tales for you. Tales of poltergeists...
One night my dad and mum were working at the Royal Oak and a couple of customers, who were impressed with the age of the old place asked about hauntings.
As mentioned in part two, the Royal Oak was a huge place and at weekends was a busy nightclub – yes, I grew up experiencing this. Yes, my childhood was that awesome. The bar itself was brass-topped (just like Pegleg’s table) and wide, to stop drunken patrons trying to reach over and help themselves to beer(!), and the area behind the bar was equally wide. The extra room was invaluable during those packed out weekends so the bar staff could easily pass one another. All in all, the distance from the back of the bar, to the front of the bar was somewhere around 5 feet. Behind the bar were shelves full of glasses at eye level for easy access.
So the question came about hauntings, and my dad mentioned the odd sightings, and poltergeist activity. No sooner were the words left his mouth, than a glass flew from the shelf behind the bar. It flew through the air completely clearing the bar, before smashing on the customer side. A huge distance.
Such a journey defied the laws of physics, and cannot simply be attributed to gravity alone. Again, this is another story which asks for some serious logic bending when trying to come up with an explanation.
The second story happened one night after the pub had closed. My dad had stayed up for one of those late night afterhours sessions and had fallen asleep afterwards. He awoke alone, disturbed by the distinctive hollow metallic sound of barrels being moved around in the cellar.
He opened his blurry eyes and the noise stopped, but he saw somebody helping themselves to a shot from the optics mounted behind the bar. His eyes came into focus but when they did, there was nobody there. Thinking he’d imagined the whole thing, he went upstairs to bed.
The next morning he went downstairs and spoke to my grandmother.
“What were you doing last night?” she asked.
Dad explained that he wasn’t doing anything. “Why?” he asked.
“It took me ages to fall asleep because of the racket coming from downstairs.”
Dad was confused. “What racket?”
“There was somebody messing around in the cellar, moving empty barrels around.”
The word ‘Poltergeist’ comes from the German meaning ‘noisy ghost’. Poltergeist activity includes objects being moved (or in some cases thrown), loud noises, e.g. knocking, banging, etc. This kind of spirit is also purportedly capable of biting and scratching those unfortunates who are unlucky enough to experience it. Poltergeist activity often occurs in the presence of an adolescent: in a home where there is at least one teenager; one theory being that poltergeists feed off their energy, though this gives rise to claims of bored kids with nothing better to do playing pranks on adults.
Other theories still claim poltergeists can be written off simply as the result of a vivid imagination or memory lapses.
In the case of the glass above, it would be an elaborate prank indeed, to get a glass to perform the kind of gymnastics mentioned. Not only that, but the prank would have to be set up during a shift, and not triggered beforehand. Who would do this? My parents were as much victims of the ’prank’ as anyone. So could this just be a case of imagination? Well, if there is a broken glass as a result, seen by multiple witnesses then I should say not. Which leaves us with a question: are poltergeists real?
Have you experienced poltergeist activity yourself? Let us know in the comments! As always, I’d like this to be a serious discussion, so no jokes, memes, etc. And please be respectful of others!
And a quick word about a new short story series Infinity. Part one 'Last Party' saw our hero wake up chained in a warehouse, surrounded by 3 strangers bearing strange marks on their wrists, but what do they want? Part two drops this Friday (17th Feb) at 8am (GMT)
In this blog I'll be bringing to you short tales of things that go bump in the night, true stories of weird and unexplained events, and the real-life news of all things odd and macabre, and entertain you along the way.