Short but sweet this week. Sweet and spooky. Really spooky.
Last time at the Royal Oak, we talked about the bar. The busy bar was almost the full length of the far wall of the large open space. Behind the bar were two doors. The first led to the kitchen. The other was an old wooden door which led to the cellar. Inside the door were two stone steps leading straight into a square room with only one other entrance: double doors to the left where beer deliveries were received. The remote location and need for security meant these doors were always locked unless there was a delivery (the cellar was also where expensive bottles of spirits were kept, so it would be a quick way to lose a lot of money quickly if left unlocked).
One thing of the first things you’d notice on entering the cellar, besides the large barrels and chilled air, were electrical sockets. One by each barrel of beer. To help thirsty customers get their hands on ice cool beverages ASAP, the bar was fitted with electric beer pumps. Place a glass under the tap, flick a switch and a half a pint is poured. Flick it again and Hey, Presto! a pint. Ideal when the round was a mixture of beers and spirits. Leave the glass under the tap and mix a double Jack and Coke or whatever. Because it was so busy it common to see several of the taps going at the same time.
In the middle of the chaos of a Friday night shift, the place is packed, disco music is pumping, dancefloor jumping, and of course, beer is flowing.
That’s when our night in question takes a turn for the weird.
The music is still playing. The dancefloor is still jumping. The problem is the beer. The flow has stopped. All of the pumps have stopped at exactly the same time. The music is still playing, so it’s not a power cut. So what is it?
Several bar staff desperately start flicking the switches up and down. Nothing. So the problem must be in the cellar.
Upon entering the cellar, everything seemed normal. Nobody there. Kegs all aligned in their usual ‘L’ shape along the walls, no bottles missing, and those all-important double doors still locked. Then they see it.
Every plug to those electric beer pumps, spaced over a distance of a few yards, has not just been switched off, but completely removed from the wall. At the same time. Unplugged.
Every. Single. One.
After a few moments nonplussed, the plugs were reinstated to their working positions and normal service resumed. A problem easily solved. But to anyone working that night, it was a problem not so easily forgotten.
Have you experienced anything spooky yourself? Seen a ghost? UFOs? 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!
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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.