Have you ever wanted to take a selfie with a ghost? Add this haunted London pub to your touring plans and grab a #ghostpicture. Make sure to copy/paste the list of haunted travel hashtags below.
A Haunted London Pub Perfect for Ghost Selfies
The Crooked Billet is located in the outskirts of London in Wimbledon, a place famous for tennis matches and strawberries and cream. The pub itself is situated in Wimbledon Village, just a short journey from the main centre.
A pub has resided in this spot in the charming Wimbledon Village since 1509, but it only became The Crooked Billet recently. That is, in 1776. This haunted London pub overlooks a stretch of green known as Wimbledon Common. It is an ideal place to drink in summer, or even winter with its roaring, ancient fireplace. And if you get lucky, you might just be able to capture a selfie with a ghost here. This pub is known to be quite haunted.
Origins of the Name ‘Crooked Billet’
The name “Crooked Billet” stems from the medieval practice of hanging seasonal crops outside of taverns in order to signify that passing travellers could eat at this place. The oldest form of this method is hanging a piece of wood, also known as a billet, to signify that travellers were welcome to reside here, and thus it became “The Crooked Billet.”
The Ghost of the Crooked Billet
Rumours circulate that Oliver Cromwell’s father died in this very pub, but he is not the ghost that haunts this place. Indeed it was supposedly the hideout of Dick Turpin, the famous highwayman, who was in love with the Crooked Billet’s landlord’s daughter, Bess.
It has been speculated that this could be the same Bess as in poem “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyles. He describes a black eyed Bess who “Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there,” trying to prevent her lover from being caught by the King’s Men. But it is not she who haunts the pub either.
Instead the ghost is that of an Irish woman whose footsteps can be heard moving around the cellar. Quite how they know she’s Irish, I’m not sure. Perhaps they can hear Michael Flatley impressions from upstairs. Nonetheless she has been there for many years and is all part and parcel of the quaint, friendly ambiance.
The Haunted Pub Atmosphere of the Crooked Billet
The tavern certainly has an air of a country pub with its oak beamed ceilings, cloudy window glass and wooden floor. If you can’t make it to the English countryside, this is very close to the real thing and all in London. The service is friendly, professional and the grass outside is a perfect place to enjoy the sunshine on a warm summer’s day. Try a pint of Guinness and you may just lure the Irish woman out of the cellar to take a photo with you. If she’s unavailable, other accounts have been made that there is a tricorn hat wearing fellow who likes to sit at the bar. The ghosts of soldiers are also rumored to stop by on occasion, to relive that one last pint they had before the nearby battle that did them in.
Regardless of whether or not you encounter a ghost, rest assured that this pub and inn is known for good food and great atmosphere. You won’t regret stopping by.
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