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Spirits in the Black Lion

Black Lion, Babell
Several ghosts are said to haunt Babell's Black Lion pub

By Nick Bourne
Contributors share ghost stories relating to the Black Lion pub in Babell, near Holywell, including one in an iron mask, mysterious knocks and shouts at the door and others...

Paranormal author and researcher Richard Holland is well acquainted with the stories of ghosts at this particular village local, including one recounted to him by a former policeman.

Richard, editor of Paranormal Magazine, explains: "A former policeman told me that one night in the early 1970s the Holywell station received a phone call from the anxious landlord complaining that someone with an American accent was hammering on the front door and demanding entrance; he sounded very distressed and kept crying 'Help me! Help me!'

"The policeman was nonplussed. 'Well, why don't you let him in and see if you can help him?' he asked.

"'Because,' replied the landlord, 'we're upstairs looking out of the window and there's nobody out there!'"

We have had a few strange sightings on the lane, including a 7ft man in Victorian clothing.
J Hughes

Richard from Mold, who has written several books, including Haunted Clwyd, said: "The policeman and a colleague drove out to investigate because the landlord was so upset.

"By the time they arrived, the noises had ceased. No explanation was ever forthcoming for the origin of the ghost, if such it was."

Meanwhile, Babell resident, Colgrave, shares other spooky encounters.

"My parents had a couple of spooky experiences," he says. My dad was home from working abroad and holding court at the bar with his mates when he saw a face appear in an iron mask decoration above the bar.

"Just as he cried out 'there's a face', his glass shattered in a straight line across the bar. Not the stem just the bulb of the glass.

The door handles turned and rattled as if someone was coming in.

"Florence, the landlady, immediately offered drinks all round and cleared up.

"There were, of course, the jokes about having too much to drink and imagination etc but my dad was pretty shaken by it and as he had just got there - he hadn't drunk much at all.

"About a week later he persuaded my mum to go out for a drink to the Black Lion.

"Mum was very nervous and didn't want to go so after a couple of hours she was waiting on her own for my dad to finish his goodbyes and sitting opposite the side door to the car park.

"The door handles turned and rattled as if someone was coming in and then pushed open and pushed again over the bit of floor where it got stuck.

It was upstairs that scared her the most.
T Jones

"Mum was opposite looking and expecting someone she knew to be there but there was no one."

Colgrove's stories aren't isolated.

"The staff used to complain about the ghost tipping the mixer bottles but not letting them fall and smash behind the bar," he says.

"The owners were aware of the goings on and their daughter, when she was small, used to ask why did the lady come to sit on her bed at night. There were also rumours of Roman soldiers marching through the cellars."

Your experiences at the Black Lion:

J Hughes: "My family are from Babell, just down the lane from the Black Lion. My father also came home with the tale of an American banging on the door of the Black Lion. Also, we have had a few strange sightings on the lane, including a 7ft man in Victorian clothing."

T Jones, Holywell: "I knew the owners quite well and often asked about the stories, which abound the place. She told me many that happened over the years, but it was upstairs that scared her the most, and the cleaning ladies - as well as the room up the small steps to the right of the bar."

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