Our columnist Derek Acorah returns to share his spooky tales of an old haunted inn…
Ye Olde Ostrich Inn
This month, I’m going to recall my experience of Ye Olde Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook – a particularly haunted inn that I have visited a couple of times and which always fascinated me because of the awfulness of its legend which dates back to the 14th century. Over sixty wealthy guests are alleged to have been murdered on the premises by dint of a bedroom situated over the then-kitchen which contained a tilting bed. Once the customer had retired to bed and was fast asleep, the landlord would operate the tilting system which would hurl the sleeping traveller through a trap door in the floor. They would land in a huge cauldron of boiling oil or water which resulted in them being scalded and drowned. Staff working at the inn have reported strange noises and sightings, locked doors have been discovered later to be wide open, and lights and other electrical appliances have been turned on and off. A black figure has also been seen wandering the premises.
“When I first entered the premises, I was quite disappointed in that I felt absolutely nothing in the atmosphere. With a history such as the inn has, I had at least expected to feel some sort of evidence of activity in the atmosphere. After taking a few moments to familiarise myself with the rooms, I felt drawn to one in particular that was situated at the rear of the inn. It was a room that was used for storage and had stark, white walls. The noticeable thing about the room was the odour. It was a horrible smell, and I felt that it denoted nothing good at all. As I walked further into the room, I became very aware of a sudden and noticeable drop in temperature. I had experienced this many times before – I had entered a vortex.
“I concentrated closely, trying to discern a noise, voice or anything that would give evidence of spirit presence. I then heard a barely discernible voice, and then I saw the outline of a man building up in front of me. I’m Tom,’ he announced. ‘But I didn’t go the way of the others! They garrotted me!’ The spirit man Tom was dressed in times of long ago, and as he stood there he was grasping at a ligature tied rightly around his neck. I noticed that his legs, from the knees downward, were horribly disfigured. ‘They didn’t get their way,’ he said. ‘I ran away, but he did for me in the end!’ I then became aware of Sam, who murmered to me ‘Poor Tom! He was travelling to Reading but he didn’t complete his journey!’ For some moments, I could feel the horror of what Tom had gone through. Tom gradually faded away and I could feel the temperature in the room increasing. It was time to move on to another area of the inn.
“I felt the need to go down to the kitchen area. I walked along the hallway and round the corner. I was about to descend the stairs when I saw a lady dressed in Victorian dress standing just outside the door of the ladies’ toilets. She regally dipped her head, turned and disappeared. She did not speak – she was there and then she was gone. I felt quite safe to open the door of the toilets as the last customers had long gone. I took a quick look around, but there was nothing to be seen. I felt however that this lady’s appearance had been responsible for the rapid departure of more than one female patron of the old inn. I descended the stairs to the kitchen area of the inn, and had the impression of awful experiences in the atmosphere around that area. There had been a small room – a hiding place – where a woman took stolen belongings, watches, money and jewellery.
“I am quite sure that evil deeds were carried out in the past, as the atmosphere can still be picked up by mediums investigating Ye Olde Ostrich Inn. Over the years, many people have visited and stayed at the premises, and as a consequence, it has a wealth of ghosts and spirits who still to this day inhabit or visit the place.”
Your homely hauntings…
“I keep waking up in the middle of the night with a cold sensation drifting over me and around my bedroom – what could this be?” – Louise, Reading
“You could actually be clairsentient. This is a gift whereby you can sense that someone in spirit is close to you. Some ghosts, even without physical bodies, still have energy bodies – all of which carry a certain vibration and resonance – and any emotion that carries with it. This could be what you are picking up on when you are feeling cold. You may also feel pressure close to you, or tingly sensations in your arms or legs. Try talking to the spirit in a calm voice and acknowledging its presence. Perhaps ask it politely to also refrain from waking you up in future!”
Derek Acorah is one of the world’s most renowned spiritualist mediums, having demonstrated to millions of people in theatres throughout the UK and beyond over his 25 year career in the public eye. For more information, visit derekacorah.com