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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Marquis of Granby

Ghost Hunting with the AITDE Team, Steve Taylor and Steve Brownlee on 10th September 2011

The Marquis of Granby is situated on the Gateshead (Newcastle) road between Sunniside and Lobley Hill. From the outside it looks much like other traditional pubs, warm and welcoming, but it’s history tells tales of a much darker and deadlier past...
The Marquis of Granby Pub was built around 1710, when it would have been used as a coaching Inn. Somewhere to water and rest the horses on long journeys.
It was virtually in this place in 1865 that the body of Joseph Leybourne, a local Father aged 47 was found bludgeoned to death. Bloody rocks were also found close to his body, the perpetrator had obviously used them to smash his head open in a fit of rage. Witnesses that night claim there was an altercation between Joseph and a few other men after they had attended a Flower Show just across the road earlier that day. But no one was ever caught for this hideous crime and Joseph is now said to be one of the possible four spirits that visit the pub and surrounding area on a regular basis. Does Joseph continue to comeback because his spirit can’t rest until they find his murderer?
Jack Bee a notorious thief with a very bad reputation was also supposedly in the area the night that Joseph was murdered, locals said he was in the Marquis the night of the argument. His ghost has also been reported in and around the pub.
Is he reliving that fateful night even now that he is dead?
The Current owners also talk of a ghost of a local lady named Mary, she is often seen and heard all around the premises and seems to be searching for her son, Joseph ( the man who was murdered) She was so stricken with grief after he was killed that it is reported that she died of a broken heart.
The Landlord and Landlady have witnessed many a strange going on from broken crockery, to the jukebox turning itself on in the middle of the night at full volume. They have seen Mary on numerous occasions in the bar area, but have also heard her around the rest of the building. She somehow makes the place feel inviting, a place you would like to sit and stay a while. Not at all the normal creepy on edge feeling you get in most haunted places...
When speaking to some local people recently we learned that there is also a phantom hitch-hiker who gets into people’s cars only to vanish without a trace minutes later and the ghost of a motorcyclist who was supposedly killed after an accident just outside the pub. His ghost appears to be so real that passersby stop to help, only to discover that he has totally disappeared!
I couldn’t however find anything to back these claims up, but too many people have witnessed it to just dismiss it totally.
Well getting onto the Ghost hunt itself, we all enjoyed a meal prepared by the Landlord and Landlady,which was lovely (well worth a visit for a drink and a bite to eat!) then we split up into two teams to do Seances in two different locations. One inside in the back room and one outside in the beer garden, that overlooks the rear of the building towards the road. We were in the group outside, we all congregated under the  gazebo over the BBQ. Using the actual BBQ to place our hands on while taking part in the seance. Spooky noises were heard all around us and everyone was on high alert, as we had been told by Steve that some customers had seen a man leering over the fence at the children playing in the garden. However when they spotted him again later in the day they pulled down the fence thinking it was an actual person watching the kids, but when they tried to pursue him, he disappeared through the hedge. They of course could not as there was a barbed wire fence stopping any solid being from advancing any further...
The strange noises continue, it sounds like something is stalking us, just staying out of view in the dark. We all screamed and ran after one of the team let out a massive shriek after being touched by an unseen force. A few of us even witnessed a strange mist like apparition forming in the beer garden near the pulled down fence panel. I was so gobsmacked I just stared, not even thinking to run away and I swear it looked like the side on view of a man’s torso. No legs were visible, but it was so weird, it was very pale grey when everything else was in total darkness. all this happened so quickly  into the investigation and the night had barely begun, which left us wondering what else was in store for us...
The Ouija board also told of the four ghosts that seemingly haunt the bar area and garden. we also did Transfiguration, which was a little freaky as you could see people faces morphing into different people’s faces. When I did it, I also got the sense of a man shouting in my head to get out of the pub and not just the kind of friendly warning version either!
But one of the most astonishing things that happened was the huge candles in glass jars set into the fireplace re-igniting themselves! How and why? I have no idea, but nearly the whole group witnessed it happen. Firstly we were all commenting on how strong the candle wax smell was in the room, so much so that we wondered about checking to make sure they were all extinguished. Which of course they all were as they had been put out well over and hour and half previously. Then we all stopped after hearing a funny sort of popping and sizzling sound, by now it was almost purring like a cat. We traced it back to one of the candle in the fireplace but didn’t touch it, it then started to glow getting brighter and brighter, till it eventually lit itself fully, scaring the absolute bejesus out of us all in the process. Well this didn’t just happen once the other candle soon started the same process until it too was fully lit. We had no explanation for it then and we still don’t now. If it had just been the one, we may well of dismissed it but two we definitely couldn’t explain!
So all in all the Marquis of Granby was a lovely place to do an investigation at, even though it was small than most places we have done, it was however in my mind and probably most of the other Ghost Hunters too very active!
So just remember next time you are there in for a drink or one of their gorgeous meals, keep your eye out for one of their ghosts, you may well just see or experience one while you are sitting there!
Also take a few minutes to read the board on the front of the pub, it tells you a little bit of the history of the Marquis of Granby.

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