On Friday 11th June 2010, Twilight Shadows Paranormal/Phoenix of Wessex conducted a paranormal investigation at the Duke of York pub in Salisbury.
At the moment the pub is closed, so the team had a free run of the building.
Martin, a previous landlord of the pub joined us as he had developed a special
friendship with one of the pub ghosts during his time there as landlord. Martin
had named the ghost Edward. He saw him once and was frequently aware of his
presence and his intervention in the running of the pub.
The pub as it stands today was built in the year 1900, the
same as the terraced houses which surround it. The houses were originally built
for the Salisbury Gas Works employees and their families. The Gas Works (in use
from 1833 – 1958) was originally called Salisbury Gas Light and Coke Company and
was Salisbury’s largest public utility
provider. There were originally three gas-holders. The last gas-holder remaining
(which is still in use today and operates automatically) is thought to have had
a greater volume than the Cathedral. Although the remaining gas-holder is still
in use, it is not essential and when it becomes too problematical and expensive
to repair, the gas-holder will be demolished and its visible reminder of a
once-thriving industry upon the urban landscape will cease to exist.
a factory was built in 1908. This factory was built on the old Brick, Lime and
Whiting works beside Devizes Road. It was first known as the
Hygienic Milk Company where local farmers delivered their milk in churns by
horse and cart for factory use. The factory was powered by a great steam
engine. Later, the factory became the Nestlé factory and they purchased
their own fleet of lorries. The factory increased its machinery to expand their
range of products for different companies. During the war, army rations were
provided and its goods were exported around the world.
Prior to the Gas Works or theNestlé factory a prison was situated on the east side of Devizes Road,just beyond its junction with Wilton Road. This prison was built between 1818 and 1822. It was constructed because the
original prison on Fisherton Street
near to the old
Salisbury Infirmary (which has now been developed into homes for the elderly)
was full. This in turn was closed in 1870, and demolition ensued from
1875. The central block was left standing, and was acquired by Dr William
Corbin Finch, the proprietor of the Fisherton House Lunatic Asylum and named
Radnor House. In 1901 he leased this property to the War Department, which
bought it outright, together with two other of the prison buildings in 1922.
From 1901 to 1939 Radnor House was the headquarters of the Second Army Corps,
later the Southern Command. Now a roundabout covers the old site of the prison
but since our investigation we wonder if the underground cells ran along close
by to the cellar of The Duke of York public house.
Ghost story of this
area sent to Twilight Shadows Paranormal
When I was young I was a pupil at St.
Paul's school. The school was situated near the church
and it was a Gothic style building which I believe had many ghosts. Although I
sometimes thought I felt a presence, I never saw a ghost within the school. The
school was demolished prior to the existence of the Salisbury ring road and the St. Paul's
One warm, summer evening, I was with many other pupils from
the school. I cannot remember what we were doing but it was an after school
activity connected to the church. The vicar was present and we all noticed a
misty figure. There were no distinctive arms or legs but it was the size of a
person and it moved like a person. We all watched as the mist travelled from
near to where we were standing, along the bottom of the Devizes and Wilton road
(an area then locally known as 'The Wessex') and to the spot where a tool-hire
car park is now situated.
As the figure reached the area of the current car park it
very obviously descended some steps (no longer visible) and disappeared from
sight. We were all astounded and the vicar said that we had just witnessed
something that was completely unexplainable.
I have never forgotten this experience and when I was older
I researched the area of the car park. I discovered that this was an old
military jail and the area in which the mist descended the invisible steps,
were actually steps into the 'condemned man's cell'. I believe I witnessed
(along with many others) the ghost of someone upon their last walk to the
'condemned man's cell' prior to his execution.
Sent by: Patrick form Wilton
We entered the pub and our two mediums Chris and Pete shared
with us, the information they were receiving from the realm of spirit. (Our
mediums do not know any history about our locations before their arrival. They
are merely provided with a postcode for their SatNav just prior to meeting up
with the rest of the team). Among the spirits there were a specific couple, a
male and a female who were grounded at the pub. It was thought that they
existed from the actual pub as they talked about it being licensed premises.
This couple (especially the male) were unhappy at the degree
of uncertainty that surrounds the pub at this time. When they ran the pub (him
upstairs and her downstairs), it had a happy family atmosphere. The male spirit
claimed that this has been missing for many years. Our mediums felt that the
male spirit felt judgemental of the way that the pub had been run for a very
long time. He said that it used to be a quiet residential establishment. He
hated the introduction of all the ‘new-fangled electronics’ that were installed
into the pub over the years. He was quite angry about that. Martin confirmed that
this was all true. The male spirit that Martin had named Edward told Martin
(when he was running the pub) that he did not like all the ‘bang, bang’ music
of today. He hated the juke-box when it had been there.
The female spirit kept herself to herself and mainly stayed
upstairs, busying herself with the chores.
Martin felt that there was a presence in the cellar and
wondered if it was Edward down there. Pete said that Edward did go down there
but there was also another sinister presence in residence. Pete said that he
didn’t like it in the cellar.
Pete felt that the male spirit was currently trying to
choose the next landlord of the pub as he wanted it to return to a happy,
family atmosphere. Pete told this spirit that the pub will never be like he
wants it; it will never be like it was. Times have moved on.
Pete then connected with a young boy of approximately seven
years of age. He had worked at the pub illegally. He had just helped by
bottling up and generally helping the landlord.
There was another male figure, an older man who liked having
fun and was more active and noisy. He was not a malevolent spirit and never did
The original male returned and told Pete how sad and fed up
he felt about how the pub had been run. He said he knew how to run a pub! Pete
told Martin that he was not the only person to see this spirit. He had been
upstairs too, rapping on doors.
Chris said that he had been drawn to two areas especially
and could hear shouting, someone being shouted at. Chris asked Martin if there
had been problems with public order. Martin said “Yes, sometimes.” The male
spirit said that there was public order problems during the 1940’s as well with
some workers from a munitions factory. Now that was big trouble!
Pete asked Martin if he knew about any of the alterations
that had taken place in the pub. Martin described the alterations that he knew
about. Pete said that he was told (by spirit) of a change on the left side of
the pub, an expansion in some way. Martin confirmed that this was correct. Pete
said that during the time when the gas-workers frequented the pub, there was a
sliding door of some sort. Martin said “yes and a hatch.” The landlord would
have provided ‘off-sales’ from the hatch. Pete said that he could see a memory
of when the local children used to come and buy soft drinks and sweets from the
landlord through the hatch. Pete said that the landlord also used to sell
tinned food from here.
Pete said to Martin that he “did see glasses move on the bar
when he was landlord of the pub.” Martin laughed and confirmed this. Pete said
that the male spirit that Martin named Edward, said that he wasn’t happy with
the way that Martin pulled a pint as it had too much of a head on it. We all
laughed and Pete said that the male spirit said “I know you have to get your
profits but that’s taking the piss!” This made us all laugh again, especially
The male spirit then said (through Pete) that there had been
lots of conflict recently and he didn’t like it. Chris was told the name John. Pete
was told Albert. We wondered if this was the name of two different spirits or
two names belonging to the same spirit. It is hard for those of us who have
been familiar with this spirit not to think of him as Edward. We all talked
about things that occurred when Martin was there. Pete told Martin that this
gentleman spirit always looked out for him and had never wished him any harm
even though he may have unnerved Martin at times.
Martin described one occasion when he was on his hands and
knees cleaning and he saw the spirit standing there. Pete described the
spirit’s appearance as a big man, older than fifty, with a receding hair line
and a very large neck. Martin said that he could not confirm this because as
soon as he realised that he was there, he was gone!
Pete said that the spirit used to move barrels around.
Martin smiled and said that he had heard them. Martin told us that the kegs
were aluminium so they made a specific sound. The spirit man laughed and said
to Pete “they are girly barrels!” Pete described the runners which the barrels
were rolled down into the cellar. They were made of very old wood. Martin
confirmed this and later we all saw that this was true. Martin told us that he
always observed the barrels being delivered and when he went down into the
cellar next, they had been moved. Martin thought that it was his imagination.
The spirit told Pete that if he had moved the beer, then it would taste better.
The spirit man told Pete to tell Martin that he didn’t agree with some things
that Martin had done but it was between the two of them. Martin laughed!
We all went to the cellar. Chris and Pete thought that it
was still an active place. They also commented that a lady looks out of the
kitchen window at the back. Martin said that he had experienced this.
Pete then smiled and said that the gentleman spirit was a
lady’s man! He was a gentleman rogue and he had the ability to attract many
We went upstairs and walked into the back bedroom. I felt a
bit sick and then Christina and Nikki said that they felt sick also. Simon had
a PK detector and said that it was showing a positive reading.Pete said that this room made him feel
light-headed and he did not like it at all. Many people felt a great suffering
in this room and some said that they felt sorrowful.
Pete felt the spirit of a gentleman with pneumonia who had
eventually died of this condition in the sitting room. It was the spirit that
had been communicating downstairs. Pete could hear him wheezing. He described a
scene of this gentleman lying in bed, looking out of the window into the main
street during his illness. Pete could see someone coming in to help him by
propping him up in bed and giving him soup to eat. Melody said that she felt
sad in here. Pete said that he knew that he was dying.
The other bedroom felt quite peaceful although Simon was
surprised when his PK meter which was showing a significant amount of energy
suddenly went blank and read nothing at all. Pete said that he felt that this
was once a living room, a family room. Pete said that he also felt light-headed
in here but not as much as in the back bedroom.
We went into the kitchen and Pete said that he could feel a
lady in there who presented as Maureen or Mo for short. This was a residual
energy but Pete felt that it was oppressive. Martin said that he did not like
this room. Pete said that Mo did not visit the rest of the building. This was
Mo’s domain. Pete could see an Aga and an old-fashioned Belfast sink with old-fashioned taps. Chris and Pete both felt that there was
paranormal activity in here and saucepan lids would often clatter to the floor
for no apparent reason. Pete said that there had once been two young children
in here which were Mo’s children. But he was unsure if they were Albert’s
(Edward’s) children. Pete said that Mo loved to cook. She was highly
domesticated and extremely fastidious. She used to wear a floral tabbard. She
was a considerably large lady. She told Paul that she loved her own cooking.
When the child who used to illegally work in the pub came upstairs, Mo used to
‘mother’ him. He was a child who lived in the street and there was an
underlying sinister aspect surrounding him but Mo did not expand on this.
We walked up to the attic. Nettie did not like it up here
but she didn’t know why. Pete and Chris could feel that someone had lost their
life up in the attic, in the right side room. Pete visualised a chair being
kicked away and said he could see a tie around a man’s neck.
Back in the bar
We decided to split into four groups. My group consisted of
myself, Loretta, Matt, Martin and Charlie. We decided to try and conduct a
séance in the main bar. For a long time, nothing at all happened and I was just
giving up hope. We all chatted and Martin felt that there were two strong male
spirits there. One was a previous landlord of the pub and the other a much
older spirit who Martin felt was a gaoler in part of the gaol that used to be
on or near to this site. It seemed as if merely discussing the spirits of the
pub brought them close to us. It was indicated that a spirit was standing
between Matt and Charlie.
Martin said “you hated the ‘bang, bang’ music didn’t you?”
There was a strong response but Martin said that this did not feel like the man
he knows as Edward. Martin felt strongly that this spirit was connected to the
gaol and that he existed at the time of the ‘Great Fire of London.’ The pub
would not have been in existence at that time but we felt that it stood on a
place of historic significance. This spirit seemed particularly pleased to see
Martin again. We tried to ask him when he was born but he was not forthcoming
with this information. Matt suddenly looked perplexed and asked who had come
into the room approximately five minutes ago. We all looked at him oddly and
said that nobody had entered the room. Matt told us that he had heard someone
come in through the door and had then heard footsteps. Nobody else had noticed
this at all.
We went to have a look at the cellar. I stood at the top and
threw a couple of things into the cellar and asked if they could be thrown
back. Nothing was thrown back. Matt and Charlie went down into the cellar. They
said that they heard a small noise after ‘asking out’ but nothing else. We
talked about the ‘girly barrels’ that had been mentioned by the spirit man.
Martin said again that he used to hear the barrels moving about when he was
upstairs. Some other members of the team joined us. I was talking to Dave
outside the cellar and he said that he had heard a ‘sniggering’ sound from the
We went back to the bar. We decided to try another séance.
There was no response again for a very long time. Christina said that she felt
cold breezes by her feet. Martin agreed. We checked for draughts but could not
find any. It was a very warm evening.
Martin suddenly exclaimed “look at the lights!” Melody said “oh,
yes, they are moving!” We all looked up and the lights above where the pool
table would have been were swaying to and fro considerably. It looked like a
controlled movement rather than just natural air movement. As we watched, the
swinging of the lights slowed down and we thought that they were going to stop.
Martin and Matt said at the same time “here it goes” and the lights seemed to
swing purposefully again. Martin said “something is definitely pushing them.”
It really did look like a hand which we couldn’t see was pushing the lights
forcibly. Melody said “can you straighten the end light” as it was very
crooked. The swinging slowed down a little and then Martin said “here it goes
again!” The lights really started to swing with considerable force again.
Christina said that she felt cold all around her legs but nobody else could
feel it. Suddenly the swinging lights came to a stop abruptly. If someone had
been upstairs walking around, we would have considered this a probable cause
for the swinging lights but everyone was accounted for in the main bar. Matt
said that he had captured some light anomalies on the Camcorder,
The atmosphere seemed to be flat now so we sat around
chatting to each other. Melody said that when she had been participating in a séance
upstairs, she was sitting perfectly still and one of her earrings had literally
shot out of her ear and onto the floor. Everyone in her group had heard it
landing as it had shot out with force.
Martin suddenly felt light-headed and peculiar so he went
out to the garden for some fresh air. Upon his return, we all assembled around
a table. Pete said that there was a sinister energy that had joined us. This
energy did not like Pete being there and he certainly did not want to show
A male spirit entered who was connected to the lady spirit
upstairs. They were not married. We asked the spirit if he knew Martin and he
confirmed this. He said that he used to watch Martin all the time when he
worked there. Pete told him that he really needed to move on to the ‘other
side.’ But the gentleman spirit said that he wanted to stay in the pub and he
had been trying to help behind the scenes to achieve a positive result. Pete
tried to persuade the spirit to move on. The spirit man said that there was
another spirit who resided in the cellar which he would like moved on. Pete
asked if the cellar was connected to the gaol and the spirit said that it was.
Pete said that someone had lost their life in the area of the cellar (although
this was before it was the cellar of the pub). Pete was told that the cellar
spirit was a very cruel man who picked his victims carefully. Suddenly we all
noticed that the temperature had plummeted and we all felt extremely cold.
Melody said that she felt a tap on her shoulder.
Pete asked the gentleman spirit about the seven year old
child who used to work there. The response was that he knew it was not right to
employ a child in a licensed premises and he felt embarrassed and guilty about
it now. Pete told the spirit not to worry as the child enjoyed working there.
Pete eventually persuaded this pleasant gentleman spirit
that it was a good idea to pass over to the light so that he was not grounded
in the pub as that was not where he should be. He was reassured that he would
still be able to visit the pub from time to time though. Pete passed this
gentleman and the lady from upstairs over to the light. Pete then passed two
other female spirits that were lingering over as well. The atmosphere changed
considerably, it became lighter and everyone could feel it. Pete said “we still
have the evil bastard in the cellar but we will have to come back for that
another time.” We remained sitting around the table while Pete chatted to our
new investigators about spiritual matters. Suddenly Martin said that he was
experiencing a remarkable feeling of Déjà Vu. Martin said that he had not
sat in a séance before so he could not explain his feeling. We all felt quite
drained in every sense and decided to end our investigation.
On behalf of Twilight Shadows Paranormal/Phoenix of Wessex,
I would like to thank Scott for allowing us to investigate the Duke of York
Written by: Maria Williams
On Friday 11th June
2010, Phoenix of Wessex was invited by Twilight Shadows to a
paranormal investigation at the Duke of York pub in Salisbury.
The pub is closed at present so the team had a free run of the building.
Martin, a previous landlord of the pub joined us as he has had many previous
encounters with the paranormal activity at the place, in particular with one of
the pub ghosts during his time there as landlord. Martin had called the ghost
Edward. He has seen him once and was frequently aware of his presence and his
intervention in the way Martin (and Martins predecessors) ran the pub.
As we began our investigation, Pete first of all gave us his
impression of what he had picked up on the building in the short time he had
arrived there.He said he was aware that
there was a male and female presence in the building and they had both made
themselves known. The male was mostly felt or seen downstairs and he was quite
judgemental in the way the pub has been run.Pete felt that this male spirit who he felt was a former landlord,
preferred the pub to have a quite more family atmosphere.The female was more upstairs and very
quiet.It was felt she was a nervy type
of woman who liked to keep a very clean kitchen.
Pete also felt there was a male child of around 7 years old
who would have worked here maybe illegally.He would have helped with the bottling up and that type of thing.
Chris felt that phenomena witnessed would have been possibly
shouting.He felt that the pub would
have been split into two areas (which were verified) and there was a strong war
connection with the place.
Pete felt that the pub would have been expanded also and
this was verified.Pete also felt that
things like barrels would have been heard moving.This was also verified.
A few names were given but these cannot be verified at
The female spirit was often seen from the kitchen window
whilst Martin was in the pub garden.Dave felt this and this was verified.
We decided to have a quick tour of the upper building.In the kitchen I felt a very strong presence
and also on the very top floor. There
was a room which was not accessible but I physically could not bring myself to
go near the door way.While Dave was in
the main bedroom on the 1st floor, he said that he felt that a man had died in
there and Pete felt that this was where the landlord that Martin has had so
much interaction with, would have died.
In the cellar I could feel a very ominous presence; to me it
felt male and almost like it was in hiding.Pete also felt this but neither Pete nor I could pick up on anymore with
this spirit.It is known there was once
a prison near by and I wondered if this malevolent spirit may have been in
hiding from the law.
We all decided to split into teams and our team started out
in the kitchen.Initially, I felt a very
strong presence in there; it now felt very flat.We tried calling out for a bit but this
The next room we tried was the smaller room across the
landing.Pete felt that in here, he had
picked up on a very strong female presence who he described at the time of her
death, was in a very emotional state, Chris also agreed with this. Again, the
room felt flat and the initial feeling that Pete got when he entered the room
had now dissipated.
We then tried the big bedroom on this floor. This room I
felt was not a nice welcoming room.I
felt very uneasy in there and although no paranormal activity was witnessed in
this room, I was very glad to leave.
We did attempt a vigil in the bar area but this was not
really possible as a lot of other members were in there at the time.
Unfortunately as members of Phoenixhad to be up early the next day with job commitments, we had to leave at this
I would like to thank Twilight Shadows for and Martin for
allowing us to join them in this investigation.I would also like to thank members of Phoenixfor giving up their evening to make this investigation possible.