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A ghostly tale from The Malthouse


Win Valle had a stall for many years at The Malthouse called The Squirrel's Nest. She was a key holder for the premises. Read about her ghostly experience .....

(This was an audio interview which was put into transcript)

"I know this to be true. I have seen it.  I was at The Malthouse at about 8.30 am on a Friday morning - alone at the time, no one else had arrived.  Most of the doors were still locked as the building was not yet open to the public.  I saw this figure of a man dressed in the 1930s style.  Baggy flannel trousers, long raincoat and a large trilby hat pulled well over his face.  He came up the wooden stairs by the cafe and walked along the gallery passage.  

At this point I challenged him.  

        "I am sorry, we are not yet open to the public and there is no one here at the moment.  Can I help             you?"


No reply - he just disappeared through the door which leads into the garden. I knew it was locked, but went to check just in case. It was definitely locked and bolted. 


Others too have described the same image - if that is the correct description for this figure.

Another stall holder who sold military badges and paraphernalia had reported to the management that many of his goods had been moved from one side of his shop to the other. His shop was always kept locked when not in use during the week. When he arrived on Friday morning he would find several of his items in the wrong place.


Another person in The Malthouse has reported that paper bags have been taken from their

usual place and found elsewhere, not necessarily in the right stall.


As with other shops, there is always the risk of intruders intent on burglary.  Mr. Maxtone-Graham, the proprietor of  The Malthouse arranged for an alarm system to be fitted. The work had to be done when the building was empty without anyone walking about so that the alarm could be tested after installation.


It was arranged that the work be done on a Sunday.  At about 9am the engineer was let into the arcade (The Malthouse).  At his own request he was locked in and said that he would telephone the key holder once the work was complete.  Just after 11am the key holder had a call from the engineer. He was frantic to be let out of the building.  He had seen the ghost and refused to finish the work at a later date, to finish the job.  


At the time the manageress happened to be an experience clairvoyant and medium.  She acknowledged that there was a spirit in the building. It was male and probably of the 1930 era.  He was perhaps mischievous but not malicious.  He had no intention of harming anybody. There was no reason for fear.

Enquiries have been made via many sources, including local residents who had worked at the brewery and malthouse in the past.  To their knowledge there had not been any accident or any incident which may have provided a reason for the haunting.  


Only one reasonable explanation came to light.  Before  World War II when The Malthouse was in use by the brewery for barley malting there was a young man working there who was a workaholic.  He never wanted to take time off even for a holiday.  He spent as much time as he could at work. His name was revealed as Mr. Thorndyke.  The idea was that he had now come back looking for his old job.


Who knows? Perhaps one day someone will have the answer.  He has not been seen recently. All is quiet and normal except that things still move inexplicably form one stall to another...."