WITH fans awaiting the third instalment of the Ghostbusters movie franchise — The Bolton News reporters Liam Thorp and Jeremy Culley made their case for starring roles as they set out on a ghost hunting mission at Bolton’s haunted pub

WHEN CCTV footage emerged of what appeared to be a ghostly presence at Bolton’s oldest pub — Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Churchgate — myself and Jeremy decided to build up the “spirit” to spend a night searching for the pub’s paranormal patron.

As we set off on our mission, I think it is safe to say we were both sceptical.

We thought the figure on the CCTV footage was most likely a camera trick or possibly a confused regular who had missed the call for last orders.

But after a night of spooky sounds and haunting happenings, we left the pub with our minds considerably more open to the possibility of paranormal activity.

Legend has it that the seventh Earl of Derby, James Stanley, has haunted the pub since he was executed outside the building for his part in the Bolton massacre in 1644.

The Royalist commander is thought to have spent his last few hours in Ye Olde Man and Scythe and the chair he was sitting in is still in the pub today.


As we toured the inside of the pub, my usually unflappable colleague Mr Culley could be seen to become slightly nervous.

He said: “There is certainly something a little bit spooky about Ye Olde Man and Scythe.

“Whether it’s simply the age of the building or the unease created by some of the gruesome displays, I certainly didn’t feel comfortable when the lights went out.”

After a short while, we realised this would be very different to our usual trips to the pub so we decided to record our experiences throughout the evening.

Perhaps the spookiest moment was when a glass smashed inexplicably behind the bar.

Using our combined journalistic knowhow we agreed that this must be the work of a ghoulish, and quite frankly, destructive presence in the pub.

Sufficiently spooked, we headed for the exit — but not before we were treated to some pasties by the pub’s manager Tony Dooley, who recognised that all this ghost hunting lark can really build up an appetite.