Case Files of a Modern Day Ghost-Hunter:Case File: 011

The Hare & Crow Pub: Haunted?

Case File: 011
The Hare & Crow Pub

Who: Jonathan Boakes, Matt Clark & Joanne White
When: Monday, March 13th, 2006 / 23:30 - 04:00

Carried out as research for:
a ghost-hunting adventure

Why: The team were contacted by the current owners of The Hare & Crow Pub in March, 2006, following several unexplainable incidents and a catalogue of complaints from visitors and customers to the quaint old country pub. The owners do not wish to be named, nor would they like the location of the pub published as part of this case-file. Years of bad fortune have taken their toll on the pubs reputation, as well as the owners themselves. Possible paranormal events have included:

Mysterious black and gray hairs appearing in the pubs guest rooms, bed linen, on fresh towels, peoples clothing, and, sorry to say, in the restaurant food as well.The owners have no pets; not cats, rats, dogs or bats! The place is cleaned from top to bottom, till it is free of the thick hairs, but still customers complain. Where do these hairs come from?

Loud bangs, crashes and scuttling noises have been known to wake quests in the night. The pub is located in a isolated rural hamlet, several hundred yards from any possible disturbance; yet, night after night, people are woken by unexplainable noises. What causes the sound?

A nasty fall, sliced fingers and electric shocks are just some of the accidents reported by recent staff members. Some have sought compensation, others have left the establishment immediately, never to come back. One nervous waitress claimed she was pushed down the cellar stairs by unseen hands! Is there anything to these stories?

Hare & Crow: Kitchen prep area
Hare & Crow: Bar Food Area
Hare & Crow: The Public Bar

How: A night investigation was arranged with the owners, who opted to leave the pub for the evening, staying with friends across the village green. With many rooms to cover, and the possibility of wild nocturnal visitors, some careful consideration was given to our weapons of choice for this investigation:

1: Two 'locked off'; nite-vision cameras, positioned in rooms reputed to be 'active'.

2: Trigger object, placed in a 'closed door' environment, to capture possible movement.

3: IR Thermometer Gun, to pinpoint cold/hot spots throughout the building.

4: The IR Trap; sounds an alarm if people/animals break the beam.

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The investigation:

Arrival. Our first impressions were strong; The place did have an unpleasant atmosphere. We, as a team, have spent many hours in pubs (both socially, and working), so found it unusual to take an instant dislike to such a quaint looking pub as The Hare & Crow.

Myself, Matt and Joanne explore the building, setting up our equipment. The 'trigger object' - an item placed on plain paper, circled in ink - was placed in the main dining room, which was then locked for the duration. No-one could enter or leave that room. So, any movement, found at the end of the night, could be paranormal. The nite-vision cameras were positioned, on sturdy tripods, in the Saloon Bar and Guest Room 4.

00:20 The team separate; Matt in Guest Room 2, Joanne in the Public Bar and myself...well...I took the public toilets, off of the main bar. I have long explored a theory that ghosts (whatever they may be) have an affinity to water, perhaps even using it as a conduit. Many bathrooms, bodies of water and rivers have long standing ghost stories, I wondered if The Hare and Crow would boast similar traits.

00:40 I performed a 'scrying experiment' with the bathroom mirror. Scrying is the ancient art of pouring water down reflective surfaces, and gazing deep into the distorted reflection. Some claim to see faces appear, or their own face change, as the image blurs and the eyes re-focus. As I stood there, transfixed, I thought I saw someone standing, over my right shoulder, with there face to the tiled wall. It was an unnerving experience, so I was happy, come 00:45, to be distracted from the vision.

00:45 Rattling sounds from the toilet and bar pipe work. The sounds were loud, and unusual, but could easily be 'end of night' noises in what had been, a mere hour before hand, a busy public bar.

Joanne White uses the IRThermometer
Hare & Crow: Trigger Object
Hare & Crow: IR Beam Trap

01:05 Matt feels a "massive temperature drop" in Guest Room 2. This is not unusual for this time in the evening, on any evening. There is a noticeable drop in temperature from 00:00 onwards, across the country. Matt is, usually, quite used to this drop, so we can think on his reaction as unusual, to say the least. The room was, prior to 01:05, warm. Sadly, Matt did not have a thermometer to record the exact changes.

01:12 Joanne also reports a temperature change, in the Public Bar. The local temperature, in the room, was a steady 14°C until this time. The IR Thermometer Gun recorded a drop to 9°C, as if something colder in temperature crossed the room in front of Joanne, causing the noticeable change. It is interesting to note that this happened a few moments after Matt's finding. Was something beginning to stir, in the darkened rooms of The Hare & Crow?

Was something beginning to stir, in the
darkened rooms of The Hare & Crow?

01:45 We ALL hear a loud noise, from the lower rooms of the pub. I felt the sound emanated from the kitchen area, Joanne thought the same, but Matt was more specific; believing the sound came from the 'Grill' area. The sound was described, by my fellow investigators, as "loud, metal, bang or slamming sound".

02:00 We returned to the 'locked off Nite-Vision cameras', to change the tape, and move them to new areas. The 'used' tapes would be viewed later. We did not know, at this time, that both our cameras had captured unexplainable, paranormal activity. See clips below. The Nite-Vision cameras were re-located, with fresh tapes, to the Grill area of the kitchen, and The Public Bar (where Joanne had recorded a significant temperature drop).

02:15 We all de-camp to Guest Room 4, where the previous two hours had been recorded on the Nite-Vision camera. Room 4 is well known for loud raps, bangs, scrapes and, more disturbingly, what have been described as 'scuttling noises', as if something were trying to scratch its way into the room. We conduct a simple Seance; calling out into the darkness, for something, or someone, to communicate with us, either through speech, touch or sound.

02:28 We all hear sounds from downstairs; metallic, rattling sounds, believed to be emanating from the kitchen. The temperature is now very low, with Joanne recording a low of 5°C, from the usual 12°C (for Guest Room 4).

Video Footage: Click To View.
Video Footage: Click To View.
Hare & Crow: temperature changes.

02:47 There are now noises within Guest Room 4. Oddly, the sounds seem to respond to our questions, and requests! Could it have been coincidental, or something more significant. Was someone trying to communicate? The two 'locked off' cameras continued to monitor the Public Bar and Kitchen, so we had no way of recording these sounds.

03:15 Without mentioning it to each other, all team members begin to 'feel' there was something in the room, with us. Part of our investigations require us to note down any unusual emotions, feelings or senses. Between 03:15 and 03:25, we all made note of a presence in the room. I personally did not feel the visitor was human, whether spiritual or otherwise, rather it was a beast or bird. The still audible 'scratching' noises had me visualizing larger than life rats, or something worse, although nothing was visible in the darkened room.

Video Footage: Click To View.
Video Footage: Click To View.
Hare & Crow: No Trigger Object Movement

03:25 Yet again, we all hear a sound from below the Guest Room level. It was loud enough to make Joanne jump, so we felt hopeful the 'locked off' camera (located in the Grill Kitchen) would have picked up the audible phenomena. The sounds in the Guest Room had ceased, so we began to feel a review of the footage was essential. In fact, after such a clatter, it was an unbearable wait until we decided to pack up for the night. What on earth had been happening, below stairs?

04:00 Our night had drawn to a close. The IR Trap was deactivated, after it's long vigil in the main hall. It's interesting to note that the IR Trap did not activate at all. This indicates that no-one, whether human or animal, entered the main building. This fact is important, when reviewing the footage included on this page. ALL of the 'locked off' cameras were left, unattended, in the areas chosen, meaning we have no explanation for the events you can witness by viewing the video clips.

Conclusion: What a night! The Hare & Crow really did provide some of the most unusual video footage of a paranormal investigation I have ever seen. There's a genuinely unnerving quality about the shapes and sounds; what could have made them? The four clips were recorded by our faithful Nite-Vision cameras; two before 02:00 (bedroom and Saloon) and two afterwards (Grill Kitchen and Public Bar). It is very unusual to get any recordings on the 'lock offs', so I am thrilled with the four clips we have to show for our time. Here's a few thoughts about each clip:

Clip 1: Quest Room 4: Although we can't discern any noticeable movement, there are clearly creaks, scuttling sounds and, what to me, sounds a little like deep ripping sounds. Was something under the bed, in the ancient wooden beams, or inside the thatched roof itself?!

Clip 2: Saloon Bar: This is a truly strange clip. There seems to be a light, or mist, moving at knee height across the room. It disappears behind the leather chair, only to reappear in front of the structural wooden beam. The 'shape' then moves under the table, and over the sofa. I've seen some pretty impressive mists and shapes on nite-vision, but nothing so mobile, or easy to place within the actual room. An incredible capture.

There seems to be a shadow moving
around behind the bar.

Clip 3: Grill Kitchen: There's definitely something moving, or even throwing, items in this room of The Hare & Crow. We all had a good look around the kitchen, when packing up at 04:00, and didn't notice any loose cutlery or kitchen equipment. After listening to the video (many, many times!) I phoned the owners of the pub, to ask if they had found anything out of place or broken. They reported finding serving spoons wedged down the back of the 'prep' surfaces....which wouldn't normally be in that part of the kitchen. Are the noises on tape possibly the sounds of poltergeist activity?

Clip 4: The Public Bar: There's an eerie quality to this video capture. There seems to be a shadow moving around behind the bar. In fact, it seems to turn the corner! Further inspection reveals that the shadow seems travel back through the bar, after a few moments. Both Joanne and Matt were with me, in Guest Room 4 when the camera captured this event, so who, or what is making that shadow? Matt also believes you can hear a voice on the recording, perhaps even words, but I feel these may be noises made by the bar refrigerators, or pumps. Either way, the shadow is unexplainable...and, may I add, a little frightening!

I find myself closing this case-file feeling I haven't seen the back of The Hare & Crow. The owners have viewed the footage, and listened to the recordings, and feel it may be time to let the place go on to new owners; A dented reputation, and continuing reports of black and gray hairs appearing in food have brought negative reviews and feedback. If they do sell the place, I can only wish the new owners the best of luck! It's a spooky pub, and one which I pray to visit again sometime.

Influence: The pub proved to be a big influence on my writing, when creating The Lost Crown: a ghost-hunting adventure. The unexplainable appearance of think black hair, the creaking roof timbers and unexplainable shadows and mists all appear throughout the game. It'll be great to get feedback on this case-file, from both those who play the game, and read this article. I was particularly pleased to have a chance to try out 'scrying', the water and mirror experiment, as this too is something that features in-game. It's almost impossible to define an average 'scrying experience', as it depends entirely on the atmospherics, light, temperature and mirrored surface chosen to perform the strange task. I've had very mixed findings, when conducting the experiment, from startling visions of unknown faces, to bizarre warped versions of my own face. It'll be interesting to see what people see when playing The Lost Crown.

I can only hope my efforts to capture some of these strange events proves enlightening. Performing real investigations, to seek paranormal phenomena, is an invaluable experience, with this case-file being a favorite.

Scrying: The Lost Crown Ghost-hunting experiments.
The Lost Crown: Nite-vision observations.
The Lost Crown: The Bear Pub was inspired by The Hare & Crow.

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