New Stories and Pictures

Ghost whispering at Yelf's

SPIRITS AT YELF'S (This extract is taken from Ghostisland - Book 5)

The sounds of pots and pans being hurled around the kitchen of Yelf's Hotel, Ryde, are common. Staff there are used to loud bangs and crashes late at night, but they know it's not the chef having a tantrum. It's the hotel ghost letting off steam.

The old hotel and coaching inn half-way down Union Street was originally built by Robert Yelf in 1801, when the road was little more than a track joining upper and lower Ryde. As the town grew, thanks to the new pier, Yelf's quickly became one of the best-known family and commercial hotels in Ryde.

That commotion in the kitchen has been happening for many years, and a general manager of the hotel heard it countless times. "It sounds like metal pots and pans being thrown around, but when you go in, there's never anything out of place. We are all used to it - but we don't lock up at night or go in to make early 6.30am breakfast alone. We always go in twos.... just in case."

Former duty manager, Sue, who has since left, agreed, "We don't lock up alone because of "The Ghost", it's just an accepted thing."

Although whatever haunts the hotel is rarely seen, staff agree the presence is masculine, and that it seems strongest in the basement storeroom area by the kitchen stairs. It was on these stairs that a kitchen porter felt a ghostly touch on her arm; while in the nearby walk-in fridge, a duty manager found herself locked in.

"It was very strange because these doors have a handle on the inside so that this cannot happen. But the door just wouldn't open, and her screams for help weren't heard until the chef noticed she had been missing for some time," said Sue.

Guests at the hotel are unaware of the ghostly activity, which seems confined to the kitchens and service area. "You often feel you are being watched and catch a glimpse of something moving in that basement, but you never see it clearly," added Sue.

She was wrong about the guest not being aware of ghosts! as this new story shows.

Deborah explains, "We were in the main hotel side where the bar is, (not the block opposite). We were just at the top of the landing almost above the reception bit of the hotel.  My husband and I stayed for New year's eve dinner/stay and breakfast December 31st 2010.  Had a lovely time new years eve with lots of local community coming and going in the bar dressed up all evening.  Neither of us had much to drink as there was no room after such a huge meal.  Two glasses of wine tops. We live in Shanklin so did the stay over so didn't have to worry re transport back home.
We saw the new year in on the hotel tv downstairs and went to bed and almost went straight to sleep as so late, (we are not normally late to bed!).  During the early hours of the morning, loud  whispering woke me up, I opened my eyes and looked round the room but nothing there, went on for about a minute whilst i was awake then went away. Was definately two people i heard and had been very close to where i was sleeping, too loud to be outside on the landing and it was so near me. 
The door is fairly thick from the landing to the bedroom, I didn't hear any other guests. I went back to sleep a little bewildered and slept soundly til morning.  
I am quite a grounded person, but I am sensitive to environments that have had bad pasts, but I didn't feel anything horrid here at all. I didn't hear the pots n pans as described in your earlier book, just two (spirits?) having a conversation in quite loud whisperings. The room did not feel cold or nasty at all. They probably wondered why people were so late to bed!  I am just secretly pleased I couldn't see the solid version because Iwouldn't have been so calm!"

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