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> Haunted Premises <


Like many old buildings, shops are often plagued by ghostly presences. These spirits play tricks by mischieveously hiding things, while others make their presence felt by imposing an icy chill on the atmosphere.

One particular Hertfordshire butcher's shop was continuoully afflicted with mysterious happenings. Fridges repeatedly broke down; fires, lights and radios went on and off of their own accord; and car tyres in the back yard were frequently found punctured, although nobody was ever caught in the act of sabotage.

One day the shop was suddenly filled with acrid smoke, although nothing seemed to be on fire. Eventually, a bag was discovered smouldering away inside a cupboard, although no smoke was to be seen in the immediate vicinity. Even after investigation into the fire, no trace of combustible materials could be found. On another occasion, the cloalroom mirror was found shattered on the floor, although the screws remained firmly in place on the wall. Strangest of all, a crate of milk bottles would often be found with just one bottle, right in the middle, smashed to pieces. The staff attributed all these events to the mischievous antics of a ghost they nicknamed Charlie.

Visits to the cellar were particularly unpopular. The sudden appearance of a shadowy figure had twice sent young assistants tearing up the steps in fright. While passing a pile of cartons in the yard, another youth was startled when a hand appeared over the top and pushed the whole lot on top of him. A female cashier was horrified by heavy breathing near her ear whenever she worked alone in the office. This was occasionally accompanied by the feeling that invisible fingers were gently stroking her face.

The building seems to have had a long history of haunting. For more than 150 years it was the site of The Wellington public house, and in the 17th century it was known as the Blue Boar Inn. It was said that a child living there was accidentally killed by running under the wheels of a coach as it turned into the yard of the inn.

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