The Golden Fleece in York

Haunted Pubs in York

These spooky pubs are full of spirits

The Roman-walled city of York is considered one of the most haunted in the world, so it’s no surprise that its pubs and bars are full of spirits!

Here’s a list of the city’s most haunted pubs for a spooky York Haunted Pub Crawl.

Haunted Pubs in York

The Golden Fleece

Golden Fleece, York's Most Haunted pub

The Golden Fleece is York’s Most Haunted Pub

The Golden Fleece is a 16th-century inn and is said to be home to at least five spirits. The most well-known ghost is that of Lady Anne Peckett, the wife of a former mayor of York, John Peckett.

Many guests and staff have reported seeing her wandering the long corridor between the bars, rearranging objects, and walking up the creaky staircase at night. You can even book an overnight stay in Lady Peckett’s room if you’re brave! 

The pub is also reputedly haunted by a Canadian airman and a man in a red coat uniform carrying a pistol, known locally as One-Eyed Jack.

Jack is often seen in the bottom bar, which is also where the ghost of the grumpy older man resides. In the top bar, the spirit of a young Victorian boy killed by horses outside the inn is often seen.

The British Television Show Most Haunted visited the Golden Fleece and captured some of the most convincing and unexplainable electronic voice phenomena in its twenty-year history.

The Golden Fleece is also home to a macabre replica skull of executed prisoner Elizabeth Johnson, who was hanged on the York Knavesmire. The skull was stolen in early 2022, but it has since been reunited with the inn, where it is believed she was a regular before her gruesome death in the 1800s.

Dick Turpin, the infamous Highwayman, is also said to have spent the night here before incarceration at the York Castle Prison.

With a plethora of spirits, the Golden Fleece is indisputably York’s most haunted pub.

Address: 16 Pavement, York, YO1 9UP

Date Built1503
Resident GhostsLady Alice Peckett, Victorian Boy, Geoff Monroe (Canadian Airman), One Eyed Jack, Grumpy Old Man, Roman Soldier
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Poltergeist, Objects moving, Crying noises
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Overnight StayBook here

Ye Olde Starre Inne

Ye Olde Starre Inne - One of the most haunted pubs in York

Ye Olde Starre Inne, Stonegate, is a pub with a rich history dating back to 1644. Historians believe the cellar is much older than the rest of the building, where the most frightening paranormal activity occurs. Staff refuses to enter alone, and the screams and groans of Royalist Civil War soldiers, who were treated in the building when it acted as a temporary hospital, can be heard in the dead of night.

One of the most common sightings at Ye Old Starre Inne is that of an old lady dressed in black clothes. Little is known about her identity, how she died, or why she haunts this 17th-century inn, but she is frequently seen on the pub’s staircase, particularly by young children who are visiting the pub.

Ye Olde Starre Inne is also said to be home to the ghosts of two black cats. Local legend states that the cats were bricked up between the pillar between the door and the bar. Many customers have reported their dogs growling, snarling, and sometimes bolting toward the pillar, with one dog even knocking itself out! Perhaps dogs can see ghosts after all!

The tradition of burying cats in walls is a practice that has been around in Yorkshire for a long time, and it protects the building from fire and bad luck.

The Starre has the longest continuous license of all public houses in York, dating back to the Civil War period, and is undoubtedly one of the most haunted.

Address: 40 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS

Date Built1644
Resident GhostsRoyalist Civil War Soldiers, Old Lady, Two Black Cats
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Audible Screams
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The Punch Bowl

Punch Bowl, Haunted Pubs in York
The Punch Bowl, York

A Punch Bowl in Stonegate is mentioned during the Siege of York in 1644, but there is no proof that it stood on this site. Part of the Punch Bowl was built in 1675. However, the frontage was constructed much later in the 1930s. It is one of the many York pubs that boast a selection of ghost stories and even has a sign outside claiming it is the most haunted!

The most compelling story is that of a former landlord, who is believed to have died in one of the two historic fires that gutted the building. His ghost has been seen going down to the cellar using a no longer-existing route. In the years following the fire, the steps down to the basement were relocated, and the floor was lowered, but his ghost still follows the route he used to take and is said to disappear into the floor.

The pub is also haunted by a grey lady, reputed to be a woman who committed suicide after her lover was unfaithful. Her heartbroken ghost is said to wander the bar area looking for him, hoping to reconcile in the world of spirit.

The third ghost is believed to be another young woman strangled to death by a drunk in the 18th century. At the time, the pub was reputedly a brothel, and she may have been a sex worker who rejected the man’s advances.

 Address: 7 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AN

Date Built1675
Resident GhostsFormer Landlord, Grey Lady, Young Woman
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Cold Spots, Objects moving
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York Arms

York Arms - The Most Haunted pubs in York

The York Arms is named after the city’s coat of arms, which date from 1587. The former coffee house is allegedly haunted by one of York’s several grey ladies, believed by some to be a nun.

She is said to manifest as either a floating grey mist or a gentle lady in a long white dress and has been spotted on the staircase and, somewhat alarmingly, the men’s toilets!

The pub has also seen its fair share of poltergeist activity. In the 1980s, the landlord reported experiencing loud bangs and witnessed objects moving as if being pushed by unseen hands.

Address: 26 High Petergate, York, YO1 7EH
This pub is closed as of January 2023

Date Built1838
Resident GhostsGrey Lady (Nun), Poltergeist
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Mists, Poltergeist activity, Loud bangs
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The Guy Fawkes Inn

Guy Fawkes Inn, York
Guy Fawkes Inn, York

The Guy Fawkes Inn, reported birthplace of Guido Fawkes himself, is located steps away from York Minster and is said to be haunted by several spirits.

The cottage where the notorious Fawkes is said to have taken his first breath still stands in the beer garden of the inn, but it is the main building where much of the paranormal activity is now reported.

Visitors to the Belfry Suite have seen the apparitions of two ghostly children, who are believed to have died of cholera in the 1700s, while guests have reported hearing footsteps and objects moving in their bedrooms in the dead of night!

It is also possible to stay the night in one of the haunted guest rooms on the upper floors. Find up-to-date prices and the latest availability for Guy Fawkes Inn here.

Address: 25 High Petergate, York, YO1 7HP

Date Built1700
Resident GhostsTwo children
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Footsteps, Objects Moving, Interference with electrical equipment
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Overnight StayBook here

The Black Swan, Peasholme Green

The Black Swan Inn
The Black Swan Inn

Initially built in 1417 and rebuilt in the 17th century, this solid oak building has had its fair share of ghost sightings!

One of the most frequently reported sightings is that of a man in a bowler hat, who paces the ground floor of the building and has been heard tutting as if he is waiting for somebody to arrive. Visitors have also reported seeing a glimpse of a beautiful young woman in a white dress sitting and gazing towards the fireplace before fading away into thin air.

Glasses moving and footsteps on the staircase are a regular occurrence, but the most bizarre and exciting of all the hauntings at The Black Swan is the ghostly legs that have been seen walking around the pub.

The legs, which are believed to be male, are most commonly spotted in the landlord’s living quarters but have been seen throughout this historic building.

Address: 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR

Date Built1417 (Rebuilt in 1560 and 1670)
Resident GhostsMan in Bowler Hat, Young Woman in White Dress, Male Legs
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Glasses Moving, Footsteps, Ghostly Legs
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The Snickleway Inn

The Snickleway Inn, York
The Snickleway Inn

This Snickleway Inn has a rich history, with parts of the property dating back to the 15th century. It is believed to have served as a brothel and a Royalist powder magazine during the Civil War and is said to be haunted by no less than five spirits.

One of the most well-known spirits is Mrs. Tulliver and her cat, Seamus. Many customers have reported the feeling of Seamus rubbing against their legs, and Mrs. Tulliver herself has often been spotted by punters enjoying a pint or two of an evening.

The ghost of a young girl is also said to be haunting the inn and is often seen sitting on the stairs. She is believed to be the daughter of a previous landlord who ran into the road and was killed by a brewer’s dray.

The spirit of Marmaduke Buckle is also said to roam between a first floor room in the Snickleway and the building next door. He was accused of witchcraft in the 17th century and hanged himself from a beam in the building next door. He carved his initials and date of death into the beam before ending his own life.

A baby has also been heard crying in the Snickleway and an older man has been seen sitting on the barrels in the cellar. This man is thought responsible for the poltergeist activity there and regularly scares staff, who daren’t visit the basement alone!

Address: 47 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LS

Date Built1417 (Rebuilt in 1560 and 1670)
Resident GhostsMrs Tulliver, Seamus the Cat, Young Girl, Older Man, Marmaduke Buckle
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Poltergeist, Footsteps, Smell of lavender, Slamming Doors, Pushing Guests
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Roman Bath

Roman Bath, York

The Roman Bath Pub is located near the famous York Minster. The pub was built on the site of an ancient Roman caldarium or bathhouse, which was discovered during the pub’s construction in the 1960s. Some of the remains of the Roman bathhouse, including the foundations and an original hypocaust system, can still be seen in the basement of the pub.

While it may not be recognized as one of the most haunted pubs in York, paranormal activity has been experienced. Footsteps, disembodied voices, and splashing have been heard coming from the cellar. Could it be the spirits of Romans enjoying a dip in the once buzzing baths, or is there a logical explanation for the ghostly activity?

Address: 9 St Sampson’s Sq, York, YO1 8RN

The Old White Swan

Old White Swan, Haunted Pub Crawl York
Old White Swan, York

The Old White Swan is one of a collection of buildings dating back to the 16th century. Much of the paranormal activity in this historic building centers around the fireplace, particularly in the early morning hours.

The pub is believed to be haunted by a group of papists, who have been seen gathering around the fire. The Catholic spooks have been known to rearrange the furniture and relight the fire in the dead of night.

Visitors have reported chairs being moved and, in some cases, thrown by unseen hands. Muffled voices and footsteps are also commonly heard in one of the most haunted pubs in York.

Address: 9 St Sampson’s Sq, York. YO1 8RN

Date Built16th Century
Resident GhostsGroup of papists
Paranormal ActivityFootsteps, Fire relighting, Rearranging furniture, Muffled Voices, Poltergeist
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Lendal Cellars

Lendal Cellars, York, Haunted pub crawl York
Orbs in Lendal Cellars

Lendal Cellars were built on the site of the Austin Friar, a monastic order, who inhabited this area from 1272. Henry VIII destroyed the Friary during the Reformation, but it is said that some of the hooded figures never left and still haunt the vaulted cellars.

Glimpses of robed spirits and dark shadows have been reported by visitors in the seating area, while cutlery and glasses have been known to fly off shelves in front of spooked staff!

Ghostly orbs have also been captured on camera.

Address: Coney Street, York, YO1 8AA

Date Built13th century
Resident GhostsMonks, Dark Shadows,
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Shadow Figures, Orbs, Poltergeist Activity
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Thomas’ Bar

The Thomas Hotel, now known as Thomas’ Bar, was opened in 1861 by hotelier William Thomas and is said to be haunted by numerous spirits.

Much of the activity happens in the function room on the upper floor, where unseen hands have rearranged chairs and tables in the function room, and guests regularly feel cold blasts of air.

Ghostly figures have also been seen wandering up and down the staircase.
Interestingly, the reports of hauntings in the building have increased since the disappearance of a pair of ballet shoes, which used to be displayed in a glass case on the wall.

Address: 3 Museum Street, York, YO1 7DT
This pub is closed as of January 2023

Date Built1861
Resident GhostsThe identity of the spirits are not known
Paranormal ActivityApparitions, Rearranging Furniture, Footsteps, Cold spots
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If you are feeling really brave and want to make a weekend of it, there are also a number of spooky hotels complete with their own ghost stories. Try our list of the most haunted hotels in York and book an overnight stay, if you dare!

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