This Sunday is the day for three brave young men who have offered to do the unthinkable – to spend the night at the historic Izaak Walton Inn here in Cresswell, on September 2nd.
By repute, the pub is haunted on this night by the spirit of its namesake, the famous seventeenth century writer.
Nineteen year old Luke Emery, who lives in Rookery Crescent just 200 yards from the pub, said he offered to do it in a spirit of curiosity: “ I asked the landlord if he had a problem with two friends and I sleeping on the premises during the early hours – but he agreed to let us do it.”
He and two friends, seventeen year old Will Jones and 14 year old Will Wright, will take up their vigil at midnight.
(See the lads’ final, updated report at the bottom of this article)
Good old Izaak
Izaak Walton, who was born in Stafford in 1593 and whose book The Compleat Angler is one of the best-sellers of all time, is said to have fished in the River Blithe at a spot in Cresswell not far from the pub now named after him.
However, it is not clear why September 2nd is a significant date.
Landlord John Monaghan said: “The locals, particularly Billy who has been coming here for thirty years, cite midnight-to-dawn on September 2nd as a time to avoid being in one particular part of the pub. ”
The story that has been handed down is that Izaak’s spirit dislikes the part of the pub where the bar is now sited. According to the legend, he is unhappy that this room, which is apparently the newest part of the building, was ever added on to the original structure – and he expresses his fury about it on this day. In the past, lights and clocks have been broken or moved.
Lady ghost too…?
The couple’s daughter, eighteen year old Sky, says that, since moving in to the pub with her parents a month ago that she’s also become aware of unusual events: “A grandfather clock that we were told didn’t work stated chiming just a few days after we moved in; but even more strangely, I often hear a woman’s laughter coming from the restaurant area – when I know that no one else is in the building – and only later did I hear from the locals that there is a ghost called The Woman Who Laughs. She sounds friendly to me though.”
The lads say they will report back on their experiences…
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UPDATE (September 4th, 1pm): The lads reported back – that they had been unable to observe anything. However, they are not giving up, and may do the ghost-watch again next year