Janice McCormack is sick and tired of the mysterious beer pouring spirit in her pub topping off the pints of regular customers. One could ask a fellow customer if a glass was half empty or half full, and while trying to settle the bet with their back turned to the glass, find it completely full when they turn back. It’s a perplexing mystery, but Mrs. McCormack is less interested in solving it, and more interested in this generous ghost pouring away her livelihood.
“I know it sounds very strange,” McCormack said, “But it happens when customers pop to the toilet or put their pint down for a second or two, and when they trn around there is an extra inch of beer.” The ghost has been fondly dubbed by the local patronage “Reedy” after Oliver Reed, who was known for his legendary acting and even more legendary drinking. Regardless of whether this spirit actually has any relation to the real life Reed is unknown. The ghost has been haunting the Apsley House, formerly a Victorian Girl’s School, then an Office building, since she bought it and turned it into a pub.
McCormack plans on calling in a psychic to hold a sÃƒÂ©ance, and failing that will call in a priest to perform an exorcism on the old house. Though she hasn’t announced officially who she will be approaching for these services, there will clearly be no love lost between Mrs. McCormack and ‘Old Reedy.’ The customers, however, are singing quite a different tune, “I will certainly miss Old Reedy because he always keeps me topped up,” said John Sanders, 27 and a regular at Apsley House, “It is a novelty, but if the pub is going to lose money then perhaps he’ll have to move to a different one.”
“It is all a bit strange and it’s driving me round the bend a bit,” McCormack said of the ghostly visitor, “It makes stock take an absolute nightmare.” So far no one has had any complaints of ectoplasmic goo in their beers, and it appears the beer is somehow transporting from her stocks into the glasses of patrons even as they sit in the middle of the room, much to the chagrin of the barkeeper.
Of course England is host to a number of haunted pubs, including the Grenadier of London, where the spectral guardsmen appear as wisps of smoke appearing in thin air before disappearing just as mysteriously. The figure of a seaman dressed in period clothing stalks the halls at the Jamaica Inn. Eerie childish laughter can be overheard at The Crown Hotel, believed to belong to a deformed pair of twins locked in the room, both deceased. Even the headless horseman is rumored to make appearances from time to time at pubs around England. But how could one be frightened of a friendly ghost that wishes to do nothing more than get newcomers and regulars alike a drink? One thing’s for sure, this friendly phantom is more likely to end up as a drinking song than a ghost story.